Guterres calls for peace and diplomacy as he receives Carlos V European Award

On Europe Day, under the austere walls of the Monastery of Yuste in the province of Cáceres, Spain, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres received the Carlos V European Award from the King of Spain, Felipe VI.

Accompanied by the string quartet of the Orchestra of Extremadura, together with the soprano Mar Morán and in the presence of the authorities presiding over the ceremony, Mr. Guterres stressed the need for peace and respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter.

“Never since the creation of the UN and the European Union have these values been so threatened.  That is why today we must raise our voices and reaffirm these values. And, above all, we need peace,” Guterres emphasised.

Peace, mediation and diplomacy

Ukraine took centre stage in the speeches celebrating the Carlos V European Award. In front of the audience, Lana Tryhub, a native of the Ukrainian city of Poltava, spoke of how her life and routine were shattered by the large-scale invasion launched by Russia in the early hours of February 24. “Where do you keep the key to a house you don’t know if you will return to?” she asked those present and, addressing the UN Secretary General, said: “Thank you for showing us that hope is part of life.”

“The Russian invasion of Ukraine, which violates the UN Charter and international law, is causing massive suffering and devastation to the country and its people,” Mr. Guterres stressed. Many places across the globe are currently impacted by conflict, including Sudan, the Middle East and the Sahel. “Wars and humanitarian crises are spreading, sometimes before our eyes, but often far from the spotlight.”

Europe and multilateralism

To meet global challenges, Mr. Guterres called for a reaffirmation of the ideals of peace, justice and international cooperation, in addition to the need for a strong and united Europe that looks outward.

“We need a Europe that relentlessly defends universal values and fundamental rights for all; that fully contributes to a multipolar world, with international relations based on justice, and helps the most vulnerable,” he asserted.

Climate change

On Europe Day, with the EU a key partner of the UN in the fight against climate change, the UN Secretary-General called for the commitment of all countries to achieve peace with nature: “Because the war we are waging against our planet is endangering the very survival of humanity.”

Climate chaos triggers fires, floods, droughts, and other extreme weather phenomena that affect every continent. Each year these phenomena uproot millions of people who often have to seek refuge in equally vulnerable countries and communities.


Mr. Guterres was accompanied by the President and Prime Minister of the Republic of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and António Costa, respectively; the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borrell; the Minister of Defense of the Government of Spain, Margarita Robles; the President of the General Council of the Judiciary, Rafael Mozo; the Ibero-American Secretary General, Andrés Allamand, and the President of the Regional Government of Extremadura, Guillermo Fernández Vara.

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