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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon


Secretary-General's remarks following meeting with the Honorable Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City

New York, 2 June 2014

Thank you Mr. Mayor.

It is a great honour and pleasure for me to visit this City Hall and meet with you for the first time, even though we have already spoken over the telephone. 

I’d like to highly commend your leadership.  And, the whole United Nations community and I personally wish you continued good success in leading this great city.

I personally enjoy being one of the New Yorkers.   This is my third time living in New York, beginning from the 1970’s.  By the time I finish my job as Secretary-General, I would have lived in New York, maybe at least 14 years. 

This is almost the twelfth year that I have been living in New York. I am really enjoying such a great life and diversity which New York City is providing under your leadership.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have had very good and fruitful discussions and exchanges on the matters of our common concerns.  The UN owes a lot in terms of friendship and support and hospitality to great citizens and the great city of New York, with a new mayor. 

I wish you all the best and I count on your continued support.

We talked about climate change – how big cities like New York City can contribute to solutions of climate change. As you know, big cities like New York generate and create some problems, but at this home of innovation, we can find solutions from this great city. 

That is why I welcome your pledge for making this great city “green” and also your framework for sustainable cities.  This is a very important innovative initiative. 

And that is why I have invited Mayor de Blasio to the United Nations Climate Change Summit Meeting, which will be held on September 23rd this year. 

I hope you will bring your ambitious visions for climate change to the Member States, so that the many cities around the world can emulate your leadership and vision.

And I really appreciate your initiative in organizing New York Climate Week and I’ll try to participate myself.  I know that there’s a huge support among citizens here. I really am looking forward to working with you on this matter.

We also discussed many other issues, like how big cities and the United Nations, as a whole, can work on emergency preparedness and also reducing risks from disasters.  

I’m very glad that the Office of Emergency Management of New York City and the United Nations Emergency Preparedness Support Team have already been working very closely on this matter. 

And we also try to be helpful in recovering from Sandy [Super Storm].

I thank the Mayor for the City’s helpful cooperation in renovating our landmark United Nations Headquarters and thank you for your very generous security support.  We are well under your hands.

The United Nations draws great inspiration from its home in New York. UN staff love living here because like New Yorkers, they are wonderfully diverse.

New York is the city that never sleeps; the United Nations works around the clock, around the world, to address global challenges.

We are part of what makes this great city of New York a world capital, as it is.

Mayor de Blasio, I look forward to close ties with you in the future, and with your administration.

This is a time of test and transformation for the entire world.  The United Nations is working to end the bloodshed in Syria, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Mali and Libya, and we are also working very hard to help de-escalate tension in Ukraine.  This is something which we have discussed during our meeting and you can count on us. At the same time, we count on the US leadership of President Obama and other world leaders on these matters. We are also determined to deepen global foundations of peace and security through our efforts to advance development, create decent jobs and protect human rights.

I know these are among the hopes and hallmarks of your new administration.  Success in New York can send a powerful message around the world because you are a centre for economy, social development and innovation. So I hope we can learn a lot.

You know the famous saying: if you can make it here, you’ll make it anywhere.

Mr. Mayor, thank you very much for your strong leadership and support to the United Nations and you can count on the United Nations. We really enjoy living in New York, as New Yorkers. At the same time, let’s work together to make this world a better place.

Thank you.