Secretary-General’s remarks at joint press conference with President Hernandez in Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Tegucigalpa,, 14 January 2015
Estoy muy feliz de estar en Honduras [I am very happy to be in Honduras].
It is a great pleasure for me to pay an official visit to Honduras at the beginning of 2015.
Feliz y prospero año nuevo! [Happy and prosperous New Year]
President Hernández and I had a very fruitful meeting at this crucial time.
The year 2015 is a decisive moment for sustainable development and Honduras has an important role to play as a new member of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
During my meeting with the President, I learned more about the Government’s “Plan de Todos para una vida mejor” [Plan for a better life for all].
I am encouraged that this Plan reflects many of the ideas that are central to discussions on the Post-2015 Development Agenda including peace, generating decent employment opportunities and promoting social protection.
Among many issues, we discussed the importance to tackle global extremism and violence.
The United Nations has been following with great concern the situation of citizen security in Honduras and its neighbors, and impact of drug-trafficking and organized crime.
I take note of the Government’s measures to improve the security situation. In that regard, I am very happy to note that the homicide rate has dropped significantly during the last two years from 86 homicidal deaths out of 100,000, to 66. That is 22%, it is quite a significant improvement and I highly commend the President and its strong leadership and commitment to protect human dignity and human rights, and particularly saving human lives.
In connection to this situation, I remain deeply concerned however by the plight of unaccompanied child migrants from Central America.
Although the number of returned children has decreased since the summer, there remains a need to address the situation of minors currently in transit or detention. In all cases, dignity and human rights must be protected.
The United Nations stands ready to support regional efforts to address security, including facilitating the exchange of best practices on how to prevent violence and crime, stem youth violence, promote the social reintegration of offenders and strengthen institutions.
I welcome the "Alliance for Prosperity in the Northern Triangle" initiative to improve social and economic conditions for the people of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. In that regard again, I highly commend the initiative and leadership of President Hernández to have this Managua Declaration last August to promote harmonious relationships in addressing the dispute in Gulf of Fonseca.
President Hernández and I also discussed concerns about the impact of violence on the human rights situation. This is of particular importance with respect to the right to life, violence against women as well as targeted killings of journalists, human rights defenders and union leaders.
Impunity remains a challenge.
I am encouraged that the Government of Honduras has sought greater engagement with the UN system to provide full human rights protection to its citizens, and pleased that we will soon open the first-ever UN human rights office in Honduras. This office will need a full protection and investigation mandate and security guarantees.
In these and other challenges, I urge all political forces and civil society to work together for the prosperity and wellbeing of this wonderful country.
I have encouraged President Hernández to draw upon the diversity of Honduras and ensure the participation of youth, women, ethnic minorities and disadvantaged and vulnerable groups.
Together with the Government and civil society, the United Nations is committed to support the strengthening of national institutions, the deepening of democratic governance, and promotion of development.
Once again, it is a great privilege and honour to be in Honduras. I thank you, Mr. President, and the Honduran people for your warm welcome.
Press Conferences on 14 January 2015