Dialogue of civilizations, tolerance

15 December 2008, General Assembly

Remarks at concert to mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Your Excellency the Vice President of Spain,

Mr. President of the General Assembly,

Members of the Middle East Quartet,

Maestro Barenboim,


Ladies and Gentlemen

Dear Friends,

Let me thank Her Excellency Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega and the government and people of Spain for sponsoring this concert and continuing to give such steadfast support to the United Nations. This event is a wonderful way to celebrate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its contribution to our work for global harmony and peace.

12 December 2008, Geneva

Remarks to the UN Human Rights Council

Distinguished Members of the Human Rights Council, Madame High Commissioner,

Mr. President, Excellencies, Director-General Ordzhonikidze, Ladies and Gentlemen,

On this sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, I have a message to the peoples of the world:







28 November 2008, Doha

Opening remarks at press conference

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would first like to begin this evening by strongly condemning the violence we have seen in Mumbai in the past two days.

No cause or grievance can justify indiscriminate attacks against civilians, and the perpetrators must be brought swiftly to justice.

I send my deepest sympathies to the families of the victims and the wounded, and express my solidarity with the people and Government of India.

18 November 2008, Geneva

Remarks at the inauguration of Human Rights and Alliance of Civilizations Room at Palais des Nations

Let me pay tribute to Your Majesties King Juan Carlos and Queen Sophia of Spain for this generous gift to the United Nations. This is yet another demonstration of Spain's enduring commitment to the values and the mission of the United Nations.

Let me also thank Prime Minister Zapatero, Foreign Minister Moratinos and the Spanish Government. The close interest you took in the project was instrumental to its success.

13 November 2008, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks at press conference following the conclusion of the high-level meeting on the Promotion of Inter-Religious and Inter-Cultural Dialogue, Understanding and Cooperation for Peace

Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a pleasure to be with you again.

The high-level meeting of the General Assembly has come to an end.

I would like to express my deep gratitude to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, whose remarkable efforts have brought this interfaith initiative to the General Assembly.

I am also grateful to the President of the General Assembly, who strongly supported the convening of this meeting.

12 November 2008, General Assembly

Remarks at the General Assembly High-Level Meeting on the Promotion of Inter-Religious and Inter-Cultural Dialogue, Understanding and Cooperation for Peace

Thank you, Mr. President, for convening this high-level meeting on interfaith dialogue.

Your Majesty, King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques,

Asalamu alaykum. [Peace be upon you.]

Your Majesties, Your Highnesses, Distinguished Heads of State and Government.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you all for coming together for this high-level meeting. Your presence testifies to the importance and urgency of dialogue in today's world.

24 September 2008, UN Headquarters

Remarks to Alliance of Civilizations Group of Friends Ministerial Meeting

Mr. President of the General Assembly,

High Representative Sampaio,


Ladies and gentlemen,

Dear friends,

It is a great pleasure to be here. I welcome the new members of the Group of Friends.

I am heartened by your growing engagement. Over half of the members of this Group have Focal Points to carry out activities supporting the Alliance of Civilizations.

23 September 2008, Security Council

Remarks at Security Council High-Level Debate on Mediation and the Settlement of Disputes

Mr. President,


I congratulate the Republic of Burkina Faso for convening this important debate.

For the United Nations, there is no higher calling than the peaceful resolution of conflict.

The Organization has an extensive track record in helping parties to resolve their conflict peacefully. The most well known cases culminate in a comprehensive peace agreement, and are often implemented with the assistance of a UN peace operation.

09 September 2008, UN Headquarters

Opening remarks at joint press conference with victims of terrorism

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, and I am grateful to all our distinguished friends and colleagues for joining us this afternoon. Thank you for joining me at this press briefing on the Symposium on Supporting Victims of Terrorism.

01 September 2008, Geneva

Remarks at ceremony to commemorate the 5th Anniversary of the bombing of the UN Headquarters in Baghdad

May I ask all to rise and join me in a minute of silence. Thank you, please sit down.

Dear families of the victims,

Dear survivors,

Dear colleagues and friends, Excellencies

First, let me thank those who have traveled long distances to be here today with us. I've had the privilege of meeting some of you before, but this is the first time that we are all here together.

This is a solemn gathering, but I hope it can also be an opportunity for us to look forward.