Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the International Jazz Day Concert, held in Paris on 30 April:
Thank you so much, UNESCO [United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization] Director-General Irina Bokova.
I am grateful to UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz for consistently supporting the United Nations. I especially appreciate all the performers who brought their talents here tonight.
This concert is a mini-United Nations with musicians from around the world. They speak the same language. The language of jazz.
What a great spirit. It really inspires me. Sometimes, when I hit a very tough wall, I listen to jazz. When you hear jazz, you learn the secret to solving any problem: you just have to improvise.
Jazz is spontaneous — but it also takes cooperation. That is why I agree with Herbie Hancock when he said jazz is about working together and respecting each other.
It is wonderful to be in Paris in April. As the song goes, “I never knew my heart could sing… till April in Paris.”
Profitons de cette belle soirée, et renouvelons notre engagement de promouvoir la paix et la culture partout dans le monde. Merci.