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Messages from the Secretary-General

This year’s International Day of Happiness is focused on Climate Action for a Happy Planet. Everyone can be part of our campaign: governments, civic groups, the media and individuals. This year, even cartoon characters have joined in as the United Nations teams up with a group famous for lacking good cheer: the Angry Birds. These animated ambassadors are helping to raise awareness about the importance of climate action for our common future. You can join them by sharing your own climate actions using the hashtag #AngryBirdsHappyPlanet. At this time of grave injustices, devastating wars, mass displacement, grinding poverty and other…
“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…