António Guterres

20 November 2020, New York

Secretary-General's opening remarks at press stakeout 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.

20 November 2020, New York

Secretary-General's video message on the Occasion of the 8th International Conference on the Great Lakes Region [French only]

Excellences, Messieurs les Chefs d’Etat et de Gouvernement, Mesdames et Messieurs,

Dans un contexte marqué par la pandémie de COVID-19 qui n’a épargné aucune région du monde, je souhaite saluer la résilience de la région des Grands Lacs et les mesures prises par vos Gouvernements pour endiguer la pandémie.

Votre réunion m’offre aussi l’occasion de souligner la contribution de la Conférence internationale sur la région des Grands Lacs à la promotion de la paix et du développement durable dans la région.

20 November 2020, New York

Secretary-General's video message to Virtual High-Level Consultation - "Return and Reintegration: Building a Future for all Afghans"

I send my warmest greetings to this high-level consultation.

Afghanistan has been ravaged by conflict for more than half of the 75 years since the United Nations was established. The intra-Afghan negotiations are now providing a glimmer of hope.

As opportunities for peace are tested and violence escalates, it is more important than ever that we walk side by side with the people of Afghanistan.

20 November 2020, New York

Secretary-General’s statement on Yemen

Yemen is now in imminent danger of the worst famine the world has seen for decades. In the absence of immediate action, millions of lives may be lost.


20 November 2020, New York

Secretary-General's message on Africa Industrialization Day [scroll down for French version]

The COVID-19 crisis hit African economies well before the pandemic spread across the continent, with falling demand for African commodities and products, disruptions in trade and travel, reduced remittances and foreign investment, and vast job and income losses.

21 November 2020, Guangzhou, China

Secretary-General's video message to International Finance Forum 2020 Annual Meeting

Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

I am pleased to address this important summit.

You meet when the toll from COVID-19 continues to mount.

Around the world, the economic and social consequences are outpacing policy responses.

The pandemic has exposed the fragility not just of our health systems, but also of our global institutions and multilateral efforts.

We must address the immediate crisis and build back better.

International finance has a crucial role to play.

19 November 2020, UN Headquarters

Remarks on Climate Action to European Council on Foreign Relations

Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you for inviting me to speak today.

I will focus my remarks on the climate crisis and the need for heightened climate action.

Recently, we have seen recent encouraging responses.

The European Union, Japan and the Republic of Korea have pledged carbon neutrality by 2050, along with more than 110 other countries.

China says it will do so before 2060.

19 November 2020, UN Headquarters

remarks on Racism in the Workplace

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to this very important discussion on racism in the workplace.

I want to thank Dr. Kanem and our distinguished panel members who bring impressive expertise to this difficult issue.

Racism is a persistent scourge of our world.

People’s opportunities for education and employment, and their access to healthcare and justice, are often determined by their race.

Much of today’s racism is deeply entrenched in centuries of colonialism and slavery.  I am Portuguese – I think I know this story very well. 

19 November 2020, New York

Secretary-General's message on World Toilet Day 2020 [scroll down for French version]

The COVID-19 pandemic is a stark reminder of the importance of sanitation, safe water and handwashing facilities to stop the spread of infectious diseases. Everyone should have access to hygienic, safe, sustainable sanitation. That is the only way to ensure health for all. 

But around the world today, 4.2 billion people are without safe sanitation. Two billion of these people – more than one quarter of the global population – lack basic sanitation, undermining health, dignity, and economic development.