UN role and reform

21 September 2018, General Assembly

Remarks at Memorial for Kofi Annan

Mrs. Nane Annan and members of the Annan family, we are deeply honoured and graced by your presence.  

The United Nations and Kofi Annan were inseparable. It is impossible to say where one ended and the other began.  

And so, dear Annan family, we say to you today not only welcome, but welcome home.

To so many of us, Kofi Annan was more than just a dear friend. He was family.  

And I know you all feel in this room the profound sorrow that accompanies the sudden passing of such a beloved leader, mentor and guide.

24 September 2018

Remarks at unveiling of Nelson Mandela statue

I am pleased to be with you today to unveil this statue of one of humanity’s great leaders. 
 
Nelson Mandela embodied the highest values of the United Nations – peace, forgiveness, compassion and human dignity. 
 
He was a champion for all people – in his words and in his actions. 
 
He was willing to fight and die for the ideals he held so dear. 
 

07 September 2018, UN Headquarters

Remarks at Staff Day opening ceremony and memorial wreath-laying

It is a pleasure to join you again for Staff Day and I am glad to know that this tradition has been firmly re-established.
 
Let me start by acknowledging the President of the Staff Union and thanking her and their team, for their initiative and their commitment to the staff in general, and to the staff day in particular.
 

22 August 2018, UN Headquarters

Remarks at wreath-laying for Kofi Annan

Secretary-General António Guterres pays his respects during a ceremony honouring the memory and legacy of former Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who passed away on 18 August 2018. UN Photo/Manuel Elias

[As delivered]

18 August 2018, UN Headquarters

Statement on the passing of former Secretary-General Kofi Annan

[Scroll down for French version]

05 June 2018, General Assembly

Remarks to General Assembly on the election of the President of the General Assembly for its seventy-third session

Mr. President of the General Assembly,
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
Let me start by expressing my deep appreciation to His Excellency Miroslav Lajčák for his dedicated service and leadership as President of the General Assembly. 
 
This has been a productive session, underscored with last week’s milestone resolution on the reform and repositioning of the United Nations development system.
 
Mr. President, I look forward to continuing our close cooperation in the months ahead for the remainder of the Assembly’s 72nd session.

31 May 2018, General Assembly

Remarks to the General Assembly at the Adoption of the Resolution on Repositioning the UN Development System

I have just arrived from Mali – but I absolutely wanted to be here, personally, to thank you all for your leadership, engagement and constructive spirit, as representatives of all the Member States of the United Nations.
 
Allow me to pay a special tribute to the co-facilitators – Amb. Sabri Boukadoum, Permanent Representative of Algeria, and Amb. Ib Petersen, Permanent Representative of Denmark. Their tireless efforts were absolutely essential for your common success in this intergovernmental process.
 

04 December 2017, Fifth Committee

Remarks to the Fifth Committee

I welcome this opportunity to introduce my reports on management reform to the Fifth Committee.

Let me begin with the big picture.

In taking my oath of office, I promised to work with the Member States to make reform a priority.

Reform is not an end in itself. 

The purpose of reform is simple and clear: to best position the United Nations to do the work that Member States ask us to do. 

To better serve people:

11 October 2017, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly on the Proposed Programme Budget for the Biennium 2018-2019

I am grateful for this opportunity to introduce the proposed programme budget for 2018-2019.
 
The budget is our shared roadmap for fulfilling the promises of the Charter. It reflects the priorities established by the General Assembly, and our commitment to deliver results for the people we serve.
 
As you know, the Assembly invited me to prepare the 2018-2019 proposed programme budget based on a preliminary estimate of just under $5.4 billion.
 

04 October 2017, UN Headquarters

Remarks on the sixtieth anniversary of the launch of Sputnik-1

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
 
It’s a pleasure to be here to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the launch of Sputnik-1 in 1957. This was a major achievement by the Soviet Union, for humanity.
 
It marked the beginning of the Space Age. Today, as we admire the Cassini spacecraft’s incredible images from Saturn’s rings, we remember where it all started: with a small satellite circling the globe.