Peace and Security

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.

21 September 2021, General Assembly

Secretary-General’s address to the 76th Session of the UN General Assembly

Secretary-General António Guterres addresses the opening of the general debate of the General Assembly’s seventy-sixth session. UN Photo/Cia Pak

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

Mr. President of the General Assembly, Excellencies,

I am here to sound the alarm:  The world must wake up.

We are on the edge of an abyss — and moving in the wrong direction.

Our world has never been more threatened.

Or more divided.

We face the greatest cascade of crises in our lifetimes. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has supersized glaring inequalities. 

The climate crisis is pummeling the planet.

26 August 2021, Security Council

Remarks to the Security Council 

Mr. President,

Thank you for convening this meeting on the situation in Ethiopia —  a matter that is increasingly preoccupying the African continent and the wider international community.

A military confrontation, which started some ten months ago in the northern region of Tigray, is spreading. 

And the level of human suffering is growing — with serious political, economic and humanitarian implications for Ethiopia and the broader region.

All parties must recognize a simple truth:  there is no military solution. 

19 August 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks at Wreath-Laying Ceremony for the Observance of the 18th anniversary of the bombing of the UN Headquarters in Baghdad

Dear colleagues,

This memorial reminds us why August the 19th was chosen as World Humanitarian Day.

On this date 18 years ago, the world lost 22 humanitarian heroes in a bomb attack on the Canal Hotel in Baghdad.

These women and men were killed carrying out the noblest of all human missions — the mission of peace.

The mission of supporting innocent lives trapped by the violence, turmoil and instability of violent conflicts.

Humanitarian work is dangerous — with a tenfold increase in aid workers being shot, kidnapped or attacked over the last 20 years.

19 August 2021, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks at press encounter on Ethiopia, Haiti and Afghanistan

Good afternoon. 

18 August 2021, Security Council

Remarks at Security Council High-Level Open Debate on United Nations Peacekeeping Operations: Technology and Peacekeeping

I thank the Government of India for convening today’s Open Debate on Technology and Peacekeeping.

Over recent decades, conflicts have become more intractable and protracted.

Actors have multiplied and diversified.

Tools of warfare are increasingly sophisticated.

And the growing internationalization of civil wars has made their resolution even more complex.

18 August 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks at Solemn Ceremony ahead of the Security Council High-level Open Debate on United Nations Peacekeeping Operations: Technology and Peacekeeping 

I thank the Government of India for bringing us together at the Peacekeeping Memorial today to honour the service and sacrifice of our peacekeepers.  
More than one million men and women have served under the blue flag of the United Nations since 1948. 
More than 4,000 peacekeepers have lost their lives in the line of duty.  
Among them are 174 Indian peacekeepers, the highest number of all the troop-contributing countries.  
We are forever grateful for their service. 

13 August 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the press on Afghanistan

Secretary-General António Guterres removes his mask before briefing reporters on the situation in Afghanistan. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

I have just returned to New York and would like to speak to you about the grave situation in Afghanistan.
Even [for] a country that has tragically known generations of conflict, Afghanistan is in the throes of yet another chaotic and desperate chapter – an incredible tragedy for its long-suffering people.
Afghanistan is spinning out of control.
In the last month alone, more than 1,000 people have been killed or injured from indiscriminate attacks against civilians, notably in Helmand, Kandahar and Herat provinces.