UN role and reform

02 September 2010, Vienna

Opening remarks at press encounter with H.E. Michael Spindelegger, Federal Minister for European and International Affairs [unofficial transcript]

Thank you very much. Sehr geehrter Aussenminister Spindelegger, Meine Damen und Herren, Gruess Gott, Ich freue mich wieder in Wien zu sein.

25 August 2010, UN Headquarters

Remarks at General Assembly tribute to His Excellency Guido De Marco (Malta) and His Excellency Samir. S. Shihabi (Saudi Arabia)

Mr. President,


Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is always sad to mount this podium to mourn the passing of a former colleague.

Today's memorial is especially poignant, as we pay tribute to two men who played important roles here in this great hall.
They left their mark in consecutive years -- the 45th and 46th sessions of the General Assembly.

They helped steer us through a time of transition for the world and for the United Nations.

For that and much else, we remember them with great fondness and admiration.

19 August 2010, General Assembly

Remarks to General Assembly meeting on "Strengthening of the Coordination of Humanitarian and Disaster Relief Assistance of the United Nations, including Special Economic Assistance"

Your Excellency, Mr. Ali Abdussalam Treki, President of the General Assembly,
Distinguished Ministers,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for coming together for the people of Pakistan.

Visiting Pakistan, on Sunday, I was honoured to carry with me the sympathy and solidarity of the world, of all of you.

This is what I saw: Village after village - washed away. Roads, bridges, homes - destroyed. Crops and livelihoods - wiped out.

29 July 2010, UN Headquarters

Remarks to 2010 UN21 Awards Ceremony

Thank you, Ms. Angela Kane, Dear Colleagues, particularly I am pleased to be joined by our colleagues from duty stations, Dear UN21 Awards finalists, good morning and good afternoon, thank you very much.

We are here to honour staff members who have made exceptional contributions to making our United Nations a better instrument of service for the world's people.

The finalists here today dared to challenge the status quo and to change accepted ways of doing things.

You broke out of old habits.

You realized what could be achieved.

02 July 2010, UN Headquarters

Remarks at the adoption of General Assembly resolution on system-wide coherence

Mr. President,

Distinguished co-facilitators on system-wide coherence,


Ladies and Gentlemen,

Allow me to warmly congratulate the Member States.

You have adopted a landmark resolution on system-wide coherence.

You have established “UN Women” -- a new composite United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.

This is truly a watershed day.

07 June 2010, Washington, D.C.

Remarks to the UNA-USA National Convention [as prepared for delivery]

Ambassador [Tom] Pickering,
Mr. [Ed] Elmendorf, [new UNA-USA President],
Ms. Alma Morrison [UNA-USA],
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted to be here. I see many familiar faces.

Thank you, Ambassador Pickering for your kind introduction – and for your leadership of the United Nations Association. Your insight, your eloquence and your energy are legendary.

13 May 2010, General Assembly

Remarks to the General Assembly in Honour of the Late President Alhaji Umaru Yar'Adua of Nigeria

Mr. President,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing away of His Excellency Alhaji Umaru Yar'Adua, the President of Nigeria and Commander-in-Chief of the country's armed forces.

The late President left an important mark on his country.

During his relatively short period in office, he pursued his responsibilities with dignity and with respect for the rights of all.

12 May 2010, Ottawa

Remarks at Press Stakeout after meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen of the press.

I have just had a fruitful conversation with Prime Minister Harper. It is wonderful to be in this beautiful city of Ottawa and in Canada, a long-time leader and supporter and pioneer in many areas of the United Nations' work.

Prime Minister Harper and I covered a full range of issues, including the upcoming G8 and G20 Summits, the Millennium Development Goals, climate change, the situation in Haiti and Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sudan.

12 May 2010, Ottawa

Remarks to the United Nations Association of Canada [as prepared for delivery]

Good morning.

It is a real pleasure to be here.

I understand that the word around town, today, was that a famous South Korean was coming back to visit.

I humbly apologize if you were expecting Kim Yu Na.

Seriously: Canada hosted a truly memorable Olympics.

And I wanted to come here this morning to thank you – and this UN association – for doing so much to promote not only the values of the Olympics, but the principles of the United Nations.

Ladies and gentlemen,

09 March 2010, UN Headquarters

Remarks to the Memorial Ceremony in Honour of Those Killed in the Haiti Earthquake

Dear colleagues,
Dear friends,
Above all, dear families of those to whom we sadly bid farewell:

Let us begin by thanking the families and friends who have traveled far to be with us. To those who could not be here, please know that our hearts are with you.

We are joined by duty stations around the world — the men and women of our proud United Nations.

Among them are the members of our UN mission in Haiti, who have carried on despite their pain and hardship.