UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
14 DECEMBER 2006
Ladies and Gentlemen,
By adopting the Resolution by acclamation the General Assembly is paying tribute to one of the most famous sons of Africa, Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
His career has been unique. He has risen through the ranks of the United Nations and devoted his life's service to the Organization. So, today we are not only bidding farewell to the current Secretary-General, but also to one of the longest serving officials of the United Nations.
As Secretary-General over the past ten years, he has stood at the helm as the United Nations has become a more effective global actor, and demands for its services have grown.
We are grateful to Kofi Annan for having set out a far-reaching reform framework to make the Organization more relevant to the people of the world: a United Nations that lives to serve humanity and the principles of multilateralism.
Kofi Annan will leave a lasting legacy. He has guided the United Nations into the 21st century with vision and leadership. As a result the multilateral system is stronger.
The Secretary-General's tireless efforts to promote peace and security were rightfully rewarded in 2001, when both he and the United Nations received the Nobel Prize. Looking back during an outstanding tenure, I wish to reflect upon some of his significant achievements.
First, the United Nations has a clearer sense of purpose and priority. Peace and Security, Development, Human Rights and the Rule of Law are the three pillars of our work.
Second, through the MDGs we have a program of action to eradicate poverty, and achieve a safer and fairer world for all, particularly in Africa.
Third, one of Kofi Annan's lasting contributions has been to emphasize the interdependence between the global challenges we face today.
It is my sincerest hope that the world will continue to benefit from Kofi Annan's unique experience, wisdom and true dedication to the values and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.
Secretary-General, may I wish you, and Nane, the greatest success in whatever new challenges that you choose to undertake in the future.
Thank you very much.