Peace and Security

03 April 2020, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks at press briefing to update on Appeal for A Global Ceasefire following the Outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Ten days ago, I issued an appeal for an immediate ceasefire in all corners of the globe to reinforce diplomatic action, help create conditions for the delivery of lifesaving aid, and bring hope to places that are among the most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This call was rooted in a fundamental recognition:  There should be only one fight in our world today: our shared battle against COVID-19. 

We know the pandemic is having profound social, economic and political consequences, including relating to international peace and security. 

23 March 2020, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks of the Secretary-General's appeal for global ceasefire

Our world faces a common enemy: COVID-19.  

The virus does not care about nationality or ethnicity, faction or faith.  It attacks all, relentlessly. 

Meanwhile, armed conflict rages on around the world. 

The most vulnerable — women and children, people with disabilities, the marginalized and the displaced — pay the highest price.

They are also at the highest risk of suffering devastating losses from COVID-19. 

Let’s not forget that in war-ravaged countries, health systems have collapsed. 

28 February 2020, Security Council

Remarks to the Security Council on Syria

I would like to say a few words to express my deep concern with what I believe is the changing nature of the conflict in Idlib.
 
The Council is well aware of the dramatic humanitarian situation in the region, namely, following the most recent offensive.
 
But beyond the dramatic humanitarian situation, I think it's important to acknowledge that the conflict has changed in its nature. And we have witnessed a very meaningful escalation in the last few days.
 

28 February 2020, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks to the press on Syria and COVID-19

In recent days I have warned repeatedly about the risk of a serious escalation of the hostilities in northwest Syria.
 
I fear that with the events of the past 24 hours, we have reached that point.
 
This is one of the most alarming moments across the duration of the Syrian conflict.
 
Without urgent action, the risk of even greater escalation grows by the hour.
 
And as always, civilians are paying the gravest price.
 
Nearly 1 million people have fled their homes in the past three months.
 

21 February 2020, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the press on the situation in Syria

We are all aware of the unfolding crisis in northwest Syria and the terrible human toll on civilians.  
 
Nearly 900,000 people – the vast majority women and children – have fled in the latest fighting under the most tragic circumstances.  Hundreds have been killed.  Many have been uprooted multiple times.  Young children are freezing to death.
 
The fighting is now advancing into areas with the highest concentrations of people – including the displaced – and threatening to strangle humanitarian lifelines.  
 

17 February 2020, Islamabad

Remarks at the Centre for International Peace and Stability on "Future Challenges to Global Peace: The Role of the United Nations vis-a-vis A4P

Rector,
Dear Members of the Faculty,
Dear students,
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
I would like to ask you to join me in paying tribute to the heroic 157 Pakistani peacekeepers that sacrificed their lives to protect the lives of some of the most vulnerable populations in the world. So, I would ask you please to join me in a moment of silence.
 
Thank you. I am very proud to be a colleague of theirs.
 

17 February 2020, Islamabad

Opening remarks at joint press briefing with the Foreign Minister of Pakistan and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees

I’ll have a very brief message. First to express my deep gratitude and appreciation for the generosity and hospitality of the Pakistanis, for having received for 40 years millions of Afghan refugees.

12 February 2020, Security Council

Remarks to Security Council Briefing on Children in Armed Conflict: Introducing Practical Guidance on the Integration of Child Protection Issues in Peace Processes

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

11 February 2020, Security Council

Introductory remarks at Security Council open briefing on the Middle East

Excellences, 
Monsieur le Ministre Philippe Goffin, Président du Conseil de sécurité,
 
Excellencies,
 
Let me start by welcoming His Excellency President Mahmoud Abbas of the State of Palestine and the members of his delegation.
 
I address you today with a deep sense of concern as we witness growing tensions and instability around the globe, particularly in the Middle East.