Ashgabat

26 November 2016

Remarks at opening of new UN House in Ashgabat with H.E. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, President of Turkmenistan

Ban Ki-moon

Salam. [“Hello.”]

Sizing Bilen Dushushýanyma Örän Shat.[“I am glad to be with you all.”]

It is a great honour and a pleasure to visit Turkmenistan for the third time.

I would like to thank President Berdimuhamedov and the people of Turkmenistan for their warm welcome and hospitality on each of these occasions.

This morning, we had a very successful opening of the Global Sustainable Transport Conference.

We are deeply grateful to Turkmenistan for taking the initiative to host this Conference – and for its generosity in organizing such an important gathering.

I have very fond memories of my previous visits to this beautiful country.

When I was here last June, Your Excellency President Berdimuhamedov announced that you would provide a building for the UN agencies here in Turkmenistan.

Now we can see that you not only kept your promise – you have provided us with an impressive and beautiful structure.

I know your Government has worked tirelessly with the UN over the past 16 months to renovate the building to ensure it meets the highest standards.

This is very big building of more than five thousand square meters is in a total site area of that is twice as large.

This new UN House is a great example for other countries around the world.

I thank Your Excellency President Berdimuhamedov for your commitment to providing this building and your support to its maintenance in the coming years.

This very solid and grand structure is a powerful symbol of the strong partnership between Turkmenistan and the United Nations.

We have many members of the UN family working with the Government and people of Turkmenistan: led by the UN Resident Coordinator, together with UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO, UNODC, IOM, UN Women and UNDSS as well as the World Bank. They are all looking forward to moving into this building.

I count on our staff to open the doors of this UN House wide to many partners, especially from civil society.

By supporting the activities of civil society, securing human rights and promoting fundamental freedoms, we can realize true progress. This also demands full equality and true empowerment for women and girls.

Thank you, Mr. President, for making today possible through your very generous support.

Now I am privileged to officially cut the ribbon.

Sag boluung.
Thank you.