United Nations Secretary General's Luncheon
New York, New York
November 10, 2001
1:44 P.M. EST
Mr. Secretary General, distinguished members of the United Nations community,
excellencies, and ladies and gentlemen. It's a great honor to attend my first
U.N. General Debate as President of the United States. It's a special pleasure
for all of us this year to be in New York, a city whose strength, determination
and civility have been a powerful testament to the human spirit.
My country is very honored that for over half a century, New York has
served as host to the United Nations. The United States and the United Nations
have more in common than just a city; we also share a set of common values.
Today those values are under attack, and the United Nations and the United States
stand together to defend them.
In this great cause, it is a special honor for me to have found a great partner
in Kofi Annan.
Mr. Secretary General, I appreciate the many times we have spoken, particularly
over the last two months. These have been difficult and challenging days for
my nation, and I've benefitted from your wisdom and your vision and your resolve
and your optimism.
Mr. Secretary General, let me take this opportunity to congratulate you and
the United Nations once again on your receipt of this year's Nobel Peace Prize.
Mr. Secretary General, you've been the leader of the United Nations at a
time it needed leadership; at a time when your strong advocacy for peace and
international public health and collective security was needed so badly. You've
been a strong voice for human solidarity and vigilance against violence. And
Americans deeply admire your strong defense of the universality of human rights.
We've been called to fight many times in the defense of human rights, and
today we're called again, because today our very civilization is threatened.
Mr. Secretary General, we appreciate your support in this great struggle.
I offer you this toast: Mr. Secretary General, to the continued success of
your stewardship of the United Nations, to the institution you serve so ably,
and to our common search for peace and justice in the world. God bless.