Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development Goals

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.


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.

14 October 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the Second Global Sustainable Transport Conference 

Welcome to the Second United Nations Global Sustainable Transport Conference.

I express my profound gratitude to President Xi and the Government of the People’s Republic of China for their generosity in hosting this Conference.

We are meeting in Beijing – and globally - five years after the first Global Sustainable Transport Conference was held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

Since that time, and especially over the last eighteen months, the critical role of transport in growth, sustainable development and securing the health of our planet has only become clearer.

22 September 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to US-hosted Global COVID-19 Summit "Ending the pandemic and building back better health security to prepare for the next" 

President Biden, Excellencies,

I want to thank President Biden for this important initiative to help mobilise the international community to boost our joint efforts to vaccinate everybody everywhere and to thank him for the announcements he made today.

Global health security until now has failed, to the tune of 4.5 million lives, and counting.

We have effective vaccines against COVID-19. We can end the pandemic.

And that is why I have been appealing for a global vaccination plan and I hope this summit is a step in that direction.

28 September 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to High-Level Meeting on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond: Jobs and Social Protection for Poverty Eradication

[Bilingual, as delivered]

Almost two years into the COVID-19 crisis, a huge divergence in the recovery is undermining global trust and solidarity.

The pandemic has not only confirmed but deepened existing inequalities.

In developed countries, access to vaccines has allowed economies to reopen, while stimulus payments and investments herald projected growth of 5 or 6 percent this year.

In sub-Saharan Africa, that figure is just about 2.5 percent.

23 September 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks at virtual meeting with Pacific Islands Forum Leaders

Dear Prime Minister,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you for the opportunity to once again address the Pacific Islands Forum.

Your nations are confronting a dual crisis of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both threaten Pacific lives and livelihoods.

If we follow the current path, the consequences of climate disruption for the prosperity, the well-being and the very survival of Pacific communities will be severe.

I witnessed the impacts first-hand during my visit two years ago.

24 September 2021, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks to High-level Dialogue on Energy

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

Excellencies, Friends,

Welcome to the High-Level Dialogue on Energy.

This event is long overdue.

It has been 40 years since we last discussed energy at the highest level.

Today, we face a moment of truth.

Close to 760 million people still lack access to electricity.

Some 2.6 billion people lack access to clean cooking solutions.

And how we produce and use energy is the main cause of the climate crisis.

23 September 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks at the Food Systems Summit

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

Excellencies, distinguished participants, honoured guests,

Food is life.

But in countries, communities and households in every corner of the world, this essential need – this human right – is going unfulfilled.

Every day, hundreds of millions of people go to bed hungry.

Children are starving.

Three billion people cannot afford a healthy diet.

Two billion are overweight or obese.

462 million are underweight.

10 September 2021, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks at press conference prior to opening of the 76th session of the General Assembly

[On the death of President Jorge Sampaio] … He was a former President of Portugal. He has worked for the United Nations, and if you allow me to say a few words in Portuguese, I would be very grateful.

10 September 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the General Assembly presenting “Our Common Agenda” 

[All English version; scroll further down for all French and bilingual as delivered versions] 

Mr. President of the General Assembly, Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

On almost every front, our world is under enormous stress.

We are not at ease with each other, or our planet.

Covid-19 is a wake-up call – and we are oversleeping.

The pandemic has demonstrated our collective failure to come together and make joint decisions for the common good, even in the face of an immediate, life-threatening global emergency.