U.N. Secretariat

17 February 2021, Security Council

Remarks to the Security Council Open Meeting on Ensuring Equitable Access to COVID-19 Vaccines in Contexts Affected by Conflict and Insecurity

Mr. President,

With your permission, I would make a brief introduction and then ask my colleague, Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF [United Nations Children's Fund], to develop our briefing.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I thank the United Kingdom for organizing this meeting and for reinforcing my call for a global ceasefire to ease suffering, create space for diplomacy and enable humanitarian access – including for the delivery of vaccines worldwide.

08 February 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks at briefing to Member States by incoming COP26 President 

We are nine months away from COP26, a critical milestone in our efforts to avert climate catastrophe.

I am very pleased that the incoming COP President is here to discuss with all of you the road to Glasgow.

The past year has seen welcome progress. 

I thank those who showed leadership by announcing bold new commitments at the Climate Ambition Summit I convened with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and the President of France in December.

05 February 2021, UN Headquarters

Opening press remarks on selection of Libyan Political Dialogue Forum of unified temporary executive authority

Ladies and Gentlemen of the press, good afternoon.
Today we have very good news in our search for peace. I welcome the selection by members of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) of a unified temporary executive authority.
I call on all members of the dialogue and the Libyan and international stakeholders to respect the results of the vote.

04 February 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks at the 2021 Opening Session of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

I was very honoured to preside over the beginning of this year’s first meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. 

My congratulations to the Chair, Ambassador Cheikh Niang, and other members of the Bureau, on your election.


The unresolved question of Palestine underlines the continued importance of the Committee.

This is affirmed by the General Assembly’s adoption, last December and by large majorities, of all the resolutions on the question of Palestine recommended by the Committee.

28 January 2021, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks to the press following briefing to member states priorities for 2021

Good morning, good afternoon and good evening. I wish you all a happy and healthy start to the year.

My message today for 2021 is a message of hope and determination.

Hope, as I believe it is possible to change gear and put the world on the right track.

Determination, as we must all do everything we can to make it happen.

We have just lived through the most difficult year of my lifetime.

Our world was rocked on its axis in 2020.

28 January 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to Member States on Priorities for 2021

Secretary-General António Guterres briefs the General Assembly on his priorities for 2021 and also a report on the work of the Organization. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

[All-English version; scroll down for bilingual as delivered version]

President of the General Assembly,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

2020 was a global annus horribilis – a year of death, disaster and despair.

The COVID-19 pandemic unleashed havoc in every country and every economy.

We lost 2 million lives, including many dear members of our UN family.

The human toll continues to multiply.

The economic costs continue to mount.

500 million jobs -- gone.

26 January 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the High-Level Replenishment Conference for the Peacebuilding Fund 

Thank you for joining us today.

I am happy to co-chair this Replenishment Conference for the Peacebuilding Fund.

The scale of turmoil around the world requires concerted efforts to ease tensions and prevent further escalation.

The unprecedented challenge of COVID-19 has further exacerbated situations that were deteriorating even before the pandemic.

I have, as you know, appealed for a global ceasefire to focus on our common enemy, the pandemic.

We need a renewed approach to multilateralism and international cooperation.

25 January 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the Park East Synagogue and United Nations International Holocaust Remembrance Service

Rabbi Schneier,
Holocaust survivors,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Dear friends,

We meet today online and around the world to commemorate the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, and to honour the memory of the six million Jews and millions of others who were systematically murdered in the Holocaust by the Nazis and their collaborators.

25 January 2021, UN Headquarters

Special address at Davos Agenda

I thank you very much for this opportunity to address the Davos Agenda.

Humanity has just endured a year of tragedy and crisis that we never want to repeat.

If there is one word that characterizes today’s world, it is fragility.

We see it in the impacts of the COVID-19 emergency.

More than 2 million people have died, and we are in the worst economic crisis for nearly a century.

We see it in the inequalities among people and countries that have been starkly highlighted by the pandemic.

25 January 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the Climate Adaptation Summit

I thank Prime Minister Mark Rutte [Prime Minister of the Netherlands], and Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen [Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management of the Netherlands] and my dear friend Ban Ki-moon for inviting me to address this important summit, and I thank the Global Commission on Adaptation for its leadership.

We begin this year with a heightened awareness of the importance of resilience.

The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us that we cannot afford to ignore known risks.

Climate disruption is a risk we are well aware of.