Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development Goals

13 July 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the opening of the Ministerial Segment of the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 

One year ago, we came together at this Forum amidst immense uncertainty in our world.
The COVID-19 crisis had already taken over 200,000 lives and left the global economy in freefall.

Since then, the pandemic has taken 4 million lives and devastated the global economy.

It continues to inflict profound suffering, especially on the most vulnerable people.

While some countries plan for recovery, the pandemic is gathering pace in others.

09 July 2021, Venice

Remarks to Third G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors

We are now in the second year of a global pandemic that has killed four million people. Extreme climate events regularly devastate vulnerable communities.

You have come together to determine the course of some of the most pressing issues we face: access to vaccines; extending an economic lifeline to the developing world; and more and better public finance for ambitious climate action.

A global vaccine gap threatens us all because as the virus mutates, it could become even more transmissible, or even more deadly.

25 June 2021, Brussels

Remarks to the Fifth UN Special Thematic Session on Water and Disasters 


Your Majesty, Emperor Naruhito, 
Distinguished delegates, 

It is a great pleasure to join this Special Session. I thank the Member States, the High-level Experts and Leaders Panel on Water and Disasters, and the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies of Japan for organizing it.   

24 June 2021, Brussels

Remarks at the Plenary Session of the European Parliament

[Trilingual as delivered]

Dear President Sassoli,  
Distinguished Members of the European Parliament,  
Ladies and gentlemen, 

It is a pleasure to finally be back in Brussels. 

Having myself been a member of the Portuguese Assembly for 17 years, I am particularly honoured to address the European Parliament.   

We live at a time when the strategic partnership between the European Union and the United Nations is more indispensable than ever.  

And on behalf of the United Nations, let me begin with two words:  

24 June 2021, Brussels

Opening remarks at press encounter with Charles Michel, President of the European Council

Secretary-General: Thank you very much for your warm welcome. I think we must be humble when we face such a huge number of existential threats and recognize the fragility of our societies and our planet. Fragility in relation to the pandemic, in relation to climate; Fragility in relation to lawlessness in the cyberspace, in relation to growing inequalities and the lack of trust in many of our societies; Fragility also because of geopolitical divides; Fragility even because of the risks in relation to the proliferation of nuclear weapons that are there again on the table. 

23 June 2021, Brussels

Remarks at Press Encounter with Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission

Thank you very much. It's a great pleasure to be back.

The European Union and in particular, the Commission, has been a very strong supporter of the UN in all the dimensions of our work. And so, this is the moment to express my deep gratitude and appreciation.

18 June 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to Joint Thematic Event of the General Assembly and ECOSOC on Least Developed Countries: Diversifying the Financing Toolbox to Enhance Investment in Least Developed Countries


Today’s event addresses one of the most important issues facing the Least Developed Countries, at a critical time.

As the pandemic continues to rage in many developing countries, and more deadly and contagious variants of the virus continue to emerge, the impact on the economies of the LDCs has been devastating.

The effects of COVID-19 are expected to lead to a significant decline in government and export revenues in most LDCs, both in absolute terms and as a share of Gross Domestic Product.

11 June 2021, London

Opening remarks at virtual press conference at the G7 Summit, UK

Well, thank you very much. Ladies and gentlemen of the media, it’s an enormous pleasure to be with all of you today. I want, first of all, to thank Prime Minister Boris Johnson for his kind invitation. It's for me a pleasure to join several of the sessions, the working sessions, of the G7. 

And there are two issues of enormous interest for me and for the work I do as Secretary-General of United Nations. One is related to vaccination and the way to defeat COVID-19. And the second is climate change and climate action to defeat climate change.  

07 June 2021, UN Headquarters

Briefing to Member States on the Resident Coordinator System Review Report

Over the past four years, we have worked together to reposition sustainable development at the heart of the United Nations.

We have made concrete, far-reaching and lasting changes, not least the establishment of a reinvigorated Resident Coordinator System.

Today, in line with General Assembly resolution 72/279, I will present the findings of my review of that system, including its funding arrangements.

In short, we have made enormous progress.

Resident Coordinators and their teams are delivering improved leadership, coordination and convening.

08 June 2021, UN Headquarters

Closing remarks to Insurance Development Forum

I am pleased to close this year’s Insurance Development Forum, which provides industry and development actors a platform to promote the transformation we need for a sustainable future for all on a healthy planet.

We are in a race against time to adapt to a rapidly changing climate.

Today, we are at 1.2 degrees of warming and already witnessing unprecedented climate extremes and volatility on every continent.

We face three imperatives in addressing the climate crisis:

First, we need to achieve global carbon neutrality within the next three decades.