UN role and reform

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.

26 October 2020, General Assembly

Remarks at Informal Meeting of the Plenary of the General Assembly – Observance Ceremony in Commemoration of United Nations Day

Seventy-five years ago, amid the rubble and ruin of the Second World War, world leaders did the audacious.

Many previous attempts to secure peace and progress through international cooperation had collapsed.  Yet they dared to try again.  And they succeeded. 

The drafters of our founding Charter placed new faith in shared values, collective security and the rule of law.

At its birth, the United Nations was a symbol of global unity.  Today it is the epicenter. 

Our mission is more important than ever. 

22 October 2020, UN Headquarters

Remarks at the United Nations Day Concert 

Dear friends and colleagues,

It is a pleasure to join you in marking the 75th anniversary of the United Nations.

I thank the Permanent Mission of Italy for preparing a remarkable programme for us today, headlined by the marvelous Roberto Bolle and Teatro alla Scala.  

Music, dance and the arts take many forms around the world, reflecting the wondrous diversity of culture.

As we celebrate United Nations Day with this performance, I want to emphasize the importance of culture in the work of this Organization.

13 October 2020, General Assembly

Remarks at the Tribute to the Memory of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait

Mr. President of the General Assembly,
Ladies and gentlemen,

12 October 2020, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the Fifth Committee: Introduction of the Proposed Programme Budget for 2021

I welcome this opportunity to introduce the proposed programme budget for 2021.
We meet under extraordinary circumstances. Covid-19 has put the lives of billions of people around the globe in turmoil, inflicting grave suffering and destabilizing the global economy.
The United Nations continues to provide wide-ranging health interventions, advocate for a massive rescue package for the world’s most vulnerable people and countries, and is committed to accelerate work on a vaccine.

02 October 2020, General Assembly

Remarks to the General Assembly of the European Broadcasting Union

Dear friends,
Thank you for inviting me to address the leadership of Europe’s public service media.
We at the United Nations recognize the key role you play in your countries at all times but especially amidst today’s COVID-19 pandemic.
I congratulate your new President-elect, Ms. Delphine Ernotte on her election and wish her the best for the road ahead at this pivotal moment.
I thank President Tony Hall for his purposeful leadership in extraordinary times, which has led to strengthened cooperation between our two institutions.

09 September 2020, UN Headquarters

Remarks at High-level Virtual Event on the International Day to Protect Education from Attack

I am pleased to join you for the first observance of the International Day to Protect Education from Attack.
I thank the State of Qatar, UNESCO, UNICEF and the Education Above All Foundation for organizing this high-level event.
Education is a fundamental human right.
It is an essential driver for fostering peace, promoting just societies and supporting sustainable development.
Without quality education for all, we cannot eliminate poverty, tackle inequality, fight climate change or promote peace.

10 September 2020, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the First Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator Facilitation Council Meeting

The COVID-19 pandemic continues its surge around the world.
The number one global security threat in our world today is the virus. 
It is our common enemy. 
Yet we still continue to struggle to collectively make all the decisions and devote all the resources we need to defeat it. 
But it’s not too late.
We must start immediately by massively expanding new and existing tools that can rapidly respond to new cases and provide vital treatment to suppress transmission and save lives, especially over the next 12 months.

15 September 2020, General Assembly

Remarks at the Closing of the Seventy-Fourth Session of the United Nations General Assembly

I am pleased to join you for the closing of the 74th session of the General Assembly -- a session like no other in the past 75 years.  

The last seven months have been extremely difficult for the people we serve, and for many of us, personally and professionally.  

15 September 2020, UN Headquarters

Remarks at Wreath-Laying Ceremony to Commemorate the 59th Anniversary of the Death of Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold

Today, we gather to remember Dag Hammarskjöld and pay tribute to his accomplishments.
On this 59th anniversary of his death, we celebrate his life.
Although he had a diverse diplomatic career and was a man of many interests, Dag Hammarskjöld’s name is forever linked to the United Nations.
Until his tragic passing, he led our Organization with courage and purpose, and we owe him a lot.