Peace and Security

08 October 2021, UN Headquarters

Statement on 2021 Nobel Peace Prize

I congratulate Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov on being awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize.  Throughout the world, a free press is essential for peace, justice, sustainable development and human rights — and the cornerstone for building fair and impartial institutions.  No society can be free and fair without journalists who are able to investigate wrongdoing, bring information to citizens, hold leaders accountable and speak truth to power.  

Yet anti-media rhetoric — and attacks against media workers — continue to rise.  

30 September 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks at the High-Level Side Event on Sudan 

Welcome to this virtual High-Level Side Event on Sudan. I thank Foreign Minister Eriksen Søreide for co-hosting this meeting.

Two years ago, we gathered here to celebrate the adoption of Sudan’s historic Constitutional Document and to express our solidarity and support to the new transitional Government, led by Prime Minister Hamdok.

28 September 2021, General Assembly

Remarks at the Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly to Promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

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

In 1946, in the great burst of hope and activity that followed the creation of the United Nations, this Assembly reached its first resolution.

In part, the resolution called for the creation of a commission to eliminate atomic weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.

Your predecessors in this Assembly understood the fatal flaw behind the use of these weapons.

That the only inheritance for the victor would be a broken and barren world.

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.

Excellencies,

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.