Dialogue of civilizations, tolerance

10 March 2022, General Assembly

Secretary-General's remarks to the General Assembly Fifth Consultation on Our Common Agenda

[All-English; scroll down for bilingual, as delivered and all-French versions]

My thanks to the President and Vice Presidents of the General Assembly for convening these consultations; to you, the Member States, for your constructive and active engagement; and to the external stakeholders whose diverse perspectives enriched these discussions.  

We face a fraught and complex world; a five-alarm fire in which geopolitical, technological, environmental and other pressures are driving us apart, when we most urgently need to come together.

27 January 2022, UN Headquarters

Virtual remarks at United Nations Memorial Ceremony marking the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust

Excellencies, Dear friends, 

We come together – albeit virtually – to commemorate the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau.  

I am deeply grateful to the survivors who will share their testimonies today.  

Auschwitz, Sobibor, Treblinka – these names have become emblematic of the unprecedented cruelty and horror of the Holocaust.  

Were we to observe a minute of silence for each victim, that silence would last more than eleven years. 

26 October 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the Global Ministerial Conference on Addressing Hate Speech Through Education

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

President Geingob of Namibia, thank you for co-chairing this event with Director-General Azoulay.

And I would repeat our thanks to France, Portugal, Lithuania, Qatar, the European Union and the Republic of Korea for their support of this conference.

Distinguished Ministers of Education, delegates, ladies and gentlemen.

I called for this conference because the issue of hate speech cuts to the heart of the polarization and divisions plaguing our world.

22 September 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks at the Commemoration of the 20th Anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action

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

Mr. President of the General Assembly, Excellencies,

At the dawn of this century, world leaders and human rights advocates journeyed to Durban determined to banish the hatred and prejudice that disfigured previous centuries.

To make — in the words of the original Declaration — this a century of human rights and to eradicate racism in all its abhorrent forms and manifestations.

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.

18 February 2021, ECOSOC

Remarks to 2021 ECOSOC Meeting on “Reimagining Equality: Eliminating Racism, Xenophobia and Discrimination for All in the Decade of Action for the SDGs”

[Bilingual; as delivered]


Ladies and gentlemen,

Racism plagues our world.

It is abhorrent.  It is ugly.  And it is everywhere. 

We must condemn it without reservation, without hesitation, without qualification. 

Racism is the repudiation of our common humanity — of the Charter of the United Nations — of all that we are and all that we do.

We must reject racism.

But we have a long way to go.  It is a challenge and struggle for us all. 

25 January 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the Park East Synagogue and United Nations International Holocaust Remembrance Service

Rabbi Schneier,
Holocaust survivors,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,
Dear friends,

We meet today online and around the world to commemorate the 76th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, and to honour the memory of the six million Jews and millions of others who were systematically murdered in the Holocaust by the Nazis and their collaborators.

19 November 2020, UN Headquarters

remarks on Racism in the Workplace

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome to this very important discussion on racism in the workplace.

I want to thank Dr. Kanem and our distinguished panel members who bring impressive expertise to this difficult issue.

Racism is a persistent scourge of our world.

People’s opportunities for education and employment, and their access to healthcare and justice, are often determined by their race.

Much of today’s racism is deeply entrenched in centuries of colonialism and slavery.  I am Portuguese – I think I know this story very well. 

02 July 2020, UN Headquarters

Remarks at Virtual Belated Commemoration of the International Day of Vesak 2020

As the distinguished permanent representatives have said, we were originally meant to gather on May 7th, the date of this year’s Vesak Day, which marks the birth, enlightenment and passing of Lord Buddha.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced us to postpone that gathering.

So today I thank the Governments of Sri Lanka and Thailand for bringing us together, and I extend a warm welcome to all who are joining this virtual event.

In any year, this observance is sacred to millions of Buddhists around the world.

12 May 2020, UN Headquarters

Remarks at High-Level Video Conference entitled, "The Role of Religious Leaders in Addressing the Multiple Challenges of COVID-19"

Let me begin by thanking Ambassador Omar Hilale of the Kingdom of Morocco for this very timely initiative.
It is heartening to see so many religious leaders joining forces today in a spirit of solidarity.