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Launch of English-language biography of President Adolf Ogi: “Dölf Ogi: Statesman and Sportsman”

14 February 2014
Launch of English-language biography of President Adolf Ogi: “Dölf Ogi: Statesman and Sportsman”

Welcome Remarks for Mr. Michael Møller
United Nations Under-Secretary-General
Acting Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva

Launch of English-language biography of President Adolf Ogi
“Dölf Ogi: Statesman and Sportsman”

Palais des Nations, Room XX
Friday, 14 February 2014 at 17:00

Mr. President
Mr. Secretary-General
Ladies and Gentlemen:

A very warm welcome to the United Nations, and a warm thank you for being with us on this occasion as we pay tribute to one of the United Nations’ staunchest supporters and closest friends – former President of Switzerland and United Nations Under-Secretary-General Adolf Ogi.

It is a particular pleasure and honour to host the presentation of President Ogi’s biography here at the Palais des Nations, which is where he established the Office of the Special Adviser on Sport for Development and Peace – an entity which he shaped from nothing and gave a high profile, working out of this very building. So, today we not only welcome you back, Mr. President, we welcome you home. To quote you, Mr. President, “Freude herrscht” – joy rules the day – and never more than today with so many of your friends here to share this moment with you.

It is not for me to recount the remarkable life and career of President Ogi, but I do encourage everybody to read the biography, which is a real page-turner. I would like to share with you two points that stood out for me in reading it.

First, in tracing the achievements of President Ogi, the biography is also a unique testament to the strong relationship between him and the United Nations, and between our Host Country and our Organization. With his characteristic passion, determination, conviction and ability to connect with people from of all walks of life, Mr. Ogi used his mandate on sport, development and peace expertly to promote the principles and values of the United Nations. He showed how respect for others, fairness, tolerance and team spirit are the basic building blocks of progress – in sports as well as in the effort to build a better world. And I very much appreciate this opportunity to thank President Ogi for his outstanding commitment and contributions to the mission of the United Nations, and to thank Switzerland for the ongoing strong support for our work.

Second, the book captures eminently President Ogi’s deep affection for his country and canton. At the same time, it speaks to a keen international interest and outlook. And there is no contraction between the two. Pride in national traditions and achievements are a firm foundation for engagement and exchange – and President Ogi’s long-standing global involvement, building on his national experience, is an excellent example of that

These are values that can inspire all of us and which capture the very essence of this Organization. Thank you for bringing them out so vividly in your book, Sir.

Thank you again very much for being here this evening.