Ban Ki-moon's speeches

Opening remarks at joint press conference with H.E. Mr. Michel Roger, Minister of State and Chief of Government of the Principality of Monaco

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Monaco (Monaco), 04 April 2013


Thank you very much for this opportunity and hospitality and warm welcome.

I have had an excellent visit, and I thank the Government and people of Monaco for their warm hospitality and welcome.  I am very much impressed.

I am honoured to be the first United Nations Secretary-General to pay an official visit to this Principality.

I extend my warmest congratulations to the Government of Monaco and people on the 20 years of active and effective membership of the United Nations.

I come to Monaco having visited, in the last few days, San Marino and Andorra. All three are among the smallest United Nations Member States.

But my conviction has been strengthened that small countries can have big ideas and a large role to play in international affairs.

Indeed they must.  Small States number more than half the membership of the United Nations.

They are often hardest hit by economic shocks and the effects of climate change.

Therefore their voices must be heard, individually and collectively, for example through the Forum of Small States.

They can fulfill an important bridge building role on mediation and in addressing issues of international concerns.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

My meetings with His Serene Highness Prince Albert II, His Excellency Prime Minister Michel Roger and Foreign Minister [José] Badia, and then also [members of] the Princely Government covered a range of issues where Monaco is playing a leading role, including women and children’s rights, education and culture, and sustainable development.

We also discussed the crises in Syria and Mali.

We also discussed sustainable development and how we can work together to accelerate the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals.  I have been impressed to see the efforts being made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote sustainability – both here and abroad through activities supported by Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation. 

Sustainable development is a global priority.  Yesterday I asked Prince Albert to help to raise political will among the leaders towards defining sustainable development goals and reaching a globally binding agreement on climate change by the end of 2015.  I am also grateful for Monaco’s support for the UN’s humanitarian efforts, particularly in Haiti, Syria, and Mali.

In my meeting with the Prince, I also thanked him and Princess Charlene for their commitment to using the power of sports for development and peace, and the work of Princess Charlene on behalf of children with autism.

I also commended the work being done by Her Royal Highness Princess Caroline of Hanover as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and UNICEF Children’s Champion, and the contribution made by Her Serene Highness Princess Stephanie of Monaco as an important UNAIDS ambassador, just as introduced by Prime Minister.

Finally, Monaco is one of the first signatories of the Rome Statue of the International Criminal Court.  I encouraged Monaco to join the other 43 European countries and ratify the Rome Statue as soon as possible.  I am encouraged that the Prime Minister and his Government is now very actively considering, positively, on this matter.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In closing, let me say that Monaco may be the smallest United Nations Member State but – to use a metaphor from the Olympic sport of boxing – it punches well above the weight.

Je vous remercie, and thank you very much.