In Memoriam: Ambassador Joseph Verner Reed




We are saddened by the passing of Ambassador Joseph Verner Reed. He was a close friend to UNA-NY, as well as a Lifetime member of UNA. He received our 2008 Distinguished Service Award for his tireless support of our chapter and his lifelong dedication to the United Nations. Ambassador Reed was also the MC at many of our annual dinners over the years.

Below is the statement made by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for this reflective occasion.

From the 2008 UN Day Humanitarian Awards Gala Dinner: Ambassador Joseph Verner Reed (center) with Ann Nicol, Executive Director, and Dr. Peter Rajsingh, President of UNA-NY.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Statement on the
Death of Ambassador Joseph Verner Reed

I am profoundly saddened at the passing of Ambassador Joseph Verner Reed, who was both my good friend and an outstanding supporter of the United Nations.

Ambassador Reed's long and distinguished service to the United Nations encompassed four Secretaries-General and many roles, complementing a career in the private sector and the foreign service of the United States.

As President of the Staff Management Coordination Committee, he helped foster relations with the international civil service. He also served as Under-Secretary-General of the then-Department of Political and General Assembly Affairs. One of his most cherished endeavours was the annual celebration of UN Day at the Julian Curtiss School in Greenwich, Connecticut, where he brought people together to celebrate the Organization. Ambassador Reed also capably represented me on many occasions at events across the world aimed at promoting global harmony and peace.

His imprint on the United Nations extended to the Headquarters complex itself. As a member of the UN Arts Committee, he worked with donors and others to showcase the UN collection. As it happens, just yesterday evening, he sent an email to several UN colleagues working with him towards a further enhancement of the UN's physical appearance. With characteristic cheer, he expressed his full support for the idea. I am told that he died peacefully shortly afterwards, and that his email may have been his last act: he was a champion of the United Nations to his very last breath.

Ambassador Reed was one-of-a-kind: a skilled diplomat, a global citizen, an art lover and a dear friend. I offer condolences to his family, and join his admirers across the world in mourning his loss and giving thanks for his life.

New York, 30 September 2016