Dialogue of civilizations, tolerance

19 May 2016, New York

Remarks at the Honorary Degree Ceremony at Marymount Manhattan College

It is a pleasure to join you today. Thank you for this great honour. I know that, through me, you are also recognizing the United Nations and its diverse and dedicated staff. We are grateful for this expression of support for our ideals and for our work.

I have one question, though. I understand that one of Marymount’s theatre arts graduates has appeared in one of Broadway’s current smash hits.

Does that mean this honorary degree comes with two tickets to “Hamilton”?!

Thank you for welcoming me into the Marymount community.

12 April 2016, Connecticut

Remarks to the Global Colloquium of University Presidents on the Preservation of Cultural Heritage: Challenges and Strategies

It is a great pleasure to be here again at Yale, and to take part in this United Nations Global Colloquium. I am inspired to be among some of the most distinguished academics in the world, and to connect your groundbreaking research with the global diplomacy of the United Nations.

I was energized and inspired by our previous meetings which covered maternal health, empowering young people, and harnessing new technologies to meet global challenges.

11 April 2016, General Assembly

Remarks to General Assembly Commemoration of the International Day of Reflection on the Genocide in Rwanda

I am honoured to be with you on this solemn occasion.

I wish to pay a special recognition to Ms. Nelly Mukazayire and Ms. Frida Umuhoza, as well as Mr. Malcolm Hoenlein, who join us today as distinguished speakers.

On this Day, we remember all who perished in the genocide in Rwanda, and we renew our resolve to prevent such atrocities from ever being repeated, anywhere in the world.

In 1994, more than 800,000 people were systematically murdered throughout Rwanda.

The vast majority were Tutsi, but moderate Hutu, Twa and others were also targeted.

21 March 2016, UN Headquarters

Remarks at commemoration of the International Day of Nowruz

Happy Nowruz, everyone!

This is a wonderful occasion to celebrate together.

Today we join hundreds of millions of people around the world marking Nowruz.

Everyone can take inspiration from this joyous holiday. It is part of our global cultural heritage.

Nowruz is an ancient celebration that predates today’s borders and divisions. It is a reminder that national boundaries, religious faiths and other superficial differences are not as important as our common humanity.

In that way, Nowruz breaks down barriers and builds bonds of trust.

18 March 2016, General Assembly

Remarks at General Assembly Meeting to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

I am pleased to join you to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

Let us recall that the date of this annual observance is the anniversary of the Sharpeville massacre of peaceful demonstrators in South Africa in 1960. I draw encouragement by how far we have come since that tragedy. But we have much distance still to travel in our work for equality for all.

29 February 2016, Geneva

Opening remarks at press encounter with Maestro Daniel Barenboim

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen, and Maestro [Daniel] Barenboim.

It is a pleasure for me to welcome today United Nations Messenger of Peace, Maestro Daniel Barenboim and members of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra.

For the past nine years, Maestro Barenboim has used his extraordinary talent and commitment to promote peace and tolerance, the core values of our Organization, as a United Nations Messenger of Peace.

10 December 2015, Paris

Opening remarks at press encounter with Civil Society

Honorable Former Vice-President Al Gore,
Ms. Emma Ruby Sachs,
Ms. May Boeve,
Dear civil society leaders with whom we have been working together.

Thank you very much for your strong commitment to work with the United Nations, to work for the people for the people of the world and to work for a very healthy planet.

Emma, we are working for your baby and many other babies who may be born, who were born already, and many other babies and children that will come to this world.

We are very much work for them.

31 October 2015, Geneva

Remarks at "Concert for the understanding of civilizations and human rights"

Good evening

It is a pleasure to be with you for what will no doubt be a memorable concert.

I thank ONUART and the Peruvian Mission for organizing this meaningful event this evening.

I thank Maestro Daniel Barenboim, UN Messenger of Peace, and all the performers for making this event possible.

This room is a fitting venue for a concert devoted to mutual respect and understanding, as it is where Member States come together to discuss human rights.

18 October 2015, Levoca

Remarks to the press at City Hall (Slovakia)

I am honoured and pleased to visit this historic city of Levoca, and I’d like to thank you for all your efforts to preserve this historical culture and heritage, and civilization and proud history of your country. That is why UNESCO [UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization] has designated this historic city, Levoca, as world cultural heritage site.

02 October 2015, UN Headquarters

Remarks at special event marking the International Day of Non-Violence


Before I begin, let me say that our thoughts are with Her Excellency Ms. Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs of India, who was to have been with us today but has had to return home owing to a family emergency.

I thank the Permanent Mission of India for organizing this event, which marks the International Day of Non-violence – and the birthdate of the great Mohandas Gandhi.

Earlier this year, while attending an international conference in India, I had the opportunity to visit the Sabarmati Ashram that he established.