New York

5 March 2013

Secretary-General's remarks to concert sponsored by Permanent Mission of Israel

Welcome to the United Nations – and welcome to this very special hall. 

There is no room like it.

In this chamber, the countries of the world join together in the search for common global solutions. 

They gather here to advance the longstanding goals and values of peace, development and human rights. 

This hall has also been the setting of many remarkable concerts. 

Not long ago, we hosted Stevie Wonder who performed in celebration of United Nations Day.

Through his lyrics, Stevie Wonder reminds us of what an evening like this is all about. 

He has said:  “Music is a world within itself, with a language we all understand.”

This evening’s performer, Rita Yahan-Farouz, sings in many languages and strives to reach many audiences.

Rita is a world-renowned artist of Israel-Iranian heritage.  She sings in both Hebrew and Persian. 

I understand that many have dubbed her a “cultural ambassador” whose music is popular in both Israel and Iran.

Tonight’s concert is a reminder of the magic of music to transcend cultures … build bridges … and connect people.

Let that spirit inspire diplomats and leaders everywhere to work for peace … strive for solidarity … and seek global harmony for peace, justice and human rights for all.

I thank the Government of Israel for organizing this event.  I have no doubt that this will be a memorable evening.  Enjoy the show.