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Messages from the Secretary-General

This year’s International Day of Peace comes at a time of deadly violence and destabilizing conflicts around the world. Rather than succumbing to despair, we have a collective responsibility to demand an end to the brutality and impunity that prevail. I call on all warring parties to lay down their weapons and observe a global ceasefire. To them I say: stop the killings and the destruction, and create space for lasting peace. Although it may seem hopelessly distant, the dream of peace pulses in the lives of people everywhere. There is no group more poised to help realize this dream…
Emerging threats, violent extremism, shifting political conditions, economic turmoil and social transformations are combining to heighten the challenges facing the world’s young people. No one knows better than them the issues at stake or the best way to respond. That is why I am calling on young people to speak out – and I am urging leaders to listen. As the world changes with unprecedented speed, young people are proving to be invaluable partners who can advance meaningful solutions. Youth movements and student groups are challenging traditional power structures and advocating a new social contract between States and societies. Young…
A recent United Nations report warns that the number of forcibly displaced people has risen to a record number – almost 60 million at the end of 2014. Among these, most women and adolescent girls face particular threats as a result of the absence of health and other essential services that they need.   Even under normal conditions, reproductive health complications are a leading cause of death and illness among women of childbearing age. In humanitarian situations, an estimated one in five women and adolescent girls are likely to be pregnant. As skilled birth attendance and emergency obstetric care often…