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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

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Opening remarks at press encounter following his election for a second term by the General Assembly

by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN Headquarters, 21 June 2011

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon bows as delegates applaud his appointment to a second term

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.

You have seen my remarks to the General Assembly therefore I will be very brief. Let me reiterate three main points which I would like to tell you [about] at this time. Then I will be happy to answer your questions.

First: mutual trust is the bedrock of the UN's work, and I am humbled and deeply honoured to be asked to serve once again as Secretary-General.

In my remarks to the Member States, I emphasized the power of partnership.

By working together, I told them that nothing is “impossible” as we look to the challenges of the future.

Second: we can be proud of what we have achieved and we should be proud of the progress so far, but clearly we have far to go.

Too many people lack basic human rights. Too many people are hungry. Too many children die needlessly, every day.

That is why the world is turning more and more to the United Nations. Seldom has the United Nations been more relevant; never has it been more necessary.

A broad constellation of NGOs, business leaders and others has been a big part of this. Again, I want to thank our immensely talented UN staff for their dedication and hard work.

Third: in the weeks and months ahead I will be reaching out to the Member States for their views and ideas on the way ahead. Drawing on those conclusions and discussions, I will deliver a broad long-term vision to the General Assembly in September. By January, we will have a detailed action plan for realizing those goals ? not just for 2012, but far beyond.

For now, let me say that I will continue to act as a bridge-builder and catalyst for global action. As we look to the future, let me say also that I do so in full recognition of its responsibilities and its realities.

This morning, as you know, we launched a major initiative to improve sanitation in the world's least developed countries. There we were, talking about the dangers of “open defecation.”

Not everyone likes talking about this kind of subject. The job isn't always glamorous. But it is always meaningful and humbling.

Saving children from diarrhoea, talking about AIDS, having challenging calls with national leaders about human rights abuses ? it isn't always easy, but straight talk about the tough issues can make a real difference.

That's why we are here. Again, I am honoured to have the opportunity to carry on.

A final word: when I first took office four-and-a-half years ago, I said to you that I wanted an open and dynamic relationship with the UN press corps.

It certainly has been dynamic. Thank you very much for your support. I have tried to be as accessible as possible to all of you, and I will continue to do so. As I have often said, you are the world's window on the UN and why it matters.

Thank you very much for your support and good advice. Thank you very much.