Outgoing UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has expressed his "heartfelt gratitude" to the members and supporters of UN Associations around the world.
In a farewell message on 20 December, Mr Ban recognised that "UN Associations are among the best friends of the United Nations". He noted that their "indispensable partnership" and commitment to forging global solutions has "grown even more critical in this era of increasing demands on our Organization and deepening interconnectedness worldwide".
Ban Ki-moon was succeeded as Secretary-General by António Guterres on 1 January 2017, following ten years in office. UNA-UK was honoured to have welcomed Mr Ban on his final public visit to London in February 2016, where he addressed an audience of 2,000 at Central Hall Westminster. During this visit, Mr Ban again took the opportunity to praise UN Associations as one of the UN's "most important allies".
In turn, UNA-UK has thanked Mr Ban for his decade-long commitment, during which period he has provided more opportunities for people to engage meaningfully with the United Nations, for example, by citing his appointment of the first-ever Envoy on Youth, and through the role of NGOs in the formulation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Alongside a direct letter to the Secretary-General, UNA-UK also encouraged its movement of almost 20,000 members and supporters to tweet their appreciation for Mr Ban's contribution with the hashtag, #ThankBan.
Photo: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon attends a reception following UNA-UK's public event at Central Hall Westminster on 5 February 2016, hosted in partnership with Chatham House. Copyright UNA-UK