Listen to demands of world's peoples

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, September 25, 2013
Adjust font size:

Throughout the world, we see again the centrality of human rights and the rule of law as foundations of stability and coexistence. It is time to reinforce our commitment to the cause of international law, and to the International Criminal Court. I would like to make a special appeal on behalf of the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia. The Court has achieved important successes but there is a deep and chronic funding shortage and now its very survival is in question. Financial failure would be a tragedy for the people of Cambodia, who have waited so long for justice. I call on the international community to come forward with the financing to see all the cases through to their conclusion.

The inability of Member States and the United Nations to prevent and put a stop to large-scale human rights violations has had disastrous consequences. An internal review of UN action at the end of the war in Sri Lanka identified a systemic failure: Member States did not provide the United Nations system with support to meet the tasks they themselves had set; and the system itself unfortunately did not adapt properly or deliver fully.

In this twentieth anniversary year of the Vienna World Conference on Human Rights, we should renew our commitment to the UN’s founding principles. I intend to do more to help Member States reach early consensus to prevent large-scale violations, and I am implementing recommendations to ensure that the UN system upholds its responsibilities under the Charter.

There will be little peace or enjoyment of human rights unless we confront a world awash in deadly weapons. The past year saw the promising adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty, finally regulating the international transfer of conventional weapons.

But nuclear disarmament is languishing. Deadly weapons are proliferating. The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty is still not in force. And small arms continue to kill and maim.

Meanwhile, at a time of pressing human need, spending on weapons remains absurdly high. Let us get our priorities right and invest in people instead of wasting billions of dollars on deadly weapons.

You the leaders are here to serve we the peoples. We can be the ones who preside over an end to poverty, give voice to the will of the people and usher in an era of sustainable development and lasting peace. You can tackle the toughest problems today — and make your foresight a gift to future generations.

I urge you to embrace the global logic of our times. With our fates ever more entwined, our future must be one of ever deeper cooperation. In this transformed global landscape, let us find new ways of governing, partnering and problem-solving. Let us empower the United Nations to be more than a first responder or a last resort.

Change is inevitable, but progress is not. Leadership makes the difference.

Let us take our cue from Nelson Mandela — frail today, but forever in our awareness as a towering model of integrity and principled action in the pursuit of human dignity.

You in your home countries, and we here together, are at a privileged pinnacle. We must prove ourselves fit for purpose. We must listen to the just demands of the world’s peoples and hear the call of history. We speak often of hope. Our duty is to turn hope into action, through hard work, commitment, skill and integrity.

With passion but most of all with compassion, we can build the future your people want — and that our world needs.

I thank you for your leadership and strong commitment. Let us build our world better for all. Let us shape our future where everybody can live harmoniously with peace and dignity. Thank you very much.


   Previous   1   2   3  

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Enter the words you see:   
    Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from