Peace and Security

23 September 2021, Security Council

Remarks to the Security Council High-level Open Debate on the Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Climate and Security

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

Mr. President, Excellencies,

I thank the Irish Presidency for organizing this timely debate.

Last month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a deeply alarming report.

It shows that climate disruption caused by human activities is widespread and intensifying.

The report is indeed a code red for humanity.

Much bolder climate action is needed ahead of COP 26 – with G20 nations in the lead – to maintain international peace and security.

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.

13 September 2021, Geneva

Remarks to the High-level Ministerial Meeting on the Humanitarian Situation in Afghanistan 

Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

The people of Afghanistan need a lifeline.

After decades of war, suffering and insecurity, they face perhaps their most perilous hour.

Now is the time for the international community to stand with them.

Let us be clear: This conference is not simply about what we will give to the people of Afghanistan. It is about what we owe.


Even before the dramatic events of the last weeks, Afghans were experiencing one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world.

13 September 2021, Geneva

Opening remarks at press conference on the High-Level Ministerial Meeting on the Humanitarian Situation in Afghanistan

Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen of the media.

This conference has fully met my expectations in relation to the solidarity with the people of Afghanistan.

First of all, because of the massive level of participation, meaning that this is a matter that today mobilizes the interest not only of governments around the world, but of international organizations and civil society.

We have 156 participants, of which 96 are Member States and half of them speaking at the ministerial level.

14 September 2021, General Assembly

Remarks at the closing of the Seventy-Fifth Session of the United Nations General Assembly

[Bilingual, as delivered]

I’m pleased to join you for the closing of the 75th session of the General Assembly — a session held under the shadow of a formidable foe: the COVID-19 pandemic.

By any measure, this has been the most challenging period facing the world since the Second World War.

The pandemic has deepened inequalities.

Decimated economies at the global, national and household levels.

Plunged millions into extreme poverty.

Shattered support systems.

And unraveled decades of hard-won development progress.

17 September 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks at the Peace Bell Ceremony on the Occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the International Day of Peace

Good afternoon and thank you very much for joining us.

Today is the International Day of Peace.

It comes at a time when humanity is in crisis.

COVID-19 has claimed over four million lives and counting.

The pandemic has shattered household and national economies alike.  

Conflicts are spinning out of control.

Inequalities and poverty are growing.

We face a planetary emergency in climate change.

We struggle with mistrust in facts and science — and in one another.

18 September 2021, UN Headquarters

Statement on the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse – Putting Victims’ Rights and Dignity at the Forefront

Today marks four years since the High-level Meeting on the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, when I called on world leaders to stand with the United Nations to put an end to this scourge.

Member States and the United Nations together pledged to strengthen the Organization’s effectiveness in preventing sexual exploitation and abuse, and to put the rights and dignity of victims at the centre of our efforts.

18 September 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks at Presentation of the Artwork "World in Progress II" 

C'est un grand plaisir de me joindre à vous aujourd'hui pour l'inauguration de cette fantastique œuvre d'art. 

Je remercie sincèrement Saype et le gouvernement de la Confédération suisse pour ce cadeau unique.

“World in Progress II” is perfectly suited to our time and place.

First, it is, in all senses, a big picture.

Both its execution and its subject are monumental and ambitious.

We have to take several steps back, just to view it in its entirety. 

Then we understand that it shows two children, designing their ideal world together.

20 September 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks at the Inauguration of the Turkish House

Mr. President, Excellencies,

It is a pleasure to join you at the inauguration of the new Turkish House and to recognize the continued excellent cooperation between Turkey and the United Nations.

Turkey is engaged across the spectrum of our work, as we deal with challenges from the climate crisis to longstanding threats to peace and security.

I am personally familiar with enormous generosity of Turkey and Turkish host communities towards refugees. I offer my sincere appreciation for your support to people in need of protection.