1 October 2012
Opening remarks by Mr. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev
United Nations Under-Secretary-General
Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva
Delivered by Ms. Sylvie Jacque, Officer-in-Charge, UNOG Library
Palais des Nations, Passerelle, E Building, 3rd floor
Monday, 1 October at 1 p.m.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
It is my pleasure to welcome you to the opening of this special exhibition. First, I would like to express my sincere appreciation to the Permanent Mission of Ukraine for the organization of this event. It is this spirit of cross-cultural exchange that forms the backbone of our work here at the United Nations Office at Geneva. I am especially pleased that we are able to showcase this interesting exhibition here at the Palais des Nations.
Through his photographs, Yevgen Kovtoniuk tells us the stories of the everyday lives of ordinary people around the world. In short, he shows us their paths in life. These images reveal our common roots: universal values; self-determination; and awareness of the world around us. No matter how the roads we see differ from ours, in them we find our shared humanity and shared priorities. These paths connect all of us, and become the bridge to understanding between different backgrounds and cultures.
The process of finding a common way represents the true spirit of the United Nations. I just returned from the opening of the General Debate of the General Assembly in New York. A common theme among many leaders was that it was more important than ever for countries to work together to address the problems the world currently faces. To stand up for common ideals and dignity for all of the world’s people. It is through the United Nations that peace, development, rule of law and respect for human rights may be found.
This exhibition illustrates the message that many roads lead to the same goal; differences are a source of diversity; and intercultural collaboration is enriching for all. I am grateful for this inspiring contribution to the Palais des Nations and to the international community in Geneva.
Thank you very much.