Secretary-General Praises Contribution to Peacekeeping, Bolstered Logistics Capacity of United Nations Global Service Centre, at Anniversary Ceremony in Brindisi, 19 December 2019

from UN Secretary-General
Published on 19 Dec 2019 View Original

19 DECEMBER 2019

Following are United Nations Secretary‑General António Guterres’ remarks at a ceremony marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of the United Nations Global Service Centre, in Brindisi, Italy, today:

It is a pleasure to be here with you in Brindisi. I am told that Brindisi has a long history of openness to the world, and that today the city is driven by a spirit called “goodness of heart” in welcoming people in need.

So, it is appropriate indeed that it is from here that, for the past 25 years, the United Nations Global Service Centre has been supporting some of the most difficult peacekeeping operations and other United Nations endeavours.

In my tour of the base just before this ceremony, I saw the remarkable scale of what you do here, and how that work has evolved. Your logistics capacities have grown dramatically. Your telecommunications facilities are state of the art, working in tandem with your base in Valencia. In these and so many others respects, the Centre is a key part of the United Nations Department of Operational Support and a vital tool in the service of peace.

I know you are also determined to do even better, with investments in innovation, information and communications technologies, engineering and environmental support.

And in line with the wide-ranging efforts to reform and strengthen the United Nations, I welcome the Centre’s efforts to explore opportunities to help clients beyond the Secretariat, including partners such as the African Union and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). What I have seen today demonstrates that we have the tools and the expertise to be effective.

Now is also the time to make responsible choices, in particular in reducing our carbon footprint in the field. And that means committing to clean energy, recycling, an end to the use of single-use plastics and other steps that will benefit people and planet alike. I look forward to the Centre’s contributions as we raise ambition in addressing the climate crisis and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

And I have to say that I was very impressed by the technologies available in the Centre. Technology is very important, but technology is a tool. What matters is people and I was even more impressed by the determination, the will, the capacity and the generosity of the staff working in the Centre. Congratulations. So, I thank you for your role and for the extremely important work that is that is done here.

But, I also want to thank the authorities and citizens of Brindisi for their outstanding hospitality. The warmth of the Italian people and the strong commitment of the Italian Government to the United Nations and multilateralism that was just stated again today have created the opportunity for the United Nations to have in Italy a remarkable presence. From Brindisi to Rome, from Florence to Torino, from Trieste to Perugia and Venice, we can find the United Nations all over Italy, and I am deeply grateful for that. Grazie mille.

Quiero aprovechar para agradecer al gobierno de España la hospitalidad para nuestro centro hermano de Valencia. Muchas gracias también por el apoyo que siempre tenemos.

At this important moment for the future of United Nations operations around the world, I want to congratulate everyone here on reaching this milestone. Twenty-five remarkable years in the life of the Centre and in the life of the United Nations.

My last word is a word of gratitude, but a word of hope. I know that, in the difficult times that we are facing, this Centre will be a fundamental tool in the work of the United Nations, for peace and security, for human rights and for sustainable development around the world. Grazie mille.

For information media. Not an official record.