Secretary-General's remarks at launch of UN Children's Tour
New York, 11 February 2013
It’s a great pleasure to meet you this morning.
Despite all the snow, heavy snow and heavy rain, that did not deter your courage and commitment to the United Nations. I see faces full of expectations, excitement and hope today. I am very glad to see all of you.
I see from all of you, the future leaders of tomorrow. You may become scientists, politicians, actors or actresses, diplomats, businesspersons, musicians. So, the whole world is yours now. So let us work together with the United Nations.
And, I would like to particularly thank our girl champion, Monique Coleman, for her engagement and strong commitment. Do you know that Ms. Coleman is a very famous movie actress and a TV actor? Have you seen her? I’m sure that you must have seen her.
This is a new initiative, to have a children’s guide. The guide has always been there for the last sixty years. Just a couple of months ago we celebrated the sixth decade of UN Guides. You will see many pictures around this place.
Young generations are always important. The United Nations has been discussing how we can give hope and better opportunity and equal opportunities for the future of our leaders – young children.
As you may know, last month I have appointed for the first time in the United Nations a Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Youth. I appointed a 29-year-old Jordanian man [Ahmad Alhindawi]. Normally Special Envoys, Special Representatives they are all distinguished diplomats, politicians, sometimes former Presidents, Prime Ministers, Ministers, very distinguished people.
But, this time for the first time, a 29-year-old is now going to serve as a Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Youth. Talking about and discussing about your own future. So have a great hope.
I’m going to hand over the torch which I am carrying to you soon…tomorrow. That’s yours now.
We have 193 Member States. It’s not that we are working only with Member States. We are working with the business community, with civil society communities and there are many other people.
So, bring your children, bring your friends, and your teachers, your family, your parents to the United Nations, so that we all work together.
It’s not that you only study in school. You have to know what the United Nations is doing for peace, prosperity, and harmony, and how to address poverty, how to help sick people. They are all your friends.
There are so many young children around the world who are not as lucky, as fortunate as you are studying in the United States.
The United Nations is doing all we can to help those people. You will be able to see and learn more from all corners of the United Nations - what we are doing and how we are doing it. You will soon learn all this.
And I’d like to thank our six new “UN Kids” [characters in activity booklet that accompanies the children's tour.]. I’d like to introduce – Peeka, Ibrahim, Lei Lei, MP3, Elena and Luis. They are our new “UN Kids”, who will guide all of you.
We are working for peace and prosperity and human rights, particularly for girls and women all around the world.
We are working very hard to reduce the nuclear weapons. We are working very hard to control the armaments, illegal armaments, guns which have been killing many people around the world.
These are what you have to learn and these are what you have to do yourself soon.
Therefore, let’s work together with the United Nations. And I have a great expectation of all of you, young children. And have a great hope, have big dreams - to work for the United Nations, work with the United Nations, work at the United Nations.
Thank you very much.
Statements on 11 February 2013
- New York, 11 February 2013 - Secretary-General's remarks at the Sorensen Distinguished Lecture on the United Nations at the Council on Foreign Relations [as prepared for delivery]
- New York, 11 February 2013 - Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on attacks on health workers
- Paris, France, 11 February 2013 - Secretary-General's video message for International Year of Water Cooperation 2013