Bill Clinton photo

Remarks at a Reception for Heads of State and United Nations Delegations in New York City

September 26, 1994

Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary; and thank you, Ambassador Albright, and thank you for your outstanding leadership in the United Nations.

Most of what I have to say I have already said to the United Nations today. And we did not ask you to come here to listen to speeches but simply to enjoy yourselves and to give us a chance to say thank you for your friendship to the United States and your cooperation with the United States.

I'm very glad to be here in one of our Nation's truly outstanding institutions, this magnificent museum, and particularly in this place. When I walked in, the Foreign Minister of Egypt rolled his eyes at me because here we are. I do want to say that I am here out of respect for Egyptian culture, not because I am a candidate for pharaoh.

I would just leave you with this one thought. We have an enormous opportunity today. Every day we get up and we read about all the problems we have in the world, and most of the discussions in the United Nations are focused on those problems. But the way that we talk about them is made possible because of the triumph of democracy, the triumph of freedom, the end of the cold war, the possibilities opened to us by the global spread of technology and enterprise and opportunity. And so I ask you all to maintain a very hopeful outlook. Even as we are careful and calculated about what we can do and we don't reach into those things we cannot, let us look to the future with real confidence.

I feel very, very hopeful about the next 50 years for the United Nations, and especially about the next 10 years as we prepare the way for the 21st century, in which, as I said, I hope we will prove that freedom and democracy can not only endure but can actually triumph and change the lives of ordinary people all across the world.

Thank you very much, and welcome.

NOTE: The President spoke at 7:15 p.m. at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

William J. Clinton, Remarks at a Reception for Heads of State and United Nations Delegations in New York City Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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