UN role and reform

21 September 2021, General Assembly

Secretary-General’s address to the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly

[All-English version; scroll further down for all-French and trilingual as delivered versions]

Mr. President of the General Assembly, Excellencies,

I am here to sound the alarm:  The world must wake up.

We are on the edge of an abyss — and moving in the wrong direction.

Our world has never been more threatened.

Or more divided.

We face the greatest cascade of crises in our lifetimes. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has supersized glaring inequalities. 

The climate crisis is pummeling the planet.

19 August 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks at Wreath-Laying Ceremony for the Observance of the 18th anniversary of the bombing of the UN Headquarters in Baghdad

Dear colleagues,

This memorial reminds us why August the 19th was chosen as World Humanitarian Day.

On this date 18 years ago, the world lost 22 humanitarian heroes in a bomb attack on the Canal Hotel in Baghdad.

These women and men were killed carrying out the noblest of all human missions — the mission of peace.

The mission of supporting innocent lives trapped by the violence, turmoil and instability of violent conflicts.

Humanitarian work is dangerous — with a tenfold increase in aid workers being shot, kidnapped or attacked over the last 20 years.

18 June 2021, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks at press encounter on the Appointment of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to a Second Term of Office

Ladies and gentlemen of the media, Thank you very much for your presence. 

It is an enormous pleasure to be with all of you today.   

I am humbled but also energized by today’s decision of the General Assembly.   

I take on the responsibility of serving a second term as Secretary-General with profound gratitude and a deep commitment to work together to advance the UN Charter at a time of great peril and promise. 

We are at a crossroads, with consequential choices before us.  

It can go either way: breakdown or breakthrough.   

18 June 2021, General Assembly

Secretary-General's Oath of Office

António Guterres addresses the General Assembly after his appointment for a second five-year term as Secretary-General of the United Nations. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

[Trilingual, as delivered]

Mr President of the General Assembly, Senhor Presidente da República Portuguesa, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

This is a solemn moment. I find myself experiencing a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts.

I am deeply honoured and grateful for the trust you have placed in me to serve as the Secretary-General of the United Nations for a second term.

Serving the United Nations is an immense privilege and a most noble duty.

07 June 2021, General Assembly

Remarks on the election of the President of the 76th Session of the General Assembly

It is a pleasure to be here with all of you to witness the election of the President of the 76th Session of the General Assembly.

First and foremost, I offer my sincere congratulations to Mr. Abdulla Shahid of the Maldives on his election. I look forward to working with you.

And I will take this opportunity to express my deep appreciation to His Excellency Mr. Volkan Bozkir for his exceptional leadership as President of the General Assembly during this 75th anniversary session.

07 June 2021, UN Headquarters

Briefing to Member States on the Resident Coordinator System Review Report

Over the past four years, we have worked together to reposition sustainable development at the heart of the United Nations.

We have made concrete, far-reaching and lasting changes, not least the establishment of a reinvigorated Resident Coordinator System.

Today, in line with General Assembly resolution 72/279, I will present the findings of my review of that system, including its funding arrangements.

In short, we have made enormous progress.

Resident Coordinators and their teams are delivering improved leadership, coordination and convening.

06 May 2021, General Assembly

Remarks at the Annual Memorial Service to honour United Nations Personnel who lost their lives in the line of duty in 2020

Dear Colleagues and family members,

We gather to remember and honour United Nations personnel who lost their lives in the line of duty over the course of last year. 

While we unfortunately cannot yet gather in person, this solemn ceremony powerfully reflects how those bonds transcend physical distance. 

We may not be in the same room, but we are together -- with unity in purpose and solidarity in sorrow. 

The year 2020 was like no other in the history of the United Nations. 

03 May 2021, General Assembly

Remarks at the Tribute to the Memory of H.E. Mr. Idriss Déby Itno, late President of the Republic of Chad

[English version; scroll down for as delivered in French version]

I was saddened by the tragic death of President Idriss Déby, whom I knew very well, on 19 April.

On behalf of the United Nations, I reiterate my deepest condolences to his family, to the Government and to the people of Chad.    

President Déby worked tirelessly for the stability of his country, the sub-region and the entire African continent.

16 April 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks at the Tribute to the Memory of H.E. Mr. John Pombe Joseph Magufuli, the late President of the United Republic of Tanzania

We are gathered today to honour the memory of H.E. Mr. John Magufuli, the late President of the United Republic of Tanzania.

As we convey our condolences to the government and people of the United Republic of Tanzania, we also recognize the service of President Magufuli.

He sought to expand access to social services and tackle corruption.

The late President was a noted proponent of infrastructure development and industrialisation –vital tools for economic advancement.

22 March 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks on the International Day of Nowruz

Excellencies, dear friends,

Thank you for bringing us together.

I am happy to join you and wish all of you a happy International Day of Nowruz.

Today, we mark a new year, a new beginning.

Nowruz unites us all.

It transcends national borders, religious divides and other differences.

It marks the richness of our diversity and reminds us all we have in common.

It fosters trust, friendship and good neighbourliness.

Its values powerfully resonate with those that we promote together at the United Nations every day and everywhere.