Available languages:
António Guterres (UN Secretary-General) on the Fifth Committee, 3rd meeting - General Assembly, 75th session
12 Oct 2020 -  Opening remarks by António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations on the Fifth Committee, 3rd meeting - General Assembly, 75th session.
"I welcome this opportunity to introduce the proposed programme budget for 2021.
We meet under extraordinary circumstances. Covid-19 has put the lives of billions of people around the globe in turmoil, inflicting grave suffering and destabilizing the global economy.
The United Nations continues to provide wide-ranging health interventions, advocate for a massive rescue package for the world’s most vulnerable people and countries, and is committed to accelerate work on a vaccine.
I have renewed my appeal for a global ceasefire, calling for a major push to make this happen by the end of the year.
We are working concertedly, comprehensively and collectively.
The scale and complexity of this crisis demand a coordinated global response, across all pillars of our Organization. Every one of our mandates is affected, in one way or another, by the pandemic.
Operating in a COVID-19-affected world is also a test of our reform agenda, and I am pleased to report that our new processes and structures have proven instrumental in enabling us to remain open and function effectively.
United Nations Resident Coordinators and Country Teams are supporting countries in combatting the pandemic and its socio-economic impacts.
Our Regional Economic Commissions and the Department of Economic and Social Affairs have provided policy advice at regional and global levels.
Our peacekeeping operations and special political missions have adapted to working under new conditions and are supporting national authorities in their fight against the virus, in addition to their other critical functions.
My Special Representatives and Envoys continue to pursue the implementation of ceasefires and other efforts to promote political solutions.
And staff in all duty stations, at all levels, amidst an overall climate of fear, anxiety and uncertainty, have shown themselves to be highly flexible and dedicated in adapting to telecommuting and other new working arrangements and requirements.
We are open for business and we are running this Organization from thousands of dining tables and home offices.
We are not only interacting with each other and Member States in New York.
We are supporting our colleagues in duty stations and locations across the globe and in the most remote, and sometimes dangerous locations.
I am also grateful for the efforts of this Committee to work remotely. It has not always been easy to adapt but you have risen to the challenge. Your contribution is crucial for the work of the General Assembly and for the continued functioning of our operations (...)" - António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations [Excerpt].