This Is What We Are All About at the UN

At a celebration on October 17 for the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (designed and implemented by NGOs), Swedish diplomat Jan Eliasson, UN Deputy Secretary-General, took the floor spontaneously at the end of the commemoration:


Jan Eliasson, UN Deputy Secretary General

“I want to say that during my many years in the UN this is one of the most unusual, one of the most inspiring meetings I’ve attended…I want to thank all of you for bringing life into this room! I often think when I’m spending time in Headquarters how important it is to connect to the realities. I spent a lot of time mounting the areas of conflicts; I’ve been to (many countries). But here we are in this room, inside the United Nations, in New York, and you bring the realities into this room. I think it’s so important that we bring, connect those who are doing policy and writing resolutions, and that is translated to the life of people. You know the first three words in this (UN) Charter that I always carry in my pocket. The first three words in this Charter are: “We the Peoples.” We are here to serve the people. We are here to fight for peace, fight for ending poverty, and fight for human rights and human dignity. This is our job. And this is what we need to be reminding all governments, all leaders, all over the world. And I think you reminded us of that very important process of bringing together those who are privileged, those who have reached the position of influence, and those who are affected, those who really need to be brought in and actually take part, in the processes that can change the world. So I thank you very much for being here today.”