Ban Ki-moon's speeches

Remarks at Mass in Remembrance of Those Who Died in Haiti

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, New York (USA), 20 January 2010

Your Excellency, Archbishop Migliore, Father Robbins,
Your Excellency Ambassador Léo Mérorès of Haiti,
Dear Colleagues and Friends,

As many of you know, we meet here every year in September, at the opening of the General Assembly, to pray for world peace.

It is my sad duty to be here today on a very different occasion:

To remember and mourn those we have lost in Haiti, and to pray for those who are suffering in the aftermath of the earthquake.

Haiti has lost tens of thousands, of its people.

Hundreds of thousands of people have lost their homes.

Haitians have proven their resilience many times.

They are showing that same, extraordinary resilience and sense of solidarity today.

For the UN, it is the gravest single tragedy in the history of the Organization.

Nearly 50 of our colleagues have lost their lives and still many are not accounted for.

Yet, the United Nations is carrying out its work.

We know that the dearest wish of our fallen colleagues is for the United Nations to carry forward the noble mission they have left for us to finish.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The United Nations and the international community have mobilized humanitarian assistance and early recovery operations.

Long-term reconstruction is now being discussed.

Our mission was up and running again within hours of the disaster, despite the fact that some of those working had lost close family members, friends and colleagues.

I thank Member States of the United Nations for their generous and swift support. I am deeply moved by this expression of love and of our common humanity.

Haiti needs all of our help. It needs your help.

Haitians are a people of strong faith, which sustains and comforts them during this difficult time.

The power of faith is immeasurable. It brings inspiration and support to us when we are in trouble.

It eases our pain and lightens our load.

It often points the way ahead.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Au peuple haïtien, voici ce que je voudrais dire :

Chers Haïtiens, chères Haïtiennes,

Ce que vous venez de vivre est une immense tragédie. Je pleure la perte de valeureux amis.

Sachez que le monde entier est à vos côtés. L'ONU fait absolument tout ce qui est en son pouvoir pour vous venir en aide.

L'ONU vous tient la main.

Mesi anpil.

Thank you all, for this beautiful service, and for your support and prayers in Haiti's time of need.

Thank you.