UN role and reform

16 October 2019, General Assembly

Remarks to Memorial Service for Diogo Freitas Do Amaral

It is with great sadness that I join you in mourning the loss of Professor Diogo Freitas do Amaral.  To his wife and loved ones, I wish to convey my deepest condolences.
Here in this Hall, we remember Professor Freitas do Amaral as the esteemed President of the 50th session of the United Nations General Assembly. 
It is especially poignant that we honour his legacy as the United Nations sets out to mark another milestone, our 75th anniversary. 

08 October 2019, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly on the Proposed Programme Budget for 2020

I welcome this opportunity to introduce the proposed programme budget for 2020.

You are all aware of the diverse and enormous challenges we face at this time, from climate change to multiplying conflicts, from increasing inequality to rising intolerance. People’s expectations of our Organization are profound.

27 September 2019, UN Headquarters

Remarks at opening of Russian-Byelorussian Exhibit in Memory of Andrey Gromyko

Your Excellency Mr. Sergey Lavrov,
Your Excellency Mr. Vladimir Makei,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure to be here with you to remember one of the giants of international diplomacy.

Andrey Gromyko began his career as a prodigy and ended it a legend.

He played a foundational part in creating this Organization, as one of the drafters of the United Nations Charter – the cornerstone of our legitimacy and an exceptional and unparalleled diplomatic achievement.

English translation unavailable for خطاب الأمين العام إلى الجمعية العامة.

24 September 2019, UN Headquarters

Toast at lunch for Heads of State and Government

Mr. President,
Heads of State and Government,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is wonderful to be again together in New York.
This city is a wonderful city, a wonderful inspiration for us all.
And I think if there is a privilege to be Secretary-General of the United Nations, [it] is to be able to work in New York.

24 September 2019, General Assembly

Address to the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly

[Scroll down for as delivered trilingual version]

The United Nations Charter sends a clear message to us all: put people first.
The first words of the Charter -- “we the peoples” – are a summons to place people at the centre of our work.
Every day.  Everywhere.
People with anxieties and aspirations. 
People with heartbreaks and hopes.
Above all, people with rights.

17 September 2019, UN Headquarters

Remarks at Wreath-Laying Ceremony to commemorate the 58th Anniversary of the death of Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld

Today we remember my predecessor, Dag Hammarskjöld, and pay tribute to his life and his supreme sacrifice.

Around the world, Dag Hammarskjöld is rightly revered for his achievements, his dedication and his values.

He shaped the United Nations into an active force in making and keeping peace. He skillfully created and seized opportunities.

He bravely put himself forward for the most difficult challenges.  

And he died while he was deeply involved in peace negotiations in the present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo.

17 September 2019, UN Headquarters

Remarks at 34th Annual International Prayer Breakfast

Ladies and gentlemen,
Dear friends,
As we prepare for the busy days ahead, this prayer service offers a precious moment of reflection and humility.
We represent many faiths, communities and cultures, but this gathering shows that we are one.
One family of diverse nations, sharing common values and common goals.
This diversity is a strength.
Unfortunately, some exploit these differences to fuel conflict or for political gain.

18 September 2019, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks at press conference at the outset of the 74th session of the General Assembly

Good afternoon.
It is good to see you again as we begin a new session of the General Assembly.
The world is at a critical moment on several fronts – the climate emergency, rising inequality, an increase in hatred and intolerance, as well as an alarming number of peace and security challenges. Tensions are rising everywhere.
As I have often said, there is no doubt that our fraying world needs international cooperation more than ever.  But simply saying it will not make it happen.

17 September 2019, General Assembly

Remarks at opening of the 74th Session of the UN General Assembly

I am very pleased to be with you for the opening of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Let me begin by warmly congratulating His Excellency Professor Tijjani Muhammad-Bande of Nigeria on his election as General Assembly President.
As Nigeria’s Permanent Representative here in New York, Professor Bande brings years of United Nations experience to his role.