New York

15 November 2021

Secretary-General's message to the Permanent Mission of the Slovak Republic to the UN on the occasion of the Gala Evening 2021

It is a pleasure to send my greetings to tonight’s Gala Dinner to celebrate the anniversary of our United Nations and honor the memory of Dr. Ján Papánek and Alexander Dubček.

My thanks to H.E. Ambassador Michal Mlynár and Mrs. Andrea Mlynárová for hosting this evening.

As we confront a cascade of challenges, I draw inspiration from the example of those who came before us – from courageous leaders such as Alexander Dubček and visionaries like Dr. Ján Papánek, who as one of the drafters of the United Nations Charter helped define the essential purpose and ambition of our Organization.

To save succeeding generations from war. To safeguard human rights. To protect the dignity of every person, and the equal rights of nations large and small.

Over more than seventy-five years, the United Nations has worked tirelessly to redeem those pledges. They remain our lodestar.

Never in the history of the United Nations have bold actions been more necessary.

Let us make the most of this moment and live up to the full promise, potential and hope of the United Nations.

I wish you a wonderful evening.