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Swords into plowshares

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Swords into Plowshares is the blog of the Peacemaking Program and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations of the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Seeking peace. Striving for justice. Together.

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Posts with tag: ban ki-moon

September 28, 2015

The demand has never been greater

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted that "the demand for peacekeeping has never been greater," as leaders of more than 50 countries gathered today for a summit on United Nations peacekeeping operations. The summit provided an opportunity for the leaders to pledge new commitments and strengthen existing capabilities.

President Barack Obama convened the summit. He concluded his remarks with the observation:

I want to thank all of you for your partnership and the commitments that your nations are making here.  We will hear some extraordinary commitments from a number of nations.  And we are very proud that the international community has responded ...

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December 5, 2013

Giving thanks for Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela at UN General AssemblyThe Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations joins the people of South Africa, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and the international community in giving thanks for the life and witness of Nelson Mandela.

We express our condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues, to the weavers of dreams, to the practitioners of compassion, the pursuers of peace, and the seekers of justice, to all who grieve at his death.

Nelson Mandela's steadfast pursuit of justice, his enduring commitment to South Africa and all its people, his understanding of the possibilities opened by forgiveness, and his willingness to look beyond ...

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August 5, 2013

UNiting for Youth: A Global Interactive Dialogue

Today, Onaje Crawford, one of our Field Education students from Princeton Seminary attended "UNiting for Youth: A Global Interactive Dialogue" at UN headquarters in New York.  Below is his blog.

Today, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the Envoy on Youth held “UNiting for Youth: A Global Interactive Dialogue”, connecting youth leaders from around the world with the United Nations to create comprehensive solutions to the challenges faced by youth and people of all ages. After a brief introduction by the envoy, Ahmad Alhindawi of Jordan, the Secretary-General gave opening remarks. Highlighting that working with youth and women are a keep ...

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July 16, 2013

Moving away from the death penalty: wrongful convictions

by Marissa Costello

On June 28, 2013, the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights held a High-Level event on the death penalty. Opened by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, "Moving Away from the Death Penalty: Wrongful Convictions" examined globally the increasing number of wrongful convictions in death penalty cases, with a particular focus on the failure of judicial review to capture error in death penalty cases.

Wrongful convictions in the United States are much more common than people think. In the case of the death penalty, the punishment is irreversible. In 2007, the United Nations called for a world-wide ...

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April 25, 2013

World Malaria Day

Below is a message from Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on World Malaria Day.




25 April 2013

Since world leaders adopted the Millennium Development Goals in 2000, a broad partnership of governments, United Nations entities, philanthropies and businesses has combined to protect hundreds of millions of people from malaria. Increased international funding, matched by growing political commitment in endemic countries, triggered a massive increase in preventive interventions and expanded access to diagnostic testing and life-saving medicines, averting more than a million deaths.

The MDG target of halting and reversing the incidence of malaria is ...

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October 22, 2012

To build a better world for all: United Nations Day 2012

On United Nations Day - October 24, 2012 - Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon challenges the peoples and nations of the world to "reaffirm our individual commitment and our collective resolve to live up to the ideals of the United Nations Charter and build a better world for all."

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June 13, 2012

100 days and counting

International Day of Peace banner

Starting the 100 day countdown to the International Day of Peace, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on people around the world to consider how they can help build a ‘sustainable peace for a sustainable future.’ “If we are to build such a future, we must all play our individual part – I urge everyone, between now and 21 September, to think about how they can contribute,” Mr. Ban said in a message to mark the countdown. The UN General Assembly first established the International Day of Peace in 1982, eventually settling on 21 September as an annual day of non-violence ...

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June 7, 2012

Message from UN Secretary General on World Oceans Day

This year’s World Oceans Day falls as the international community marks an important milestone: the thirtieth anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

When the Convention opened for signature on 10 December 1982, it was rightly characterized as a “constitution for the oceans.”  Forged through a process of negotiation among more than 150 States, the treaty is a living monument to international cooperation.

When it was adopted, the Convention on the Law of the Sea made treaty history. With 320 articles and 9 Annexes covering every aspect of the oceans and marine environment, the Convention sets out a delicate balance of rights and duties.

The protection of the world’s oceans and coasts is among the key goals of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, which will open in Rio de Janeiro in just 12 days.  The Convention is contributing to this goal through its provisions, including on the preservation of the marine environment, marine scientific research and the transfer of marine technology.

We must do more for our world’s oceans, which are threatened by pollution, depleted fishery resources, the impacts of climate change and the deterioration of the marine environment.  Rio+20 must mobilize the United Nations, governments and other partners to improve the management and conservation of oceans through initiatives to curb overfishing, improve protection of the marine environment and reduce ocean pollution and the impact of climate change.

There could be no more fitting way to commemorate World Oceans Day than for all countries that have not yet done so to ratify the Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Let us make 2012 another milestone year for the world’s oceans, so that we can set sail toward the future we want.

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December 10, 2011

Human Rights Day

As we celebrate Human Rights Day today, I reflect on the words of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said a few days earlier on the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery, “To eradicate contemporary forms of slavery, we need new strategies and measures that can unite all actors. While Governments bear the primary responsibility, the private sector has an integral role to play.”  Couldn’t this same argument be made in regards to human rights?

Governments certainly play a large role creating, implementing and changing strategies to protect human rights.  With that said, we as global citizens, the ...

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November 29, 2011

International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People is celebrated

Today, the United Nations celebrated the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.  I was struck with the importance of this day, having returned just last week from meetings with our church partners in Israel and Palestine. 

The International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1977.  Today, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, "Let us, on this International Day, reaffirm our commitment to translating ‎solidarity into positive action. The international community must help steer the situation ‎towards a historic peace agreement."

On this day of solidarity, we remember the ...

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September 21, 2011

UN General Assembly Schedule September 21, 2011

Watch live coverage of the following speeches during the UN General Assembly Debate at

Wednesday, September 21
The following are approximate times:

9 a.m.- Remarks by Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary-General
9:30 a.m.- Remarks by Dilma Vana Rousseff, President of Brazil. She will be the first female head of state to open the UN General Assembly in the organization's history.  
10 a.m. - Remarks by Barack Obama, President of the United States of America
Watch live coverage
Find more information on the UN General Assembly

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June 23, 2011

Secretary General elected to new term


Ban Ki-MoonUN Photo/Mark Garten

On Tuesday, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously voted to give Secretary General Ban Ki Moon and second five year term.  The Secretary General is chosen in a two-step process. 


Article 97 of the UN Charter states that, “The Secretary-General shall be appointed by the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council.”  Therefore, a Secretary General needs both the recommendation from the 15 member Security Council as well as a majority vote in the 192 member General Assembly.

This year, current Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon was the only candidate under consideration, almost ensuring him ...

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December 23, 2010

START approved by Senate

By a 71-26 vote, the Senate ratified the START treaty today. This treaty will lead to a reduction in the number of nuclear weapons held by Russia and the United States. Thanks to all who engaged in advocacy on this...

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December 3, 2010

UN chief urges countries to ratify legal treaties to fight slavery

From the United Nations News Centre: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today marked the International Day for the Abolition of Slavery by urging States to bring into force all the legal instruments necessary to eradicate the scourge. “Modern slavery is a crime....

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November 13, 2010

UN officials welcome release of Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi

From the United Nations News Centre: UN officials welcome release of Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the United Nations human rights chief welcomed the freeing on Saturday of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and urged...

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November 7, 2010

Pray for the people of Pakistan

Posted by the Presbyterian United Nations Ministry In the wake of attacks on mosques in Darra Adam Khel and in the Badhber area outside Peshawar, pray for those who were killed and injured in the attacks -- for their families...

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September 14, 2009

Observe the International Day of Peace

Here are some ways to observe the International Day of Peace: Pray Meditate Practice other spiritual disciplines Participate in the A Million Minutes for Peace campaign Participate in the WMD - We Must Disarm Initiative Light a candle Send the...

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March 7, 2009

Red hands in San Antonio

As part of the Red Hand Campaign to end the use of children as soldiers, participants in the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators conference in San Antonio had the opportunity to make red hands. These were among the 250,000 red...

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February 12, 2009

Red Hand Day Arrives

Today, former child soldiers and other youth representing a grassroots campaign from around the world will present thousands of symbolic “red hands” to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to demand stronger action by international leaders to end the use of child soldiers....

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