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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

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New York, 20 December 2011 - Secretary-General's message on International Human Solidarity Day

This year's observance of International Human Solidarity Day comes at a time when our world is confronting multiple challenges and opportunities.

The old world is gradually but unmistakably changing, and the contours of a new one are just beginning to take shape. This year, the world population reached 7 billion people. New austerity is taking hold. New anxieties are giving rise to tensions and fears.

At the same time, we have before us a world of possibilities – in fighting disease, in harnessing technology, in bridging socioeconomic gaps and inequalities. This will not happen by itself. Nor will it happen with business as usual. Our times demand something different. We need big thinking, bold action and efforts to connect the dots among global challenges.

At the General Assembly last September, I called upon world leaders to pay greater attention to five imperatives for the 21st century for which solidarity is essential: achieving sustainable development; preventing and mitigating conflicts, human rights abuses and the impacts of natural disasters; building a safer and more secure world; supporting countries in transition; and engaging the talents of women and young people.

Next year's United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) will be an opportunity to take action and revitalize a global partnership – with the full range of governmental, civil society and private sector leaders – for inclusive and sustainable development for all.

In a world of common challenges, no nation can succeed on its own; but by working together in common cause, we can build a safer, more prosperous future for all. Solidarity must be the foundation for global solutions.


Statements on 20 December 2011