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Messages from the Secretary-General

 - United Nations Under-Secretary-General and UNFPA Executive Director. Today's 1.8 billion young people are a powerful force, individually and collectively. They are shaping social and economic realities, challenging norms and values and building the foundation of the world's future.Governments and the international community are increasingly conscious of the importance of providing resources and opportunities for all young people to reach their full potential as individuals and citizens. They recognize that investing in young people and enabling them to exercise their human rights not only benefits young people themselves, but can also help their countries reap a demographic dividend.
- in Message for World Day to Combat Desertification Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's message for World Day to Combat Desertification, to be observed on 17 June: Land degradation, caused or exacerbated by climate change, is not only a danger to livelihoods, but also a threat to peace and stability. The warning signs lie in conflict between pastoralists and subsistence farmers competing for more productive land and communities fighting over increasingly scarce water resources. We see the symptoms of insecurity in global food market volatility, internal displacement and mass migration.
Today marks the 100-day countdown to the International Day of Peace, when the United Nations calls on nations, communities and individuals to renounce conflict and promote harmony. The theme for the Day this year acknowledges the 30th anniversary of the General Assembly Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace, with its central message that humanity's sustainable progress and the realization of fundamental rights and freedoms depend on peace and security.This understanding is central to the Rights up Front approach, which calls on the international community to act earlier and more concertedly in the face of human rights violations, which…