UN & business, Global Compact

25 October 2021, General Assembly

Remarks at informal Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly on Our Common Agenda


I am pleased to join you for this discussion on Our Common Agenda, building on the 12 commitments that you made in the UN75 declaration.

I have now had the opportunity to address you twice: to launch the report, and during the high-level week of the General Assembly.

I have also heard your preliminary reactions and those of your heads of State and government.


04 October 2021, Bridgetown

Opening remarks at UNCTAD15 joint press conference with Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley of Barbados and Rebeca Grynspan of UNCTAD

Dear members of the press, thank you very much for your presence.   
I want to first of all thank Prime Minister Mottley and all Barbadians for your warm “Bajan” welcome — and for so graciously hosting this year’s UNCTAD.  
This country’s journey has been a remarkable one.  
Overcoming colonialism and achieving independence. 
Forging a modern and increasingly diverse economy.  

04 October 2021, Bridgetown

Remarks at the UNCTAD 15 opening ceremony

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

I want to thank Prime Minister Mottley and all Barbadians for so warmly welcoming us and in particular, I will never forget, the wonderful day that Prime Minister Mottley gave me yesterday, showing me the enormous effort that her government is making in order to make sure that Barbados is able to defeat COVID, to defeat climate change, and to defeat inequality in the world. 
And I also would like to thank everyone who is part of the UN Conference on Trade and Development.

15 September 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the United Nations Global Compact Board 

Distinguished board members and colleagues,

I am pleased to join you today.

To our new Vice Chair, Solange Ribeiro, welcome. Your wealth of experience in the energy sector and long-standing commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals will be a tremendous asset to this Board and our common mission.  And, of course, to Sanda Ojiambo thank you for your leadership – and thank you for defining and moving forward the Global Compact’s new strategy to raise business ambition and scale up action on the 2030 Agenda and the Paris climate agreement.

15 June 2021, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks to UN Global Compact Leaders Summit

Dear friends,
I am pleased to greet the 2021 United Nations Global Compact Leaders Summit.
This is a unique opportunity for business leaders and their partners in government, civil society and here at the United Nations to engage in a crucial global conversation at a crucial time.
The impressive agenda focuses on how all of us can work together to build more inclusive economies and societies.

28 January 2021, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks to the press following briefing to member states priorities for 2021

Good morning, good afternoon and good evening. I wish you all a happy and healthy start to the year.

My message today for 2021 is a message of hope and determination.

Hope, as I believe it is possible to change gear and put the world on the right track.

Determination, as we must all do everything we can to make it happen.

We have just lived through the most difficult year of my lifetime.

Our world was rocked on its axis in 2020.

12 October 2020, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the Fifth Committee: Introduction of the Proposed Programme Budget for 2021

I welcome this opportunity to introduce the proposed programme budget for 2021.
We meet under extraordinary circumstances. Covid-19 has put the lives of billions of people around the globe in turmoil, inflicting grave suffering and destabilizing the global economy.
The United Nations continues to provide wide-ranging health interventions, advocate for a massive rescue package for the world’s most vulnerable people and countries, and is committed to accelerate work on a vaccine.

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.

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.

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.