United Nations Day, 24 October 2012
We are living through a period of profound turmoil, transition and transformation. Insecurity, inequality and intolerance are spreading. Global and national institutions are being put to the test. With so much at stake, the United Nations must keep pace across the spectrum of its activities – peace, development, human rights, the rule of law, the empowerment of the world’s women and youth.There has been important progress on many fronts. Extreme poverty has been cut in half since the year 2000. Democratic transitions are under way in many countries. There are encouraging signs of economic growth across the developing world.
Now is the time to raise our collective ambitions. With the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals fast approaching, we must intensify our efforts to reach all of these lifesaving targets. We must prepare a bold and practical post-2015 development agenda. And we must continue to combat intolerance, save people caught in conflicts and establish lasting peace.
The United Nations is not just a meeting place for diplomats. The United Nations is a peacekeeper disarming fighters, a health worker distributing medicine, a relief team aiding refugees, a human rights expert helping deliver justice.
In carrying out this global mission we rely on countless friends and supporters. Non-governmental organizations, scientists, scholars, philanthropists, religious leaders, business executives and concerned citizens are critical to our success. No single leader, country or institution can do everything. But each of us, in our own way, can do something.
On this UN Day, let us reaffirm our individual commitment and our collective resolve to live up to the ideals of the United Nations Charter and build a better world for all.
Mr Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General