New York, 17 September 2010 - Secretary-General's remarks at "Tea Gathering for Peace"Mr. [Genshitsu] Sen, [President of the United Nations Association of Japan],
Excellencies, Distinguished guests,
First, let me thank Dr. Sen for conducting this tea ceremony at the United Nations. This is quite an impressive tea house.
I understand that “Chado”, or the “Way of Tea,” is based on four principles, which as Koreans, we also highly value: Harmony, Respect, Purity and Tranquility. These are four words which we Koreans also highly value. I think it is the same with everybody.
It is therefore most appropriate that we should mark the International Day of Peace today by experiencing “peacefulness through a bowl of tea.”
Dr. Sen is well-known for his tireless work for peace and understanding in Japan and around the world.
I recall with great pleasure our meeting in August at the United Nations Association of Japan dinner which he hosted for me and for my delegation in Tokyo.
I was in Japan to commemorate the 65th anniversary of the atomic bombings on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
I will never forget the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony.
I will never forget meeting the survivors – the hibakusha – or their painful and moving testimony. I was very impressed and moved this morning when young students sang a song of peace with the piano which survived the atomic attack 65 years ago. The piano was transported for that ceremony today. It was quite moving. And I am still keeping the gift of citizens of Hiroshima, the 1,000 paper cranes, meaning longevity. Not because I want to live 1,000 years, but because I hope that this peace will be with everybody around the world. I am keeping that gift in my residence in the reception hall.
It was a poignant reminder of the importance of preventing conflict and achieving peace.
Every day, I work for peace. And we work for peace together.
But preventing conflict goes far beyond helping adversaries to resolve their differences.
It requires solid foundations. Tolerance. Respect for human rights. Development and opportunity for all.
Next week we will address many of these weighty issues.
The Millennium Development Goals. Nuclear disarmament. Preserving biodiversity. Combating terrorism. A peaceful future for Sudan.
Our world is full of conflict and unrest. The daily headlines speak of violence, danger and need.
Our job at the United Nations -- our responsibility -- is to support people in their yearning for peace.
As we cradle these cups of tea, let us reflect on the symbolism: the future of the world truly is in our hands.
What we do here in the weeks ahead can make a tremendous difference for many people around the world, for peace.
Statements on 17 September 2010
- New York, 17 September 2010 - Secretary-General's remarks at launch of revised humanitarian funding plan for Pakistan floods
- Geneva, Switzerland, 17 September 2010 - Secretary-General's message to event on ending violence and criminal sanctions based on sexual orientation and gender identity [Delivered by Ms. Navanethem Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights]
- New York, 17 September 2010 - Secretary-General's remarks at International Day of Peace Student Observance
- New York, 17 September 2010 - Secretary-General's remarks at Peace Bell Ceremony