New York

16 September 2013

Secretary-General's remarks on 40th Anniversary of German Accession to the United Nations and the Inauguration of the Quiet Room [as prepared for delivery]

Es ist mir eine besondere Freude, heute hier den neu renovierten "Quiet Room" einweihen zu können.

I am pleased to be here to inaugurate the newly renovated “Quiet Room”.

Forty years ago, the Federal Republic of Germany, and the German Democratic Republic became members of the United Nations.

Before and since reunification, Germany has been among the most active supporters of the Organization. 

Germany is currently the third largest contributor to the UN regular budget.

I rely on many senior German officials for advice and action.

After accession, each of the two new Member States gave the United Nations a gift.

In 1975 the German Democratic Republic donated a powerful sculpture called “The Rising Man”.

In 1978 the Federal Republic of Germany gave the Organization the beautifully decorated and furnished Quiet Room.

During the Capital Master Plan, the two gifts fared very differently.

The “The Rising Man” on his pedestal behind the North Lawn Building seemed to enjoy the bustling construction work.

But the Quiet Room had to be dismantled as part of the renovation of the Conference Building.

And not only that.

Because the original interpreter booths in the Consultations Room did not conform to the modern international standards in size, they had to be made bigger.

To allow for this, Germany agreed for the Quiet Room to shrink.

I thank you, Mr. Ambassador, for this much appreciated concession.

Germany then decided to use the CMP as an opportunity to redecorate the Quiet Room. 

The result of Germany’s generous in-kind donation, as you can see, is an airy, friendly and inviting lounge with a tapestry showing an unmistakably German forest.

I am not sure whether “Quiet Room” is always an appropriate name for this space.

But at times it is indeed a quiet room where delegates can catch their breath, collect their thoughts, and quietly exchange ideas.

When they do so, maybe they will notice that behind the trees in the tapestry a rising sun sends its beams from the direction of the Security Council Chamber and the Consultations Room.

Just as the sun rises every day, may the Security Council shed light shine on the pressing issues of the day and nourish us with rays of hope.

Mr. Ambassador, on behalf of all who use this space, allow me to express my gratitude for the donation of the Quiet Room by Germany.


Thank you.