New York

25 September 2018

Secretary-General’s toast at luncheon hosted by him for Heads of State and Government attending the seventy-third session of the General Assembly of the United Nations

[Watch the video on]

President Trump, distinguished Heads of State and Government, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me, first of all, to express my deep gratitude to our hosts.

To President Trump, to the American people, and to this wonderful city of New York.  I now have the privilege to live in New York since I was elected.  I have to say that when I have some time on the weekends to go around the galleries and to see the temporary exhibitions at the Museums of Modern and Contemporary Art, one thing that always strikes me is how is it possible to gather in just one city so many fantastic artists from all over the world, with an enormous diversity and with an extremely strong cosmopolitan approach.

But at the same time, I had the opportunity a few days ago to go to Broadway, to see Hamilton. Seeing Hamilton, the audience was essentially American. There were a few foreigners, mostly tourists, myself, but mostly Americans.  To see the American people looking at Hamilton, I was really fascinated by the pride and the patriotism that was demonstrated by the audience when confronted with some of the most relevant moments of the history of this country.

Now, I think that this combination of patriotism and cosmopolitanism is something that is remarkable in this city. But I believe that it also corresponds to a certain extent to what we have in the tables of this room.

Mr. President, President Trump, you are a proud American. I am, of course, beneath the cover of Secretary-General of the United Nations, a proud Portuguese – proud of my country and proud of its people.  And each one of you, distinguished Heads of State and Government, you are proud of your countries, of your peoples, of your culture, of your contribution to world civilization. And so, you have the same component of patriotism that I have seen in those that were so strongly reacting to the important moments in Hamilton here in New York.

But we are also, all of us, citizens of the world, and we are also united in a cosmopolitan way by a common cause: the wellbeing of humanity. And so, allow me please, to raise my glass, first of all to pay tribute to our hosts – President Trump, the American people, the City of New York, and to pay tribute to all of you, wishing the best in peace and prosperity for all countries in the world.