6 July 2010

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Deeming Queen Elizabeth II ‘Anchor for Our Age’, Secretary-General Pledges to Heed


Her Call to Devote Full Strength to Charter Ideals, Realize Better World for All


Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks to the General Assembly on the occasion of the visit of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, in New York today, 6 July:

We are honoured by your presence, Your Majesty.  In a changing and churning world, you are an anchor for our age.  Your reign spans the decades; from the challenges of the cold war to the threat of global warming, from the Beatles to Beckham, from television to Twitter.  Through the years, you have travelled the world and met its people.  You have become a living symbol of grace, constancy and dignity.

In 1957, you first visited this Chamber when the United Nations was still young.  Over half a century ago, you told the General Assembly that the future would be shaped by more than the formal bonds that unite us.  It would be shaped by the strength of our “devotion”, devotion to the hopes and great ideals of the United Nations Charter:  peace, justice, prosperity.

With you at the helm, the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth have contributed immensely to the United Nations.  Today, the four largest providers of United Nations peacekeeping troops are Commonwealth countries.  Around the world, you are working with us to foster development, advance human rights and promote global security.

In September, we will gather to advance this mission further still by pushing for progress towards the Millennium Development Goals.  This is the blueprint of the world’s leaders — to save lives of the poor and vulnerable, to combat hunger and disease, to promote gender equality and to provide education, opportunity and decent work to billions of people.  We will once again heed your call and devote our full strength to the ideals of our Charter, and to realizing a better world for all.

For your dedication, to the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth, and to the United Nations and our common values, we say thank you and welcome.  We wish you continued good health and we are happy to have you here today.

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For information media • not an official record