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Messages from the Secretary-General

This year’s International Day of Families falls at a time of upheaval and tragedy for families around the world. The rise of violent extremism, the effects of forced displacement, extreme weather events and other challenges are taking a heavy toll on the health and integrity of families in crisis situations. Even in relatively stable societies, families still struggle with violence, discrimination and poverty. Families are on the frontlines of our global efforts to realize the bold and inclusive 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. They are particularly essential to achieving SDG3, in which all United Nations Member States committed to promoting…
Human rights, democratic societies and sustainable development depend on the free flow of information.  And the right to information depends on press freedom.  Each year, we observe World Press Freedom Day to emphasize these fundamental principles, to protect the independence of the media and to honour media workers who risk and have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession. This year, World Press Freedom Day coincides with three important milestones.  It is the 250th anniversary of the world’s first freedom of information law, covering both modern-day Sweden and Finland, and it is the 25th anniversary of the adoption…
Worldwide, new malaria cases have fallen by 18 per cent since 2000. In Africa, where the burden of malaria is greatest, the mortality rate has fallen by two-thirds. Between 2000 and 2015, an estimated six million deaths from malaria were averted, thanks in part to efforts linked with the Millennium Development Goals.   The increase in global financing for malaria has yielded impressive results. More than half the people of Africa are now protected by mosquito nets, up from less than 2 per cent in 2000. The development and distribution of rapid diagnostic tests means cases can be identified and…