As I prepare for my second term as Secretary-General, I am thinking hard about how we can meet the expectations of the millions of people who see the U.N.'s blue flag as a banner of hope. We have to continue our life-saving work in peacekeeping, human rights, development and humanitarian relief.
One of the main lessons I have learned the last five years as Secretary-General is that the United Nations cannot function properly without the support of the business community and civil society. We need to have tripartite support - the governments, the business communities and the civil society.
The good name of the United Nations is one of its most valuable assets - but also one of its most vulnerable. The Charter calls on staff to uphold the highest levels of efficiency, competence and integrity, and I will seek to ensure to build a solid reputation for living up to that standard.
Women hold up more than half the sky and represent much of the world's unrealized potential. They are the educators. They raise the children. They hold families together and increasingly drive economies. They are natural leaders. We need their full engagement... in government, business and civil society.
Climate change, in some regions, has aggravated conflict over scarce land, and could well trigger large-scale migration in the decades ahead. And rising sea levels put at risk the very survival of all small island states. These and other implications for peace and security have implications for the United Nations itself.
Saving our planet, lifting people out of poverty, advancing economic growth... these are one and the same fight. We must connect the dots between climate change, water scarcity, energy shortages, global health, food security and women's empowerment. Solutions to one problem must be solutions for all.
The explosion in access to mobile phones and digital services means that people everywhere are contributing vast amounts of information to the global knowledge warehouse. Moreover, they are doing so for free, just by communicating, buying and selling goods and going about their daily lives.
It is a sad but undeniable reality that people have died in the line of duty since the earliest days of the United Nations. The first was Ole Bakke, a Norwegian member of the United Nations guard detachment, shot and killed in Palestine in 1948. The toll since then has included colleagues at all levels.
Throughout human history, in any great endeavour requiring the common effort of many nations and men and women everywhere, we have learned - it is only through seriousness of purpose and persistence that we ultimately carry the day. We might liken it to riding a bicycle. You stay upright and move forward so long as you keep up the momentum.
We have reached a new milestone as a human family. With seven billion of us now inhabiting our planet, it is time to ask some fundamental questions. How can we provide a dignified life for ourselves and future generations while preserving and protecting the global commons - the atmosphere, the oceans and the ecosystems that support us?