Following are UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ remarks at the General Assembly tribute to the memory of Idriss Déby Itno, late President of Chad and Head of State, today:
I was saddened by the tragic death of President Idriss Déby, whom I knew very well, on 19 April. On behalf of the United Nations, I reiterate my deepest condolences to his family, to the Government and to the people of Chad.
President Déby worked tirelessly for the stability of his country, the subregion and the entire African continent. He transformed Chad into an influential regional Power that has played a key role in the region, from the Sahel to the Lake Chad Basin.
Under his leadership — and this is something I personally witnessed — Chad has opened its doors to thousands of refugees from neighbouring countries, generously hosting them and sharing its limited resources with them.
President Déby has been a key partner for the United Nations, notably in the fight against terrorism, violent extremism and organized crime.
At this pivotal time for Chad, I wish to underline the strong commitment of the United Nations to serve the people of Chad in their quest for an inclusive and prosperous future.
I hope that in the coming days Chadians will be able to find, together, a consensual and peaceful path to the future. This will be essential to continue progress towards sustainable peace, achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, strengthening democracy and the protection of human rights for all.