Remarks at the end of the Secretary-General's meeting with the Mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni
Rome, Italy, 19 April 2007SG: Thank you very much, Mr. Mayor, it is a great pleasure for me to visit, at the invitation of the Mayor, this historic and oldest capital city in the world. I am very proud to be a guest in Italy. Italy is one of the important members of the United Nations, contributing greatly financially and in terms of peacekeeping operations, and Rome and other Italian cities are host to many UN agencies.
I am very much grateful; I look forward to such continuing Italian contribution and commitment to UN activities. In that regard, as the Secretary-General of the United Nations, I am very grateful. I am also very grateful to the Mayor and citizens of Rome for this hospitality, and I am particularly impressed, having known the Mayor's vision, and I think we share the same vision.
I, as the Secretary-General of the United Nations, and him, as the Mayor of Rome, I think we have the same vision to address all the African challenges. In addition to what he has achieved for the development and preservation of history and culture, he has done a great deal to address African development, as well as on peace and security issues. I have expressed my admiration for his vision, and I think I have made a very good partner for the work of the United Nations in the city of Rome in Italy.
All in all, I think I have the full support from the Italian Government, full support and a strong partner in the Mayor of Rome.
We discussed, in relation to this, the urgency and the importance of intra-religious dialogue, the Alliance of Civilizations, to promote reconciliation between the different cultures and ethnic groups, and particularly religious groups. This is what the Mayor has been promoting and this is what I have been promoting as the Secretary-General of the United Nations. I am going soon to appoint a High Representative who will work for me to promote this very important idea of the Alliance of Civilizations, to promote the further dialogue, to promote further appreciation among different cultures, civilizations and religions. I hope, with combined efforts, we will promote a much better and secure world at this time and I am very much happy to visit. I look forward to another visit in the near future. Thank you very much.
Off-the-Cuff on 19 April 2007