Tag Archives: #UN Secretary-General António Guterres

Secretary-General’s remarks at opening of Exhibit Marking the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau

Excellencies, Mr. Zoltan Matyash, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

It is an honour to be here with you today at the opening of this exhibit. The United Nations is fortunate to host such a deeply moving and important collection of photographs.

Seventy-five years ago, when soldiers of the Soviet army entered Auschwitz, they were stunned into silence by what they saw. The Nazis had attempted to hide some of the evidence of mass murder. But the millions of clothing items and tons of hair told their own appalling story.

Liberation ended the Holocaust. But it was just the beginning of our efforts to make sure such crimes never happen again.

I will never forget my visit to Yad Vashem two years ago. I was shocked once again by the ability of antisemitism to reinvent itself and re-emerge time and again, over millennia. Even after the Holocaust, when its catastrophic results could not have been clearer, antisemitism continues. Sometimes it takes new forms, and is spread by new techniques, but it is the same old hatred. We can never lower our guard.

The past few years have seen a frightening upsurge in antisemitic attacks both in Europe and the United States, part of a troubling increase in xenophobia, homophobia, discrimination and hatred of all kinds. Even Nazism itself is threatening to reemerge —sometimes openly, sometimes in disguise.

As the former Chief Rabbi of the United Kingdom, Jonathan Sacks, has said, “The hate that begins with Jews never ends there.”

Remembrance and education are an essential part of our prevention efforts, because ignorance creates fertile ground for false narratives and lies. “Never again” means telling the story again and again.

It is a great honour to have Mr. Zoltan Matyash here with us today. We are all deeply grateful to him and to all Holocaust survivors, who inspire us with their strength and their example.

As survivors grow older, it is essential that we keep their memories alive and carry their testimony forward in new ways for new generations.

That is why the United Nations Holocaust Outreach Programme and UNESCO provide written testimony, photographs, videos and other resources for schools and institutions around the world.

And that is why exhibitions like this are so important. These portraits of Holocaust survivors speak to us of the dignity, humanity and interconnectedness of each unique member of our human family.

Their heartbreaking stories of survival and courage inspire us to do more, in whatever way we can, to combat persecution, hatred and discrimination, wherever they are found.

We will gather at the General Assembly in a few days to pay tribute to the victims of the Holocaust and to renew the commitment of the international community to prevent any repetition of such crimes against humanity.

Understanding our history connects us to the essential human values of truth, respect, justice and compassion.

As these values come under attack from all sides, we must reaffirm them more strongly than ever.

We will stand firm every day and everywhere against antisemitism, bigotry and hatred of all kinds.

The world failed all those who died, and those who continue to suffer as a result of the Holocaust.

We cannot fail them again by allowing their stories to be forgotten.

Thank you.

New York, 21 January 2020

Statement To The Press By Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

The New Year has begun with our world in turmoil.
We are living in dangerous times.

Geopolitical tensions are at their highest level this century.
And this turbulence is escalating.

Even nuclear non-proliferation can no longer be taken for granted.
This cauldron of tensions is leading more and more countries to take unpredicted decisions with unpredictable consequences and a profound risk of miscalculation.

At the same time, we see trade and technological conflicts that fracture world markets, undermine growth and widen inequalities.

And all the while, our planet is on fire. The climate crisis rages on.

In many parts of the world, we see many people frustrated and angry. We see increased social unrest and growing extremism, nationalism and radicalization, with a dangerous advance of terrorism, notably in Africa.

This situation cannot go on.

I have been following the recent rise in global tensions with great concern.
I am in constant contact with leading officials around the world.

My message is simple and clear:
Stop escalation.
Exercise maximum restraint.
Re-start dialogue.
Renew international cooperation.
Let us not forget the terrible human suffering caused by war.

As always, ordinary people pay the highest price. It is our common duty to avoid it.

Thank you.

New York, 6 January 2019

This Year, My New Year’s Message is to the Greatest Source of Hope – The World’s Young People

From here at the United Nations, I join you in welcoming the New Year. We enter 2020 with uncertainty and insecurity all around.

Persistent inequality and rising hatred.
A warring world and a warming planet.

Climate change is not only a long-term problem but a clear and present danger.
We cannot afford to be the generation that fiddled while the planet burned.

But there is also hope.

This year, my New Year’s message is to the greatest source of that hope: the world’s young people.
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18 December 2019

Migrants are integral members of society, contributing to mutual understanding and sustainable development in communities of both origin and destination.

Safe, orderly and regular migration is in the interest of all. And national priorities on migration are best achieved through international cooperation.

All migrants are entitled to equal protection of all their human rights.

These principles are enshrined in the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

Yet, we often hear narratives around migrants that are harmful and false.

And we often witness migrants facing unspeakable hardship as a result of policies shaped more by fear than by fact.

On this International Day, I urge leaders and people everywhere to bring the Global Compact to life, so that migration works for all.

Signals Of Hope Multiplying In Face Of Global Climate Crisis Insists UN Chief Guterres

The UN Secretary-General has outlined the “increased ambition and commitment” that the world needs from governments during the coming days of the COP25 UN climate change conference which opens in Madrid on Monday, calling for “accountability, responsibility and leadership” to end the global climate crisis. More:


Replace Impunity With Justice and Indifference With Action

Secretary-General’s Message on International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, 19 June

Sexual violence in conflict is a threat to our collective security and a stain on our common humanity.

It is used as a tactic of war, to terrorize people and to destabilize societies.

Its effects can echo across generations through trauma, stigma, poverty, long-term health issues and unwanted pregnancy.

On the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, we must hear the survivors, and recognize their needs and demands.

They are mostly women and girls, but also men and boys, calling for our support to access life-saving health services, justice and reparation.

Today we also honor those working on the front-lines, directly assisting victims to rebuild their lives.

Our global response must include more concerted action to ensure accountability for the perpetrators – and to address the gender inequality that fuels these atrocities.

Together, we can and must replace impunity with justice; and indifference with action.

Thank you.


Note to Correspondents

Secretary-General’s upcoming travel to Geneva and the South Pacific

On May 12, the Secretary-General will travel to the South Pacific to spotlight the issue of climate change ahead of the Climate Action Summit that he is convening in September in New York. This visit will take him to New Zealand, Fiji, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.

In each country, the Secretary-General will meet government leaders, civil society representatives and youth groups to hear from those already impacted by climate change and who are also successfully engaging in meaningful climate action.

In Fiji, the Secretary-General will be at the Pacific Island Forum, where he will meet with senior governments officials from each Member State in attendance, as well as with members of civil society.

In New Zealand, the Secretary-General will meet with Muslim leaders in Christchurch to express his solidarity following the 15 March terrorist attack.

Prior to traveling to the Pacific, the Secretary-General will be in Geneva from 8-10 May to attend the spring meeting of the UN Chief Executives Board (CEB). This is one of the semi-annual meetings that brings together, under the chairmanship of the Secretary-General, the executive heads of 31 UN system entities. This session, which will be hosted by the International Labour Organization (ILO) on the occasion of its 100th anniversary, will focus on the future of work in the digital age. The heads of the UN entities will also look to agree on ambitious and concrete steps to address climate change in advance of the September Climate Summit.

While in Geneva, the Secretary-General will also address a special session of the World Trade Organization’s General Council, where he will stress the importance of preserving the multilateral rules-based order – including on trade – for a fair globalization and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Secretary-General will be back in New York on 19 May.