AIDS, other health issues

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.

18 December 2020, Berlin

Remarks to the Bundestag, the German parliament in Berlin

Thank you very much, Mr. President of the Bundestag Dr. Wolfgang Schäuble, for the opportunity to speak here in the German Bundestag today.
Dear Federal President,
Dear Chancellor,
Dear President of the Federal Constitutional Court,
Dear Members of the Bundestag,
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

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.  

09 December 2020, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks at press encounter with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, following the Fourth UN-AU Annual Conference

Ladies and Gentlemen of the press, 

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, my dear friend Moussa Faki Mahamat and myself have just concluded the fourth Annual Conference between the United Nations and the African Union.

We are committed to further developing our cooperation to serve the people of Africa. 

Today, of the many topics that were discussed, I allow myself to concentrate on two.

First, the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Africa has so far registered more than 2,200,000 cases and over 53,000 deaths.

03 December 2020, General Assembly

Remarks to the General Assembly Special Session in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic 

Mr. President,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is an honour to address this General Assembly Special Session in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nearly a year into the pandemic, we face a human tragedy, and a public health, humanitarian and development emergency.

For the first time since 1945, the entire world is confronted by a common threat, regardless of nationality, ethnicity or faith.

But while COVID-19 does not discriminate, our efforts to prevent and contain it do.

02 December 2020, New York

Secretary-General's address at Columbia University: "The State of the Planet" 

Secretary-General António Guterres discusses the State of the Planet at Columbia University in New York City. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

President Bollinger,
Dear friends,

I thank Columbia University for hosting this gathering — and I welcome those joining online around the world.

We meet in this unusual way as we enter the last month of this most unusual year.

We are facing a devastating pandemic, new heights of global heating, new lows of ecological degradation and new setbacks in our work towards global goals for more equitable, inclusive and sustainable development.

To put it simply, the state of the planet is broken.

Dear friends,

Humanity is waging war on nature.

20 November 2020, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks at press briefing prior to the G20 Summit

A very good afternoon to all of you. 
This weekend, G20 leaders will meet as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage our world.
I will take part and my main message is simple: 
We need solidarity and cooperation.
And we need concrete action now — especially for the most vulnerable. 
We must advance on two fronts:
First, recovering in a way that is inclusive — bringing everyone along.
Second, recovering in a way that is sustainable — meaning, above all, stepped-up climate action.

16 November 2020, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the Executive Board of the World Food Programme

Excellencies and Dear colleagues,

It is an enormous pleasure to join you and I'd like to start if you allow me on a personal note.

The best years of my life were the years I spent as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

One of the reasons why they were the best years of my life was because I was able to work so closely with multiple programmes, providing protection and assistance to the most vulnerable of the vulnerable people around the world.