15 NOVEMBER 2010


Following are UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s remarks at the United Nations Day Concert, in New York, 22 October:

"I would like to welcome all of you to the United Nations for this UN Day celebration.

"There are many official observances and commemorations on the United Nations calendar. But the grandmother of them all -- the one from which all others emanate -- is the one we mark tonight, United Nations Day, the day on which, 65 years ago, our great founding Charter entered into force.

"Every year on UN Day, we reaffirm our global mission. We reassert our values: equality; tolerance; and human dignity. But above all, on UN Day we resolve to do more: more to combat injustice, insecurity and impunity; more to avert nuclear and climate catastrophe; and more to meet the Millennium Development Goals -- to which tonight’s concert is dedicated.

"Last month’s Millennium Development Goals Summit was an important step forward. It generated renewed political commitment to meeting the needs of the world’s poorest, most vulnerable people. We also saw leaders broadly agreed to protect aid commitments at a time of belt-tightening in so many other areas. This was very encouraging.

"As we mark the sixty-fifth anniversary of the United Nations, I continue to be inspired by the millions of people throughout the world who enthusiastically uphold our ideals and help us in our work.

"We have so many good friends. Our citizen ambassadors, whose ideas and can-do spirit you have just seen tonight. Our partners in so many fields -- scientists and scholars, philanthropists and entrepreneurs, human rights watchdogs, environmental activists, women’s non-governmental organizations. The list goes on.

"And of course, among those good friends are the musicians who are here tonight: the Korean Broadcasting System Symphony Orchestra. Music is a UN Day tradition. Over the years, we have enjoyed many wonderful performances, from opera and jazz to samba and soukous.

"Normally in this room, we talk about various differences among Member States. Tonight, at least, we are united in our appreciation of music and the joy it brings. Let the harmony embodied by this orchestra inspire us in our work.

"I thank the Government of the Republic of Korea and, in particular, the Korean Broadcasting System Symphony Orchestra, for sponsoring this year’s celebration.

"Let me also express my appreciation to the Korean Broadcasting System for the arrangements it is making for broadcasters and members of the media at next month’s G-20 Summit in Seoul. This is a crucially important event for the world’s development agenda and our work for the Millennium Development Goals, and I am encouraged to know that the Korean Broadcasting System recognizes this and is lending its support.

"Finally, allow me to note that this year the Republic of Korea is also celebrating the sixty-fifth anniversary of her birth. And since 1945, the Republic of Korea has been a huge beneficiary of assistance from this Organization -- starting from the establishment of the Republic, through reconstruction from the devastating war, and again during the country’s rapid economic development.

"The performance of the Korean Broadcasting System Orchestra this evening represents the sincere gratitude of the Korean people to the United Nations and its Member States. On UN Day and every day, the Republic of Korea is strongly committed to the United Nations.

Also, the following video message by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was circulated on U.N. Day:

"On United Nations Day, I express my great appreciation to the millions of people throughout the world who believe deeply in our work for peace, development and human rights...and who uphold our ideals and help us achieve our goals. To all of you...friends and fellow citizens of the world...I say: thank you.

"Sixty-five years ago on this date, the founding Charter of the United Nations entered into force. Every year on UN Day, we reaffirm our global mission. We reassert the universal values of tolerance, mutual respect and human dignity. And we recognize the progress we have made together: gains in Literacy and life expectancy...the spread of knowledge and technology...advances in democracy and the rule of law.

"But above all, UN Day is a day on which we resolve to do more. More to protect those caught up in armed conflict, to fight climate change and avert nuclear catastrophe; more to expand opportunities for women and girls, and to combat injustice and impunity; more to meet the Millennium Development Goals.

"Last month's MDG Summit at the United Nations generated political momentum...as well as financial commitments that are especially significant in these difficult economic times. I am determined to press ahead as the 2015 deadline approaches.

"Despite our problems, despite polarization and distrust, our interconnected world has opened up vast new possibilities for common progress. Let us commit to do even more to realize the great vision set out in the UN Charter."