02 April 2013

Secretary-General's remarks at Concert Reception [as prepared for delivery]

Deixeu-me que us adreci unes paraules en català, la vostra llengua mil•lenària:

Estic encantat de trobar-me a Andorra, “oasi de pau”.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Andorra may be small on the map but you stand tall for your unity and solidarity … your natural beauty and age-old tradition … your many nationalities and seven centuries of history. 

Throughout the day, I have had the privilege of seeing much of your extraordinary country. 

I have marvelled at your breathtaking landscapes … the pride of your long history of non-violence … the mix of your many cultures.

I now look forward to celebrating your country through the power of music.

When I think of Andorra and feel the spirit of its people and the beauty of its land, one word rises as high as your majestic mountains and lofty valleys. 

That word is dignity. 

The dignity of the people of Andorra. 

The pride in your story … your singularity … and your solidarity. 

I am here to thank you for that and to call on you to do even more. 

People around the world are more connected than ever before – not only through technology, travel and trade, but on a deeper level; our fates are intertwined.

We live in a world where no single country – no matter how large – can solve the world’s problems. 

And all countries – no matter how small – can shape global solutions. 

We face what I call a great transition around the world.  Great change is all around us. 

The Arab Spring has brought a wave of hope for democracy but tests for the future.

New technologies continue to transform the way we live, work and communicate with one another.

We are seeing new openings in Asia … new democracies in Africa … new economic hope throughout Latin America. 

Later this week we will mark 1,000 days to the end of 2015 and the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. 

The world has made record progress in reducing the ranks of those in extreme poverty. 

But, of course, we have much work to do.  Meanwhile, we are confronting the challenges of our increasingly complex and interconnected world. 

Ongoing economic insecurity.  New pressures on our environment.  Rising inequality and joblessness.  Cross-border crime and illegal trafficking.

We have to respond to anxieties with answers. 

The time has come to think differently about our place on the planet.

How do we build shared prosperity and an equitable future?
In January 2012, I launched a vision for my second term in office.   

We identified five generational opportunities.  Five ways to shape the world we want.

First, promoting sustainable development.  Climate change is a clear and present danger and we must take concrete action.  That is why sustainable development is my top priority – and I thank the people of Andorra for your commitment.

Second, preventing conflicts, damage from disasters and human rights abuses.  Andorra’s own Manual Digest said it so well more than 250 years ago:  “Prevention is the best policy”.
Third, building a more secure world.

Fourth, supporting countries in transition.

And fifth, working with and for women and youth.

Earlier today, I was honoured to address your Parliament which has the highest percentage of female legislators in all of Europe – and the second highest in the world.

I believe Andorra can contribute even more through your ideas and your example. 

Ladies and gentlemen,

Regardless of a country’s size or population, we are equal stakeholders in our common global future.  Perhaps smaller states understand most the importance and significance of an effective United Nations. 

After all -- the stronger the United Nations, the stronger your voice on the global stage.

I came to the United Nations determined to do all I can to adapt the UN to our fast-paced modern age to build a modern, can-do United Nations. 

A United Nations that works to make itself not simply relevant – but essential – to resolving the problems of our time.

I thank you for your support and example across Andorra’s seven parishes.   

I salute your commitment to preserve and promote democracy.

I applaud your global example for women’s empowerment.

I commend your resolve to continue to open new frontiers while finding unity in your diversity.

Let us continue to draw strength from one another – knowing that regardless of size, we multiply our power when we work together.

Gràcies, i

Visca Andorra!