|At the Asian Group Felicitation Event For Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon by Ambassador Prasad Kariyawasam of Sri Lanka,The Chairman of the Asian Group|
|Friday, 25 May 2007 12:52|
It is with great pleasure that I welcome all of you to this evening's event on behalf of the Asian Group.
The member States of the Asian Group are honoured and pleased to host this musical concert in this august Hall, to welcome and felicitate Mr. Ban Ki-moon as the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations and celebrate his appointment to this important post. The Asian Group which represents nearly sixty percent of humanity is indeed proud that one of our own has assumed this high office for the first time in over 35 years, only the second Secretary-General from the region in the 61 year history of this Organization.
The Asian Group is particularly thankful to the President of the General Assembly, Her Excellency Haya Rashed Al-Khalifa for her presence at this event. An eminent Asian herself, it is indeed a unique coincidence that an Asian presides the General Assembly as we celebrate the selection of an Asian as Secretary-General.
The job of the Secretary-General of the United Nations is certainly among the most daunting in the world. And each Secretary-General has given their own description of what this difficult job entails and means. To succeed in his effort to advance the objectives of the United Nations, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who was elected by all UN member States, needs continuous support and cooperation from all of us. As the United Nations struggles to deal with the problems and challenges of today's world, holding out hope and vision for a better world tomorrow, the peoples and organizations who put faith in the United Nations, will need to place their trust and commit their energy, in support for our Secretary-General, as he guides the destiny of this organization.
Recently, the Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon stated: I quote ''As the first Asian Secretary-General since U- Thant, I am also committed to working for an expanded role of Asia in the international arena in the twenty-first century.'' And he further said that he would work and I Quote ''to bring together the UN's universal values and the distinct culture of Asia in a complementary and synergistic way. To bring more of Asia to the UN and more of the UN to Asia'' .
The members of the Asian Group, heirs to several ancient civilizations and cultural traditions, support this vision and stand solidly behind our new Secretary-General. And this evening we renew our pledge and commitment to work with him closely in the months and years ahead to achieve the common goals of this organization.
It is in that spirit that we have organized this event. On behalf of the Asian Group, I wish especially to acknowledge, with much appreciation, the excellent work done by the three executive committee members of the Asian Group for this event - the Permanent Representatives of China, Japan and the Republic of Korea - who together have taken the lead and prepared meticulously for this wonderful event.
I also wish to express our sincere thanks for all those who have made this evening's event possible through numerous voluntary contributions and performances. And our deep appreciation goes to several corporations which made generous financial contributions and logistical support as listed in the Programme.
Our profound appreciation also go to prominent soloists from the Republic of Korea and China, as well as the Asian Artistes and performers. Their voluntary spirit and goodwill made this event possible.
Finally, I thank the Secretariat for its invaluable help without which nothing really is possible in this building. And may I applaud you in the audience for your encouraging presence. On behalf of the Group of Asian States I welcome you all once again to enjoy the evening's music in celebration of the appointment of our Eighth Secretary-General Mr. Ban Ki-moon.