New York

12 December 2016

Secretary-General's video message marking the 70th Anniversary of UNICEF

Girls and boys, Excellencies, Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen,
 
I am so pleased to join you in congratulating UNICEF on its 70th anniversary.
 
We recognize all that this remarkable organization has done for children and our world.
 
Lives saved. Lives improved. Lives like mine.
 
I would not be where I am today without UNICEF.
 
When I was six years old, the Korean War broke out. I had to flee my village.
 
I was hungry and in need.
 
That’s when the United Nations came. 
 
I was one of millions of Korean children who received food packets from UNICEF. 
 
As Secretary General, I have wanted to do for other children what the United Nations did for me.
 
Today, more children have been uprooted from their homes than at any time in modern history.
 
They deserve the same hope that UNICEF gave me.
 
On the 70th anniversary of UNICEF, my wish for children is this:
 
For every child — hope.
 
Congratulations again.  Let us all rededicate ourselves to advancing the human rights and wellbeing of every child, everywhere.
 
Thank you.