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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Statement

Secretary-General's remarks opening of the 70th session of the General Assembly [scroll down for bilingual (as delivered) and all-English versions]

New York, 15 September 2015

[as delivered, bilingual version]

It is a great pleasure to be with you to open the 70th session of the General Assembly. 

Mr. President, congratulations once again on your election.  Your wide-ranging experience as Foreign Minister, Finance Minister and Speaker of the Danish parliament bodes well as you take on your new responsibilities.

Much important work lies ahead.

World leaders will gather at the highest level to adopt the landmark 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  Member States are also moving towards a meaningful and universal agreement on climate change in December this year.  The United Nations system is readying itself to support achieving the new goals.  Financing will be a crucial and early test of commitment -- and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda provides important guidance.

In the weeks ahead, the General Assembly will deepen its discussions on my new report on the future of United Nations peace operations, and on the review of our peacebuilding architecture.  These efforts, along with the 15-year review of Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, can help us strengthen our responses at a critical time.

A number of major milestones are on the 2016 calendar.

The High-level debate of the General Assembly on the World Drug Problem is expected to take place in April.  I encourage Member States to arrive at common solutions on how to address this threat to people and communities.  The need for a shared global responsibility has never been greater. No country is immune, just as no nation can address this challenge alone.

The Habitat 3 conference in Quito in October can showcase what works and help steer the world’s cities and settlements onto a more sustainable path.

The World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in May comes at a time when nearly 60 million people have been displaced by conflict and violence -- more than at any other time since the Second World War. Human suffering and economic losses from disasters caused by natural hazards are rising. And yet, just over one-third of humanitarian funding requirements for this year have been met. Your leadership is critical to make the changes that are needed to address pressing humanitarian challenges and build a safer world for all. I urge you to continue to give the Summit process your full support.

Cette session est celle du soixante-dixième anniversaire de la création de l’Organisation des Nations Unies. Les principes énoncés dans la Charte ont résisté à l’épreuve du temps et l’ONU a à son actif un grand nombre de succès. Mais d’innombrables personnes souffrent encore dans le monde. Aujourd’hui, j’ai une pensée toute particulière pour les Syriens, ceux qui, dans leur pays, font face à une violence terrible, et ceux qui ont fui, cherchant désespérément un lieu sûr où entamer une vie meilleure.

La soixante-dixième session de l’Assemblée générale doit être placée sous le signe de la compassion, de la prévention et, surtout, de l’action.

Tous les membres du Secrétariat et moi-même entendons vous fournir tout l’appui possible, à vous, Monsieur le Président, et à tous les États Membres, pour nous acquitter de notre responsabilité à l’égard des générations actuelle et futures.

Merci beaucoup. Thank you, Mr. President.

*****
THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
--
Remarks at opening of the 70th session of the General Assembly
New York, 15 September 2015

[all-English version]

It is a great pleasure to be with you to open the 70th session of the General Assembly. 

Mr. President, congratulations once again on your election.  Your wide-ranging experience as Foreign Minister, Finance Minister and Speaker of the Danish parliament bodes well as you take on your new responsibilities.

Much important work lies ahead.

World leaders will gather at the highest level to adopt the landmark 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  Member States are also moving towards a meaningful and universal agreement on climate change in December this year.  The UN system is readying itself to support achieving the new goals.  Financing will be a crucial and early test of commitment -- and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda provides important guidance.

In the weeks ahead, the General Assembly will deepen its discussions on my new report on the future of United Nations peace operations, and on the review of our peacebuilding architecture.  These efforts, along with the 10-year review of Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security, can help us strengthen our responses at a critical time.

A number of major milestones are on the 2016 calendar.

The High-level debate of the General Assembly on the World Drug Problem is expected to take place in April.  I encourage Member States to arrive at common solutions on how to address this threat to people and communities.  The need for a shared global responsibility has never been greater. No country is immune, just as no nation can address this challenge alone.

The Habitat 3 conference in Quito in October can showcase what works and help steer the world’s cities and settlements onto a more sustainable path.

The World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul in May comes at a time when nearly 60 million people have been displaced by conflict and violence -- more than at any other time since the Second World War. Human suffering and economic losses from disasters caused by natural hazards are rising. And yet, just over one-third of humanitarian funding requirements for this year have been met. Your leadership is critical to make the changes that are needed to address pressing humanitarian challenges and build a safer world for all. I urge you to continue to give the Summit process your full support.

This session marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations.  The Charter’s principles have stood the test of time, and the United Nations can look back on a record of achievement.  At the same time, we know that suffering remains widespread across the world.  My thoughts today are especially with the people of Syria – those inside the country facing terrible violence, and those who have fled, desperately seeking a safe haven and a better life.

This 70th Assembly session must be one of compassion, prevention and, above all, action.

We in the Secretariat and I personally look forward to providing our full support to you, Mr. President, and to all the Member States in upholding our responsibilities to today’s and succeeding generations.

Thank you, Mr. President.


Statements on 15 September 2015