Climate change is “the defining issue of our time – and we are at a defining moment”

On Monday, the Secretary-General delivered remarks on climate change and warned about the “direct existential threat” we face. “If we do not change course by 2020, we risk missing the point where we can avoid runaway climate change, with disastrous consequences for people and all the natural systems that sustain us,” he stressed. The Secretary-General said there was no doubt about the urgency of the crisis and appealed for more leadership and ambition. “Every day we fail to act is a day that we step a little closer towards a fate that none of us wants — a fate that will resonate through generations in the damage done to humankind and life on earth,” the Secretary-General said. Emphasizing that we have the tools and resources to address the problem, he said he will convene a Climate Summit in September 2019 to bring climate action to the top of the international agenda and announced the appointment of Luis Alfonso de Alba as his Special Envoy to lead the preparations.


Secretary-General’s full remarks:

“Full-scale battle” in Idlib would “unleash a humanitarian nightmare”

On Tuesday, the Secretary-General spoke to the press in New York and said it was “absolutely essential to avoid a full-scale battle in Idlib” as it “would unleash a humanitarian nightmare unlike any seen in the blood-soaked Syrian conflict.” He reiterated that there is no military solution to the conflict.


“Kofi Annan was the United Nations and the United Nations was him”


Former Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s funeral took place on Thursday, in Ghana. UN Photo/Ben Malor

“Kofi Annan was courageous, speaking truth to power while subjecting himself to intense self-scrutiny”, the Secretary-General stated on Thursday, in Ghana, speaking at the funeral of his predecessor. Calling Mr. Annan an “exceptional global leader”, the Secretary-General said he “pioneered new ideas and initiatives” and “opened the doors of the United Nations, bringing the Organization closer to the world’s people and engaging new partners in protecting the environment, defending human rights and combating HIV/AIDS and other killer diseases.” The Secretary-General concluded: “as we face the headwinds of our troubled and turbulent times, let us always be inspired by the legacy of Kofi Annan”.


Implementation Plan for Reinvigorated Resident Coordinator System

On Tuesday, the Secretary-General briefed Member States on the implementation plan for a reinvigorated UN Resident Coordinator System. He stated that the plan provides the building blocks for a new system that will “strengthen accountability and transparency for system-wide results”, “provide greater incentives for integrated action” and “enable UN country teams to deliver, and report on, country results at a scale that respond to national needs and national priorities.”


Senior Appointments

Nicholas Haysom of South Africa as Special Representative for Somalia and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM):

Armida Salsiah Alisjahbana of Indonesia – Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP):

Statements and Messages

On the Horn of Africa:

On Madagascar:

For Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year (video):

On Afghanistan:

On South Sudan:

Next week

On Monday, in New York, the Secretary-General will deliver remarks at the closing of the 72nd session of the General Assembly and will also speak at the opening of the 73rd session the following day. On Friday, he will deliver remarks at a memorial ceremony for former Secretary-General Kofi Annan.