Respected rector and dear friends!
Thank you for the invitation to visit Westminster International University Tashkent today to address this Model UN conference.
Although I have never myself participated in a model UN, I remember when I was in university, how enthusiastic my classmates were who did participate. Frankly, their brilliance and energy intimidated me.
From what I can see today, you are just as brilliant and energetic as they were. Therefore, I am afraid to say too much in front of such an intimidating audience!
As a practicing diplomat and particularly as an American diplomat I have always had great respect and admiration for the sometimes unenviable role the United Nations plays in world diplomacy.
In many respects the United Nations was the dream of the American President Franklin Roosevelt, who guided my country through the grueling years of the Second World War, which remains to this day the greatest tragedy to have engulfed the modern world.
President Roosevelt had witnessed the failure of the previous effort to establish a world organization to try to maintain peace and stability and prevent war, the League of Nations. He also deeply regretted America’s own failure to participate in that organization, which had been very much the dream of his Democratic predecessor President Woodrow Wilson, who had hoped to establish a strong global peace organization out of the ashes of the First World War.
Although President Roosevelt did not live to see the UN charter adopted, his spirit was present the day it was signed in San Francisco.
Since then the United Nations has grown and extended its scope of activities and agencies.
The United Nations often suffers criticism for being ineffective or wasteful. But the United Nations is only as good and effective as its members wish it to be, and that includes my country as well.
Frankly, I think the fact people criticize the UN means it is doing the right thing. It challenges its members and world to face uncomfortable facts and difficult humanitarian and diplomatic situations, especially when the efforts of others fail.
If the United Nations did not exist; someone would have to invent it. It goes where many countries refuse to go; it provides hope to the hopeless; it meets the needs of those of our fellow humans, who have nothing or no one to speak for them.
Much of its work is done not in the glamorous cities of New York, Paris, Geneva, and Vienna where its headquarters reside, but in political hot spots and areas of humanitarian crisis.
The issues you will discuss today in this simulation are real issues the UN faces every day: how to alleviate poverty and disease; how to promote equality and how to prevent terror against humanity.
I have not served as diplomat in the United Nations or at U.S. missions to the United Nations, but I have the greatest admiration for my colleagues who do and have served. They are among the best and brightest of our profession. They learn and practice the art of negotiation; the skill of effective communication, the virtue of patience and appreciate the necessity of constant, consistent engagement. Those are the highest attributes of any professional diplomat.
I hope today, those of you who will participate in this simulation will appreciate the value of the United Nations and how it works. But I also hope you will appreciate what it takes to be an effective diplomat.
Maybe some of you will come away from this event attracted to career in diplomacy or at the very least interested in the world outside your borders. It is world full of problems but also a world full of hopes and ideas. Above all it is our world – our united nations.
I hope you will make the most of this day. I am pleased my embassy was able to support this conference. I congratulate you and wish each of you the very best in your future, maybe as a diplomat but particularly as a responsible citizen of this world. Thank you.
Bugun sizlarga va ishlaringizda katta omad tilayman!