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Transcript
UN70: Opening address by the RSG
Thursday 22 October, 2015
Honourable …..
It is with great pride and pleasure that I stand before you
representing the Secretary-General of the United Nations, in
commemorating with you the 70th anniversary of the birth of
this historical effort, which brought the nations in unity, and in a
joint commitment toward peace, security, freedom and the
protection of human rights.
While I bask in your hallowed presence in this beautiful city of
Belgrade, need I remind you of the role this country has played
in global peacekeeping efforts, and recall its parent nation
Yugoslavia - one of the original signatories of the 26 June 1945
declaration of the UN Charter in San Francisco to prevent the
‘scourge of war’ and for people to live side by side in peace.
The Secretary General, who I represent, has empowered the UN
Office in Belgrade, which I head, to support the countries in the
region in their efforts towards improving regional cooperation
and enhancing stability. In this vein, our office also supports
UNMIK’s activities under UNSCR 1244 and relations with
Belgrade.
The United Nations represents many things: it is the voice of the
‘peoples’ – every one of us, man, woman and child; the young
and the elderly, of all colours and all races; it is the voice and
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also the interest of the Member States; it is a platform, where
dreams of a free and peaceful world can smile in reality.
I can state with confidence the firm commitment of the
Secretary General toward making a better, more efficient, more
effective United Nations.
This September, marking the 70th anniversary of the founding
of the United Nations in New York, the SG emphasized that the
principles of the UN Charter have stood the test of time, and that
the United Nations can look back on a record of achievement.
“This 70th Assembly session must be one of compassion,
prevention and, above all, action,” he said.
The United Nations has remained introspective, conducting a
series of activities in line with its reforms agenda, in particular
in the area of peace and security, and in relation to the future of
peace operations.
Within the context of the ever-changing nature of peacekeeping
and that of the United Nations as a whole, the role of women is
becoming more imperative. Let me say with pride that last week,
the Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2242,
aimed at improving the implementation of landmark resolution
1325 on Women, Peace and Security, brought 15 years ago. The
Secretary-General urged to initiate a revised strategy aimed at
doubling the number of women in peacekeeping operations in
the next five years.
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In this regard, I applaud Serbia for its efforts to increase the
number of women peacekeepers. I also commend the
professionalism and good reputation the Serbian peacekeepers
have earned. Serbia is the leader in the Western Balkans in
terms of troops and police contribution to UN peacekeeping
efforts, and seventh in Europe. This is no small feat for a nation
still reeling from the onslaught of significant political upheavals,
as it slowly but surely is carving a place for itself as a factor of
stability in the region on its onward path to the European Union.
Thank you Serbia for organising this landmark event today, we
value your partnership.
I look forward to continuing cooperation and positive efforts
between my office and those of our Serbian government
partners, especially of the President, the Prime Minister, the
First Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Minister, and the ministries
of Defence and Interior, in strengthening partnerships and
exploring ways in which we could apply key elements of the
recommendations from the panel review. I also look at Serbia as
a partner in developing and enhancing regional relations,
following on from the success of our Regional High Level
Roundtable on Peacekeeping last year, and your contribution to
the conference in Sarajevo this summer.
Attaining and sustaining peace is a long, hard uphill climb,
which, we have to continue to do together. As the former UN
Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold quite aptly said:
“The pursuit of peace and progress cannot end in a few years in
either victory or defeat. The pursuit of peace and progress, with
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its trials and its errors, its successes and its setbacks, can never
be relaxed and never abandoned.”
I would like to congratulate the UN Resident Coordinator, Ms.
Irena Vojackova-Sollorano, the UNCT, international partners
and Serbian counterparts on this important milestone, not just
for the United Nations, but for all of us.
Thank you. My thanks go out to all of you, who came together
to rejoice in this occasion.
And I leave you with these poignant words of the Secretary
General Ban Ki Moon:
“Alongside despair in many corners, there remains great hope in
the power of working together. This is the founding spirit of the
United Nations – and in this 70th anniversary year, in the face of
grave and global challenges, it is the spirit we must summon
today.”
Enjoy the celebrations.
Thank you.
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