San Marino

31 March 2013

Secretary-General's remarks to Audience granted by Captains Regent

I am honoured to be in San Marino. I thank the Government and people for your warm hospitality.

I am especially privileged to be here as you prepare to hold the inauguration ceremony for the newly elected Captains Regent.

I bring a message from the United Nations: we are inspired by your traditions of democracy and peace. We appreciate your international contributions. And we count on your greater engagement in the future.

San Marino is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This country is blessed with great natural beauty. And you have nurtured a proud, living cultural tradition of democracy.

Although this country is small, your importance to the United Nations stands as tall as Mount Titano.

In our world of turmoil and strife, countries and peoples are struggling to attain stability, prosperity and dignity.

San Marino offers important lessons to our world.

For centuries, this democracy has safeguarded human rights for its citizens and for those who fled persecution and crossed into your territory. Your country was known as La Serenissima Repubblica di San Marino, the Most Serene Republic of San Marino, to signify the peace and harmony that reigned both within its borders and with its neighbours.

I applaud San Marino for having generously opened its gates during the Second World War – when the number of refugees here was up to five times higher than the country’s own population.

San Marino has always sought good relations with others – and it has been rewarded with good conditions for its citizens.  San Marino understands that defending human rights protects not only the individuals concerned, but all of society.

I hope you will build on this legacy and continue to show solidarity with countries and peoples in need.

San Marino is committed to peace, democracy and the rule of law around the world.

You are party to more than a dozen international human rights treaties. I also highly appreciate San Marino’s commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

We meet at a time of great international transition, turmoil and test. The peace here in San Marino is contrasted by fighting in Syria, Mali and too many other countries around the world.

Division and mistrust threaten the human family. Terrorism continues to claim innocent civilians. Hate crimes scar even peaceful communities.

The global economy is in crisis. Women and vulnerable groups suffer abuse, injustice and inequality. As a planet, our future is threatened by our failure to manage nature’s gifts in a way that will sustain them for the next generation.

The United Nations is advancing toward three major goals: peace, development and human rights. These, too, can be compared to the three towers of San Marino. Your towers are built on ancient rocks. Our pillars rest on the strong foundation of the United Nations Charter and the bonds of international solidarity. Both are lofty and inspiring.

San Marino can contribute to advancing the goals of the United Nations. I look forward to an even stronger partnership as we join forces to build a better future.