|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
Secretary-General Asks President of Bolivia to Speak at Climate Change Conference,
Commending Nation’s Harmonious Relationship with ‘Mother Nature’
Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at his arrival in El Torno, Bolivia, on 13 June:
Buenos días. [Good day.] Estoy muy contento de estar en Bolivia. [I am pleased to be in Bolivia.] Estoy muy contento de estar en El Torno. [I am pleased to be in El Torno]. Muchas gracias por su hospitalidad. [Thank you for your hospitality.] Muchas gracias por este caluroso recibimiento y por celebrar mi cumpleaños. [Thank you for your warm welcome and your celebrations of my birthday.] Es un gran honor. Un gran placer de estar en Bolivia. [It is a great honor. A great pleasure to be in Bolivia.]
As I flew here with President [Evo Morales] by helicopter and plane, I marvelled at the beautiful scenery. You are living in such a great country and such a beautiful country. You Bolivian people have a big broad heart. I cannot express how much I was touched by your friendship and your warm welcome and support for me. I cannot express any suitable word either in English, Spanish or even Korean to say how much I was moved by you and your welcome.
I also thought of the long and proud heritage of the people of Bolivia and the Andes. I meet many people from around the world as Secretary-General of the United Nations. The diversity of our world is our great strength. I find that diversity in Bolivia. I find the wisdom of the Bolivian people who have lived thousand and thousand years harmoniously with our mother nature. I appreciate the wisdom and perseverance and resilience of our distinguished indigenous people.
In September, at the United Nations, we will have the first ever world conference on the rights of indigenous people. We will discuss how to promote and protect buenvivir of the indigenous people. We will also convene a climate change summit meeting. I have asked President Morales to come to the United Nations as President of Bolivia and, more importantly, as Chair of the “Group of 77 and China”, to raise the voice of more than half of the world’s population.
We must protect and respect Mother Earth. These are the goals of the United Nations. We want to eradicate poverty and help people to live in harmony with nature. Everyone, each and every one of you has a role to play. Whether you are rich or poor. Whether you are a man or a woman. Whether you are young or old. You have raised your voice.
I am glad that yesterday, today and tomorrow, I am seeing for myself how you are living and what your challenges are. I will convey these messages to the United Nations Member States. The message is that buenvivir is possible in all corners of the world and in Bolivia.
I am deeply honoured that this stadium is named after me. I will come back to play soccer, basketball or volleyball with you here. Muchas gracias and God bless you.
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