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“European Reveal of the Ideas Box”

17 June 2014
“European Reveal of the Ideas Box”

Message by Mr. Michael Møller
United Nations Under-Secretary-General
Acting Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva
“European Reveal of the Ideas Box”
Palais des Nations, Salle des pas perdus
Tuesday, 17 June 2014 at 17:30

Delivered on the Acting Director-General’s behalf by
Mr. Clemens M. Adams, Director of the Division of Administration

Mr. Delarue
Mr. Weil
Distinguished Ambassadors
Dear Colleagues and Friends:

It is my privilege to represent the Acting Director-General, Mr. Michael Møller, who very much regrets that he cannot be with you today. He has asked me to deliver a message to you in support of this important event:

“It is my pleasure to welcome you all to the European launch of the Ideas Box, and I thank the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Libraries without Borders for the collaboration in organizing this unique event.

Most of us are used to easy access to information and ideas regardless of where we are. Every day, we tap into a wealth of knowledge that travels through a cyber world without any borders. But the world’s millions of refugees, internally displaced persons and other vulnerable people caught in humanitarian emergencies experience real barriers in accessing information on a daily basis. This compounds the sense of vulnerability and exclusion. At the same time, information and education are the most essential tools to rebuild lives and reintegrate individuals. Without it, whole generations will be lost and the path towards sustainable peace and development of countries torn apart by crises will be much longer.

The Ideas Box not only addresses a practical need in one of the most difficult and complex areas of our work, but is also a welcome reminder of the importance of information, ideas and innovation in empowering individuals – regardless of the circumstances. It is by stimulating critical thinking and by encouraging people to challenge the status quo that we move our world forward.

As the home of one of the largest social science libraries in Europe, the United Nations Office at Geneva particularly welcomes the involvement of Libraries without Borders. And we appreciate that today’s event also serves as the launch of Bibliothèques Sans Frontières Suisse. We share a commitment to enabling the sharing of information, to enriching collective thinking, and to ensuring that individuals are empowered to make informed decisions so that we together can shape a better future. A library is not simply a physical location for publications; it is a facilitator of progress through knowledge-sharing without any frontiers. As such, libraries are a critical component of our information-society – and for the United Nations, our libraries are an integral part of our overall efforts to promote peace, rights and well-being for all.

The Ideas Box shows us how we can push the boundaries of what is possible when we combine innovative thinking, technical know-how and cutting-edge design. This, in turn, pushes the boundaries of what is possible in delivering better for the people who need us on the ground.

It is my hope that the Ideas Box will help all of us to think outside the box.”

That was the end of the Acting Director-General’s message.

I join him in wishing you a successful event.

Thank you very much.