UN role and reform

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.

01 August 2019, UN Headquarters

Remarks at Remembrance Ceremony for H.E. Beji Caid Essebsi, late President of the Republic of Tunisia

[Bilingual, as delivered. Scroll down for all-English and all-French]

18 July 2019, UN Headquarters

Remarks on Nelson Mandela International Day

Today, we commemorate the lifetime of service Nelson Mandela gave to South Africa and to the world.

We pay tribute to an extraordinary global advocate for dignity and equality, and one of the most iconic and inspirational leaders of our time.

Nelson Mandela exemplified courage, compassion, forgiveness and commitment to freedom, peace and social justice. 

He lived by these principles and was prepared to sacrifice his liberty and even his life for them.  

04 June 2019, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the Fifth Committee on "Improving the Financial Situation of the Organization"

I welcome this opportunity to introduce my report containing measures to resolve the financial crisis facing the Organization.
This crisis has been years in the making. There are many reasons for it and each requires a different response.
It is an unfortunate reality that we cannot continue to work around.
It is undermining the delivery of our mandates. 
It is undermining our reform efforts.

04 June 2019, General Assembly

Remarks on the election of Professor Tijjani Mohammad Bande as President of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly

It is my pleasure to congratulate Professor Tijjani Mohammad Bande as President of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly.
Professor Bande, you bring many important and admirable qualifications to the job.
From your years as Permanent Representative of Nigeria, you know the United Nations well. 
From your wide-ranging academic pursuits, you are an expert in political science and public administration.