For information only - not an official document.
25 January 2001


NEW YORK, 24 January (UN Headquarters) -- Following are the remarks of Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the opening of UN House in Tokyo on 24 January:

I am delighted to join you today to mark the opening of UN House here in Tokyo. The United Nations has long enjoyed a remarkable partnership with the generous people and Government of Japan, and we have long benefited from this country’s extraordinary commitment to development around the world, including in Africa –- as witnessed most recently during the Prime Minister’s tour of the continent.

Today, as we further unify our efforts to ensure greater coherence and coordination, we rededicate ourselves to the noble goals set by our founders and embraced and advanced by the people of Japan.

Bringing together such diverse UN programmes, as you can see on the wall, this House will present a united front, and showcase the wide variety of issues with which we are engaged. As many of you know, we in the New York Headquarters of the United Nations frequently refer to the building in which we work as our "house". That is no coincidence.

The idea of a house of all nations, held together by a common bond and structure, helps us to visualize the very concept upon which the United Nations was built. Indeed, this vision was endorsed by the heads of State and government at the Millennium Summit when they stated, and I quote, that "the United Nations is the indispensable common house of the entire human family, through which we seek to realize our universal aspirations for peace, cooperation and development". This house in Tokyo, which will bring such a rich variety of UN staff and scholars together, is a fitting extension of that vision.

With this building, I hope that we –- the United Nations –- can do more and do better to justify Japan’s faith in us, and to provide its people and Government with new and imaginative ways to advance the cause of peace and development. I wish you all success in embarking on this new chapter of our work in Japan, and look forward to an even closer partnership between Japan and the United Nations.

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