30 April 2014
International Jazz Day
Opening remarks by Mr. Michael Møller
United Nations Under-Secretary-General
Acting Director-General, United Nations Office at Geneva
Palais des Nations, Assembly Hall
Wednesday, 30 April 2014 at 6 p.m.
Ladies and gentlemen:
I would like to warmly welcome you to what I am sure will be a very lively and entertaining celebration of this year’s International Jazz Day. My utmost thanks to the Permanent Mission of the United States of America for organizing this fantastic concert and to the UN Music Club and the Evaristo Perez Quintet for filling this Assembly Hall with the sounds of jazz. I have now had the pleasure of listening to the UN Music Club on several occasions, and I can personally testify to their talent, professionalism and musical flair.
This evening, we communicate in a universal language. Jazz speaks to everyone – across common barriers of age, gender and ethnicity. By breaking down these barriers, it creates opportunities for mutual understanding, cooperation and tolerance.
Nurtured in the United States and drawing its roots from a great mix of peoples and cultures, jazz is now played across the world and enjoyed everywhere. It fosters creativity and innovation, especially in young people, and encourages all of us to express ourselves freely and with passion.
Jazz represents a form of great pleasure for many people. And it is therefore my great pleasure to host this concert for you this evening. And it is to my great regret that I will not be able to stay for the music. I have to attend a late meeting, unfortunately. I probably don’t need to tell you that I would much rather have been able to stay with you.
Thank you and enjoy the music!