Mayor Bloomberg, thank you so much for hosting us tonight. The United States is incredibly proud to be the host nation to the UN, but we can only do so because New York is the host city to us all.
We are deeply grateful to Mayor Bloomberg and his entire team for the phenomenal job the City does for the United Nations and the entire diplomatic community. In particular, I’d like to recognize Commissioner Marjorie Tiven, Brad Billet and Linda Wayner for their outstanding professionalism, dedication, and integrity. I also want to salute the extraordinary efforts of the NYPD and the FDNY, New York’s finest and bravest, who keep the diplomatic community and all New Yorkers safe. I would like to thank the thousands of other employees of the City of New York that let the United States meet its responsibilities as host country to the UN.
I also want to recognize Undersecretary of State Patrick Kennedy and his team at the State Department for all they do to strengthen the partnership among the U.S. government, the City of New York, and the United Nations.
And finally, let me say how appreciative we all are for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and his committed leadership of the United Nations, especially in these challenging times.
The partnership among all of us is strengthened by our common admiration for this great city and shared appreciation for what the UN contributes to it. New York may be the only American city that exerts its own gravitational pull. It certainly attracts the world’s best and brightest diplomats. Many are here tonight. Their presence and the UN’s presence in the heart of New York enrich the City in so many ways, adding to its magnificent diversity, deepening its rich cultural heritage, and boosting its economy.
Now, like all New Yorkers, we come here to work. And when talented diplomats and UN officials work together in common purpose, we can do great things.
For example, in recent years, together, we’ve made important progress toward a world free of nuclear weapons. We’ve supported critical UN peacekeeping and political activities to end conflicts, protect civilians and support democratic transitions worldwide. We’ve launched massive relief efforts to help the vulnerable and those suffering from man-made and natural disasters. We’ve reinvigorated the UN’s human rights machinery and adopted landmark resolutions to condemn violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. We’ve created a new UN agency to help empower women. We’ve taken important steps towards promoting child survival, maternal health, sustainable energy and development, and the Millennium Development Goals. And we’ve worked to promote a stronger and more effective United Nations that is better equipped to tackle the global challenges of tomorrow.
We’ve got much more to do. We don’t agree on everything. But tonight, I hope we can pause for just a moment to reflect on what we’ve achieved by working together in common purpose. And I want to express my admiration and appreciation to all of you for your enduring friendship and support. It means a great deal to me, and tonight, from the heart, let me simply say thank you.
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