U.N. Secretariat

03 December 2020, General Assembly

Remarks to the General Assembly Special Session in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic 

Mr. President,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is an honour to address this General Assembly Special Session in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nearly a year into the pandemic, we face a human tragedy, and a public health, humanitarian and development emergency.

For the first time since 1945, the entire world is confronted by a common threat, regardless of nationality, ethnicity or faith.

But while COVID-19 does not discriminate, our efforts to prevent and contain it do.

01 December 2020, General Assembly

Remarks at General Assembly Solemn Meeting in Commemoration of All Victims of the Second World War

This year, we marked the 75th anniversary of the United Nations with tributes to the Organization’s achievements and calls to strengthen multilateralism to meet longstanding and new challenges.  
But our observance of this milestone would not be complete without recognition of the losses of the Second World War, which led to the formation of the United Nations itself.  

The millions who fell on the battlefield; 

The millions murdered by the Nazis in the Holocaust; 

01 December 2020, UN Headquarters

Remarks at the commemoration of the 25th Anniversary of the World Summit for Social Development

Excellencies, distinguished delegates,

I am pleased to join you in commemorating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the World Summit for Social Development. 

It is a critical time to reflect on what it will take to ensure equality for all and achieve the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

There is no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing gaps in social development.

It has wiped out important development gains in a matter of months.

For the first time in decades, extreme poverty is rising.

01 December 2020, UN Headquarters

Remarks at International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People 2020 Virtual Meeting

At the outset, allow me to reiterate my heartfelt condolences on the passing of our dear friend, Dr. Saeb Erekat.  Today is very much about recommitting to the peaceful vision that he worked so hard to realize, and that I myself testified for more than twenty years. 

Regrettably, there is a long way to go.  

I address you today with a deep sense of worry about the grim realities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and the diminishing prospects of resolving the conflict, which has been with the United Nations since its very creation.

30 November 2020, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks at Thirteenth Session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

I am pleased to join you for the 13th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Later this week, we will also observe the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

I take this issue of disability inclusion extremely seriously.

Securing the rights of persons with disabilities is necessary for upholding the values and principles of the United Nations Charter. 

That is why, last year, I launched a UN system-wide Disability Inclusion Strategy.

25 November 2020, UN Headquarters

Remarks on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Excellencies, dear friends,

I am pleased to join you on this important day for the United Nations and for the world.

Violence against women and girls is a pervasive global human rights challenge, rooted in unequal gender power relations, structural inequality and discrimination.

That is why we launched the global UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign.

The COVID-19 crisis has further exposed violence against women and girls as a global emergency requiring urgent action.

24 November 2020, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks at the Third Roundtable of Renowned Economists on Rebirthing the Global Economy

Welcome to this third roundtable on ‘Rebirthing the Global Economy to Deliver Sustainable Development for All’.

Now, we launched these discussions to bring new ideas, fresh thinking and different perspectives to the table. 

Over these past months, we have greatly benefitted from the insights of distinguished women economists on debt, trade, finance, climate and decent jobs.   

This is critical as we face not only an unprecedented crisis — but also the opportunity to make real, foundational, and necessary change. 

The challenges loom large.

23 November 2020, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks at High-Level Interactive Dialogue with Heads of Regional and Other Organizations

Welcome and thank you for joining this virtual meeting, which is a demonstration of our shared commitment to multilateralism and our global partnership, even in these challenging times. 

I am particularly grateful to those colleagues who are joining from time zones very different from ours.

22 November 2020, UN Headquarters

Remarks at G20 Riyadh Summit

Our greatest defense against COVID-19 is solidarity and cooperation. 
In this context, G20 leadership is vital in three key areas. 
First, halting the further spread of the pandemic. 
Yesterday, I was encouraged by the broad recognition that vaccines – as well as tests and treatments – must be global public goods, available and affordable for all. 

20 November 2020, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks at press briefing prior to the G20 Summit

A very good afternoon to all of you. 
This weekend, G20 leaders will meet as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage our world.
I will take part and my main message is simple: 
We need solidarity and cooperation.
And we need concrete action now — especially for the most vulnerable. 
We must advance on two fronts:
First, recovering in a way that is inclusive — bringing everyone along.
Second, recovering in a way that is sustainable — meaning, above all, stepped-up climate action.