Peace and Security

22 February 2021, UN Headquarters

Message to the Opening of the 46th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council 

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

Distinguished President of the Human Rights Council,
Madam High Commissioner,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Human rights are our bloodline; they connect us to one another, as equals.

Human rights are our lifeline; they are the pathway to resolving tensions and forging lasting peace.

Human rights are on the frontline; they are the building blocks of a world of dignity and opportunity for all – and they are under fire every day.

19 February 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks at Munich Security Conference Segment on "Priorities for Global Action"

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

Thank you very much. It is a great pleasure to be back in Munich, even if virtually.

Dear friends,

Our global tests and challenges are getting bigger and more complex.

Yet our responses remain fragmented and insufficient.  

COVID-19 has x-rayed the world, exposing deep fissures and fragilities.

Those vulnerabilities go well beyond pandemics and public health.  

Climate catastrophe is looming.

05 February 2021, UN Headquarters

Opening press remarks on selection of Libyan Political Dialogue Forum of unified temporary executive authority

Ladies and Gentlemen of the press, good afternoon.
Today we have very good news in our search for peace. I welcome the selection by members of the Libyan Political Dialogue Forum (LPDF) of a unified temporary executive authority.
I call on all members of the dialogue and the Libyan and international stakeholders to respect the results of the vote.

28 January 2021, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks to the press following briefing to member states priorities for 2021

Good morning, good afternoon and good evening. I wish you all a happy and healthy start to the year.

My message today for 2021 is a message of hope and determination.

Hope, as I believe it is possible to change gear and put the world on the right track.

Determination, as we must all do everything we can to make it happen.

We have just lived through the most difficult year of my lifetime.

Our world was rocked on its axis in 2020.

28 January 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to Member States on Priorities for 2021

Secretary-General António Guterres briefs the General Assembly on his priorities for 2021 and also a report on the work of the Organization. UN Photo/Evan Schneider

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

President of the General Assembly,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

2020 was a global annus horribilis – a year of death, disaster and despair.

The COVID-19 pandemic unleashed havoc in every country and every economy.

We lost 2 million lives, including many dear members of our UN family.

The human toll continues to multiply.

The economic costs continue to mount.

500 million jobs -- gone.

26 January 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the High-Level Replenishment Conference for the Peacebuilding Fund 

Thank you for joining us today.

I am happy to co-chair this Replenishment Conference for the Peacebuilding Fund.

The scale of turmoil around the world requires concerted efforts to ease tensions and prevent further escalation.

The unprecedented challenge of COVID-19 has further exacerbated situations that were deteriorating even before the pandemic.

I have, as you know, appealed for a global ceasefire to focus on our common enemy, the pandemic.

We need a renewed approach to multilateralism and international cooperation.

06 January 2021, Security Council

Remarks at Security Council Open Debate on “Challenges of Maintaining Peace and Security in Fragile Contexts”

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

Happy New Year!

I thank the Tunisian Presidency for organizing this debate.

Addressing the links between fragility and conflict is an essential component of international peace and security.

Fragility and conflict are among the greatest obstacles to implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the conflict landscape was deteriorating.

17 December 2020, Berling

Opening remarks at a joint press encounter with Foreign Minister Heiko Maas of Germany

Dear members of the press, it is for me an enormous pleasure to be back in Germany. Indeed because of COVID-19, I've had very few missions this year. But I really wanted to come and accept Germany's invitation of the President of the Bundestag to address the Bundestag because these are challenging times, but Germany is a reliable and generous and an exemplary party when we face these challenging times.  

04 December 2020, Security Council

Remarks at the Security Council debate on Cooperation between the United Nations and Regional and Sub-Regional Organisations: African Union

[Bilingual, as delivered]

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Mr. President,

Let me begin by congratulating you on assuming the Presidency of the Security Council for the month of December and for your leadership as Chair of the African Union. 

Je souhaite également la bienvenue à mon cher ami M. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Président de la Commission de l’Union africaine, et qui est parmi nous aujourd’hui.

01 December 2020, General Assembly

Remarks at General Assembly Solemn Meeting in Commemoration of All Victims of the Second World War

This year, we marked the 75th anniversary of the United Nations with tributes to the Organization’s achievements and calls to strengthen multilateralism to meet longstanding and new challenges.  
But our observance of this milestone would not be complete without recognition of the losses of the Second World War, which led to the formation of the United Nations itself.  

The millions who fell on the battlefield; 

The millions murdered by the Nazis in the Holocaust;