New York

06 June 2014

Secretary-General's remarks at concert: : "Setting the Stage - 2015 and Beyond" [As prepared for delivery]

Thank you for your welcome.  What a beautiful United Nations display of diversity and common cause.

I want to extend a special welcome to all of tonight’s artists and musicians.

And of course, I want to thank the President of the General Assembly for organizing this special concert. 

President Ashe has strong connections throughout the diplomatic community.  But now I know he is also tight with the Caribbean music community!

As the first UN Secretary-General to ever quote Bob Marley in a speech, I approve!

The performers tonight are from across the world – from South Asia to South Sudan and many other places.  They sing in many styles.

But they are united behind a great effort that is now in full swing: the shaping of a new development agenda for all humankind.

The year 2015 is a once-in-a generation opportunity.

Our goal is to put people at the centre and protect our one and only planet.

Our duty is to end poverty, leave no one behind and build lives of dignity for all.

Member States are now shaping the new sustainable development agenda.

There is much work ahead.

But that effort cannot be left only to negotiations in these halls.  The new framework has to connect with people.

In the spirit of tonight, it has to sing. 

That is why we have opened the process to millions of voices through the “My World” survey. 

And it is why we are so privileged to have musicians here tonight who can speak the universal language and show again the unique power of music to move and mobilize the world.

So please enjoy the evening – and make some noise tonight and in the coming months about the world you want.

Thank you.