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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Off-the-Cuff

Secretary-General's remarks at press event designating Lang Lang as a United Nations Messenger of Peace

New York, 28 October 2013

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen of the media.

This is a very special day for the United Nations.  I am very grateful and impressed by such a big turnout of journalists today. When I had a press conference, not as many journalists have participated.  But we have Lang Lang today and this hall is full. Thank you very much for your participation.

Lang Lang is one of the most exciting and accomplished musicians of our time.

He has performed for world leaders and worked with some of the greatest orchestras and maestros. We all saw him play at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.

But he has also used his art and ability to inspire audiences to improve the lives of children everywhere around the world.

For the past 10 years, Lang Lang has served as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador. 

We are thrilled that he has agreed to expand his work as a United Nations Messenger of Peace.

Messengers of Peace play a vital role in sharing what the United Nations does and why it matters.

Lang Lang will work with us on one of my biggest priorities, global education.

My Global Education First Initiative focuses on three goals: first, getting every child in the world in school -- we still have 57 million school-aged children out of school. We have to get them in school; improving the quality of learning; and also fostering global citizenship.

Lang Lang is a true global citizen.

I understand that he first became interested in the piano in a most unusual way – as a three-year old watching Tom and Jerry cartoons!

You’ve come a long way!

Music has the power to open hearts and minds. 

Through his playful spirit and profound talent, Lang Lang connects people, not only through his music, but also through his passion to build a better world through education. 
I know Lang Lang’s message will strike a chord from symphony halls to school halls. 

It is with great pleasure and pride that I designate Lang Lang as a United Nations Messenger of Peace.

Lang Lang, congratulations and great work for peace in the world.