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Messages from the Secretary-General

Diabetes is an ancient disease that is taking a growing toll on the modern world.  In 1980, 108 million adults were living with diabetes.  By 2014, that number had risen to 422 million – 8.5 per cent of adults -- reflecting a global increase in risk factors such as being overweight or obese.  Even though we have the tools to prevent and treat it, diabetes now causes some 1.5 million deaths a year.  High blood glucose causes an additional 2.2 million deaths. This year, the World Health Organization has issued its first Global Report on Diabetes, outlining the scale of…
Sport is a unique and powerful tool for promoting dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of every member of the human family.  It is a driving force for positive social change.  That is why some of the world’s greatest sportsmen and women have been, and remain, engaged in helping the United Nations to raise awareness on important issues such as hunger, HIV-AIDS, gender equality and environmental stewardship. This year the world is embarking on a major new challenge – implementing the visionary 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  United Nations Member States have adopted 17 universal Sustainable Development Goals to…
The international community is now embarking on the challenge of realizing the ambitious and universal 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  The equal participation and active involvement of persons with autism will be essential for achieving the inclusive societies envisioned by the Sustainable Development Goals. Autism is a lifelong condition that affects millions of people worldwide.  It is not well-understood in many countries, and too many societies shun people with autism.   This is a violation of human rights and a waste of human potential. I have seen the dynamism and commitment of persons with autism. Earlier this year, I was…