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Messages from the Secretary-General

“FROM THE GLASS CEILING TO A CARPET OF SHARDS” As a boy growing up in post-war Korea, I remember asking about a tradition I observed: women going into labour would leave their shoes at the threshold and then look back in fear. “They are wondering if they will ever step into those shoes again,” my mother explained. More than a half-century later, the memory continues to haunt me. In poor parts of the world today, women still risk death in the process of giving life. Maternal mortality is one of many preventable perils. All too often, female babies are subjected…
Global efforts to protect wildlife are gathering force.  Last year, United Nations Member States adopted the Sustainable Development Goals, which include specific targets to end poaching.  The General Assembly also unanimously agreed a resolution to limit illicit trafficking in wildlife.  These powerful expressions of political determination to end these highly destructive crimes are now being translated into actions on the ground through collective efforts by countries around the world. However, to protect this essential natural heritage for this and future generations, much more needs to be done by key actors on all continents and across sectors.  In particular, conservation efforts…
The World Day of Social Justice highlights the imperative of building a future of dignity for all. Guided by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the international community has pledged to end poverty by 2030 through effective integrated social, economic and environmental policies. These landmark blueprints for a better world provide invaluable tools and a powerful vision to meet the needs of today’s generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own. Social justice must be at the heart of our efforts.  With exclusion and…