Press conference on opening new session of the UN General Assembly

On Thursday, the Secretary-General held a press conference on a wide range of subjects in advance of the General Debate segment of the 73rd session of the General Assembly.  He spoke about the “prolonged nightmares” in Syria, and Yemen. He noted progress in other situations, includingthe declaration of peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea. He highlighted three events he will convene the following week: to launch the “Youth2030” strategy and the “Generation Unlimited” initiative; to launch a strategy to mobilize financing for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development; and to strengthen support for the Action for Peacekeeping effort. The Secretary-General also updated the press on efforts to achieve gender parity at the United Nations and ensure zero tolerance for sexual harassment.


International Peace Day


On Friday, the Secretary-General attended the Peace Bell Ceremony on the occasion of the International Day of Peace. He said that peace was the “unifying concept that brings us together at the United Nations” and that “we will never give up” pursuing it.

The Secretary-General rings the Peace Bell at the annual ceremony held at UN headquarters in observance of the International Day of Peace. UN Photo/Mark Garten


General Assembly, the “indispensable forum” of the United Nations

The Secretary-General delivered remarks at the closing of the 72nd session of the General Assembly on Monday and at the opening of the 73rd session the following day. He said that the General Assembly is an “indispensable forum” and that at a “time of fragmentation and polarization”, the world needs the Assembly to “show the value of international cooperation.” He congratulated Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, President of the 72nd session and said was looking forward to working closely with Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the 73rd session and the fourth woman to serve in this capacity.

The Secretary-General with Ms. María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President of the 73rd session of the General Assembly and Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, President of the 72nd session. UN Photo/ Manuel Elias

Remarks at the Closing of the 72nd Session:

Remarks at the Opening of the 73rd Session:

“Historic moment” as Eritrea and Ethiopia sign peace agreement in Saudi Arabia

On Sunday, the Secretary-General was in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where he witnessed what he called a “historic moment” – the signing of a peace agreement between Ethiopia and Eritrea. He said it meant there was “a wind of hope blowing in the Horn of Africa”. At a press conference with the Saudi Foreign Minister, the Secretary-General expressed his “deep appreciation” for the role played by His Majesty, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and the Government of Saudi Arabia, in facilitating the agreement. While in Jeddah, he also met separately with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and with Crown Prince Mohamad Bin Salman Al Saud.


Kofi Annan memorial

General Assembly meeting in tribute to the memory of former Secretary-General Kofi Annan. UN Photo/Kim Haughton

On Friday, the Secretary-General spoke at a memorial for former Secretary-General Kofi Annan in the General Assembly Hall. He said Mr. Annan’s “moral voice led the world toward ground-breaking understandings about defending our common humanity.” The Secretary-General also stated that Mr. Annan would always be his central inspiration and deepest reference.


Remembering Dag Hammarskjöld

On Tuesday, the Secretary-General attended a wreath-laying ceremony commemorating the 57th anniversary of the death of Dag Hammarskjöld. “Despite the passage of decades, his light of idealism, integrity and action continues to illuminate our hearts and, indeed, the very soul of the United Nations,” the Secretary-General said. He also stressed his commitment to the investigation of Mr. Hammarskjöld’s death. “Dag Hammarskjöld reminded us many decades ago that we are one world. We have no right to destroy it. We have no right to allow divides to fester and cause so much suffering,” stated the Secretary-General.


Statements and Messages

On the Pyongyang Inter-Korean Summit:

On Syria:

On Djibouti and Eritrea:

On Typhoon Mangkhut:

On the Tanzania ferry disaster:

On the death of the President of Viet Nam:

To the 62nd General Conference of the International Atomic Energy Agency:

To the World Conference on Science Literacy:

On the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer:

Next week

The 73rd session of the General Assembly begins its high-level week, with the General Debate starting on Tuesday.