Peace and Security

28 January 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to Member States on Priorities for 2021

Secretary-General António Guterres briefs the General Assembly on his priorities for 2021 and also a report on the work of the Organization. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

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

President of the General Assembly,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

2020 was a global annus horribilis – a year of death, disaster and despair.

The COVID-19 pandemic unleashed havoc in every country and every economy.

We lost 2 million lives, including many dear members of our UN family.

The human toll continues to multiply.

The economic costs continue to mount.

500 million jobs -- gone.

26 January 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the High-Level Replenishment Conference for the Peacebuilding Fund 

Thank you for joining us today.

I am happy to co-chair this Replenishment Conference for the Peacebuilding Fund.

The scale of turmoil around the world requires concerted efforts to ease tensions and prevent further escalation.

The unprecedented challenge of COVID-19 has further exacerbated situations that were deteriorating even before the pandemic.

I have, as you know, appealed for a global ceasefire to focus on our common enemy, the pandemic.

We need a renewed approach to multilateralism and international cooperation.

06 January 2021, Security Council

Remarks at Security Council Open Debate on “Challenges of Maintaining Peace and Security in Fragile Contexts”

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

Happy New Year!

I thank the Tunisian Presidency for organizing this debate.

Addressing the links between fragility and conflict is an essential component of international peace and security.

Fragility and conflict are among the greatest obstacles to implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the conflict landscape was deteriorating.

17 December 2020, Berling

Opening remarks at a joint press encounter with Foreign Minister Heiko Maas of Germany

Dear members of the press, it is for me an enormous pleasure to be back in Germany. Indeed because of COVID-19, I've had very few missions this year. But I really wanted to come and accept Germany's invitation of the President of the Bundestag to address the Bundestag because these are challenging times, but Germany is a reliable and generous and an exemplary party when we face these challenging times.  

04 December 2020, Security Council

Remarks at the Security Council debate on Cooperation between the United Nations and Regional and Sub-Regional Organisations: African Union

[Bilingual, as delivered]

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Mr. President,

Let me begin by congratulating you on assuming the Presidency of the Security Council for the month of December and for your leadership as Chair of the African Union. 

Je souhaite également la bienvenue à mon cher ami M. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Président de la Commission de l’Union africaine, et qui est parmi nous aujourd’hui.

01 December 2020, General Assembly

Remarks at General Assembly Solemn Meeting in Commemoration of All Victims of the Second World War

This year, we marked the 75th anniversary of the United Nations with tributes to the Organization’s achievements and calls to strengthen multilateralism to meet longstanding and new challenges.  
But our observance of this milestone would not be complete without recognition of the losses of the Second World War, which led to the formation of the United Nations itself.  

The millions who fell on the battlefield; 

The millions murdered by the Nazis in the Holocaust; 

23 November 2020, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks at High-Level Interactive Dialogue with Heads of Regional and Other Organizations

Welcome and thank you for joining this virtual meeting, which is a demonstration of our shared commitment to multilateralism and our global partnership, even in these challenging times. 

I am particularly grateful to those colleagues who are joining from time zones very different from ours.

14 November 2020, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks to the 11th UN-ASEAN Summit

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is an honour to join you for the 11th ASEAN-UN Summit, and I want to congratulate Viet Nam for its solidarity as ASEAN Chair and as member of the UN Security Council

I wish to start by expressing my deepest condolences on the loss of lives caused by the recent floods and landslides in Viet Nam. The United Nations stands with you.

As we mark the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, the international community is facing a ‘perfect storm’:

A global pandemic.

The climate emergency.

29 October 2020, Security Council

Briefing to the Security Council on Women, Peace and Security

[English version; scroll down for French version]

Thank you, Mr. President.


I thank you for this opportunity to brief you on Women, Peace and Security, twenty years after the landmark Security Council resolution 1325. 

The COVID-19 pandemic is the greatest test the international community has faced since the Second World War.

In March, I appealed for an immediate global ceasefire so that we could focus on our common enemy: the COVID-19 virus. I built on this call in my address to the General Assembly last month.

23 October 2020, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks at press encounter on Libya

Secretary-General António Guterres briefs reporters on the signing of a ceasefire agreement by the Libyan parties in Geneva under the auspices of the United Nations. UN Photo/Mark Garten

Ladies and Gentlemen of the press,

I welcome the signing of a ceasefire agreement by the Libyan parties in Geneva today under the auspices of the United Nations.

This is a fundamental step toward peace and stability in Libya.

I congratulate the parties for putting the interest of their nation ahead of their differences.

I thank my [Acting] Special Representative for Libya and Head of the United Nations Support Mission in Libya, Ms. Stephanie Williams, who accompanied the Libyan parties in this effort.

Now, too many people have suffered for too long.