AIDS, other health issues

03 November 2021, Cambridge

Remarks at Cambridge University Honorary Degree Ceremony 

Vice Chancellor,
Civic leaders,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for this great honour.

I know that through me, you are recognizing the work of my United Nations colleagues around the world.

Cambridge has enduring links with global governance and the United Nations, from John Maynard Keynes, who played such an important role in establishing international economic institutions after the Second World War, to Margaret Anstee, the first woman to be appointed Assistant Secretary-General. 

07 October 2021, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks at virtual joint press conference to launch the World Health Organization’s Global Vaccination Strategy, with Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Thank you very much, dear Tedros.

Ladies and gentlemen of the press,

Vaccine inequality is the best ally of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

It is allowing variants to develop and run wild, condemning the world to millions more deaths, and prolonging an economic slowdown that could cost trillions of dollars.

I have long been pushing for a global vaccination plan to reach everyone, everywhere, sooner rather than later. 

22 September 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to US-hosted Global COVID-19 Summit "Ending the pandemic and building back better health security to prepare for the next" 

President Biden, Excellencies,

I want to thank President Biden for this important initiative to help mobilise the international community to boost our joint efforts to vaccinate everybody everywhere and to thank him for the announcements he made today.

Global health security until now has failed, to the tune of 4.5 million lives, and counting.

We have effective vaccines against COVID-19. We can end the pandemic.

And that is why I have been appealing for a global vaccination plan and I hope this summit is a step in that direction.

20 September 2021, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks at press encounter with US President Joseph R. Biden

Well, thank you very much, Mr. President.  And I have to say that I am delighted to have this opportunity to meet you, as you have clearly affirmed the strong commitment of the United States to the U.N. and to multilateralism -- a multilateralism that we also want to see reformed, more effective, and more in line with the need to solve the dramatic problems of this world.

24 June 2021, Brussels

Remarks at the Plenary Session of the European Parliament

[Trilingual as delivered]

Dear President Sassoli,  
Distinguished Members of the European Parliament,  
Ladies and gentlemen, 

It is a pleasure to finally be back in Brussels. 

Having myself been a member of the Portuguese Assembly for 17 years, I am particularly honoured to address the European Parliament.   

We live at a time when the strategic partnership between the European Union and the United Nations is more indispensable than ever.  

And on behalf of the United Nations, let me begin with two words:  

24 June 2021, Brussels

Opening remarks at press encounter with Charles Michel, President of the European Council

Secretary-General: Thank you very much for your warm welcome. I think we must be humble when we face such a huge number of existential threats and recognize the fragility of our societies and our planet. Fragility in relation to the pandemic, in relation to climate; Fragility in relation to lawlessness in the cyberspace, in relation to growing inequalities and the lack of trust in many of our societies; Fragility also because of geopolitical divides; Fragility even because of the risks in relation to the proliferation of nuclear weapons that are there again on the table. 

11 June 2021, London

Opening remarks at virtual press conference at the G7 Summit, UK

Well, thank you very much. Ladies and gentlemen of the media, it’s an enormous pleasure to be with all of you today. I want, first of all, to thank Prime Minister Boris Johnson for his kind invitation. It's for me a pleasure to join several of the sessions, the working sessions, of the G7. 

And there are two issues of enormous interest for me and for the work I do as Secretary-General of United Nations. One is related to vaccination and the way to defeat COVID-19. And the second is climate change and climate action to defeat climate change.  

27 May 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to IKEA Foundation/Purpose/DGC Event: Convening Business Leaders for Vaccine Equity 

Thank you, Per [Heggenes]. Thank you very much.

I want to pay tribute to what has been a fantastic partnership we have had now for many years.

Thanks to you, many people saw their lives saved. Many people that were in dramatic circumstances got a solution for their plight. And we could alleviate suffering in dramatic circumstances for hundreds and thousands – I’d say thousands and thousands of people in some of the most dangerous and difficult locations in the world.

18 May 2021, ECOSOC

Remarks to ECOSOC Segment on Operational Activities for Development: Presentation of report and vision for the continuation of UN reform and the implementation of the 2020 QCPR in times of crisis

Thank you for your very positive and accurate introduction to our debate.

Mr. President, Mr. Vice President, Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

This past year has been unlike any other in living memory.

The COVID-19 pandemic has already taken over three million lives.

Some 131 million people have been pushed into extreme poverty.

Unemployment has soared and billions saw their livelihoods vanish overnight.

The most vulnerable in our societies – particularly women and young people – have been disproportionately affected.

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.