Tag Archives: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

World Autism Day – 2 April 2014

Holding friends and family in thoughts and prayers this day.

From Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

World Autism Awareness Day is about more than generating understanding; it is a call to action. I urge all concerned to take part in fostering progress by supporting education programmes, employment opportunities and other measures that help realize our shared vision of a more inclusive world.

From the United Nations

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that manifests itself during the first three years of life. The rate of autism in all regions of the world is high, and the disorder can bring significant hardships to families. World Autism Awareness Day highlights the need to help improve the lives of children and adults who suffer from autism, and promotes international attention to address stigma, lack of awareness and inadequate support structures for individuals and their families. Member States are encouraged to hold educational events to encourage a more inclusive society, highlight the talents of those living with autism and ensure opportunities for them to realize their potential. The UN General Assembly declared this Day in its 2008 resolution A/RES/62/139.

See you along the Trail.

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Filed under Current Events, Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, United Nations

Orange Day – 25 July 2013

Koenig July Orange DayUN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign invites us to celebrate the 25th of every month as an Orange Day – a day to witness and work for an end to violence against women and girls.

This month the focus is on making cyberspace safe space for women and girls.

A tweetup will take place at 11:00 AM Eastern time with the hashtag #orangeday.

I am in – spreading the word and wearing my orange tie.

How about you?

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Filed under Current Events, Human Rights, United Nations

Too absolute, too irreversible

On 3 July 2012, United Nations Secretary-GeneralBan Ki-moon today called on Member States which use the death penalty to abolish this practice. Mr. Ban spoke at a panel organized by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on ‘Moving away from the death penalty – Lessons from national experiences’ at UN Headquarters in New York.

“The taking of life is too absolute, too irreversible, for one human being to inflict on another, even when backed by legal process,” Mr. Ban said.

Mr. Ban lifted up a number of signs of the growing international movement away from the death penalty.

There are now 74 Parties to the Optional Protocol of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights aiming at the abolition of the death penalty.

More than 150 States have either abolished the death penalty or do not practice it.

In 2011, only 20 Member States conducted executions.

In the United States, Illinois and Connecticut became the 16th and 17th states to reject death as a punishment.

Mr. Ban acknowledged that 32 UN Member States retain the death penalty for drug-related offenses. He voiced his concern that “some countries still allow juvenile offenders under the age of 18 at the time of the alleged offence to be sentenced to death and executed.”

But he lifted up international efforts to abolish the death penalty:

  • The United Nations system has long advocated for abolition.
  • The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution “calling for a global moratorium on executions with a view to eventually abolishing the death penalty entirely” in 2007. In the years since, Argentina, Burundi, Gabon, Latvia, Togo and Uzbekistan have abolished the death penalty.
  •  International and hybrid criminal tribunals for Cambodia, the former Yugoslavia, Lebanon, Rwanda and Sierra Leone do not provide for capital punishment.
  • The International Criminal Court does not provide for capital punishment.
  • The Guidance Note of 2008 on the UN Approach to Rule of Law Assistance (by Mr. Ban) stated that “the UN will not establish or directly participate in any tribunal that allows for capital punishment.”

Mr. Ban closed with an appeal that Member States “do our utmost to put a final end to this practice.”

May it be so.

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Filed under Capital Punishment, Current Events, Death Penalty