Monthly Archives: January 2017

Remarks by UN Resident Coordinator at the occasion of New Year 2017

Dear friends,

First of all I would like to extend my warm congratulations on behalf of the UN in Uzbekistan at the occasion of the New Year 2017!

The year of 2016 both at global and national level was a year of challenges and yet new opportunities.

2016 marked the beginning of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) framework, which defines the path of world development until 2030 as endorsed by all 193 UN member states. The key principle of the SDGs – “to leave nobody behind” – requires strong institutions with highest regards to minimum standards and a framework that enables rights and freedoms.

2016 was a seminal year in the fight against climate change through the ratification of the Paris Climate Change Accord. To date 191 countries have signed and 81 ratified this agreement, which is expected to accelerate action on what often is seen as the global challenge of the 21st century.

The year of 2016 also witnessed a consensual selection of the new (the ninth) UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres from Portugal. Mr. Guterres embarked on his mandate on 1 January 2017 and pledged to work at the service of all countries and to help find solutions that benefited all people.

At the country level, in 2016 the people of Uzbekistan were faced with the sudden demise of the first President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, H.E. Mr. Islam Karimov. The year also marked the victory of H.E. Mr. Mirziyoyev in the recent Presidential Elections of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Taking this opportunity, I would like to congratulate the people of Uzbekistan with the election of the incumbent President and the appointment of the Head of the Government.

In terms of our cooperation with the Government of Uzbekistan we acknowledge the Government’s comprehensive approach in taking forward the SDG localization agenda in 2016. We were pleased to be part of the process and to contribute UN expertise to the adaptation of the global SDGs to the country context.

In full alignment with the SDGs, in 2016 the UN system embarked on the implementation of a new cycle of development cooperation embedded in the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) for Uzbekistan for 2016-2020. The UNDAF is built around national development priorities and linked to the international normative framework, including SDGs and the ratified United Nations conventions.

We believe that the productive cooperation will be continued and further strengthened in 2017. We welcome the announcement of the year 2017 as the “Year of Dialogue and Human Interest” and as UN system in Uzbekistan stand ready to support the Government in shaping and implementing the reform agenda for 2017-2021.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to wish all people of Uzbekistan health, prosperity and happiness in the New Year of 2017. We look forward to working with the Government and other development partners to upscale our support for the sake of progress and prosperity of people of Uzbekistan.


Secretary-General António Guterres cites multilateralism, teamwork as critical to achieving UN goals

Secretary-General António Guterres on his first day in officeOn his first day in office, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres called for teamwork, telling staff at the world body’s New York Headquarters that it is not enough to the “do the right thing, we need to earn the right to do the right thing.”

“It is very important for us to recognize our achievements […] but we also need to recognize our shortcomings, to recognize our failures and where we are not able to deliver as we should,” he said, outlining the multitude of challenges – ranging from complex conflicts to global terrorism – confronting the world.

Mr. Guterres called on the entire Organization for a collective effort to address the shortcomings and underlined the need to reform the UN development system, as well as address bureaucratic constraints that hamper its performance, saying the world body must try and get rid of its “bureaucratic straight jacket.”

“There are no miracles […] and the only way for us to achieve our goals is to work as a team,” he said.

In his remarks, the UN chief also recalled the selection process that culminated with the UN General Assembly appointing him as the ninth chief of the global body in October last year. “I know that the way this selection process has been developed has raised a lot of expectations,” he noted.

“This requires a lot of efforts from ourselves but also a lot of dialogue with [UN] Members States and to overcome the divides that still exist in the Organization,” he added.

Mr. Guterres’ first day at UN Headquarters as Secretary General began with the laying of a wreath at the Memorial Wall in the Visitors’ Lobby.

Shortly after taking office two days ago, he made an appeal for peace. “Let us make 2017 a year in which we all – citizens, governments, leaders – strive to overcome our differences,” Mr. Guterres said Sunday morning, urging people to share his New Year’s resolution: “Let us resolve to put peace first.”

He will serve for a five-year period until 31 December 2021. He was Prime Minister of Portugal from 1995 to 2002, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees from June 2005 to December 2015. He succeeds Ban Ki-moon who served as the Secretary-General from 2007 until 31 December 2016.

Let us make 2017 a year for peace: UN Chief Antonio Guterres

UN Chief Antonio GuterresOn my first day as Secretary General of the United Nations, one question weighs heavily on my heart:

How can we help the millions of people caught up in conflict, suffering massive wars with no end in sight?

Civilians are pounded with deadly force. Women, children and men are killed and injured, forced from their homes, dispossessed and destitute.

And even hospitals and aid convoys are targeted.

No one wins these wars. Everyone loses. Trillions of dollars are spent destroying societies and economies, fueling cycles of mistrust and fear that can last for generations.

And whole regions are destabilized, and the new threat of global terrorism affects us all.

On this New Years’ Day, I ask all of you to join me in making one shared New Year’s resolution: let us resolve to put peace first.

Let us make 2017 a year in which we all – citizens, governments, leaders – strive to overcome our differences.

From solidarity and compassion in our daily lives to dialogue and respect across political divides, from ceasefires on the battlefield to compromise at the negotiating table to reach political solutions, peace must be our goal and our guide.

And all that we strive for as a human family – dignity and hope, progress and prosperity – depends on peace. But peace depends on us.

I appeal to you all to join me in committing to peace today and every day. Let us make 2017 a year for peace!