22 June 2011

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

Secretary-General Tells General Assembly President-Elect ‘You Have Already Made a


Significant Contribution; You Will Do Even More as Leader of Most Universal Body’


Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks on the election of the President of the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly, today, 22 June, in New York: 

Thank you very much, Mr. President.  Allow me to express my gratitude for your important contributions over the past year.  I especially welcome your initiatives on the responsibility to protect, human security, the green economy and other pressing global challenges.  You have been a wonderful partner.  I look forward to continuing our work in the months ahead.

I also look forward to working with your successor.  I congratulate, warmly, His Excellency Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser of Qatar on his election as President of the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly.

Ambassador Al-Nasser, you have already ably served as President of the Security Council, Chairman of the Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization) and Chairman of the Group of 77 [developing countries and China].  You have dealt with critical challenges, from war and instability to sustainable development and South-South cooperation.  And you have personally led the way on an issue that is of great concern to me and to my wife — the world’s response to autism.

Qatar itself is an increasingly important actor in the international arena.  I have been to Doha many times for major international talks:  on Libya, peace in the Middle East, the financial crisis, democracy, development and trade.  Qatar also continues to play a role in facilitating the Darfur peace talks.  I am grateful for this wide-ranging support for the work of the United Nations.

Mr. President-elect, Ambassador Al-Nasser, in more than 12 years at the United Nations you have always appreciated the special role of the General Assembly.  As you once said, “An enduring characteristic of this Organization is that — irrespective of the political and practical changes — the General Assembly remains its most inclusive body”.

I completely agree.  Long before I became Secretary-General, I had close contacts with the General Assembly, especially as Chef de Cabinet when [the Republic of] Korea was President a decade ago.  I know from personal experience what the General Assembly can accomplish.  I understand your Office needs support to get the job done.  And I will always work to keep our partnership strong.

Mr. President-elect, you have already made a significant contribution, and I am sure that you will do even more as the leader of this most universal United Nations body.

There is a great deal of work ahead.  Millions of people around the world are looking to the United Nations with hope.  We must answer their hopes with action.

Please accept my heartfelt congratulations. MabrukShukran!

Thank you very much.

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For information media • not an official record