UN Photo/Amanda Voisard

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said goodbye to staff and Permanent Representatives at United Nations Headquarters in New York today, saying that though he had delivered many speeches over his decade in office, he had but two important words for those gathered to wish him well: “thank you.”

Thanking staff and delegations for their “hard work [and] leadership for humanity,” Mr. Ban said that he had been motivated by this commitment and that he was “proud to call you my colleagues.”

Citing sustainable development, climate change, gender empowerment and youth, among the issues that had been at the top of his agenda, he urged the enthusiastic gathering to “keep believing [and] working hard” to achieve the noble goals of the UN, and to be a “voice for the voiceless.”

“It has been a privilege to serve the world’s people. And it has been an honour to serve with you and all our partners – including Member States, civil society, and many more,” he stated.