George W. Bush photo

Remarks at a Luncheon Hosted by Secretary-General Kofi Annan of the United Nations in New York City

September 19, 2006

Mr. Secretary-General, distinguished members of the United Nations community, Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, we're proud to welcome you here to our country.

I'm pleased to be with you at the 61st session of the United Nations General Assembly, this year under the President— under the leadership of President Sheikha Khalifa from Bahrain, the first woman from the Middle East to serve in this position. We welcome her presence on the podium.

Mr. Secretary-General, it is appropriate that we offer you a toast today, a toast based upon our gratitude for your 10 years of service to this important body. We need to toast your compassion, when the world saw the United Nations respond to natural disasters. We need to toast your desire for peace. We need to toast the fact that you're a hard worker. For those of you who have had the honor of taking phone calls from Kofi Annan, you know that he's not always calling from the same address. I've talked to him a lot of times during my time as President, and a lot of times my discussions with him came from when he was in faraway places, because he cares deeply about the world.

We need to toast the fact that he loves his wife, and his wife loves him. We need to toast the fact that he is a decent, honorable man. We need to raise our glasses to 10 years of extraordinary service and be thankful that a man such as Kofi Annan was willing to stand up and serve the cause of justice and peace.

And so now if you'll join me in a toast to a good man and a good friend, and we ask for God's blessings on you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 2:14 p.m. at the United Nations Headquarters. In his remarks, he referred to Sheikha Haya Rashed Al Khalifa, President, 61st Session of the U.N. General Assembly; and Nane Maria Annan, wife of Secretary-General Annan. The transcript released by the Office of the Press Secretary also included the remarks of Secretary-General Annan. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

George W. Bush, Remarks at a Luncheon Hosted by Secretary-General Kofi Annan of the United Nations in New York City Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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