AIDS, other health issues

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.

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.