U.N. Secretariat

28 September 2021, General Assembly

Remarks at the Plenary Meeting of the General Assembly to Promote the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

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

In 1946, in the great burst of hope and activity that followed the creation of the United Nations, this Assembly reached its first resolution.

In part, the resolution called for the creation of a commission to eliminate atomic weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.

Your predecessors in this Assembly understood the fatal flaw behind the use of these weapons.

That the only inheritance for the victor would be a broken and barren world.

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.

28 September 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to High-Level Meeting on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond: Jobs and Social Protection for Poverty Eradication

[Bilingual, as delivered]

Almost two years into the COVID-19 crisis, a huge divergence in the recovery is undermining global trust and solidarity.

The pandemic has not only confirmed but deepened existing inequalities.

In developed countries, access to vaccines has allowed economies to reopen, while stimulus payments and investments herald projected growth of 5 or 6 percent this year.

In sub-Saharan Africa, that figure is just about 2.5 percent.

23 September 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks at virtual meeting with Pacific Islands Forum Leaders

Dear Prime Minister,
Excellencies,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Thank you for the opportunity to once again address the Pacific Islands Forum.

Your nations are confronting a dual crisis of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both threaten Pacific lives and livelihoods.

If we follow the current path, the consequences of climate disruption for the prosperity, the well-being and the very survival of Pacific communities will be severe.

I witnessed the impacts first-hand during my visit two years ago.

24 September 2021, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks to High-level Dialogue on Energy

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

Excellencies, Friends,

Welcome to the High-Level Dialogue on Energy.

This event is long overdue.

It has been 40 years since we last discussed energy at the highest level.

Today, we face a moment of truth.

Close to 760 million people still lack access to electricity.

Some 2.6 billion people lack access to clean cooking solutions.

And how we produce and use energy is the main cause of the climate crisis.

23 September 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks at the Food Systems Summit

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

Excellencies, distinguished participants, honoured guests,

Food is life.

But in countries, communities and households in every corner of the world, this essential need – this human right – is going unfulfilled.

Every day, hundreds of millions of people go to bed hungry.

Children are starving.

Three billion people cannot afford a healthy diet.

Two billion are overweight or obese.

462 million are underweight.

23 September 2021, Security Council

Remarks to the Security Council High-level Open Debate on the Maintenance of International Peace and Security: Climate and Security

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

Mr. President, Excellencies,

I thank the Irish Presidency for organizing this timely debate.

Last month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a deeply alarming report.

It shows that climate disruption caused by human activities is widespread and intensifying.

The report is indeed a code red for humanity.

Much bolder climate action is needed ahead of COP 26 – with G20 nations in the lead – to maintain international peace and security.

10 September 2021, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks at press conference prior to opening of the 76th session of the General Assembly

[On the death of President Jorge Sampaio] … He was a former President of Portugal. He has worked for the United Nations, and if you allow me to say a few words in Portuguese, I would be very grateful.

10 September 2021, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the General Assembly presenting “Our Common Agenda” 

[All English version; scroll further down for all French and bilingual as delivered versions] 

Mr. President of the General Assembly, Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

On almost every front, our world is under enormous stress.

We are not at ease with each other, or our planet.

Covid-19 is a wake-up call – and we are oversleeping.

The pandemic has demonstrated our collective failure to come together and make joint decisions for the common good, even in the face of an immediate, life-threatening global emergency.

14 September 2021, General Assembly

Remarks at the closing of the Seventy-Fifth Session of the United Nations General Assembly

[Bilingual, as delivered]

I’m pleased to join you for the closing of the 75th session of the General Assembly — a session held under the shadow of a formidable foe: the COVID-19 pandemic.

By any measure, this has been the most challenging period facing the world since the Second World War.

The pandemic has deepened inequalities.

Decimated economies at the global, national and household levels.

Plunged millions into extreme poverty.

Shattered support systems.

And unraveled decades of hard-won development progress.