UN role and reform

18 July 2017, General Assembly

Remarks to the General Assembly Informal Plenary on Nelson Mandela International Day

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
It is an honour to be with you to celebrate Nelson Mandela International Day, marking what would have been the 99th birthday of an extraordinary global advocate for justice and equality.

16 June 2017, UN Headquarters

Remarks at Memorial for Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Late Executive Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

The news of Dr. Babatunde’s sudden death last week devastated our UN family.
Today we mourn this heartbreaking loss.
And we remember his inspiring life.
Babatunde was completely devoted to the cause of women and girls – especially those who are most marginalized.
He was driven by the conviction that every single family on earth should be free to decide on the timing and spacing of their children.
That no one would suffer from harmful traditional practices.

31 May 2017, General Assembly

Remarks to General Assembly meeting on the Election of the President of the Seventy-second Session of the General Assembly

I am honoured to be here for the election of the new President of the General Assembly.

Let me first say what a privilege it is to work with you, Mr. President, dear Peter Thomson.

I am deeply grateful for your leadership over the past year – and am looking forward to continuing our partnership in the months to come. You still have a long way to go.

24 May 2017, UN Headquarters

Remarks at the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal Ceremony

We are here today to honour the 117 men and woman from 43 countries who lost their lives last year serving under the United Nations flag.

The medal we confer at today’s ceremony is named after my predecessor, Dag Hammarskjöld, who lost his life in the cause of peace, like the recipients of this medal. 

Those we honour today died while protecting the world’s most vulnerable people and supporting countries in making the difficult transition from conflict to peace. 

13 April 2017, UN Headquarters

Remarks at 10th Anniversary of the United Nations Ethics Panel

It is a great pleasure to be here and congratulations on your 10th Anniversary. I do believe that you have a very very important role to play - ensuring that the highest ethical standards and the integrity are fully respected in the Organization.
We live in a moment when there is a crisis of confidence in relation to international Organizations and also in relation to Governments in general, and to a large extent, this crisis of confidence comes, [among] many other reasons, from reasons that are linked to your work.

21 March 2017, General Assembly

Remarks at General Assembly Tribute to Ambassador Vitaly Churkin

It is with deep sadness that I join you to pay tribute to our friend and colleague, Vitaly Ivanovich Churkin, who was tragically and suddenly taken from us last month on the eve of his 65th birthday.

Throughout his decade-long tenure as Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Churkin was a unique and visible presence.

His was an unmistakable voice -- as witty as he was passionate in defending Russian interests while advocating for a strong United Nations.

03 January 2017, UN Headquarters

António Guterres’ address to staff

Dear colleagues, this is indeed a very emotional moment for me. I am humbled and happy to be with all of you here today. Ten years ago, I had the chance to start being a staff member of the UN, and I had the privilege to serve not only the UN, but as High Commissioner for Refugees, to serve the most vulnerable of the vulnerable people.

12 December 2016, UN Headquarters

Secretary-General-designate António Guterres’ remarks to the General Assembly on taking the oath of office

The ninth Secretary-General of the United Nations, António Guterres, addressed the General Assembly on 12 December 2016 after taking the oath of office, which was administered by Peter Thomson, President of the 71st session of the General Assembly. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Thank you very much for all your kind words. I am deeply honoured by the trust and confidence Member States have placed in me, and determined to be guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter.

19 December 2016, UN Headquarters

Remarks at "Plaster Wall" Event to Commemorate 60th Anniversary of Japan's Membership of the United Nations

I am delighted to be with you this evening.
I must confess that when I first heard about his event, I was a little worried and confused.
I was told I was coming to break a barrel of sake and get plastered!
Surely that would not be appropriate for a Secretary-General, even one in his last couple of weeks in office?
But then it was explained.
I would be meeting master plasterer Naoki Kusumi and I would be inscribing a message on a plaster wall to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Japan joining the United Nations.

20 December 2016, UN Headquarters

Remarks on accepting the Order of Civil Merit from Spain

Your Excellency Mr. Mariano Rajoy, Prime Minister of Spain,
Your Excellency Mr. Román Oyarzun, Permanent Representative of Spain to the United Nations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,