03 October 2016, Geneva

Remarks at the opening of the Executive Committee of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

I am honoured to be here with you today – almost ten years to the day since I was elected Secretary-General of the United Nations.

This has been a decade of dramatic events and epic challenges. Conflict, climate change and displacement traumatized millions of people. We are doing our best to respond to exponentially growing demands – with shrinking resources.

Ten years ago, we had fewer than half the 65 million displaced people there are today. These men, women and children have been through harrowing experiences that should haunt humanity’s conscience.

03 October 2016, Geneva

Remarks at planting ceremony of the second-generation Hibakusha tree

It is a privilege to be part of this meaningful ceremony. Today, we plant a poignant gift from our partners, the Mayors for Peace and the City of Hiroshima.

This beautiful sapling is a symbol of resilience and of peace. It pays solemn respect to those who perished on 6 August 1945.

As this tree blossoms, it will also be a vivid reminder of how the hibakusha;– those brave survivors – have transformed their tragedy into a message of hope for the world.

02 October 2016, Geneva

Remarks at Special Tribute Concert

I am deeply touched by your generosity. Thank you for organizing this very meaningful concert to mark the end of my mandate.

In any orchestra, the conductor leads but a beautiful symphony is created by the performers.

I have had the privilege to lead the United Nations – but I have only succeeded thanks to its dedicated staff. They are the heart of the United Nations.

This orchestra is made up of musicians from among our proud UN workforce.

24 June 2016, Cannes

Remarks at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity

Thank you very much for your welcome, Zainab Badawi.

My thanks to all of you. I am pleased to be with such a distinguished audience of creative communications leaders.

I have heard a lot about the Cannes International Festival of Creativity. Someone told me this is the world’s biggest gathering of “Mad Men”.

I thought to myself: “You should see some of the people I have to deal with!”

Ladies and gentlemen,

18 June 2016, Lesbos

Remarks to the media, NGOs and volunteers

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visits the Kara Tepe refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

I have had an unforgettable visit.

Today, I met refugees from some of the world’s most troubled places.

They have lived through a nightmare. And that nightmare is not over.

But here in Lesbos, they have found relief from war and persecution.

I commend the Greek authorities, the people of Lesbos and the humanitarian community for your extraordinary response.

Lesbos is an island of peace – and you are a sea of solidarity.

You have opened your homes, hearts and wallets to support people in need.

18 June 2016, Athens

Remarks at joint press conference with the Prime Minister of Greece


Good morning.

I am delighted to be in Athens once again. I thank the Government and people of Greece for their warm welcome.

I have had very good meetings with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras this morning and President Prokopis Pavlopoulos yesterday evening. I will meet Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias shortly.

Greece makes important contributions to the United Nations across the international agenda. I thank the people of Greece for their global citizenship.

16 June 2016, St. Petersburg

Remarks at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon speaks at the opening  of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, in the Russian Federation. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

I would like, first of all, to thank Mr Sergey Prikhodko, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, for organizing and inviting me to this very important St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. And I would like also to say thank you and welcome to all the distinguished leaders on the podium and to the distinguished ladies and gentlemen.

Good morning. [Dobry den]

15 June 2016, Brussels

Remarks to the Sustainable Energy For All Advisory Board

I am honoured to be with you again, and I thank you for your commitment and leadership.

I also thank our generous hosts, the European Commission, represented today by the Commissioner in charge of International Cooperation and Development, His Excellency Mr. Neven Mimica.

It has been half a decade since we launched the Sustainable Energy for All initiative.

We have already achieved a lot and built a solid foundation to achieve our objective.

Now we have 15 years to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 7 on energy.

15 June 2016, Brussels

Remarks at Asia Society Dialogue event

I thank Their Majesties for hosting us and for being such strong supporters of the United Nations. I thank you both for the decoration you have just bestowed on me.

Queen Mathilde, we are honoured to have you on board as an Advocate for the 17 new Sustainable Development Goals. Thank you for agreeing to add your voice to keep this shared vision in focus and help ensure that no one is left behind.

15 June 2016, Brussels

Remarks at European Development Days Forum

I am pleased to join you today.

For 10 years, the European Development Days have fostered partnership and innovation for a better future for some of the world’s most vulnerable people and nations.

The global partnership for development was integral to the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals.

The result was unprecedented gains in health, prosperity, education and empowerment.

The MDGs made their mark on the world. But we know there is still much more to do.