Today is World Humanitarian Day and our thoughts are with humanitarians and the many millions of people that they strive to help every day.
They are providing life-saving support in places like Haiti — where our hearts ache at the suffering and devastating toll from the recent earthquake. The UN is on the ground providing relief — including medical supplies and health care, clean water and emergency shelter.
The Deputy Secretary-General is traveling to Haiti to see how we can boost our support to the Haitian people.
Today is also the national day of Afghanistan. And I want to extend a special message to the people of Afghanistan during this trying time. The United Nations is with you and committed to stay and deliver to help advance peace, opportunity, and human rights for all.
On this World Humanitarian Day, I am particularly concerned with the situation in Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian people have suffered too much.
Humanitarian conditions are hellish.
Millions of people are in need.
Infrastructure has been destroyed.
We have heard first-hand accounts of women who have been subjected to unspeakable violence.
The spread of the conflict has ensnared even more people in its horror.
It is time for all parties to recognize that there is no military solution, and it is vital to preserve the unity and stability of Ethiopia which is critical to the region and beyond.
To give peace a chance, I am making an appeal for action on three fronts.
First, I call on all parties to immediately cease hostilities.
Second, unrestricted humanitarian access everywhere must be guaranteed, together with the re-establishment of public services in all affected areas.
Third, conditions must be created to allow for the start of an Ethiopian-led political dialogue to find a solution for the crisis.
Such a dialogue can contribute to addressing the underlying causes of the conflict and ensure Ethiopian voices direct the pathway to peace.
The UN will continue to work together with the African Union and regional and international partners to support the Ethiopian people on the way to peace and reconciliation.
Now is the time to put an end to the suffering.
All of these steps are critical to make it happen.