Sunday, 30 October 2022

It is my great pleasure to join you for your annual United Nations Day Dinner.

This is the first time I have engaged formally with the United Nations Association of SA community, and I thank you for the invitation to be here this evening.

As a diplomat, and particularly having served early in my career at Australia’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, I advocated for the building strong relationships between countries not only for the benefit of individual nation states, but to enable us to progress as a global community.  As Governor, I will continue to lend support to this objective.

The UN is a symbol of global unity - there is no other global organisation with the legitimacy, convening power and impact of the United Nations.

And its important work is nobly supported by citizen associations around the world, committed to promoting its aims and ideals throughout their communities.

This is certainly the case in Australia, where the various state chapters of the United Nations Association run more than 150 events a year.

Here in South Australia, the association has worked energetically for many years to raise awareness of important international issues and through the appointment of prominent South Australians as advisors, you have ensured a continuing focus on the Sustainable Development Goals, human rights and indigenous issues, among others.

I thank the South Australian chapter for organising this annual dinner, giving your community, partners and donors the opportunity to come together in celebration of the association’s work and ideals.

I welcome the attention you will give this evening to the space sector and its importance to our state and nation.  International space law and space diplomacy have long been Australian priorities.  Indeed I recall delivering the Australian statement to the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space at the 47th session of the UN General Assembly in 1992.

More recently, though, I have had the privilege of meeting Australian Space Agency leaders and visiting Fleet Space Technologies and have been impressed by the contribution South Australia is making to the achievement of our national objectives.

I have witnessed first-hand the capacity of companies such as Fleet Space Technologies to transform and grow a globally respected space industry here in South Australia.

I thank the association for supporting our space industry in recent years, through the provision of a scholarship in the space sector, as well as supporting a space-inspired photo installation, the UN Youth Space Summit, and a collaborative event with the Hawke Centre and Fleet Space Technologies.

Friends,

As the Secretary-General said in his UN Day message, which we have just heard, today the UN is “being tested like never before”.

“Now, more than ever”, he said, “we need to bring to life the values and principles of the UN Charter in every corner of the world”.

Thank you to the United Nations Association of Australia, and in particular the SA Chapter, for dedicating itself to this goal, now and into the future.