UN role and reform

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.

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.