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[Beijing Forum 2020] UN Secretary-General António Guterres's speech
Dec 05, 2020

Speech at Beijing Forum 2020

António Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations

It is a pleasure to greet the Beijing Forum. You gather virtually this year as COVID-19 continues to upend our world. The United Nations is working to save lives, control transmission of the virus and ease the fallout. We are advocating a massive rescue package for the world’s most vulnerable people and countries, and for a people’s vaccine available to everyone, everywhere. And we are pressing for a global ceasefire and fighting misinformation.

António Guterres

We must also learn the lessons of the crisis. Even before the pandemic, inequalities were rising and divisions were widening. The pandemic must be a wake-up call for these ills, too. That means getting on track to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. China has been a leader in this work – aligning its national programmes with the targets and lifting 850 million people out of poverty, the greatest anti-poverty accomplishment in history. And it means accelerating climate action. I welcome China’s pledge to reach a peak of carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality before 2060.

From health to the economy to the climate and beyond, we are facing the biggest set of global challenges in generations. The decisions we make in the coming months will shape the lives of generations to come. International cooperation will be essential. In that spirit, please accept my best wishes for a fruitful forum.

Thank you.