Yokohama, Japan

11 June 2014

Secretary-General's video message to the XVII Triennial Conference of the International Association of University Presidents (IAUP)

I sincerely thank the International Association of University Presidents for bestowing on me its first J. Michael Adams Award for Global Leadership.

I am deeply honoured to accept on behalf of the United Nations.

Dr. J. Michael Adams was a global force for progress, a tremendous advocate of the United Nations – and he was my personal friend. I am truly moved by this opportunity to be part of his international legacy.

Thank you all for supporting the United Nations, especially the UN Academic Impact, which has more than a thousand member institutions.

I strongly value the power of education.

When I was growing up, Korea was devastated by war. UN agencies gave us help – including study materials.

I never forgot those textbooks. They fostered learning – and proved the power of international solidarity to inspire hope.

Those free textbooks taught me that when you help others to get an education, they can help themselves and our world.

I started the Global Education First initiative to put all children in school, give them quality learning and raise global citizens.

I applaud your focus on creating the future of higher education. The United Nations is shaping a vision for development after the year 2015. I count on you to help us create an inclusive, universal agenda for a better future.

Thank you for educating so many people and supporting the United Nations. I wish you great success.