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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

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New York, 20 October 2014 - Secretary-General’s Remarks at unveiling of re-installed gift from Latvia to the United Nations

 [As prepared for delivery]

Labdien. I am delighted to welcome you to this wonderful occasion. We are here to return a treasure to its rightful home at the United Nations.

This beautiful gift from Latvia is called “Hope.” That is just the uplifting message the world needs as we confront many difficult and complex crises.

The United Nations is now leading the international response to devastating conflicts, intolerance, poverty and diseases, including the Ebola outbreak.

We need hope as we strive to reach the Millennium Development Goals, shape a new vision for sustainable development, and forge a new universal climate agreement.

I thank the Permanent Mission of Latvia for safeguarding this precious artwork while we renovated the General Assembly Building.

Now, for generations to come, visitors, UN delegates and staff will be inspired by this tapestry’s message of hope.

This tapestry depicts Latvia’s Freedom Monument, which I visited last year.

I was there to celebrate the 95th anniversary of the country’s establishment. At the time, I was especially inspired by Latvia’s slogan: “Going with the force of spirit against the force of arms.”

The United Nations is advancing based on the conviction that human solidarity is stronger than any weapon. In this effort, I take heart from our valuable partnership with Latvia.

The United Nations is striving to give hope to the peoples of the world, just as Latvia has given the United Nations this wonderful tapestry called Hope.

Thank you. Paldies.

Statements on 20 October 2014