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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

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New York, 23 September 2014 - Secretary-General's message for the Appeal of Conscience Foundation World Statesman Award Ceremony

I am delighted to convey my greetings to all of those who have gathered for this important event. I thank Rabbi Arthur Schneier and the Appeal of Conscience Foundation for their efforts in promoting human rights, inter-faith dialogue and cross-cultural understanding. 

You meet as world leaders gather for the annual session of the General Assembly, and on the day when the Climate Summit generated encouraging progress towards the action we need to address this existential threat.

This is a time of turmoil and test for the human family.  From Syria to Iraq, from Ukraine to South Sudan and the Central African Republic, conflicts are displacing millions and taking a tragic toll. We also face the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa.  

Our challenge is to address these emergencies while continuing to build the long-term pillars of peace by pressing ahead towards the Millennium Development Goals and shaping a bold new agenda for the period beyond the year 2015.

What is clearer than ever is that multilateral solutions have a central role to play in our responses. No one country can halt climate change. No country acting alone can prevent the spread of Ebola. No single organization can bring peace to Syria or halt the growing reach of extremist groups.

The Appeal of Conscience Foundation will continue to be an invaluable voice in these efforts. I offer congratulations to tonight’s honorees and look forward to the contributions you will continue to make to our shared work of building a world of dignity for all.

Statements on 23 September 2014