Westport, Connecticut

29 June 2013

Secretary-General's message on jUNe Day [delivered by Ms. Patricia O’Brien, Under-Secretary-General for the Office of Legal Affairs]

I am pleased to send warm greetings to all colleagues participating in jUNe Day 2013. 
I express my warmest appreciation to the organizers, especially Ambassador Joseph Verner Reed, who has consistently devoted himself forging ties between the UN family, the diplomatic community and our gracious local hosts.

Today’s activities are more than a spirited get together.  They are a valuable opportunity for participants to strengthen bonds of friendship.  They are a chance to learn more about each other.  And they are a celebration of our diversity.

Right now, the United Nations is engaged in accelerating our efforts to reach the Millennium Development Goals while holding wide-ranging consultations on the post-2015 development agenda.

At the same time, we are working to address pressing crises, especially the devastating conflict in Syria.  An estimated 93,000 people have died in just over two years.  I have repeatedly emphasized that there is no military solution, and continue to push for a negotiated transition.  At the same time, the United Nations is carrying out life-saving humanitarian relief operations.

jUNe Day is a brief respite from your efforts to address the grave problems on the international agenda.  The United Nations has been entrusted with responding to poverty, conflicts, human rights violations and other global threats.  Each of you plays an essential role in our response.  I hope that today will be an inspiring reminder of the importance of our work and the solidarity of colleagues with whom we are privileged to serve.

Thank you.