02 October 2016

Remarks at Special Tribute Concert

Ban Ki-moon

I am deeply touched by your generosity. Thank you for organizing this very meaningful concert to mark the end of my mandate.

In any orchestra, the conductor leads but a beautiful symphony is created by the performers.

I have had the privilege to lead the United Nations – but I have only succeeded thanks to its dedicated staff. They are the heart of the United Nations.

This orchestra is made up of musicians from among our proud UN workforce.

They deal with tough issues. They carry heavy workloads. At the end of the day, they pick up their instruments to create music.

Music reminds us of the power of the human spirit. It gives us strength and energy to advance the noble ideals of the United Nations.

The extraordinary members of this UN Orchestra find more than inspiration in music – they find a way to help the world. I applaud them for raising significant funds through 30 charity concerts.

Orchestral music is a beautiful expression of diversity. This orchestra is exceptionally diverse because its members come from all over the world.

In that sense, the concert we are about to hear is a celebration of the kind of inclusive, diverse, harmonious world we are trying to build.

That is an especially important message at this time of divisiveness and xenophobia.

I deeply thank this Orchestra for using music to forge global solidarity.

And I sincerely thank all of my friends in Geneva for your immense support and dedication over the past ten years.

My heart is full of gratitude. Thank you all so much.