African issues

26 May 2022, UN Headquarters

Secretary-General's remarks to the Opening Segment of the High-level Policy Dialogue of the Africa Dialogue Series 2022

[All-English version; scroll down for bilingual as delivered version]

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am happy to join you for this Dialogue Series, and commend your focus on nutrition and food security on the African continent.

For too long, nutrition, food security, conflicts, climate change, ecosystems and health have been treated as separate issues.

But these global challenges are deeply interconnected.

Conflict creates hunger.

The climate crisis amplifies conflict.

03 May 2022, Maiduguri, Nigeria

Secretary-General's opening remarks at Press encounter with the Governor of Borno State, Babagana Umara Zulump

This visit was supposed to take place last week. Unfortunately, I had to go to Moscow and Kyiv, as you know.

It was a visit of solidarity, especially with the victims of terrorism, in the holy month of Ramadan. The fact that I came to Borno State is symbolic of our priority to the world to fight terrorism and to create solutions for the victims of terrorism.

Now, the Borno State I have heard about in many circumstances around my life as High Commissioner for Refugees and then as Secretary-General was a Borno State of terrorism, of violence, of displacement, of despair.

04 May 2022, Abuja

Secretary-General's remarks at Wreath-Laying Ceremony at UN House in Abuja, Nigeria

Dear Colleagues, Ladies and Gentlemen, honoured guests and family members.

August 26, 2011 is a date that is burned into the collective memory of our UN family.

On that tragic day, an appalling terrorist attack on UN House left 23 UN employees and civilians dead, and more than 60 injured.

Those staff members who lost their lives were unsung heroes who proudly served Nigerians through our organization’s work.

Clerks, receptionists and drivers.

A national professional officer and an associate expert.

A monitoring and evaluation specialist.

04 May 2022, Maiduguri

Secretary-General's opening remarks at press encounter with President of Muhammadu Buhari Nigeria

Thank you very much Mr. President for your warm and generous welcome.

I am profoundly grateful to the government of Nigeria and to all those who helped make this visit possible at the end of the period linked to the Eid, and for allowing me to share in this special time.

This is a visit of solidarity with all Nigerians, but particularly with the victims of terrorism that I yesterday met in Borno.

I had also hoped that it would be part of my annual solidarity visit for Ramadan in which I would join the fast.

01 December 2021, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks to the press with Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, following the AU-UN Conference

Mesdames et messieurs les journalistes,  

Permettez-moi de commencer à côté de mon très cher ami, le Président Moussa Faki. Permettez-moi de commencer en lançant un cri d’alarme. Un cri d’alarme contre l’injustice et l’immoralité dans la façon dont la communauté internationale traite l’Afrique. 

27 May 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to IKEA Foundation/Purpose/DGC Event: Convening Business Leaders for Vaccine Equity 

Thank you, Per [Heggenes]. Thank you very much.

I want to pay tribute to what has been a fantastic partnership we have had now for many years.

Thanks to you, many people saw their lives saved. Many people that were in dramatic circumstances got a solution for their plight. And we could alleviate suffering in dramatic circumstances for hundreds and thousands – I’d say thousands and thousands of people in some of the most dangerous and difficult locations in the world.

26 May 2021, UN Headquarters

António Guterres remarks to the Africa Dialogue Series

I am pleased to join you for this dialogue on Africa’s future.

I welcome your focus on cultural identity.

This builds on the African Union’s theme for this year, highlighting the importance of arts, culture and heritage in building the Africa we want.

Culture is the flower of the human being – the fruit of our minds, the product of our traditions, the expression of our yearnings.

Its diversity is wondrous, part of the rich tapestry of civilization.

19 May 2021, Security Council

Remarks to UN Security Council Open Debate on Peace and Security in Africa: "Addressing root causes of conflict while promoting post-pandemic recovery in Africa"

Thank you for the opportunity to brief the Council on the important subject of addressing the root causes of conflict while promoting post-pandemic recovery in Africa.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have warned of the risks it poses to people and societies around the world, especially in countries affected by conflict. The series of Policy Briefs I issued last year included one that focuses only on the impact of COVID-19 on Africa.
This was the backdrop to my appeal for a global ceasefire to enable us to focus on our common enemy: the virus.

06 April 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks at the Leaders' Dialogue on the Africa COVID-Climate Emergency: Delivering the Africa Adaptation Acceleration Programme 

Thank you very much. Excellencies,

I thank the African Development Bank and the Global Center for Adaption for convening us today.  

As the world confronts a pandemic, a recession and a climate crisis, the United Nations climate conference, COP26, in November, provides a compelling opportunity for Africa to turn ambition into reality.

In that context, it is clear that we need a breakthrough on adaptation – and I would like to highlight five imperatives for that to be possible: