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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Off-the-Cuff

Note to Correspondents on Richard Holbrooke

New York, 14 December 2010

The Secretary-General has written to the family of Richard Holbrooke, who died last night, to say how very sad he was to hear the news and to express his sympathy.

The Secretary-General said that Mr. Holbrooke was a giant and a legend in his time.

“I worked with him often as Foreign Minister, and before that as a younger diplomat, and again very often as UN Secretary-General. His drive was immense. His desire to do good in the world was fierce, and he pursued all he set out to do with a resolution and tenacity that were second to none. He was big-hearted and outsized in every way, not least in his capacity for friendship and uncommon humanity,” the Secretary-General wrote in his letter to the family.

“Many of us at the United Nations stand in his debt, and today we mourn his loss. As the U.S. Permanent Representative, he was an indefatigable champion, raising awareness of AIDS and pushing the Organization to realize its great potential ? in which he deeply believed. The advice on which so many relied reflected the rich breadth and challenge of his extraordinary career. He was there, a man of history: from architecting the Dayton peace accords, to working so hard to bring peace to the people of Afghanistan,” he said. “His legacy will be his works, an inspiration to so many around the world.”


Off-the-Cuff on 14 December 2010