13 September 2021, Geneva, Switzerland

Secretary-General's transcript of the Secretary-General's press conference on the High-Level Ministerial Meeting on the Humanitarian Situation in Afghanistan

Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen of the media.

This conference has fully met my expectations in relation to the solidarity with the people of Afghanistan.

First of all, because of the massive level of participation, meaning that this is a matter that today mobilizes the interest not only of governments around the world, but of international organizations and civil society.

We have 156 participants, of which 96 are Member States and half of them speaking at the ministerial level.

13 September 2021, Geneva

Secretary-General's remarks to the High-level Ministerial Meeting on the Humanitarian Situation in Afghanistan [as delivered]

Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

The people of Afghanistan need a lifeline.

After decades of war, suffering and insecurity, they face perhaps their most perilous hour.

Now is the time for the international community to stand with them.

Let us be clear: This conference is not simply about what we will give to the people of Afghanistan. It is about what we owe.


Even before the dramatic events of the last weeks, Afghans were experiencing one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.

14 June 2021, Geneva

Note to Correspondents: Statement attributable to Geir O. Pedersen, UN Special Envoy for Syria

I strongly condemn the attack on Al-Shifaa hospital in Afrin city in northern Syria, which resulted in the killing and injuring of civilians, including medical personnel, and the destruction of parts of the hospital. Such appalling attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure, including healthcare facilities and workers, are unacceptable and must cease. All parties must fully comply with their obligations under international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians and civilian objects.

29 April 2021, Geneva

Opening remarks at press conference following the informal 5+1 meeting on Cyprus

Ladies and gentlemen of the media, thank you very much for your presence.  At the moment in which we conclude the 5+1 talks on Cyprus here in Geneva, I want to express my deep gratitude and the gratitude of all participants to the Swiss authorities for all the facilities that they have provided to guarantee the smooth development of our work in the difficult times we are living in with COVID. 

15 March 2021, Geneva, Switzerland

Note to Correspondents: Transcript of Press Remarks by Mr. Geir O. Pedersen, United Nations Special Envoy for Syria

As you know I just concluded my briefing to the Security Council, and this of course, is for all of us, a very special day – it is ten years since the beginning of the Syrian tragedy.  And as I told the Council, the Syrian tragedy will go down in history as one of the darkest chapters and I also said that the Syrian people are among the greatest victims of this century.

As you know the conflict has now lasted for the same period as the First World War and the Second World War and I said that the Syrian people must feel that they are really trapped in an endless conflict.

22 February 2021, Geneva, Switzerland

Secretary-General's video message to Human Rights Council Panel on the Fight Against Racism and Discrimination 20 years after the Adoption of the Durban Declaration and Plan of Action

Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

I welcome your focus and discussion on the fight against racism and discrimination two decades after the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Plan of Action. 

As I said in my address to the Human Rights Council this morning, the rot of racism is corroding institutions, social structures and everyday life.

We must do far more to address this scourge.  I welcome the efforts of the Human Rights Council to do just that.

Racism and discrimination are the rejection of all that we stand for. 

09 February 2021, Geneva

Note to Correspondents: Transcript of Virtual Press Stakeout by Mr. Geir O. Pedersen, UN Special Envoy for Syria, following his briefing to the Security Council

Thank you, Jenifer. As you may know, this was a briefing I gave in so-called close consultations after the decision by the Security Council itself. As always, I was heartened by the fact that all members of the Council gave what I would call a strong support to the work of me and my team when it comes to trying to find a solution to the Syrian crisis.  

05 February 2021, Geneva

Note to Correspondents: Transcript of Introductory remarks by Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Libya, Stephanie Williams, at a press conference after the vote on the new Executive Authority

Thank you very much Alessandra, and it’s wonderful to see everyone here tonight. And I’m pleased to come to you right after the conclusion of the voting process for the new unified, temporary executive authority in Libya.