The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone.

Learn English Expressions from UN Year Review 2013


At the beginning of each year, the United Nations gives a review of the past year's events, both big and small, and a speech is given. This speech is a rare material for those learning English.

Official video (with script): 2013 Year in Review (English)

Chinese translation: UN 2013 Year in Review

I think there are some expressions that I can learn after going through it myself, so I'll share them here.

Sentence and expressions

After months of deadlock, the Security Council finally united to endorse the expeditious destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons program and to call for all parties to negotiate a political solution to the crisis.

unite to do sth 联合去做(很简洁的表达)

call for all parties to... 呼吁各方...

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: “This is not a licence to kill with conventional weapons. All the violence must end. All the guns must fall silent.

这句上用词没什么复杂的点,但是我很喜欢潘基文说的这一句 All the violence must end. All the guns must fall silent. 感觉上句子短促且对仗,有气势。另外就是 All the guns must fall silent 感觉很具体,不知道算不算是借代这种修辞。

UK Foreign Secretary, William Hague: “The failure of the council to tackle the crimes committed on a daily basis has resulted in a culture of impunity in which a brutal regime believed it could get away with murdering its own men, women and children.”

impunity [ɪm'pjunəti] n. 不受惩罚;无患;[法] 免罚

brutal ['brutl] A brutal act or person is cruel and violent. 残暴的

get way 可以理解为“逍遥法外”,也是很简单的表达

men, women and children 英语里的表达很有意思,在政治上的演讲里,比如奥巴马的各种演讲,要指代人民的时候,通常不会单用一个people, 而是会有很具体的人 men, women and children,比如这里的,又或者 the old and young 这样的表达。

The first-ever high-level Meeting of the General Assembly on Nuclear Disarmament heard a keynote address by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani: “The world has waited too long for nuclear disarmament. ..."

hear 这里又是物作主语的一个表达,在中学应该学过,实际用的也很广泛, 类似的 the 21th century see the great development of ... 之类的,虽然看的懂,但是要自然的用出来还是需要努力。不过这一句,如果要翻译成汉语,就要把主语换成人,因为汉语里没有这样的表达,需要翻译成:“伊朗总统鲁哈尼在...进行了主旨演讲”

nuclear disarmament 核裁军

After lengthy negotiations, six world powers and Iran reached an initial agreement in November that calls on Iran to limit its nuclear activities in return for limited relief from sanctions.

six world powers 对于大国家,可以用world power去指代,这里可以简单翻译成“六国”

in return for 作为对...的回报,在这一句中,对伊朗这一方来说,是指以“限制核计划”来换取“解除制裁”

Time is running out. The window of peace is narrowing. Opportunities are diminishing. The current round of negotiations is to be a last chance to realize a just peace.

这句话是巴勒斯坦总统阿巴斯说的,可翻译为 “时间已经不多了,希望之窗正在缩小,机会正在减少,目前这轮谈判似乎是实现了公正和平的最后机会”,我觉得说的挺好(嘛,不过巴以冲突什么的,我还是站在以色列这边的)

Increased security and a democratically elected president have brought more stability to a formerly failed state


Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy of the High Commissioner for Refugees, urged the Security Council to have zero tolerance for sexual violence: “Rape, as a weapon of war, is an assault on security and the world in which these crimes happen is one in which there is not, and never will be peace.”

zero tolerance 零容忍 另外,没错,这个Jolie,就是你所知道的那个安吉丽娜·朱莉,这里她是作为“难民事务高级专员特使”在年度回顾上发表声音。


The first World TOILET Day was celebrated in November to remind that 2.6 billion people live without proper sanitation. More people have access to cell phones than to a toilet. India’s “Total Sanitation” campaign uses the winning slogan: “No Toilet – no bride!”


We speak often of hope. Our duty is to turn hope into action through hard work, commitment, skill and integrity. With passion, but most of all with compassion we can build a future your people want and that our world needs.

这是年终回顾的最后一句话,由潘基文所讲,就拿这句作为结束吧: “我们经常谈及希望,我们的责任是,通过辛勤的努力、决心和毅力、技能及正直将希望化为行动;满怀热情于同情之心,我们可以构建一个你们的人民想要和我们这个世界需要的未来”。

Proper nouns

Foreign Secretary 外交大臣(英国)

Secretary of State 国务卿(美国)

Arms Trade Treaty 武器贸易条约

Middle East Peace Talks 中东和平会谈

M23 movement M23运动,是指3月23号在刚果(金)东部地域的非政府军事集团和政府爆发军事冲突,导致大量无辜人员伤亡的事件,也可写作 M23 rebels

OPCW 禁止化学武器组织(Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons)

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