UN role and reform

24 October 2016, UN Headquarters

Remarks at United Nations Day Concert

It is a great pleasure to welcome you to this special event to commemorate the 71st anniversary of the United Nations.  I thank the Permanent Mission of Hungary for bringing us together – the remarkably talented performers you are about to see and appreciate. 
 
The United Nations Day concert marks the birth of the United Nations in 1945, and offers an opportunity to reflect on the work of the Organization through the universal language of music.
 

13 October 2016, UN Headquarters

Press encounter with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Secretary-General-designate António Guterres

Ban Ki-moon: I am very happy and pleased and honoured to welcome to the 38th floor this new Secretary-General-designate. He will soon become Secretary-General, succeeding me. 

He will be looking and he will be addressing so many challenges from this 38th floor. There may be many challenges, at the same time, there is some hope for all of us. We have the Sustainable Development Goals, and Climate Change. These are two guides which will really bring a good sense of hope to many people.

I wish you all the best.

14 October 2016, General Assembly

Remarks to General Assembly meeting to pay tribute to the memory of H.E. Girma Asmerom Tesfay, the late Permanent Representative of the State of Eritrea to the United Nations

I join with the General Assembly to convey my deep sorrow for the loss of His Excellency Mr.  Girma Asmerom Tesfay who passed away on 5 October in New York.

I express my personal deep condolences -- as well as the condolences of the United Nations system -- to his family, to His Excellency Isaias Afwerki, President of the State of Eritrea, and to the Eritrean people. 

Ambassador Girma presented his credentials as Permanent Representative of the State of Eritrea to the United Nations on 23 April 2014. 

24 September 2016, UN Headquarters

Remarks at signing of League of Arab States Protocol

Your Excellency Mr. Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the League of Arab States,

Since the founding of our respective organizations in 1945, the League of Arab States has been a valued partner of the United Nations. 

Today, we sign a Protocol of Amendment to invigorate and enhance our cooperation. 

I am proud of the step we are taking today and all of our work together over my last ten years as Secretary-General. 

22 September 2016, UN Headquarters

Remarks at event to Recognize the Contributions of the Government of Qatar to the Preservation of Historic Documents of the United Nations

Your Excellency, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar, 
Your Excellency, Ms. Alya Ahmed Saif Al-Thani, Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations,

I am delighted to join you today in this beautiful lounge – a generous gift of Qatar.

We opened it three years ago together. Ever since then, it has become a favourite spot at the United Nations.

We have had many meaningful events here. Shukran jazeelan. Thank you very much.

Excellencies,

21 September 2016, UN Headquarters

Remarks at Unveiling Ceremony for Staff Recreation Facility

Dr. Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, 
Excellencies, 
Ladies and gentlemen, 
Dear Colleagues,

Good morning and welcome. It is a great pleasure to be here with you at this groundbreaking ceremony.

This week of all weeks, getting more exercise may be the last thing on our minds. In fact, this ceremony is providing me with a few precious moments of rest!

But, of course, exercise is a vital part of a healthy work-life balance.

20 September 2016, UN Headquarters

Toast at lunch with Heads of State and Government

This lunch is unique.  At no other time, in no other place, do so many world leaders break bread together.

And this year is unique.  Never before have a President of the United States and a Secretary-General of the United Nations completed their terms at about the same time – within just twenty days of each other.

Mr. President, we need to find something to do. 

I challenge you to a round of golf!  But please don’t challenge me to a game of basketball!

13 September 2016, UN Headquarters

Remarks at Prayer Breakfast

I am pleased to join all of you this morning.  

We are beginning perhaps the most hectic period of the year.  A new session of the General Assembly is upon us.  Leaders from around the world are on their way.  Our agendas are overflowing with meetings and summits and events. 

I can think of no better way to gather strength for this nonstop frenzy than by looking forward together with quiet humility and shared faith in humanity.

We have major challenges before us – conflict, division, insecurity.

13 September 2016, UN Headquarters

Remarks at wreath laying ceremony commemorating the 55th anniversary of the death of Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld

I am honoured to join you as we remember the life of Dag Hammarskjöld 
55 years after his death.

Together, we salute his sacrifice and celebrate his extraordinary achievements. 

On this occasion, I also renew my call to the General Assembly to appoint an Eminent Person or Persons to review new information which may exist regarding the circumstances around his death and the loss of 15 others on their mission of peace. 

All these decades after Dag Hammarskjold’s death, we remain just as inspired by his actions and his words of wisdom.

30 August 2016, Singapore

Remarks upon receiving an honorary Doctor of Letters from the National University of Singapore

Your Excellency Dr. Tony Tan Keng Yam, President of Singapore,
Your Excellency Mr. Goh Chok Tong, Emeritus Senior Minister,
Honourable Madam Halimah Yacob, Speaker of Parliament,
Distinguished Ministers,
Mr. Wong Ngit Liong, Chairman of the National University of Singapore,
Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, President of NUS,
Distinsguished Faculty,
Dear Students,

Thank you for the honour you have just bestowed on me.