I am pleased to offer my warmest congratulations to Mr. Mogens Lykketoft, President-elect of the 70th session of the General Assembly. This is a well-deserved recognition of Denmark’s important role on the international stage. And it is a testimony to Mr. Lykketoft’s personal strengths.
I take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the current President, His Excellency, Mr. Sam Kutesa.
I am very grateful for our fruitful collaboration on a number of historic events. We gathered religious leaders from around the world for our two-day meeting in April on promoting tolerance and reconciliation. And we shared the meaningful chance to unveil the historic Permanent Memorial in honour of the victims of slavery and the transatlantic slave trade.
I thank you for your leadership and commitment.
This election is an annual event on the United Nations calendar – but this year offers an extraordinary opportunity to shape history.
In 2015, we reach our target date for the Millennium Development Goals – the largest campaign against poverty in history. And we will hold a Special Summit to adopt our new vision for sustainable development to guide the world for the next 15 years.
We could not have a better leader in His Excellency Mr. Lykketoft. He is an accomplished economist with decades of experience in Parliament. As Finance Minister and Foreign Minister, he brings great understanding of the major challenges of our times.
He has a background of outstanding commitment to development. I commend Denmark for its long record of meeting and surpassing the development assistance target. And I applaud Mr. Lykketoft for the fact that when he was finance minister, Denmark dramatically exceeded that target to help even more people struggling against poverty.
I have had many in-depth discussions with Mr. Mogens Lykketoft. I especially appreciated meeting him almost two years ago in Copenhagen in his office.
At that time, he took me on a tour of the Danish Parliament. Now he will preside over the General Assembly, our ‘Parliament of Humanity’.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the United Nations. During this session, our new President will turn 70.
I count on him to celebrate these milestones with an even stronger commitment to multilateralism, international cooperation and global solidarity.
President-elect Mogens Lykketoft has chosen an inspiring theme: “The UN at 70 - a new commitment to action.”
Together, we can act so the United Nations lives up to its historic ambitions for this year – and helps secure the long-term future of our world.