New York

31 May 2017

Secretary-General's remarks to General Assembly meeting on the Election of the President of the Seventy-second Session of the General Assembly [as delivered]

I am honoured to be here for the election of the new President of the General Assembly.

Let me first say what a privilege it is to work with you, Mr. President, dear Peter Thomson.

I am deeply grateful for your leadership over the past year – and am looking forward to continuing our partnership in the months to come. You still have a long way to go.

You have guided this Assembly outstandingly well during the transition from one Secretary-General to the next – and you have fully supported my efforts to sharpen our focus on prevention, achieve reform, and better serve the peoples of the world.

Your very strong commitment to the implementation of Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement on Climate change and your enthusiastic leadership in relation to the Oceans Conference represent a legacy that will never be forgotten in the United Nations. On top of all that you are creating a very solid friendship that I will also never forget.

I warmly congratulate Foreign Minister Lajčák – Miroslav - on his election as General Assembly President.

I had the fortune to get to know him as we each presented our vision for the United Nations to the Member States last year.

Foreign Minister Lajčák has always demonstrated an impressive command of all aspects of UN action and a strong commitment to the principles that govern our work.

He has expressed his firm belief that “strengthening the UN is the best investment to achieve the universal desire for peace, development, equality and justice in the world.”

I think that both of us saw high expectations and got a strong sense of how much governments and peoples need the United Nations to respond to the deserving cries of people around the world for lasting peace, justice, human rights and human dignity.

As we prepare for a busy and meaningful next session of the General Assembly, I look forward to collaborating with its new President in charting a course to a better future.

Thank you very much.