Your Excellency Mr. Sergey Lavrov, Your Excellency Mr. Vladimir Makei, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a great pleasure to be here with you to remember one of the giants of international diplomacy.
Andrey Gromyko began his career as a prodigy and ended it a legend.
He played a foundational part in creating this Organization, as one of the drafters of the United Nations Charter – the cornerstone of our legitimacy and an exceptional and unparalleled diplomatic achievement.
For decades, Andrey Gromyko’s name was synonymous with the foreign policy of the Soviet Union.
He occupied every great office of Soviet foreign policy: Ambassador to several global powers; Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Foreign Minister.
He served his country with great honour.
Andrey Gromyko’s legacy is enormous, but I would like to single out his involvement in some of the most successful nuclear arms control negotiations ever.
Andrey Gromyko’s signature is on the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, agreed in 1968, which remains an essential pillar of international peace and security, at the heart of the nuclear disarmament and non-proliferation regime.
He also played, as it was said, an important part in the ‘63 Partial Test Ban Treaty, the ‘72 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and the ‘72 Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty.
In 1982, he announced here at the United Nations that the Soviet Union would not be the first to use nuclear weapons.
The world today is unquestionably a safer place thanks to the work of Andrey Gromyko.
And I am proud to say that his legacy continues even in my own office.
A member of my political team, Mr. Fedor Klimchuk, served under Foreign Minister Gromyko at the start of his diplomatic career.
It is an honour to commemorate Andrey Gromyko and to remember his legacy today.
And if I may say something, I sometimes, when I see some diplomatic actions today, I believe that we have today some people who prefer 10 years of war to one day of negotiations.