SECRETARY-GENERAL CALLS FOR OUTER SPACE
NEW YORK, 28 September (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of a message from Secretary-General Kofi Annan on occasion of World Space Week (4-10 October 2001):
The theme for this year's observance of World Space Week, "Inspiration from Space", celebrates the many ways in which space has improved our lives by sparking creativity in the arts and sciences.
Space is a part of the world's cultural heritage. It has inspired generations of artists, poets, scientists and musicians. Throughout history, societies have admired and searched for meaning in the same night sky.
Indeed, space exploration can help bring cultures together. Manned space missions today are rarely top-secret national projects. Much more common are international crews, with members from a variety of backgrounds. Crews live together in cramped and challenging conditions for months, sharing experiences, customs and, above all, the enthusiasm for space that brought them together in the first place. Their missions capture the imaginations not only of their native lands, but of people around the world.
Space is also helping us to address some of today's most urgent problems. Space technology has produced tools that are transforming weather forecasting, environmental protection, humanitarian assistance, education, medicine, agriculture and a wide range of other activities. And, of course, a fascination with space leads many young people to pursue careers in science and technology, helping developing countries in particular to build up their human resources, improve their technological base and enhance their prospects for development.
World Space Week is an occasion to be inspired anew by the wonders of outer space – and to rededicate ourselves to sharing those inspirations and discoveries with all humanity.
* *** *