U.N. Secretariat

18 January 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks at the Handover Ceremony of the Chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China 

It is a pleasure to join you.

I congratulate the Republic of Guinea as it assumes the Chairmanship of the Group of 77 and China for 2021.

I assure you of continued support of the United Nations Secretariat.

I commend Guyana for its expert guidance of the group throughout 2020, an unprecedented year in the history of our Organization.

10 January 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks at the Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the First Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly 

Lord Ahmad, Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen, Dear young people,

It is a special privilege to address you today, on the 75th anniversary of the first meeting of the General Assembly of the United Nations, which took place in London.   

First of all, let me say how deeply I regret not to be physically present with you to commemorate this historic event.

11 January 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the One Planet Summit

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

Dear friends,

2021 must be the year to reconcile humanity with nature.

Until now, we have been destroying our planet.

We have been abusing it as if we had a spare one.

Our current resource use requires almost two planets but we only have one. 

If we compare Earth’s history to a calendar year, we have used one third of its natural resources in the last 0.2 seconds.

We have been poisoning air, land and water – and filling oceans with plastics.

06 January 2021, Security Council

Remarks at Security Council Open Debate on “Challenges of Maintaining Peace and Security in Fragile Contexts”

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

Happy New Year!

I thank the Tunisian Presidency for organizing this debate.

Addressing the links between fragility and conflict is an essential component of international peace and security.

Fragility and conflict are among the greatest obstacles to implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the conflict landscape was deteriorating.

12 December 2020, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks at press stakeout following Climate Ambition Summit

At today’s Climate Ambition Summit, I appealed to leaders worldwide to declare a State of Climate Emergency in their countries until carbon neutrality is reached.

There can be no doubting or denying that the world faces a climate emergency.

The past decade was the hottest on record.

Carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are at record levels – and rising.

Storms, fires, floods and drought of uncommon force are now all too common and devastating.

12 December 2020, UN Headquarters

Remarks at the Climate Ambition Summit

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

I am pleased to welcome you to the Climate Ambition Summit on the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement.

Five years after Paris, we are still not going in the right direction.

Paris promised to limit temperature rise to as close to 1.5 degrees as possible. 

But the commitments made in Paris were far from enough to get there.

And even those commitments are not being met.

Carbon dioxide levels are at record highs.

09 December 2020, UN Headquarters

Remarks on the International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide 

President of the General Assembly,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Please join me in a moment of silence in memory of the victims of genocide and other atrocity crimes.



Genocide is the most heinous of crimes, encompassing all it touches in a tsunami of hate and destruction.

It is an assault on our most fundamental shared values.

09 December 2020, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks at press encounter with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, following the Fourth UN-AU Annual Conference

Ladies and Gentlemen of the press, 

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, my dear friend Moussa Faki Mahamat and myself have just concluded the fourth Annual Conference between the United Nations and the African Union.

We are committed to further developing our cooperation to serve the people of Africa. 

Today, of the many topics that were discussed, I allow myself to concentrate on two.

First, the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Africa has so far registered more than 2,200,000 cases and over 53,000 deaths.

08 December 2020, UN Headquarters

Remarks to High-level Pledging Conference for the Central Emergency Response Fund

I am pleased to join you in support of the Central Emergency Response Fund.

The CERF is unique. It is quick. It is non-bureaucratic, and it is sometimes the only source of funds for a true emergency response, because other funding may be too late to be effective.

CERF is the instrument that enables us to act in forgotten crises that do not attract donor funding. And it is an important tool to bring the entire United Nations system together. 

04 December 2020, Security Council

Remarks at the Security Council debate on Cooperation between the United Nations and Regional and Sub-Regional Organisations: African Union

[Bilingual, as delivered]

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Mr. President,

Let me begin by congratulating you on assuming the Presidency of the Security Council for the month of December and for your leadership as Chair of the African Union. 

Je souhaite également la bienvenue à mon cher ami M. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Président de la Commission de l’Union africaine, et qui est parmi nous aujourd’hui.