UN Chief on the “Call to Action for Human Rights”

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The United Nations (UN) was established after World War II with the aim of preventing future wars. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states.

The UN’s chief administrative officer is the Secretary-General, currently Portuguese politician and diplomat António Guterres, who began his five year-term on 1 January 2017.


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  • United Nations published this video item, entitled “UN Chief on the “Call to Action for Human Rights”” – below is their description.

    “(…) This is just the beginning. 

    Our enduring challenge is to transform the promise of the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights into real-world change on the ground. It is to look at our contemporary challenges with a human rights lens.

    And this is why my Call to Action extends beyond the UN family. 

    It is also a call to all Member States, to parliamentarians, to the business community, to civil society and to people everywhere.

    We shoulder a collective responsibility. Transformative change will take the full commitment and support of us all.

    And, of course, it will take resources. 

    While our budget proposals for human rights activities have grown in recent years, across the board budget cuts approved by Member States have reduced the final resource levels for human rights action. 

    Additionally, like with other areas of our work, the financial crisis has impacted our ability to fully implement our mandates and affected our support to the treaty body mechanisms. 

    I appeal to all Member States to ensure that the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the treaty body mechanisms and other critical human rights activities have the necessary resources to carry on this mandate and to fulfil our shared promise to protect and advance human rights.

    Much like COVID-19 vaccines, human rights will not lead to a healthier world if they are only available to the privileged few.

    We need renewed, concerted, global determination to ensure the protection of human rights of all people, everywhere and in all situations.

    We must all join forces to deliver.   

    Only by working together can we forge a new social contract that reflects respect and protection for all people and is rooted in universal human rights.

    As we enter the second year of the Call to Action, I look forward to working closely with all of you to fulfil the highest aspirations of the people of the world – human rights and dignity for all. (…) – António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations on the “Call to Action for Human Rights”, during the Informal meeting of the General Assembly plenary, 75th session [Excerpt].

    Full Remarks [as delivered]: https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/statement/2021-02-24/secretary-generals-general-assembly-briefing-the-call-action-for-human-rights-bilingual-delivered-scroll-down-for-all-english-version

    United Nations YouTube Channel

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    In This Story: António Guterres

    António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres GCC GCL is a Portuguese politician and diplomat serving as the ninth secretary-general of the United Nations. A member of the Portuguese Socialist Party, he served as prime minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002.

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