President delivers Keynote Address at UN Association of USA
2017 Leadership Summit
New York, 12 June 2017, The President of the UN General Assembly, Peter Thomson, delivered a keynote address this afternoon, 12 June, at the 2017 Leadership Summit of the United Nations Association of the United States of America. Over 400 participants gathered in Washington DC today to attend the three-day Leadership Summit and be updated on current UN issues, exchange views, and meet with high-ranking U.S. Government and UN officials.
In his address, President Thomson stressed the abiding relationship between the US and the UN, pointing to the special status of the US as a founding member of the UN, a strong protector of the UN Charter, a permanent member of the Security Council, and the host of UN Headquarters in New York.
He said the UN, founded from the “untold sorrows” of World War Two, was created to take us towards a world of tolerance; a world in which we live together in peace, respecting our obligations arising from international treaties and international law.
President Thomson praised the work of the United Nations Association of the USA, saying it had a proud history of promoting the high ideals for which the UN stands. He said the Association’s chapters had, “served as faithful advocates of the fundamental truth that the United Nations represents great value for the United States.”
Acknowledging that the performance of the UN has had its imperfections over the years, the President said, “the balance of good done by our organization far outweighs the negative,” and that it was “difficult to imagine effective world governance without the UN.” He told the Association that UN Secretary-General Guterres was dedicated to the task of revitalizing and reforming the United Nations to make it more responsive to the needs of those the UN serves, particularly in the fields of conflict prevention and the sustaining of peace.
Following his keynote address, the President participated in a robust question and answer session alongside Kathy Calvin, CEO and President of the UN Foundation, covering such topics as international migration, peace and security, the Sustainable Development Goals, climate change, and last week’s conclusions from The Ocean Conference.