New York

09 July 2013

Secretary-General's remarks at General Assembly meeting in memory of Mr. Soyan Ganev, former President of the General Assembly

I would like to offer my condolences to the family of H.E. Mr. Stoyan Ganev, the President of the 47th session of the General Assembly, and to all his friends and loved ones in Bulgaria and around the world, on his untimely passing earlier this month.

He died young, only 57.  But he was here at the United Nations as a young man, too – one of the youngest to ever hold the post of President of the General Assembly.

And as such he brought welcome energy to our work at a time of particular challenge and hope for the Organization.

The historic Earth Summit had just taken place, and he helped steer our follow-up on the original road from Rio.

The Balkans were in turmoil, and his regional knowledge brought a useful perspective to that challenge.

Most of all his tenure coincided with a period when the United Nations, freed from the constraints of the Cold War, was able to act and engage in new ways to address global problems.

Mr. Ganev, a skilled jurist and politician, used his tenure to advance that work, and we today continue to build on his contributions.

I had the great pleasure of meeting him several times over the years.  He participated actively in the Council of Presidents of the United Nations General Assembly.  I feel a certain kinship with his service in that capacity, given my own experience here during the Republic of Korea’s presidency of this body.

May all who knew Stoyan Ganev take some solace in knowing that he is remembered here as someone who believed in the great power and potential of the General Assembly.

May he rest in peace and eternity.  Or as they say in Bulgarian:

Bog da go prosti.  Thank you.