New York

21 September 2015

Secretary-General's remarks at Tea Ceremony for Peace [as prepared for delivery]

We are honoured by the presence here of UNESCO Goodwill Ambasador Dr. Genshitsu Sen.

I am delighted to see him for the second time this year.

When we met in Tokyo in March, I thought to myself: Dr. Sen looks so vigorous,  still so young, so healthy, I’d better start drinking more green tea!

My wife and I were deeply honoured at that time to attend a moving and beautiful tea ceremony with him.

We have been friends for many years, and I am always impressed by Dr. Sen’s commitment to the United Nations.

Today’s tea ceremony comes at a solemn time of great suffering in the world. But this is also a moment for hope. The United Nations is about to adopt a new agenda for sustainable development. Our vision is a world where all people live in dignity.

This “tea gathering for peace” also celebrates the 70th anniversary of the United Nations.

The International Day of Peace is a chance to re-dedicate ourselves to the founding mission of the United Nations to save succeeding generations from war.

The United Nations was born in the ashes of the Second World War. Dr. Sen was himself a veteran who lost many friends in the fighting. He told me this is partly what drives him to advocate for peace.

The beauty of this tea ceremony is its simplicity. The world is facing many complex problems – poverty, hunger, violent extremism, climate change and more. But we do not have to look for complex solutions. We just have to act in solidarity based on our common values of human rights, justice and peace.

Let us be inspired by this meaningful ceremony to fight for a better future.

Thank you.