New York

4 December 2013

Secretary-General's remarks at opening of UN Correspondents Association Photo Exhibition and Handover of UNCA Directory 2013

It’s a great pleasure to see you. In fact, I came back late last night, legally speaking early tomorrow morning. I came back from Peru and it’s a great pleasure to see you soon after my return.

I would like to extend my deepest thanks and most sincere season’s greetings as we are going to soon welcome the New Year and also say goodbye to this year.

Usually when we meet you always ask me many difficult questions. But I hope that you will be patient enough to wait until Monday December 16th when I will give you enough time.

But today let us be more joyous.

But today is in fact about you about you.

The Directory that I will shortly receive is a tangible reminder of how many journalists report on the United Nations.

This past year you lost two valued members of your community: Graham Usher, a distinguished writer on the Middle East; and television cameraman Glenn Gabel.

My thoughts are with their families and friends.  They should be proud of the legacy these two men left behind.

Our world is complex.

Journalists like them – like you – help people better understand it.

That is why I am always grateful for all the correspondents accredited at the United Nations.

You provide indispensable scrutiny, analysis and publicity.

Today is also an opportunity to acknowledge the important role of photojournalists.

The outstanding images on display succeeds where the written word often struggles.

We see the lonely challenge of keeping the peace in hostile territory, the joy on the faces of Palestinian delegates on the day Palestine became a non-member observer State, the bewilderment of a child in the rubble of war.

We also see the photographer’s art – the urgent focus of a reporter’s raised pen; the bustle of an intense meeting.

This is the third edition of this exhibit.  Each year it gets bigger and better.

I commend Mr. Cia Pak and the judges, who this year sorted more than 600 entries.

I look forward to presenting the awards.

I also look forward to celebrating further journalistic achievements and our essential partnership on December 18th at the UNCA dinner. Let’s see what I can show you on that day.

We always have an excellent time, and it is a highlight of my year.

Now, before I hand the floor to Ms. Falk to present the UNCA Directory and the photo awards, allow me to propose a toast.

To all the hard working correspondents at the United Nations, thank you.

We need and value you. 

May you continue to shine a light on all we do and everything we stand for.

Cheers. Thank you.