Peace and Security

16 May 2021, Security Council

Remarks to the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East 

I thank the Chinese presidency for organizing this open meeting.

We meet today amid the most serious escalation in Gaza and Israel in years.

The current hostilities are utterly appalling.  This latest round of violence only perpetuates the cycles of death, destruction and despair, and pushes farther to the horizon any hopes of coexistence and peace.

Fighting must stop.  It must stop immediately.  Rockets and mortars on one side and aerial and artillery bombardments on the other must stop.  I appeal to all parties to heed this call.

14 May 2021, Moscow

Opening remarks at press encounter with Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov of the Russian Federation

Spasibo Bolshoi.

I would like to thank Foreign Minister Lavrov for his invitation to visit Moscow, and for the warm hospitality extended to me and my delegation during our stay.

This visit takes place a few days after Victory Day, and I want to take profit of this occasion to express my deep congratulations to the Government and the people of the Russian Federation.

06 May 2021, General Assembly

Remarks at the Annual Memorial Service to honour United Nations Personnel who lost their lives in the line of duty in 2020

Dear Colleagues and family members,

We gather to remember and honour United Nations personnel who lost their lives in the line of duty over the course of last year. 

While we unfortunately cannot yet gather in person, this solemn ceremony powerfully reflects how those bonds transcend physical distance. 

We may not be in the same room, but we are together -- with unity in purpose and solidarity in sorrow. 

The year 2020 was like no other in the history of the United Nations. 

29 April 2021, Geneva

Opening remarks at press conference following the informal 5+1 meeting on Cyprus

Ladies and gentlemen of the media, thank you very much for your presence.  At the moment in which we conclude the 5+1 talks on Cyprus here in Geneva, I want to express my deep gratitude and the gratitude of all participants to the Swiss authorities for all the facilities that they have provided to guarantee the smooth development of our work in the difficult times we are living in with COVID. 

19 April 2021, Security Council

Remarks to the Security Council - on enhancing cooperation between the United Nations and Regional and Subregional Organizations in enhancing confidence building and dialogue in conflict prevention and resolution

I would like to thank the Vietnamese Presidency for organizing this open debate and for the opportunity to brief the Security Council on what has been a key priority since taking office: cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations.

This cooperation has grown exponentially since 1945.

08 April 2021, Security Council

Remarks at Security Council Open Debate on Mine Action

Mr. President,

Let me first congratulate His Excellency Foreign Minister Bui Son on his appointment and welcome him to the United Nations.

I thank Viet Nam for putting this important issue on the agenda and reminding us of the work left to do.

Landmines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices maim and kill indiscriminately.

They are left in the path of women walking to work, a family displaced by conflict and seeking safety, children on their way to school.

They crush lives and end livelihoods.

30 March 2021, General Assembly

Remarks to the General Assembly on the situation in Syria

Throughout March, the world has marked a decade since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, which started with the violent suppression of peaceful demonstrations demanding justice, freedom and dignity. We honor the victims of the war and all those who persevere in the search for peace.

I welcome this opportunity to brief the Member States on the situation in Syria, in particular the political, humanitarian and human rights situation and the efforts of the United Nations to give the Syrian people hope for the future.


11 March 2021, Security Council

Briefing to the Security Council on Conflict and Food Security

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

Madam President, Excellencies,

Thank you for this opportunity to brief you on the links between conflict and hunger – an urgent and important issue.

Today I have one simple message: if you don’t feed people, you feed conflict.

Conflict drives hunger and famine; and hunger and famine drive conflict.

When a country or region is gripped by conflict and hunger, they become mutually reinforcing. They cannot be resolved separately.

10 March 2021, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks at press encounter on the 10th anniversary of the Syrian conflict

Ten years ago, the violent suppression of peaceful popular demonstrations in Syria set the country on the path to a horrific war.

After a decade of conflict, in the middle of a global pandemic, and faced with a steady stream of new crises, Syria has fallen off the front page.

And yet the situation remains a living nightmare.