Dialogue of civilizations, tolerance

23 September 2016, UN Headquarters

Remarks at the Opening of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Group of Friends Ministerial Meeting

Thank you for attending this Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Friends of the Alliance of Civilizations. I especially appreciate Spain and Turkey for their ongoing leadership and commitment.

For nearly a decade as Secretary-General, I have tried my best to support this valuable initiative. I have attended your Forums in Madrid, Istanbul, Rio de Janeiro, Doha, Vienna and Bali as well as annual meetings in New York.

I am proud to support the Alliance because it has such an important mission to build bridges.

16 September 2016, UN Headquarters

Remarks at the Peace Bell Ceremony to Commemorate the International Day of Peace

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon rings the Peace Bell at the annual ceremony held at UN headquarters in observance of the International Day of Peace (21 September). UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Good morning and thank you for joining us for this Peace Bell Ceremony today.

This morning, in these calm surroundings, listening to this beautiful music, war seems very distant.

But I myself grew up in war, as did many of you. We are all closer to conflict than we may like to think.

On the International Day of Peace, we call on combatants around the world to lay down their weapons and observe a day of global ceasefire and non-violence.

16 September 2016, UN Headquarters

Remarks at International Day of Peace Student Observance

Good morning, everyone!

I am happy to see so many young people here at the United Nations on the International Day of Peace.

Thanks to Ike Ramos and Ms. Nitty Scott for their energetic performance. 

Today is one of the most significant annual observances for the United Nations.

Building and sustaining peace is the reason for the existence of this Organization.

I am happy to share this stage with some of the individuals who help us in that task – our Messengers of Peace.

13 September 2016, UN Headquarters

Remarks at Prayer Service on occasion of the opening of the 71st Session of the General Assembly

Your Excellency Archbishop Thomas Wenski, Archbishop of Miami,
Your Excellency Mr. Peter Thomson, President of the 71st Session of the General Assembly,
Your Excellency Archbishop Bernardito Auza, Apostolic Nuncio and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the United Nations,
The Most Reverend John O’Hara, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of New York,
The Reverend Gerald Murray, Pastor Church of Holy Family,

It is always a special pleasure to attend this annual event.

01 September 2016, Galle

Remarks at youth event in Galle, Sri Lanka: Reconciliation and Coexistence: the Role of Youth

Good afternoon,

Thank you all for coming, and for your warm welcome.

I am very happy to be with you today as part of my second official visit to Sri Lanka.

Wherever I travel as Secretary-General, I try to meet young people. I want to hear about your priorities and your vision, and to benefit from your creativity and wisdom.

Young people are not only the leaders of tomorrow you are the leaders of today. Your positive approach inspires me and gives me the energy to persevere.

31 August 2016, Nay Pyi Taw

Remarks at the 21st Century Panglong Conference in Myanmar

I give you my full respect and greetings from the United Nations. It is a great honour for me as Secretary-General of the United Nations to address the great opening of the 21st Century Panglong Conference. Thank you for your invitation.

This is a historic occasion for the further democratization of this country.

The symbolism of this Conference is clear from its title, which recalls the spirit of the original Panglong Conference convened in 1947 by General Aung San, the Father of Modern Burma.

But today, we also look to the future.

04 August 2016, Rio de Janeiro

Remarks to Refugee Olympic Team

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (centre) meets with the Olympic Refugee Team at the Olympic Village in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. UN Photo/Mark Garten

I know you have had very sad, terrible stories and experiences, but you are a source of inspiration for all of us. Your stories are very sad but, at the same time, you can be a source of hope for many people. 

04 August 2016, Rio de Janeiro

Remarks at the International Olympic Committee President's dinner

I would like to thank President Bach and the International Olympic Committee for their kind invitation and leadership in organizing the 31st Olympic Games.

I also want to thank the people and government of Brazil, particularly the citizens of Rio, for their warm welcome and cooperation to help make the Rio Olympics a great success.

This special dinner brings together leaders from the worlds of government, business, the media, science, culture and sport.

20 May 2016, UN Headquarters

Remarks at Commemoration of the International Day of Vesak

Welcome to the United Nations.

I am delighted to be here to commemorate the International Day of Vesak with you.

My own mother is a devout Buddhist. I was fortunate to learn the teachings of Lord Buddha through my family. They have been a great source of wisdom in my life.

My distinguished predecessor, Secretary-General U Thant, was a very religious Buddhist.

Nearly 40 years ago, he delivered a lecture about Buddhism and the United Nations.

Secretary-General Thant talked about karma, the principle that every action has a reaction.

20 May 2016, UN Headquarters

Closing remarks to UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

It is an honour to join all of you for the closing of the Fifteenth Session of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous issues.

Through the years, I have had the pleasure of participating in many sessions of the Permanent Forum.

I have also had the privilege of visiting several indigenous peoples’ communities around the world. In the process, I have gained a deeper understanding of your historical struggles, your contributions to Mother Earth and humanity, your sustainable ways of living, your cultural expressions as well as the endangered situation of your languages.