Peace and Security

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.

11 October 2021, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks to the press on Afghanistan

Thank you very much for your presence.

Exactly four weeks after the humanitarian conference in Geneva, the humanitarian crisis is growing in Afghanistan — and so is the United Nations response to deliver for the Afghan people. 

The crisis is affecting at least 18 million people — half of the country’s population. 

Despite financial shortfalls, logistical challenges, and an increasingly complex geo-political situation, we are undertaking a massive humanitarian operation in the country.

06 October 2021, Security Council

Remarks to the Security Council on Ethiopia

Mr. President, excellencies, 

I welcome this opportunity to brief you concerning the situation in Ethiopia.

In August, I warned the Council that a humanitarian catastrophe was unfolding before our eyes in Ethiopia. Since then, the crisis has worsened. 

Up to 7 million people in Tigray, Amhara and Afar are now in need of food assistance and other emergency support. This includes more than 5 million people in Tigray where an estimated 400,000 are living in famine-like conditions.

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.