Dialogue of civilizations, tolerance

22 September 2011, UN Headquarters

Remarks to High-level Symposium on South Africa's Contribution to the Fight Against Racism and Xenophobia

Your Excellency, President Zuma, Excellencies, Distinguished Heads of State and Government, Distinguished Ministers, Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen,

Three years ago, I had the immense honour to meet Nelson Mandela.

I began to thank him for all he had done for freedom and justice, but he interrupted me.

The thanks, he said, should go to the millions of people in South Africa – known and unknown people - and around the world - men and women - who stood up for these essential principles.

It is they who freed South Africa from the bonds of apartheid.

22 September 2011, General Assembly

Remarks to General Assembly at meeting commemorating 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action

Your Excellency Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, President of the General Assembly, Your Excellency Mr. Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa,

Distinguished Heads of State and Government, Excellencies,

UN High Commissioner, Navi Pillay, for Human Rights, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Ten years ago, in adopting the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action against Racism, the international community acknowledged that no country could claim to be free of discrimination and intolerance.

Ten years later, this is still the case.

Certainly we have come a long way.

20 September 2011, UN Headquarters

Remarks to Appeal of Conscience Foundation Annual Awards Dinner [as prepared for delivery]

Your Excellency, President Lee Myung-bak, My good friend, Rabbi Schneier, Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen,

Good evening to you all.

Rabbi Schneier, I want to thank you and the Appeal of Conscience Foundation for your leadership.

At a time of too much division in the world, too much discord, you stand strong for our most cherished values: Religious freedom. Human rights. Human dignity. Tolerance and understanding.

That is what our world needs. You give them life each and every day.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

20 September 2011, UN Headquarters

Remarks at Informal Ministerial Conference of the Francophonie on the Main Political Transitions in the Francophonie (as prepared for delivery)

Your Excellency Ms. Micheline Calmy-Rey, President of Switzerland,


Ladies and Gentlemen,

I thank Switzerland and the International Organization of La Francophonie for organizing this informal ministerial meeting.

The Arab Spring has had some of its most dramatic impacts among the member countries of the Francophonie.

10 August 2011, Seoul

Remarks at United Nations Academic Impact Forum

It is a pleasure to be with such a distinguished group of academic leaders.

My sincere thanks to the Korean Council for University Education and Handong Global University for hosting and organizing this forum.

It has been nine months since I launched Academic Impact at United Nations Headquarters in New York.

27 July 2011, UN Headquarters

Remarks at unveiling of London Olympic Countdown Clock

Thank you, Ambassador Lyall Grant of the United Kingdom,
Mr. Carl Lewis,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I thank Ambassador Grant for organizing this very meaningful and historic event.

12 July 2011, General Assembly

Remarks to General Assembly Informal Interactive Dialogue on the Responsibility to Protect

Mr. President,
Distinguished Delegates,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Mr. President, thank you for convening this timely conversation. Special thanks also to our distinguished guests from regional and sub-regional arrangements for sharing their insights and experiences with us. We value their words and deeds.

We gather today as partners determined to rid the world of atrocity crimes.

This partnership was born of necessity, shaped by practical experience, and sustained by common purpose.

16 June 2011, Brasilia

Opening remarks at press stakeout with Brazilian Foreign Minister Antonio Patriota

Boa tarde, estou muito feliz de estar aqui em Brasilia.

Thank you very much, Mr. Minister, for your kind hospitality. I'm very pleased to visit Brazil. This is my third time as Secretary-General.

Last year, I visited Rio de Janeiro to participate in the Alliance of Civilizations meeting.

01 June 2011, Rome

Remarks to International Conference on the Inter-Ethnic City [As prepared for delivery]

I am pleased to be here. I want to thank our hosts, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which has organized this event under the auspices of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.

I am here in Italy to join in the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Italian unification. Anniversaries are moments to mark the past, but to my mind they are really about the future.

16 May 2011, General Assembly

Remarks to special event marking the 2,600th Anniversary of the Enlightenment of the Buddha

Thank you, Your Excellency Ambassador Kohona, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka,
Excellency Ambassador Kleib, Acting President of the General Assembly
Distinguished Ambassadors,
Venerable Buddhist Monks,
Ladies and gentlemen,

I am pleased to celebrate this auspicious occasion with you.

It is a personal celebration for me, since my mother is a devout Buddhist.

I remember being inspired by the teachings of the Buddha as a child.

The wisdom of mindfulness, compassion and peace.