4 December 2013

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

Secretary-General, at United Nations Correspondents Association Photo Show,

Says Journalists Help People Better Understand Complex World

Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moonís remarks, as delivered at the opening of the United Nations Correspondents Association (UNCA) photo exhibition and handover of the UNCA Directory 2013, in New York on 4 December:

Itís a great pleasure to see you.† In fact, I came back late last night, legally speaking early tomorrow morning.† I came back from Peru and itís a great pleasure to see you soon after my return.† I would like to extend my deepest thanks and most sincere seasonís greetings as we are going to soon welcome the new year and also say good-bye to this year.

Usually when we meet, you always ask me many difficult questions.† But, I hope that you will be patient enough to wait until Monday, 16 December, when I will give you enough time.

But, today, let us be more joyous.† Today is, in fact, about you.† The Directory that I will shortly receive is a tangible reminder of how many journalists report on the United Nations.† This past year you lost two valued members of your community ó Graham Usher, a distinguished writer on the Middle East, and television cameraman Glenn Gabel.† My thoughts are with their families and friends.† They should be proud of the legacy these two men left behind.

Our world is complex.† Journalists like them ó like you ó help people better understand it.† That is why I am always grateful for all the correspondents accredited at the United Nations.† You provide indispensable scrutiny, analysis and publicity.

Today is also an opportunity to acknowledge the important role of photojournalists.† The outstanding images on display succeed where the written word often struggles.† We see the lonely challenge of keeping the peace in hostile territory, the joy on the faces of Palestinian delegates on the day Palestine became a non-member observer State, the bewilderment of a child in the rubble of war.† We also see the photographerís art:† the urgent focus of a reporterís raised pen; the bustle of an intense meeting.

This is the third edition of this exhibition.† Each year it gets bigger and better.† I commend Mr. Cia Pak and the judges, who this year sorted more than 600 entries.

I look forward to presenting the awards.† I also look forward to celebrating further journalistic achievements and our essential partnership on 18 December at the UNCA dinner.† Letís see what I can show you on that day.† We always have an excellent time, and it is a highlight of my year.

Now, before I hand the floor to Ms. Falk to present the UNCA Directory and the photo awards, allow me to propose a toast:† To all the hard working correspondents at the United Nations, thank you.† We need and value you.† May you continue to shine a light on all we do and everything we stand for.

Cheers.† Thank you.

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For information media • not an official record