ACCESSIBILITY AT UNOG A A A A The United Nations in the Heart of Europe

The Director-General

4 June 2014
“Emotions by Lubomir Tomaszewsk”

Draft opening remarks by Mr. Michael Møller
United Nations Under-Secretary-General
Acting Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva
“Emotions by Lubomir Tomaszewski ”

Palais des Nations, Mezzanine (E-building)
Wednesday, 4 June 2014 at 18:00

Ambassador Henczel
Mr. Mulrean
Ms. Rij
Mr. Tomaszewski
Excellencies
Ladies and Gentlemen:

A warm welcome to you all for this exceptional exhibition of works by US-Polish artist Lubomir Tomaszewski. Thank you to the Permanent Missions of the United States and Poland for the collaboration in bringing us these works, and thank you to Mr. Tomaszewski for being with us today and for sharing his artistic talent.

Mr. Tomaszewski’s work not only brings together two countries and two continents, but it explores universal themes and emotions through different artforms. It shows us that a comprehensive understanding of the richness of our world requires a multitude of perspectives. The United Nations provides a platform where all these perspectives come together and where they can be debated so consensus can be found for common solutions. But this only happens if we are ready to look at familiar concepts through a new lense and from the point of view of others – just as we see in the exhibition here. Often that is much easier said than done. Most of us prefer to convince others of the value of our own points rather than take on board the views of our interlocutors. Go into any meeting room here, and you will see this in action! But appreciating the different dimensions of an issue and the priorities of others is fundamental to finding common ground and moving forward together.

Mr. Tomaszewski has transformed his own personal experience fighting for peace and freedom into a powerful message of the need for dialogue and tolerance. And it is a very appropriate message for the United Nations in Geneva and globally. These are the very qualities that are needed for a truly inclusive multilateral process that brings results for people across the world.

Thank you again to the artist and to the US and Poland for this remarkable display and for the poignant reminder to all of us of the value of openness and understanding. I hope you enjoy the exhibition in that spirit. Thank you very much.