António Guterres

UN chief assures strong support to the Pacific's response to climate change

Speaking to Pacific Islands Forum Leaders in Suva, Fiji Guterres acknowledged the Pacific island communities active response to the current hardships and future dangers posed by climate change.

Guterres in Fiji for three-day visit

Mr Guterres will receive a traditional welcome Wednesday morning in Suva before meeting the chair of the Pacific Islands Forum Baron Waqa and Secretary General Dame Meg Taylor.

The UN chief will meet Fiji's president and hold bilateral talks with the Fijian prime minister Frank Bainimarama on Thursday before addressing parliament.

Mr Guterres has been invited to lay a wreath at the national war memorial in Veiuto and sail around Suva harbour on a traditional sailing canoe.

He leaves on Saturday for Tuvalu and ends his Pacific island tour in Vanuatu.


UN head to mobilise world around Pacific climate needs

Antonio Guterres attended a community roundtable event in Auckland Monday, as he kicked off his Pacific tour.

He departs for Fiji on Tuesday before heading to Tuvalu and Vanuatu to complete his regional tour.

Mr Guterres said the Pacific islands were the first victims of climate change.

"Not only some of them because of the rising level of water represents an existential threat, some might disappear, but also because of course climate change brings with it a lot of negative consequences," he said.

Free press essential for peace, justice

On the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day, which is today, Guterres says a free press is crucial to building transparent and democratic societies and keeping those in power accountable.

“It is vital for sustainable development,” he says.

“Journalists and media workers shine a light on local and global challenges and tell the stories that need to be told.

“Their service to the public is invaluable.

“Laws that protect independent journalism, freedom of expression and the right to information need to be adopted, implemented and enforced.”

UN chief: World is neglecting risk of famine in Somalia

Guterres, who is in the capital Mogadishu on his first field mission since taking up his position, said that Somalia's crisis risks being overlooked by the world.

The UN estimates that over six million people, which is more than half of Somalia's population, is in need of humanitarian assistance.

"People are so obsessed with spectacular crises like the war in Syria, that these chronic situations tend to be neglected," Guterres said.