New York

23 October 2015

Secretary-General’s remarks at Empire State Building lighting ceremony

Ms. Penny Abeywardena, NYC Commissioner for International Affairs,
Mr. Joseph Bellina, General Manager of the Empire State Building,
Distinguished artists Lang Lang and Ms. Kang Min-kyung and Ms. Lee Hae-ri
of Davichi,
Ladies and gentlemen,

I am proud and honoured to be here today with all of you.

The Empire State Building is one of the most important landmarks in the world.

The United Nations is the ‘Parliament of Humanity’.

Today we come together.

I thank everyone who made it possible to light the Empire State Building in blue for the 70th anniversary of the United Nations.

This is part of our “Turn the World UN Blue Campaign.”

Tomorrow night, blue lights will brighten the Sydney Opera House, the Great Wall of China, the Egyptian Pyramids, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and many other landmarks around the world.

I deeply appreciate their support for the United Nations as we light the way for a better future.

Ladies and gentlemen,

I understand that many New Yorkers like to see this building light up with the colours of their favourite sports teams that make the championships. Let’s hope in a few days we may see blue and orange for the New York Mets!

The United Nations is the world’s team when it comes to establishing peace, promoting human rights and advancing human dignity.

We are working to score victories for all people – and we appreciate this diverse, dynamic host city and these beautiful, blue lights.
As a great New Yorker, Alicia Keys, once sang: “Big lights will inspire you – let’s hear it for New York, New York!”

I hope these lights will inspire us to celebrate the beacon of hope that is the United Nations and build a better future for all.

I thank you for your support.

Thank you.