July 6, 2010— -- In what sounded like a valedictory address, Queen Elizabeth II praised the United Nations as a "force for common good" but said much work still needed to be done.
"It has perhaps always been the case that the waging of peace is the hardest form of leadership of all," the queen said during her first stop on a brief, low-key visit to New York.
"I know of no single formula for success, but over the years I have observed that some attributes of leadership are universal, and are often about finding ways of encouraging people to combine their efforts, their talents, their insights, their enthusiasm and their inspiration, to work together."
Wearing an Angela Kelly pale-blue floral silk dress trimmed with mocha-colored satin and matching hat, the queen stood before diplomats and urged them to confront the challenges of the international community.
"One [challenge] is the struggle against terrorism," the queen said. "Another challenge is climate change, where careful account must be taken of the risks facing smaller, more vulnerable nations, many of them from the Commonwealth."
Diplomats stood and applauded when the queen arrived. Alejandro Wolfe, deputy U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, was the highest-ranking American in the hall to hear the queen's speech.
With nearly 60 years on the throne, the queen is the world's most experienced head of state. Her speech echoed her first U.N. address in 1957 when, at the age of 31, she encouraged diplomats to pursue "the goal of a world at peace, law abiding and prosperous for which men and women have striven so long and which is the heart's desire of every nation here represented."