AIDS, other health issues

26 April 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to event on pandemic preparedness and response financing architecture


Thank you for being part of this important discussion.

The COVID-19 pandemic caught the world unprepared.

It has now taken more than 3 million lives and pushed millions into poverty.

To respond and recover better we need more investment in the Sustainable Development Goals.

Progress on reducing poverty, providing equal access to health care and tackling the climate crisis means better resilience to shocks.

If we had advanced further on the SDGs, we would have been better prepared to weather the COVID-19 crisis.

12 April 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the 2021 Economic and Social Council Forum on Financing for Development 

Financing for Development in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic means an unprecedented effort to mobilize resources and political will. 

Since the pandemic began one year ago, no element of our multilateral response has gone as it should.

More than 3 million people have lost their lives.

Some 120 million people have fallen back into extreme poverty, while the equivalent of 255 million full-time jobs have been lost.

We have seen the worst recession in 90 years.

And the crisis is far from over. Indeed, the speed of infections is now even increasing.

23 March 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks at virtual meeting with the African Group 

Your Excellency Ammo Aziza Baroud,
Chairperson of the African Group,

Let me begin by extending my deepest condolences to the people of the United Republic of Tanzania on the death of late President Joseph Magufuli.


I welcome this opportunity to meet with the African Group at a critical moment.

We have entered the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic.  I want to reiterate my full solidarity with the Governments and people of Africa. 

I commend Africa’s leadership in coordinating a continental response.

29 March 2021, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks to High-Level Event on Debt and Liquidity 

Distinguished participants,
Ladies and gentlemen,

We are at a turning point in the COVID-19 crisis.

The pandemic has cost over 2.7 million lives.

More than 120 million people have fallen into extreme poverty.

We are in the worst recession since the Great Depression.

Richer countries have benefited from an unprecedented $16 trillion of emergency support measures, preventing a downward spiral, and setting the stage for recovery.

29 March 2021, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks at meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken

Mr. Secretary, Ambassador Thomas-Greenfield,

I welcome the many initiatives the new United States administration has already taken to support multilateral responses to global challenges, and to strengthen cooperation between the US and the UN. To mention just three:     

Rejoining the Paris Agreement on climate change sends a message of hope to the world.

Re-committing to the World Health Organization is an important sign of solidarity with the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

11 March 2021, UN Headquarters

Statement on the COVID-19 Pandemic, One Year On

One full year into the COVID-19 pandemic, our world has faced a tsunami of suffering. So many lives have been lost. Economies have been upended and societies left reeling. The most vulnerable have suffered the most. Those left behind are being left even further behind. 

24 February 2021, General Assembly

General Assembly Briefing on the Call to Action for Human Rights

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

Ladies and gentlemen,

Exactly one year ago, I launched a Call to Action to reaffirm the centrality of human rights to our mission — and to place human dignity at the core of our work.

Echoing the words of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Call to Action affirmed fundamental freedoms as the “highest aspiration for the common people”.

17 February 2021, Security Council

Remarks to the Security Council Open Meeting on Ensuring Equitable Access to COVID-19 Vaccines in Contexts Affected by Conflict and Insecurity

Mr. President,

With your permission, I would make a brief introduction and then ask my colleague, Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF [United Nations Children's Fund], to develop our briefing.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I thank the United Kingdom for organizing this meeting and for reinforcing my call for a global ceasefire to ease suffering, create space for diplomacy and enable humanitarian access – including for the delivery of vaccines worldwide.

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.