Your Excellency Ambassador Sebastiano Cardi, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations,
Mr. Manny Parks, board member of the International Photographic Council,
Mr. Kelvin Miller, Corporate Vice President of LifeTouch,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am pleased to join you for the opening of two exhibitions of photographs to mark the 70th anniversary of the United Nations.
“The United Nations at 70: Moments and Milestones” shows the breadth of what the United Nations has done, and continues to do, around the world to build a better future for all.
I thank the International Photographic Council and LifeTouch for generously supporting this exhibition.
The images include iconic moments in the life of the United Nations: the signing of the Charter in 1945; a key Security Council meeting during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962; and the day a free Nelson Mandela addressed the United Nations for the first time.
They also include more intimate and yet equally important moments: a medical worker immunizing a girl against smallpox; a classroom of farmers and their families learning to read and write; a peacekeeper carrying an infant to safety after a tropical storm.
These photographs show the UN in action – an organization making a positive difference in the lives of others, and upholding the trust it was given at its founding.
The second exhibition is titled “UN Headquarters: A Workshop for Peace”.
It shows how the architects who designed the UN Headquarters complex in the late 1940s tried to give physical expression to the ideals and goals behind the Organization.
The photos are drawn from the book “The United Nations at 70: Restoration and Renewal”, published by Rizzoli International in conjunction with the UN.
I encourage you to look closely at all the photographs on display and to reflect on what the United Nations stands for, what we have achieved, and how we can do better.
I ask you to consider the people behind these images – the dedicated staff of the United Nations who toil around the world, often in extremely dangerous conditions on the front lines of conflicts and disasters.
Let us give thanks for their efforts.
And finally, let us think of the people of the world who we all serve – especially the poor, the hungry and the oppressed – and let us rededicate ourselves to the quest to promote peace, security, social progress and a life of dignity for all.