Peace and Security

24 June 2020, Security Council

Virtual briefing to the Security Council on the Situation in the Middle East, including the Question of Palestine

I address you today with a deep sense of concern over the evolving situation in Israel and Palestine.

We are at a watershed moment.

Israel’s threat to annex parts of the occupied West Bank has alarmed Palestinians, many Israelis and the broader international community.

If implemented, annexation would constitute a most serious violation of international law, grievously harm the prospect of a two-State solution and undercut the possibilities of a renewal of negotiations.

I call on the Israeli Government to abandon its annexation plans.

11 June 2020, Security Council

Statement at the Security Council briefing on Mali

[Scroll down for French version]

29 May 2020, UN Headquarters

Remarks at the Gender Advocate Award and Dag Hammarskjöld Medal Ceremony

[English version; scroll down for French version]

Allow me to ask before I start for us all to have a minute of silence in memory of all those peacekeepers that have lost their lives protecting the lives of the people we care for.

Today, we mark the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers, in a context that is entirely unique in our history.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed almost everything we do – both here at Headquarters and everywhere in the field.

27 May 2020, Security Council

Remarks to the Security Council open debate on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict

I thank the Government of Estonia for convening this debate on the protection of civilians in armed conflict.
Protecting civilians must be a joint effort by Governments, civil society and international organizations. I look forward to hearing the views of Her Excellency Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Mr. Peter Maurer, the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

20 May 2020, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the Africa Dialogue Series on COVID-19 and Silencing the Guns in Africa: Challenges and Opportunities

[English version; scroll down for bilingual as delivered and French versions]

I am pleased to be able to join you in this time of unprecedented crisis to discuss the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on peace and security in Africa.

The pandemic has exposed the fragility of our societies.

It is a global problem that demands a coordinated global response built on unity and solidarity.

As COVID-19 spreads across Africa, its governments have responded swiftly.

As of now, reported cases are lower than feared. 

27 April 2020, Security Council

Remarks to virtual Security Council meeting on the Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Youth, Peace and Security

 I welcome this opportunity to present my first report on youth, peace and security. 
Since this report was issued, our world has been shaken by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Young people are feeling the impact acutely, from lost jobs to family stress, mental health and other hardships. 

Over 1.54 billion children and youth are out-of-school.  

Young refugees, displaced persons and others caught up in conflict or disaster now face even more vulnerability.  

09 April 2020, Security Council

Remarks to the Security Council on the COVID-19 Pandemic

Mr. President,
Thank you for convening this important discussion.
The world faces its gravest test since the founding of this Organization.  
Every country is now grappling with or poised to suffer the devastating consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic: the tens of thousands of lost lives; the broken families; the overwhelmed hospitals; the overworked essential workers.

03 April 2020, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks at press briefing to update on Appeal for A Global Ceasefire following the Outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Ten days ago, I issued an appeal for an immediate ceasefire in all corners of the globe to reinforce diplomatic action, help create conditions for the delivery of lifesaving aid, and bring hope to places that are among the most vulnerable to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This call was rooted in a fundamental recognition:  There should be only one fight in our world today: our shared battle against COVID-19. 

We know the pandemic is having profound social, economic and political consequences, including relating to international peace and security. 

23 March 2020, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks of the Secretary-General's appeal for global ceasefire

Our world faces a common enemy: COVID-19.  

The virus does not care about nationality or ethnicity, faction or faith.  It attacks all, relentlessly. 

Meanwhile, armed conflict rages on around the world. 

The most vulnerable — women and children, people with disabilities, the marginalized and the displaced — pay the highest price.

They are also at the highest risk of suffering devastating losses from COVID-19. 

Let’s not forget that in war-ravaged countries, health systems have collapsed. 

28 February 2020, Security Council

Remarks to the Security Council on Syria

I would like to say a few words to express my deep concern with what I believe is the changing nature of the conflict in Idlib.
The Council is well aware of the dramatic humanitarian situation in the region, namely, following the most recent offensive.
But beyond the dramatic humanitarian situation, I think it's important to acknowledge that the conflict has changed in its nature. And we have witnessed a very meaningful escalation in the last few days.