Monaco Reception: “Formula E, New Technologies for SDGs, Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies”

– As delivered –

Statement by H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, President of the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly, at Reception: “Formula E, New Technologies for SDGs
Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies”.


Good evening everyone!

I want to start by thanking Ambassador Picco… Consul General Pallanca Pastor….. and Special Envoy Todt.

We are here to celebrate the anniversary of the Accession of His Highness, Prince Albert the Second of Monaco, to the throne.

We are also here to talk about the exciting technologies being developed by Venturi motor company.

And, I am glad that we are – particularly because I think this event is directly linked to the work of the United Nations.

…For three main reasons.

First, because transport and technology are key to everything we are doing here, at the UN.

For example, we cannot talk about expanding healthcare or education ….without asking whether transport infrastructure will allow people to travel to hospitals or schools.

We cannot focus on fighting poverty….without exploring new opportunities for sustainable growth, like green technologies.

And we cannot work towards smart cities or a sustainable planet, without looking at the emissions of cars on the road.

But, as my second point, I want to look specifically at the Formula E championship.

Because it is also relevant to what we are doing here.

Sports represent a universal language.

It has been used to build links between UN blue helmets and the communities they protect. It has helped to reintegrate child soldiers into society. And, last year, the United Nations General Assembly came together – to call for the Olympic Truce to be observed, across the world.

OK…..motor sports haven’t exactly made it into the UN’s work!

However, the same fundamentals apply: … teamwork, fairness, discipline, and respect for rules and opponents. These are things that can bring people together – no matter how wide the divides of language, culture or politics may be.

But, as my third point, I want to look at the other side of the Formula E championship.

It is one that does not often catch the limelight.

And here, I am talking about sustainability.

When we think about sustainable sports, cycling or walking might jump to mind. But, actually, Formula E is changing the game.

[We could even say that it is making a move for pole position!]

And, the innovations and experiments being seen go far beyond the racetrack.

Clean technologies have the potential to improve the world around us. And they could open up new opportunities for sustainable growth.

But, as with all innovations, we need to look at ways in which the benefits can be felt – not just by some -but by all.

And that is why the roundtable talk, tonight, is so crucial.

It brings the world of motorsports to the United Nations. And it gives us a chance to find even more opportunities to work together, going forward.

So, thanks, again, to our hosts this evening.

And good luck to the racers and teams this coming weekend!

Thank you all again.