Peace and Security

28 February 2020, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks to the press on Syria and COVID-19

In recent days I have warned repeatedly about the risk of a serious escalation of the hostilities in northwest Syria.
 
I fear that with the events of the past 24 hours, we have reached that point.
 
This is one of the most alarming moments across the duration of the Syrian conflict.
 
Without urgent action, the risk of even greater escalation grows by the hour.
 
And as always, civilians are paying the gravest price.
 
Nearly 1 million people have fled their homes in the past three months.
 

21 February 2020, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the press on the situation in Syria

We are all aware of the unfolding crisis in northwest Syria and the terrible human toll on civilians.  
 
Nearly 900,000 people – the vast majority women and children – have fled in the latest fighting under the most tragic circumstances.  Hundreds have been killed.  Many have been uprooted multiple times.  Young children are freezing to death.
 
The fighting is now advancing into areas with the highest concentrations of people – including the displaced – and threatening to strangle humanitarian lifelines.  
 

17 February 2020, Islamabad

Remarks at the Centre for International Peace and Stability on "Future Challenges to Global Peace: The Role of the United Nations vis-a-vis A4P

Rector,
Dear Members of the Faculty,
Dear students,
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
I would like to ask you to join me in paying tribute to the heroic 157 Pakistani peacekeepers that sacrificed their lives to protect the lives of some of the most vulnerable populations in the world. So, I would ask you please to join me in a moment of silence.
 
Thank you. I am very proud to be a colleague of theirs.
 

17 February 2020, Islamabad

Opening remarks at joint press briefing with the Foreign Minister of Pakistan and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees

I’ll have a very brief message. First to express my deep gratitude and appreciation for the generosity and hospitality of the Pakistanis, for having received for 40 years millions of Afghan refugees.

12 February 2020, Security Council

Remarks to Security Council Briefing on Children in Armed Conflict: Introducing Practical Guidance on the Integration of Child Protection Issues in Peace Processes

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

11 February 2020, Security Council

Introductory remarks at Security Council open briefing on the Middle East

Excellences, 
Monsieur le Ministre Philippe Goffin, Président du Conseil de sécurité,
 
Excellencies,
 
Let me start by welcoming His Excellency President Mahmoud Abbas of the State of Palestine and the members of his delegation.
 
I address you today with a deep sense of concern as we witness growing tensions and instability around the globe, particularly in the Middle East. 
 

08 February 2020, Addis Ababa

Opening remarks to the media at the African Union Summit

[Bilingual as delivered]

09 February 2020, Addis Ababa

Remarks at the 33rd African Union Summit

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

04 February 2020, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks to journalists on priorities for 2020 and the work of the organization

Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
 
As you know, 2020 marks a milestone for the United Nations – our 75th anniversary.
 
Too often, governments and international institutions are viewed as places that talk – not as places that listen.
 
I want the United Nations, in this anniversary, essentially to listen – so we are marking our anniversary based on conversations in every corner of the world about the future we want and the United Nations we need. 
 
There is no doubt that people have much to say.