Activities of Secretary-General in Egypt, 17–19 November
The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres flew from Bali to Sharm el-Sheikh, where he arrived on Thursday, 17 November. During his layover in Cairo, the Secretary-General issued a statement welcoming the agreement by all parties to continue the Black Sea Grain Initiative to facilitate the safe navigation of export of grain, foodstuffs and fertilizers from Ukraine. (See Press Release SG/SM/21588.)
Upon his arrival in Sharm el-Sheikh, the Secretary-General held a joint press encounter with Sameh Shoukry, President of the twenty-seventh conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27). He said that we are at crunch time in the negotiations and there is clearly a breakdown in trust between North and South, and between developed and emerging economies. The Secretary-General warned that the blame game is a recipe for mutually assured destruction. He called on all parties to stand and deliver the kind of meaningful climate action that people and the planet so desperately need.
The Secretary-General then met with the President-elect of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
That night, the Secretary-General had a phone call with Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the President of Ukraine. They discussed the future of the Black Sea Grain Initiative and ways to improve its impact in the least developed countries.
The next day, the Secretary-General held a series of meetings at COP27. He first met with members States of the European Union. This was followed by a meeting with the Group of 77 developing countries and China. After these, the Secretary-General met with Franz Timmermans, Vice-President of the European Commission. This was followed by a meeting with Xie Zhenhua, China’s Special Climate Envoy. The Secretary-General then held a virtual meeting with John Kerry, the United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate.
As the negotiations drew to a close, the Secretary-General urged parties to aim for maximum ambition on loss and damage and in reduction of emissions.
He then met with observers to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process and had photo calls with UNFCCC staff, as well as with United Nations volunteers.
On Saturday morning, the Secretary-General continued his intensive talks with key officials. He had a last round of consultations with COP27 President Sameh Shoukry; Xie Zhenhua, China’s Special Climate Envoy; John Kerry, United States Special Presidential Envoy for Climate; and European Commission Vice-President, Frans Timmermans.
Before leaving Sharm el-Sheikh, the Secretary-General recorded a video message on the closing of COP27, which was released on Sunday early morning when the document at COP27 was officially adopted. (See Press Release SG/SM/21595.)
The Secretary-General left Sharm el-Sheikh on Saturday afternoon, 19 November.