Washington, D.C.

29 March 2012

Secretary-General's video message to the 106th Annual Meeting of the American Society of International Law, 28-31 March 2012

It is a pleasure to convey my best wishes as you gather for your annual meeting. 
I am pleased that my Legal Counsel, Ms. Patricia O’Brien, is there with you.
For over a century, the American Society of International Law has brought together leaders to advance scholarship in this key area.
I welcome your focus this year on the increasingly complex reality of our globalizing world. 
The links among societies and the internationalization of national legal systems are becoming facts of life.  
The challenges we confront transcend borders and engage the interests of the international community as a whole.
My own Action Agenda for the coming five years identifies five imperatives that illustrate our common vulnerabilities – but even more, our shared opportunities.     
Sustainable development. 
Preventing conflicts, damage from disasters and human rights abuses. 
Building a safer and more secure world.
Supporting nations in transition.
And working with and for women and young people.
All five fall within the scope of your concerns.  I look forward to your contributions as we seek to meet these challenges.
I will also count on your engagement in September, when the United Nations General Assembly will convene a first-of-its-kind high-level meeting on the rule of law.
International law continues to assume a more central role across a wider spectrum of issues. 
You have a crucial role to play in advancing its development and, above all, compliance with it.
Thank you for your commitment.  I wish you a successful conference.