UN role and reform

22 June 2022, UN Headquarters

Secretary-General's remarks at the Annual Memorial Service to honour United Nations Personnel who lost their lives in the line of duty in 2021

Dear Colleagues and family members,

We have come together to honour the memory of United Nations personnel who lost their lives serving our organization over the course of last year.

I want to acknowledge the family members and loved ones joining us from all over the world – our hearts are with you.

We are united in sorrow and solidarity.

Throughout the past year, COVID-19 continued to cause immeasurable suffering and death.

07 June 2022, General Assembly

Secretary-General's remarks on the Election of the President of the 77th Session of the General Assembly

It is my privilege to be with you for the election of the President of the 77th Session of the General Assembly. 

I want to take this opportunity to express my deep gratitude to the current president, His Excellency Mr. Abdulla Shahid of the Maldives, for his skilled stewardship of this body during truly unprecedented times.  

We recognize his leadership across so many fronts – from his work to advance gender equality … to his focus on climate action and bringing the unique perspective of small island states.  

26 May 2022, UN Headquarters

Secretary-General's remarks at the Captain Mbaye Diagne Medal for Exceptional Courage, Military Gender Advocate of the Year Award and Dag Hammerskjöld Medal Ceremony

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

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Moments ago, I laid a wreath at the Peacekeepers Memorial to pay homage to the more than 4,200 peacekeepers who sacrificed their lives while serving under the UN flag. 

Please join me in a moment of silence in their memory.   
Thank you. 

This year’s Dag Hammarskjöld medal ceremony honours the 117 women and men who lost their lives in 2021 serving as peacekeepers.

24 May 2022, Newark, New Jersey

Secretary-General's remarks at the Seton Hall University commencement 

Cardinal Tobin,
President Nyre,
Provost Passerini,
Dean Smith,
Board of Regents.

And very especially — dear graduates.

Allow me to say first and foremost: Congratulations Class of 2022!

I’m deeply grateful for this Honorary Degree — which I accept on behalf of the women and men of the United Nations, working tirelessly for peace, sustainable development and human rights around the world.

But this is your day. 

Moments like this are precious and rare. 

The journey to graduation day is never an easy one.

20 May 2022, General Assembly

Secretary-General's remarks at the General Assembly: Tribute to the Memory of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Late President of the United Arab Emirates

As salaam alaikum.   

I wish to begin by reiterating my deepest condolences to the Royal family, the Government, and the people of the United Arab Emirates on the passing of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. 

Over three decades ago, Sheikh Khalifa reflected on the influence of his father, Sheikh Zayed, the UAE’s founder and first president. 

“My father is my teacher,” he said. “I learn something from him every day, follow his path and absorb from him his values, and the need for patience and prudence in all things.”

17 May 2022, General Assembly

Secretary-General's remarks at Memorial for Madeleine Albright

It is an honour to join in this tribute to Madeleine Albright – an exemplary diplomat, a champion of multilateralism and a very dear friend.  
I had the privilege of working with Secretary Albright over many years, both in and out of government. And in every one of our encounters, I was always struck by the sharpness of her insights – and her equally sharp wit – and touched by her warmth, grace, and humanity. 

04 May 2022, Abuja

Secretary-General's remarks at Wreath-Laying Ceremony at UN House in Abuja, Nigeria

Dear Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen, honoured guests and family members.

August 26, 2011 is a date that is burned into the collective memory of our UN family.

On that tragic day, an appalling terrorist attack on UN House left 23 UN employees and civilians dead, and more than 60 injured.

Those staff members who lost their lives were unsung heroes who proudly served Nigerians through our organization’s work.

Clerks, receptionists and drivers.

A national professional officer and an associate expert.

A monitoring and evaluation specialist.

21 January 2022, UN Headquarters

Secretary-General's opening remarks to press on his priorities for 2022

Good afternoon. 
Today I briefed the General Assembly on what I see as I scan today’s global landscape.
I did not pull any punches.  It’s not a pretty picture. 
I see a 5-alarm global fire.
You heard the speech.  I won’t repeat it. 
The essence of my message is simply this:  we don’t have the luxury to just catalogue our challenges. 
We must do something about them – and we can do something about them. 
So my message was stark – because that is the state of our world. 

21 January 2022, General Assembly

Secretary-General's remarks to the General Assembly on his Priorities for 2022

ecretary-General António Guterres briefs the UN General Assembly on his priorities for 2022. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

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


We begin another year in the grips of a global pandemic.

COVID-19 continues to upend lives, plans and hopes.

The only certainty is more uncertainty.
Meanwhile, inequalities are growing.

Inflation is rising. 

The climate crisis, pollution and biodiversity loss rage on.

We face a cauldron of political unrest and ferocious conflicts. 

Mistrust among world powers is reaching fever pitch.

24 October 2021, New York

Remarks on the 50th anniversary of General Assembly resolution 2758

I am pleased to join you as we mark 50 years since the General Assembly adopted resolution 2758 deciding to “restore all its rights to the People’s Republic of China and to recognize the representatives of its Government as the only legitimate representatives of China in the United Nations.”

In the decades since, China has become an increasingly important contributor to the work of the Organization and a major pillar of international cooperation.