|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Secretary-General, at Event in Honour of United States Permanent Representative,
Says More Such Influential Voices Needed to Push for ‘Common Progress’
Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks, as prepared for delivery, at a reception hosted by the United Nations Foundation and the Business Council for the United Nations in honour of Samantha Power, Permanent Representative of the United States, in New York, on 9 September:
I thank the UN Foundation and the Business Council for the United Nations for organizing this reception, and for their strong support. It is a pleasure to join you all in welcoming Ambassador Power to the United Nations.
Ambassador, you presented your credentials a month ago, but that must feel like ancient history. It has been a busy month, and you have hit the ground running. But, of course, you are a leading global voice on the challenges we face: how best to help people when their own Government is inflicting violence on them; how to prevent genocide and other serious international crimes; how to protect against global indifference, rise above global divisions and uphold the responsibility to act if one can.
You have literally written the book on it. You also know the dilemmas the United Nations faces in this work, not only through your book on genocide, but through your moving biography of Sergio Vieira de Mello. Your advocacy and your many years of experience have enriched the debate in profound ways.
The conflict in Syria is obviously our biggest test of the moment. But, even as we address this immediate crisis, we are also focused on building the long-term foundations of peace, from the Millennium Development Goals to sustainable development and ambitious action on climate change. The United States will play a central role, your voice will be of crucial importance, and we at the United Nations look forward to working with you across our full agenda.
I would also like to welcome Professor [Cass] Sunstein to the UN community. I know you have made many important contributions to the economic and social policies of the Obama Administration. I also appreciate the title of your book on behavioural economics — Nudge.
We need more of that at the United Nations — influential voices and Member States pushing the international community for common progress. With the arrival of a super couple like yourselves, with such a vast pool of wisdom, I hope that you will use your “power” to “nudge” towards the values and the principles of the United Nations Charter.
I know that is the commitment of Ambassador Power. I have been honoured to work closely with her, and I look forward to an even closer partnership to get things done so that the United Nations can meet the high expectations of people across the world.
Ambassador Power, I wish you all the best as you carry out your duties at this challenging time.
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