Peace and Security

26 January 2022, Security Council

Secretary-General's remarks to the Security Council on Afghanistan

Mr. President, Excellencies,

Six months after the takeover by the Taliban, Afghanistan is hanging by a thread.

For Afghans, daily life has become a frozen hell.

They’re in the grips of another brutal winter of blistering wind, cold and snow.  

Families huddle in makeshift tents under plastic sheets – even burning their possessions to keep warm.

Clinics are overcrowded – and under-resourced.

Ambulances and hospital power generators are running dry because of skyrocketing fuel prices.

25 January 2022, Security Council

Remarks to the Security Council Open Debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict

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

Mr. President, Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre,

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, 
 
I thank Norway and Prime Minister for convening this open debate. I am pleased that Mr. Peter Maurer, the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, has been able to join us.
 
Today more than 50 million people are affected by conflict in urban areas. They face a number of distinct dangers.  

09 December 2021, Security Council

Remarks at Security Council debate on Security in the Context of Terrorism and Climate Change

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

Let me begin by strongly condemning the cowardly attacks on Sunday against the G5 Sahel forces in Niger and again yesterday against the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, in which seven Togolese peacekeepers lost their lives. An Egyptian peacekeeper also died after being injured in an attack in Mali last month.

I extend my deepest condolences to the families of the victims of these and many other attacks that have taken the lives of so many innocent people.

01 December 2021, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks to the press with Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission, following the AU-UN Conference

Mesdames et messieurs les journalistes,  

Permettez-moi de commencer à côté de mon très cher ami, le Président Moussa Faki. Permettez-moi de commencer en lançant un cri d’alarme. Un cri d’alarme contre l’injustice et l’immoralité dans la façon dont la communauté internationale traite l’Afrique. 

29 November 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks at the Second Session of the Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction 

I wish to start by extending my warm congratulations to Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi for his election as the President of the second session of the Conference on the Establishment of a Middle East Zone Free of Nuclear Weapons and Other Weapons of Mass Destruction.

It is a pleasure to join you today in continuing this important process.

Since 1967, five nuclear-weapon-free zones have been established around the world.

They include 60 percent of the United Nations Member States and cover almost all of the Southern Hemisphere.

16 November 2021, Security Council

Remarks to the Security Council - on the Maintenance of International Peace and Security Through Preventive Diplomacy

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

Mr. President, Excellencies,  

Thank you for shining a light on the importance of preventive diplomacy.  

Prevention does not always get the attention it deserves.  

Perhaps because it is difficult to measure the results of a conflict averted, a war forestalled, or the suffering of thousands of people avoided altogether.  

But prevention is absolutely vital to lasting peace.  

09 November 2021, Security Council

Remarks to the Security Council - on the Maintenance of International Peace and Security

[All-english version; scroll down for trilingual as delivered version]

Mr. President, Excellencies.

I thank the Government of Mexico for convening this debate on a topic at the heart of so many challenges facing this Council.

For the poorest and most vulnerable people, the COVID-19 pandemic has amplified misery and inequalities.

Around 120 million more people have been pushed into poverty.

Hunger and famines are stalking millions of people around the world.

We face the deepest global recession since World War 2.

22 October 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks at the Meeting of the Peacebuilding Commission: “Our Common Agenda and the New Agenda for Peace”

You all have heard my warnings; and many of you share my sense of urgency.

The climate crisis is looming, the pandemic is upending our world, and conflicts continue to rage and worsen. 

The world is experiencing its biggest shared test since the Second World War, and I believe we are at a turning point.

The choices we make — or fail to make today - could result, as I have been saying, in further breakdown and a future of perpetual crises, or a breakthrough to a better, more sustainable, peaceful future for people and for the planet.

21 October 2021, Security Council

Remarks at the Security Council Open Debate on Women, Peace and Security

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

Madam President, excellencies, ladies and gentlemen. 

Madam President, we just came from the exhibition you mentioned and, indeed, we were seeing true women heroes and I think their struggle, their commitment, their courage, is an inspiration for us all and I would say that nothing could start better our debate than the testimony of this group of women heroes.

12 October 2021, Security Council

Remarks to the Security Council Ministerial Open Debate: "Peacebuilding and Sustainable Peace: Diversity, Statebuilding and the Search for Peace"

[Bilingual, as delivered]

My thanks to the government of Kenya for convening today’s debate on the important issue of diversity, statebuilding and peace.  

Your theme captures a crucial but often overlooked idea.  

That peace is not found in a piece of paper.

It is found in people.

More specifically, a diversity of people from different backgrounds coming together to chart a common course for a country.

Parties to conflict can agree to end hostilities.