Activities of Secretary-General in United Kingdom, 1-2 November

On Wednesday, 1 November, late in the evening, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres arrived in London from Kathmandu, Nepal, to attend the Summit on Artificial Intelligence Safety, hosted by the United Kingdom.

On Thursday morning, at Bletchley Park, the Secretary-General was welcomed by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak.  In a bilateral meeting, they discussed the current situation in the Middle East, particularly the delivery of humanitarian aid to the population in Gaza, as well as the global impact of the war in Ukraine.

The Secretary-General also held meetings with the Vice-President of the United States, Kamala Harris, as well as the Vice-Chancellor of Germany, Robert Habeck, and the President of the European Union Commission, Ursula von der Leyen.

In the afternoon, he took part in Artificial Intelligence Safety Summit Sessions, on AI safety priorities and in discussions on concrete steps to make frontier AI safe. 

On the occasion of the summit, the Secretary-General said that the speed and reach of today’s AI technology are unprecedented, yet the paradox is that in the future, it will never move as slowly as it does today.  He stressed that the principles for AI governance should be based on the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and we urgently need to incorporate those principles into AI safety.

The Secretary-General emphasized that we need a sustained, structured conversation around risks, challenges, and opportunities.  And he stressed that the UN — an inclusive, equitable and universal platform for coordination on AI governance — is fully engaged in that conversation.  See Press Release SG/SM/22017.

Later in the afternoon, the Secretary-General also met with the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, James Cleverly.

The Secretary-General departed London on the evening of Thursday, 22 October, for New York, where he arrived later the same day.

For information media. Not an official record.