|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
SECRETARY-GENERAL ANNAN CONGRATULATES INCOMING SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN
AT GENERAL ASSEMBLY SWEARING-IN CEREMONY
Following is the text of remarks today by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the General Assembly tribute to the Secretary-General and oath-of-office ceremony of Secretary-General-designate Ban Ki-moon:
I am deeply honoured and truly touched by the words you have spoken. After 10 wonderful years as Secretary-General, it is humbling to be recognized for simply doing what you love to do.
Despite many difficulties and some setbacks, in the past decade, we have achieved much that I am proud of. In a time of sweeping change and great challenge, the United Nations remoulded and reoriented itself. It became more transparent, accountable and responsive. It began to better address the needs of individuals worldwide. It faced emerging threats, as well as familiar ones, head-on.
And it internalized the notion, as we have heard this morning, that development, security and human rights must go hand in hand; and that there can be no security without development and no development without security, and neither can be sustained in the longer term without being rooted in the rule of law and respect for human rights.
Credit for these changes must also go, first of all, to you, the Member States of this Organization. You have guided this Organization, supported its mission and made far-reaching reform possible.
Let me also thank the truly exceptional men and women who serve the United Nations. Whatever I have achieved, I owe to their commitment and support, both in the field and at Headquarters. It is they who have lent me their shoulders. It is they who deserve your praise, and my gratitude.
For me, personally, their -- and your -- steadfast support and encouragement have often made the difference between an impossible job and an exhilarating one. Their friendship has sustained me over the years. It is the treasure I shall take into private life.
I depart convinced that today’s United Nations does more than ever before. It does it better than ever before. Yet, our work is far from complete -- indeed, it will never be.
It falls to my successor to carry forward the UN’s valuable mission. From the contacts I have had with him, I already know that you have chosen well. Our Organization will be in safe hands.
Mr. Ban, let me congratulate you again on your appointment. You have already had a long and very distinguished career in international diplomacy. But I can safely tell you that your most rewarding years lie just ahead. I wish you both the strength and the courage to make the most of them.
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