Top United Nations official John Ging has told of the huge impact Rotary’s humanitarian work continues to have across the world.
The Irishman was speaking in Kilkenny at a commemoration celebrating the key role Rotary played in the formation of the United Nations.
Mr Ging, who is UN Director for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, was guest speaker at a special commemorative event celebrating Rotary’s historical and enduring relationship with the UN, hosted by Lt Col Murt Larkin at James Stephen’s Military Barracks.
He also paid tribute to Kilkenny Rotary, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.
I think that’s what the Rotary stands for. We are one humanity wherever we are, whatever language we speak, whatever nationality we are.”
John Ging said: “The connection between the United Nations and the Rotary is one that dates back to the very outset.
“Rotary were part of the development of what the United Nations is today.
“I’m coming from the humanitarian side of the United Nations, which means that we’re working every day with tens of millions of people who are depending on international support and assistance to survive.
“The overwhelming majority find themselves in that situation as a result of actions over which they have no control. They are entirely the victims of conflict, natural disasters and what they hope for is that somewhere someone will help them.
“We should not see it as charity, we should see it as our duty as human beings.
“And I think that’s what the Rotary stands for. We are one humanity wherever we are, whatever language we speak, whatever nationality we are.
“We are stronger and better if we are united in our humanity.
“That is what makes us human that we look out for other people.
“I personally have first-hand knowledge of what Rotary are doing internationally. And it makes a real difference to real people. I’m really very happy to be part of this celebration.
“Congratulations to you to Rotary Kilkenny for your achievements and contributions.”
Lt Col Murt Larkin also paid tribute to Rotary: “The 3rd Infantry Battalion has a growing relationship with Rotary Kilkenny and it’s a relationship that I am determined to build on and to continue to grow.
“Our co-operation this year with Rotary Kilkenny and the wider Rotary community on their ‘School Bikes Africa’ initiative is a clear example of how both organisations share a common purpose, a common vision of supporting communities less fortunate than ourselves at home and abroad.”
Rotary Ireland District Governor Monica Robertson said: “I’m delighted to have been invited to this wonderful celebration of 40 years of service of Rotary Club of Kilkenny.
“And, also, to celebrate Rotary’s relationship with the United Nations.
“We have a common purpose with the United Nations and our own vision statement says ‘Together we see a world where we unite and take action to create lasting change across the globe in our communities and in ourselves. Take action to make the world a better place for all.’
“Rotary and the United Nations share many ambitions and hopes but in particular that of a world that operates an understanding of peace and harmony.”
Rotary International Director Brian Stoyel added: “Rotary doesn’t have any barriers. We are in over 200 countries.
“Our six areas of focus are, basic education and literacy, maternal health, disease prevention and treatment, economic development, water sanitation and peace and conflict resolution.
“This is such a wonderful organisation with wonderful people committed to humanitarian work in the service of others.”
Jimmy Connolly, President of Kilkenny Rotary speaking at a celebratory dinner in Kilkenny Castle said: “This year the Rotary Club of Kilkenny makes its own little piece of history when we mark 40 years since the club formally joined the Rotary family, on this very day, the 4th of May 1979.
“A lot has changed in the world over those 40 years.
“One thing, however, that has not changed over all those years is the importance of Rotary’s core values and principles, in an often-inward looking world.
“I speak of community, through fellowship, ethics, by applying our Rotary four-way test of all we think, say and do as a moral code for personal and business relationships, and service: to fellow citizens on the journey of life.
“In an age of individualism and materialism, where ethics in business, politics and in the broader society are often lacking, Rotary’s values and service principals have actually become more important over time.”