Thank you for the opportunity to brief the Council on the important subject of addressing the root causes of conflict while promoting post-pandemic recovery in Africa.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have warned of the risks it poses to people and societies around the world, especially in countries affected by conflict. The series of Policy Briefs I issued last year included one that focuses only on the impact of COVID-19 on Africa.
This was the backdrop to my appeal for a global ceasefire to enable us to focus on our common enemy: the virus.
[Watch the video on webtv.un.org]
I thank France for hosting today’s Conference.
We have a responsibility to help Sudan consolidate its democratic transition.
Rebuild its economy.
And deliver sustainable peace and development for all its diverse society.
I commend the Government of Sudan for undertaking difficult economic reforms.
The Secretary-General is saddened at the passing of Lt. Gen. Emmanuel Erskine, of Ghana, at the age of 86.
Lt. Gen. Erskine served as UNIFIL’s first Force Commander from 1978 to 1981, a particularly difficult time for south Lebanon. He led the United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon (UNIFIL) in the initial implementation of Security Council Resolution 425 (1978).
Dear Colleagues and family members,
We gather to remember and honour United Nations personnel who lost their lives in the line of duty over the course of last year.
While we unfortunately cannot yet gather in person, this solemn ceremony powerfully reflects how those bonds transcend physical distance.
We may not be in the same room, but we are together -- with unity in purpose and solidarity in sorrow.
The year 2020 was like no other in the history of the United Nations.
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The COVID-19 pandemic is a tragic reminder of how deeply connected we are.
There is a clear and urgent need for concrete multilateral solutions, based on common action across borders for the good of all humanity, starting with the equitable distribution of vaccines as a global public good.
I would like to thank the Vietnamese Presidency for organizing this open debate and for the opportunity to brief the Security Council on what has been a key priority since taking office: cooperation between the United Nations and regional and subregional organizations.
This cooperation has grown exponentially since 1945.