Welcome to the United Nations. It's your world.

United Nations Day 24 October 2009

General Assembly President's Message

Remarks by H.E. Dr. Ali Abdussalam Treki
President of the United Nations General Assembly
at the UN Day Concert, 23 October 2009

I am honored and delighted in joining all of you tonight to celebrate the UN Day. These celebrations mark our abiding commitment to the purposes and principles of the United Nations, the international organization, which, “We the Peoples”, established 64 years ago.

The unique place and the indispensable role of the United Nations in addressing the complex and rapidly evolving challenges of today are well recognized. This is an ideal forum to promote cooperative multilateral efforts in the pursuit of our common objectives of peace and development.

A primary purpose of the United Nations is to maintain international peace and security. Peacekeeping has emerged as a major tool in this regard, enabling the UN to help contain conflicts and restore peace and stability around the globe. Success in recent years has led to increase in demand for UN peacekeeping, which in turn is a sign of enhanced trust and confidence in the United Nations. Today, peacekeeping is one of the core activities of the United Nations. It is therefore befitting that this year’s UN Day Concert has as its main theme “A Tribute to Peacekeeping”.

Our tribute is reserved, in the first place, for the hundreds of thousands of men and women who have served the cause of peace under the UN flag over the years. We owe our success to their professionalism, courage, dedication and selflessness.

Our utmost respect and homage is due especially to those brave peacekeepers who have made the ultimate sacrifice by laying down their lives while serving the people in need. We should also bear in mind that the blue helmets essentially provide a vital bridge to stability and long-term peace and development. Along with peacekeeping, it is therefore important to pursue efforts for peace-building, as well as for conflict prevention and resolution, in the context of a comprehensive approach.

And since peacekeeping is a collective endeavour, its continued success depends on the political will and support of the Member States. The truly international character of UN peacekeeping is evident in that 115 countries today contribute over 130,000 military, police and civilian personnel to UN peacekeeping Missions. Our highest tributes go to these Member States. We also owe our gratitude to the large number of NGOs and volunteers for their dedicated service for populations in the host countries.

I am also pleased to note that tonight’s concert includes performances by renowned artists representing many of the Member States committed to and deeply engaged in UN peacekeeping.

Music and art promote many noble purposes. They unleash innovation and creativity; unite people from different regions and cultures; and provide a common medium to advance dialogue, understanding and reconciliation. A live demonstration of that, we would have in this concert.

I would like to thank all those who have worked hard to bring together tonight’s activities, namely DPKO, DPI, and in particular the Culture Project. Quite often, art is a casualty of war. To restore art and culture to peoples’ lives and to help rebuild societies through images, words and sound, is a great service indeed.

Let us start this evening’s performance by saying a heart-felt “Thank you” to the Member States who contribute to UN Peacekeeping and to all the men and women serving this noble cause with devotion, and particularly remembering those who have given their lives for the safety and security of their fellow human beings. I am honored and delighted in joining all of you tonight to celebrate the UN Day. These celebrations mark our abiding commitment to the purposes and principles of the United Nations, the international organization, which, “We the Peoples”, established 64 years ago.

The unique place and the indispensable role of the United Nations in addressing the complex and rapidly evolving challenges of today are well recognized. This is an ideal forum to promote cooperative multilateral efforts in the pursuit of our common objectives of peace and development.  

A primary purpose of the United Nations is to maintain international peace and security. Peacekeeping has emerged as a major tool in this regard, enabling the UN to help contain conflicts and restore peace and stability around the globe. Success in recent years has led to increase in demand for UN peacekeeping, which in turn is a sign of enhanced trust and confidence in the United Nations. Today, peacekeeping is one of the core activities of the United Nations. It is therefore befitting that this year’s UN Day Concert has as its main theme “A Tribute to Peacekeeping”.

Our tribute is reserved, in the first place, for the hundreds of thousands of men and women who have served the cause of peace under the UN flag over the years. We owe our success to their professionalism, courage, dedication and selflessness.

Our utmost respect and homage is due especially to those brave peacekeepers who have made the ultimate sacrifice by laying down their lives while serving the people in need.  
We should also bear in mind that the blue helmets essentially provide a vital bridge to stability and long-term peace and development. Along with peacekeeping, it is therefore important to pursue efforts for peace-building, as well as for conflict prevention and resolution, in the context of a comprehensive approach. 

And since peacekeeping is a collective endeavour, its continued success depends on the political will and support of the Member States. The truly international character of UN peacekeeping is evident in that 115 countries today contribute over 130,000 military, police and civilian personnel to UN peacekeeping Missions. Our highest tributes go to these Member States. We also owe our gratitude to the large number of NGOs and volunteers for their dedicated service for populations in the host countries.   

I am also pleased to note that tonight’s concert includes performances by renowned artists representing many of the Member States committed to and deeply engaged in UN peacekeeping. 

Music and art promote many noble purposes. They unleash innovation and creativity; unite people from different regions and cultures; and provide a common medium to advance dialogue, understanding and reconciliation. A live demonstration of that, we would have in this concert.

I would like to thank all those who have worked hard to bring together tonight’s activities, namely DPKO, DPI, and in particular the Culture Project. Quite often, art is a casualty of war. To restore art and culture to peoples’ lives and to help rebuild societies through images, words and sound, is a great service indeed.

Let us start this evening’s performance by saying a heart-felt “Thank you” to the Member States who contribute to UN Peacekeeping and to all the men and women serving this noble cause with devotion, and particularly remembering those who have given their lives for the safety and security of their fellow human beings. Thank you.