London Calling: Secretary General António Guterres' first UK speech

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Secretary General António Guterres at Central Hall Westminster

10 May 2017- The Secretary General of the United Nations, Mr. António Guterres, is in London this week to attend the Somalia Conference. The conference, which takes place on 11 May, convenes Heads of State and Government from East Africa, as well as senior figures from international organisations and key partners.

Established in 2012, the Somalia Conference aims to support progress in Somalia in key areas. This year’s attendees will discuss key areas in an effort to improve security, assist with political reform and governance, and support economic stability and development. There will also be an opportunity for international communities to ‘step up’ the response to famine, drought and humanitarian needs. It is hoped that a New Partnership Agreement will be developed to ensure ‘Somalia’s transition to a more peaceful and prosperous country by 2020, including on issues such as elections, constitutional arrangements, economic development and commitments to tackling corruption.’

In his keynote address on 10 May at Central Hall Westminster, Mr. Guterres discussed some of the issues that the world is currently facing “When one looks at globalisation it is clear that technological progress and globalisation have increased wealth, promoted trade, had a positive impact on wellbeing, and reduced absolute poverty. At the same time it is also true that globalisation and progress have increased inequality and left people behind. To rescue multilateralism we need to reform multilateral organisations."

Mr. Guterres also spoke about the need to reform the United Nations and international institutions, with a particular focus on the need to converge the three pillars of peace and security, human rights, and sustainable development.

The first session of the United Nations General Assembly was convened on 10 January 1946 at Central Hall Westminster, and was a fitting place for the new Secretary General to make his first major UK speech.

The Somalia Conference can be followed on Twitter #SGLondon

Make sure to follow @UNRIC_UK_IRE and also @UNAUK for updates!