Category Archives: Press Release

United Nations Secretary-General launches plan to ‎address the potentially devastating socio-economic ‎impacts of COVID-19‎

Establishes global fund to support low- and middle-income countries

NEW YORK, 31 MARCH 2020—The new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is attacking societies at their core, claiming lives and people’s livelihoods. The potential longer-term effects on the global economy and those of individual countries are dire.

In a new report, Shared responsibility, global solidarity: Responding to the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19, the United Nations Secretary-General calls on everyone to act together to address this impact and lessen the blow to people.

The report describes the speed and scale of the outbreak, the severity of cases, and the societal and economic disruption of COVID-19, which has so far claimed the lives of 33 257 people, with 697 244 confirmed cases in 204 countries, areas and territories (1).

“COVID-19 is the greatest test that we have faced together since the formation of the United Nations,” said António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations. “This human crisis demands coordinated, decisive, inclusive and innovative policy action from the world’s leading economies – and maximum financial and technical support for the poorest and most vulnerable people and countries.” Continue reading

COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan‎

A global approach is the only way to fight COVID-19, the UN says as it launches humanitarian response plan 

 UN humanitarian chief warns that failing to help vulnerable countries fight the coronavirus now could place millions at risk and leave the virus free to circle back around the globe.

  • UN launches US$2 billion global humanitarian response to fight COVID-19 in 51 countries across South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
  • Governments urged to commit to fully supporting the global humanitarian response plan, while sustaining funding to existing humanitarian appeals.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today [Wednesday, 25 March] launched a US $2 billion coordinated global humanitarian response plan to fight COVID-19 in some of the world’s most vulnerable countries in a bid to protect millions of people and stop the virus from circling back around the globe. Continue reading

Statement by the Secretary-General on the death of Javier Pérez de Cuéllar

I am profoundly saddened at the passing of my predecessor, Javier Pérez de Cuéllar.

Javier Pérez de Cuéllar

He was an accomplished statesman, a committed diplomat and a personal inspiration who left a profound impact on the United Nations and our world.

Mr. Pérez de Cuéllar’s life spanned not only a century but also the entire history of the United Nations, dating back to his participation in the first meeting of the General Assembly in 1946.

His tenure as Secretary-General coincided with two distinct eras in international affairs: first, some of the iciest years of the Cold War, and then, with the ideological confrontation at an end, a time when the United Nations began to play more fully the role envisaged by the founders.

Mr. Pérez de Cuéllar played a crucial role in a number of diplomatic successes — including the independence of Namibia, an end to the Iran-Iraq War, the release of American hostages held in Lebanon, the peace accord in Cambodia and, in his very last days in office, a historic peace agreement in El Salvador.

I extend my deepest condolences to Mr. Pérez de Cuéllar’s family, the Peruvian people and so many others around the world whose lives were touched by a remarkable and compassionate global leader who left our world a far better place.

Antonio Guterres
Secretary-General of the United Nations

4 March 2020
New York

Bio link:

The United Nations Secretary-General will be visiting Pakistan next week

New York/Islamabad, 10 February 2020: We are pleased to announce that the United Nations Secretary-General will be visiting Pakistan next week, where he will speak at the International Conference on 40 Years of Hosting Afghan Refugees in Pakistan, which is being organized by the Government of Pakistan and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).  He will also hold meetings with high-level Pakistani officials.

The Secretary-General will arrive in Islamabad on Sunday, and he will hold bilateral meetings with the Prime Minister Imran Khan and Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Hussain Qureshi that day and speak at an event on sustainable development and climate change.

On Monday, the Secretary-General will speak at the International Conference, along with High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, and will participate in a high-level panel discussion and other events at that conference.  The Secretary-General, the High Commissioner and the Foreign Minister will also speak to the press. The Secretary-General will also meet with the President of Pakistan, Arif Alvi, on Monday.

The Secretary-General will be in Lahore on Tuesday, where he will meet with students and attend an event on Pakistan’s polio vaccination campaign.

He will also travel to Kartarpur to visit a holy site, Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib. The Secretary-General will return to New York on Wednesday the 19th.

UNSGSA Queen Máxima to visit Pakistan to promote access to financial services

15 NOVEMBER 2019

Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands will visit Pakistan from 25-27 November in her capacity as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development (UNSGSA). She plans to discuss progress made on providing access to financial services with the aim of improving the financial lives of people in Pakistan.

The Special Advocate will undertake the visit at the invitation of the Pakistani government. It is a follow-up to Her Majesty’s visit as the UNSGSA in February 2016.

In Pakistan 21% of adults now have a bank account, up from 13% in 2014 (Global Findex). Despite this increase, 99 million Pakistanis still have no access to financial services, such as bank or savings accounts, insurance, loans, pensions or digital payment methods. This limits their opportunities for development. Those most affected are people living in poverty, women, small business owners and groups in remote rural areas.

One of the Special Advocate’s priorities is to ensure that women can access financial services. Only 7% of women in Pakistan have a bank account. Gender data needs to be gathered to gain insight into their specific needs in terms of access and usage. Greater inclusion can also be achieved by digitizing government payments, such as social benefits. Fintech—the use of technology in financial services—offers an array

of options for simple methods of banking, for instance via mobile phones. Regulations need to be adapted to safeguard privacy, and to ensure security and efficiency.

In Islamabad the UNSGSA will speak with international development partners, representatives from the fintech sector, the governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Reza Baqir, the Prime Minister’s Financial Advisor Abdul Hafeez Shaikh and the Chairman of the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), Usman Mubin. The Special Advocate will also meet with President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Queen Máxima will attend the launch of the Micro Payment Gateway, an initiative of the State Bank aimed at reducing the costs of small payments and boosting digital transactions to benefit people living in poverty in particular. She will also conduct a field visit to a project set up by the CEO Partnership for Economic Inclusion (CEOP). The CEOP is an informal partnership of 10 international businesses in various sectors, working to improve access to financial services and expand market potential. The CEOP met for the first time during the World Economic Forum in Davos in January 2018 at the Special Advocate’s invitation. In Lahore, the UNSGSA will visit several projects with a focus on digital financial services that help business owners develop their businesses.

Applications and 100+ “Green Tickets” are open for the UN Youth Climate Summit

Young people between the ages of 18 and 29 are invited to attend the Youth Climate Summit on September 21, and the UN seeks strong participation from young leaders in the Global South.

To attend the summit, interested youth must apply by July 19  at : Attendees will be selected based on their demonstrated commitment to addressing the climate crisis and their displayed leadership in advancing solutions.

Climate leaders under the age of 18 have the opportunity to attend through a nomination process. Organizations interested in nominating young leaders under the age of 18 should email Yassamin Ansari ( for additional information.

For updates on the UN Youth Climate Summit, please follow the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth (@UNYouthEnvoy), the Special Envoy for the Climate Action Summit (@ladealba), @UN and @GlobalGoalsUN.

Read :  Press Release

Global Food Crises Report

113 million people in 53 countries experienced high levels of food insecurity in the world’s most severe food crises in 2018, according to the #GlobalFoodCrises Report.

The same report highlights that climate and natural disasters pushed another 28 million people into acute food insecurity in 2018, the majority of which come from 20 countries in Africa.

Access here: #ZeroHunger


Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Pakistan

The Secretary-General condemns the suicide attack at a polling station in Quetta claimed by Da’esh. He extends his heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of Pakistan. The United Nations stands in solidarity with and supports the efforts of the Government of Pakistan in the fight against terrorism.

Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the Secretary-General

Official Launch Event of the Pakistan Evidence and Learning Platform (PELP)

16 February 2018, Islamabad: Through its Multi-Year Humanitarian Programme 2014-2019 (MYHP), the UK Department for International Development (DFID) has been providing humanitarian assistance to Pakistan and supporting 2-3 million people affected by natural disasters, such as floods, earthquakes and droughts, as well as over 1 million internally displaced persons from conflict and other complex emergencies. The Pakistan Evidence and Learning Platform (PELP) is an important component of the MYHP and aims to strengthen knowledge management processes and achieve concrete results, by ensuring that knowledge is captured, shared, and utilized for the benefit of the humanitarian system in Pakistan. The PELP will support MYHP through the provision of high quality knowledge services that will progressively improve the performance of the humanitarian response, as well as contribute to the humanitarian-development nexus. Continue reading