Peace and Security

08 April 2021, Security Council

Remarks at Security Council Open Debate on Mine Action

Mr. President,

Let me first congratulate His Excellency Foreign Minister Bui Son on his appointment and welcome him to the United Nations.

I thank Viet Nam for putting this important issue on the agenda and reminding us of the work left to do.

Landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices maim and kill indiscriminately.

They are left in the path of women walking to work, a family displaced by conflict and seeking safety, children on their way to school.

They crush lives and end livelihoods.

30 March 2021, General Assembly

Remarks to the General Assembly on the situation in Syria

Throughout March, the world has marked a decade since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, which started with the violent suppression of peaceful demonstrations demanding justice, freedom and dignity. We honor the victims of the war and all those who persevere in the search for peace.

I welcome this opportunity to brief the Member States on the situation in Syria, in particular the political, humanitarian and human rights situation and the efforts of the United Nations to give the Syrian people hope for the future.


11 March 2021, Security Council

Briefing to the Security Council on Conflict and Food Security

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

Madam President, Excellencies,

Thank you for this opportunity to brief you on the links between conflict and hunger – an urgent and important issue.

Today I have one simple message: if you don’t feed people, you feed conflict.

Conflict drives hunger and famine; and hunger and famine drive conflict.

When a country or region is gripped by conflict and hunger, they become mutually reinforcing. They cannot be resolved separately.

10 March 2021, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks at press encounter on the 10th anniversary of the Syrian conflict

Ten years ago, the violent suppression of peaceful popular demonstrations in Syria set the country on the path to a horrific war.

After a decade of conflict, in the middle of a global pandemic, and faced with a steady stream of new crises, Syria has fallen off the front page.

And yet the situation remains a living nightmare.

22 February 2021, UN Headquarters

Message to the Opening of the 46th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council 

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

Distinguished President of the Human Rights Council,
Madam High Commissioner,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Human rights are our bloodline; they connect us to one another, as equals.

Human rights are our lifeline; they are the pathway to resolving tensions and forging lasting peace.

Human rights are on the frontline; they are the building blocks of a world of dignity and opportunity for all – and they are under fire every day.

19 February 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks at Munich Security Conference Segment on "Priorities for Global Action"

[English as delivered version; scroll down for French version]

Thank you very much. It is a great pleasure to be back in Munich, even if virtually.

Dear friends,

Our global tests and challenges are getting bigger and more complex.

Yet our responses remain fragmented and insufficient.  

COVID-19 has x-rayed the world, exposing deep fissures and fragilities.

Those vulnerabilities go well beyond pandemics and public health.  

Climate catastrophe is looming.

05 February 2021, UN Headquarters

Opening press remarks on selection of Libyan Political Dialogue Forum of unified temporary executive authority

Ladies and Gentlemen of the press, good afternoon.
Today we have very good news in our search for peace. I welcome the selection by members of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) of a unified temporary executive authority.
I call on all members of the dialogue and the Libyan and international stakeholders to respect the results of the vote.

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.

28 January 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to Member States on Priorities for 2021

Secretary-General António Guterres briefs the General Assembly on his priorities for 2021 and also a report on the work of the Organization. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

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

President of the General Assembly,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

2020 was a global annus horribilis – a year of death, disaster and despair.

The COVID-19 pandemic unleashed havoc in every country and every economy.

We lost 2 million lives, including many dear members of our UN family.

The human toll continues to multiply.

The economic costs continue to mount.

500 million jobs -- gone.

26 January 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the High-Level Replenishment Conference for the Peacebuilding Fund 

Thank you for joining us today.

I am happy to co-chair this Replenishment Conference for the Peacebuilding Fund.

The scale of turmoil around the world requires concerted efforts to ease tensions and prevent further escalation.

The unprecedented challenge of COVID-19 has further exacerbated situations that were deteriorating even before the pandemic.

I have, as you know, appealed for a global ceasefire to focus on our common enemy, the pandemic.

We need a renewed approach to multilateralism and international cooperation.