Secretary-General

Logo for the SG's Guidance on Behavioural Science

The Secretary-General’s Guidance Note on Behavioural Science encourages all UN colleagues to apply behavioural science to enhance policy development, programme implementation and simplify processes. A corner stone of the Secretary-General’s agenda to reform the UN, behavioural science refers to an evidence-based study of how people behave, make decisions and respond to programmes, policies and incentives. The launch also marks the opening of the UN Behavioural Science Week. Join the UN Behavioural Science Group to learn more, connect and collaborate with colleagues from across the UN system.

“In life, things wouldn’t always go as you wanted to but you have to learn how to roll with the punches,” frontline worker Peaches Dinnoo tells United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres in their one-on-one conversation about the challenges she faces raising children, working at home and coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. Ms. Dinnoo talks about how balance is the key as she raises two children in online school while also working in their shared space.

Action for Peacekeeping, launched by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres in 2018, reaches its third anniversary.

person's hands holding currency

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the world has been teetering on the brink of a global debt crisis. One year on from the Secretary-General’s policy brief on debt, he is launching a second policy brief, entitled Liquidity and Debt Solutions to Invest in the SDGs: The Time to Act is Now. The brief provides an overview of the still unfolding crisis, steps taken to date, and the additional measures that are needed. It calls for the creation of a new debt architecture, based on transparency, sustainability, responsible borrowing and lending, and fair burden sharing. A high-level virtual meeting underscores the urgency of this initiative.

children in door frame

UN Secretary-General António Guterres addressed the opening of the High-level segment of the 46th session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, with a call to do even more to bring to life the Call to Action for Human Rights. The Call to Action is the Secretary-General’s transformative vision for human rights. Underpinning the work of the entire UN system, human rights are essential to addressing the broad causes and impacts of all complex crises, and to building sustainable, safe, and peaceful societies.

Chun Jie Kuai Le! [春节快乐!Happy Lunar New Year!] I send my best wishes to everyone celebrating the Lunar New Year. This year is the Year of the Ox – the same sign as the year of my birth. The ox symbolizes energy, strength, and courage.

With a year full of ‘trials, tragedies and tears’ behind us, UN Secretary-General António Guterres reflects on our common struggle and achievements. In his New Year’s message, he says the past year also brought forth ‘rays of hope’ in the form of people and countries working together to defeat the COVID-19 pandemic and to prevent a climate catastrophe. The Secretary-General sets a lofty target for the United Nations to build a global coalition to achieve carbon neutrality, or zero net emissions, by 2050. He calls for 2021 to be a year of healing: “Healing from the impact of a deadly virus. Healing broken economies and societies. Healing divisions. And starting to heal the planet.” 

A healthworker helps tie a girl’s facemask.

Since March, the United Nations system has focused on helping countries avoid the worst impacts of the pandemic, while working for a strong recovery. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has repeatedly emphasized that the pandemic has hit the poorest and most vulnerable in our societies the hardest. He has called for a COVID-19 vaccine to be a global public good available to everyone, everywhere. As this difficult year draws to a close, Mr. Guterres encourages governments to meet the expectations of those we serve with unity, solidarity and coordinated multilateral global action.

Many doves on the ground start to take flight.

On March 23rd, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued an urgent appeal for a global ceasefire to all corners of the world to focus together on defeating COVID-19. He repeated the call at the start of the 75th UN General Assembly session in September, to achieve the ceasefire by the end of the year. Since March, some 180 countries, the Security Council, regional organizations, civil society groups, peace advocates and millions of global citizens have endorsed the Secretary-General’s call. The clock is ticking and there is no time to waste.  Get involved and sign the urgent call to support!

A group of happy children smiling and pointing at the camera.

On March 23rd, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued an urgent appeal for a global ceasefire in all corners of the world to focus together on the true fight – defeating COVID-19. He repeated the call at the start of the 75th UN General Assembly session in September. He called for the global ceasefire to become a reality by the end of the year. Since March, 180 countries, the Security Council, regional organizations, civil society groups, peace advocates and millions of global citizens have endorsed the Secretary-General’s ceasefire call. Get involved and sign the urgent call to support!

knotted gun sculpture

On 23 March, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres issued an urgent appeal for a global ceasefire in all corners of the world to focus together on the true fight – defeating COVID-19. He repeated the call at the start of the 75th UN General Assembly session in September. He called for the global ceasefire to become a reality by the end of the year. Silencing the guns can not only support the fight against COVID-19, but also create opportunities for life-saving aid, open windows for diplomacy and bring hope to people suffering in conflict zones who are particularly vulnerable to the pandemic. 

girls cheering

"In 2020, as the United Nations celebrates 75 years since the Charter’s signing, we have an opportunity to reflect on our shared progress, as well as our common future."

woman accessing health care resources on tablet

The world is shifting from analog to digital faster than ever before, further exposing us to the vast promise and peril of new technologies. While the digital era has brought society many incredible benefits, we also face many challenges such as growing digital divides, cyber threats, and human rights violations online. This report lays out a roadmap in which all stakeholders play a role in advancing a safer, more equitable digital world, one which will lead to a brighter and more prosperous future for all.

Secretary-General António Guterres

Secretary-General António Gutteres has renewed his call for an immediate global cease-fire of 23 March to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. He provided an update on the broad international support with which this appeal has been greeted, the response by conflict parties in a number of situations of armed conflict and the efforts on the ground by United Nations representatives and other actors to press forward and try to consolidate fragile advances towards laying down weapons. The UN Messengers of Peace have added their support. "We need to do everything possible to find the peace and unity our world so desperately needs to battle COVID-19," Mr. Guterres emphasized in his renewed appeal.

Secretary-General António Guterres has called for a global ceasefire, so that the world can concentrate its efforts on the response against the COVID-19 pandemic. “It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives,” he said in a live virtual briefing on 23 March. He called on all warring parties to create safe corridors for life-saving aid to reach the most vulnerable, including refugees.