16 May 2019

Activities of Secretary-General in Switzerland, 7-10 May

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres departed New York on Tuesday, 7 May, for Geneva, Switzerland, where he arrived on Wednesday morning.

On Wednesday evening, the Secretary-General attended the official opening ceremony of the spring meeting of the Chief Executives Board of the United Nations system, which was hosted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) as part of its centenary celebrations.

At the inauguration of the ILO “Allée du Centenaire”, he said that, while he could not predict what the world would look like in 100 years or how economies and societies will work, he remains absolutely sure that the trees planted today will be here and that the International Labour Organization will be here.  (See Press Release SG/SM/19572.)

The Secretary-General remained in Geneva on Thursday, where he opened the spring session of the Chief Executives Board.

During that day’s session, the heads of the United Nations entities agreed on ambitious and concrete steps to address climate change in advance of the September Climate Summit.  In a statement, the heads of United Nations agencies said they are committed to strengthening their organization’s responsiveness to Member States’ need to reduce the adverse impacts of climate change, including on the stability of regions, States and communities; build resilience; address loss and damage caused by climate-induced disasters; and enhance responsiveness of social protection systems to climate-related events.  They also committed themselves to raising the UN’s own ambition to take concrete steps to combat climate change and to integrate more systematically sustainable development considerations concerning how the organizations work, both in terms of operations and programmes.

He then met with ILO staff and attended a reception and dinner hosted by ILO.

The Chief Executives Board wrapped up on Friday morning.

On Friday afternoon, the Secretary-General addressed a special session of the World Trade Organization’s General Council, where he stressed the importance of preserving the multilateral rules-based order — including on trade — for a fair globalization and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.  (See Press Release SG/SM/19575.)

Back at the Palais des Nations, the Secretary-General met with the Group of Francophone Ambassadors in Geneva.  They had a wide-ranging discussion on United Nations issues, including multilingualism.  Before departing Geneva for the Pacific, the Secretary-General met Ruth Dreifuss, former President of the Swiss Confederation.

For information media. Not an official record.