Peace and Security

22 February 2022, UN Headquarters

Secretary-General's opening remarks at press encounter on Ukraine

Secretary-General António Guterres briefs journalists on the current situation in Ukraine.  UN Photo/Mark Garten

As you know, I have cut short an overseas visit – including a very important summit of African leaders – to rush back to UN headquarters.    

Our world is facing the biggest global peace and security crisis in recent years – certainly in my tenure as Secretary-General.  

We face a moment that I sincerely hoped would not come.   

I am deeply troubled by the latest developments regarding Ukraine -- including reports of increased ceasefire violations across the contact line and the real risk of further escalation on the ground.  

18 February 2022, Munich

Remarks to the Munich Security Conference Opening Segment

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,

It is a pleasure to be back in Munich for the first time in three years.

Unfortunately, the world has grown even more complex and dangerous during that time.

I see five major reasons.

First, geopolitical divides have continued to grow and deepen.

These divides often paralyse the Security Council and create an environment of impunity in which state and non-state actors believe they can do whatever they want.

16 February 2022, Security Council

Remarks to the Security Council Open Debate on Cooperation between the United Nations and the Collective Security Treaty Organization

[Bilingual, as delivered]

Mr. President,
Secretary-General Zas,

I welcome this opportunity to address the Security Council on the cooperation between the United Nations and the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

My thanks to the Russian Presidency for organizing this open debate.

Cooperation with regional organizations is in the core of UN activities and enshrined in the United Nations Charter.

14 February 2022, UN Headquarters

Secretary-General's remarks to the press on Ukraine

Good afternoon. 

I am deeply worried by the heightened tensions and increased speculation about a potential military conflict in Europe. 

The price in human suffering, destruction and damage to European and global security is too high to contemplate.

We simply cannot accept even the possibility of such a disastrous confrontation.

I will remain fully engaged in the hours and days to come.

I just spoke this morning with the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation and of Ukraine.

08 February 2022, UN Headquarters

Remarks at the opening of the 2022 Session of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory -- including East Jerusalem -- continues to pose a significant challenge to international peace and security. 

The promise of the independence of the Palestinian state remains unfulfilled. 

Political, economic and security conditions across the Occupied Palestinian Territory are deteriorating as Palestinians experience high levels of dispossession, violence and insecurity.

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.