Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen,
It’s a pleasure to be here to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the launch of Sputnik-1 in 1957. This was a major achievement by the Soviet Union, for humanity.
It marked the beginning of the Space Age. Today, as we admire the Cassini spacecraft’s incredible images from Saturn’s rings, we remember where it all started: with a small satellite circling the globe.
Here in the United Nations lobby, the Foucault’s pendulum is a physical demonstration of the rotation of the earth. Above us, the Sputnik reminds us that while we may be earthbound, we should aim for the stars.
I was touched to find out the meaning of the word “Sputnik” in Russian.
While a “Putnik” is a traveller, “Sputnik” means “travelling companion”.
We are all “Sputniki” in our world.
Let’s remember that as we work for lives of peace and dignity for all.
I thank the Russian Federation for arranging today’s commemoration and for your work as a valued partner of the United Nations, including on Outer Space issues.