|Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York|
SECRETARY-GENERAL, IN REMARKS AT ‘PLAY 31’ CHEQUE PRESENTATION CEREMONY,
PLEDGES CONTINUING EFFORTS TO WORK FOR WELL-BEING OF DEFENCELESS PEOPLE
Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the cheque presentation ceremony for “Play 31”, in New York, 13 May:
I sincerely hope that this money, even though it may be modest, can be used for the well-being and benefit of many poor children in Sierra Leone. And I really appreciate your vision and commitment to work for many helpless children around the world.
I feel very proud to have been part of this Play 31 soccer match, together with the distinguished ambassadors. I thank Ambassador [Heraldo] Muñoz of Chile, Ambassador [Christian] Wenaweser of Liechtenstein for their commitment and leadership in organizing this soccer game, and I also appreciate my Special Adviser, Ms. [Radhika] Coomaraswamy, for her continuing efforts and commitment to work for these children in armed conflict. And I also appreciate my Special Adviser on Sports for Development and Peace [Wilfried Lemke], for his continuing efforts and leadership role.
Sports, particularly soccer, can play a bridging role among even enemies, and it can play a healing power [in] conflicts. I know that Mr. Jakob Lund believes in this healing power of soccer, and I really appreciate [that]. We have seen many such cases that soccer and sports in general have created a very important atmosphere, politically -- conducive to the creation of reconciliation.
I sincerely hope the diplomatic community at the United Nations will continue to work together with other leaders for the well-being and benefit of the many many children who need our support. And as Secretary-General, I’m very proud to have been part of your team. I have been playing defence (laughter) -- sometimes goalie. But you may understand that my job as Secretary-General -- one of the important areas of my job is to defend defenceless people and speak for the voiceless people. So I am going to continue to work to defend the well-being of many defenceless people. Thank you very much for your commitment and for this. Thank you.
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