Message to Boston Global Forum
Loeb House, Harvard University, Cambridge, 12 December 2016
It is a pleasure to greet the Boston Global Forum. I thank Governor Michael Dukakis for his long-standing support of the United Nations and his engagement across the international agenda. I am grateful to the Boston Global Forum for honouring me with its World Leader for Peace, Security and Development Award, which I accept on behalf of the talented and dedicated staff of the United Nations.
It has been a privilege to serve as Secretary-General. My decade in office has been a time of turmoil and challenge. We have seen protracted conflicts, growing inequality, rising extremism and xenophobia, and the largest numbers of refugees and displaced persons since the Second World War.
At the same time, we have opened up new horizons for progress. The adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development shows that countries can overcome their divisions to act for the common good. The Paris Agreement on climate change entered into force last month – a true landmark in humankind’s efforts to address the defining threat of our time.
Our challenge is to build on these and other gains, and deepen the partnerships we have built among world leaders, the business community and civil society. One can easily be overwhelmed by the latest terrorist attack, extreme storm or outbreak of disease. But even amidst these crises, I continue to see — and believe in — the transformative power of collective action. Let us continue to work together in that spirit. Thank you again for this recognition and for your continued support of the United Nations.