UN Headquarters

09 September 2010

Remarks at Indian Classical Music Concert by Amjad Ali Khan, "Ode to Peace" (as prepared for delivery)

Ban Ki-moon

Ambassador Puri
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure to be here with you this evening.

It is not often that we have the opportunity to gather together to

enjoy such a unique performance.

I thank the Permanent Mission of India for organizing this event to

commemorate the attacks on the United States that took place on

September 11, 2001.

It has never been more important to come together against the forces

which brought about those events. Terrorism. Extremism.


We have seen the devastating impact of terrorism in Mumbai and Madrid,

Nairobi and New York, London and Lahore.

We have seen the destabilizing effect of extremism in Somalia and

Iraq, in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

These crimes against innocent women and men are also assaults on our

fundamental values – peace, tolerance, justice and human rights.

We must condemn them. But we must also work for a remedy.

We must work together to create a world where extremism is not an

option, where radicalization has no appeal. A world based on mutual

respect and the fundamental values expressed in the United Nations


Our world is full of conflict and unrest. Our headlines speak daily

of violence, danger and need.

Here at the United Nations, our work is often dominated by the most

distressing and disturbing elements of the human story.

But there is another side. Everywhere, ordinary people yearn for,

work for, and make peace.

Our job is to support them. To strengthen the bonds of common humanity.

We strive every day in these rooms to fight prejudice and

misunderstanding. We promote peace through diplomacy, dialogue,


This house is home to many cultures, many languages.

Among them, one language transcends all.

Music. A language we can all understand. A language that unites

hearts and minds in celebration of the finest expression of the human


Maestro Khan, I look forward to hearing your “Ode to Peace.”

Thank you.