1 June 2001


NEW YORK, 31 May (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of remarks made yesterday by Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the launch of new United Nations history series:

It gives me great pleasure to join you today to launch the first in an important series of books about the United Nations.

Much has been written over the years about the United Nations, but little on its intellectual contributions and virtually nothing about its contributions to economic and social ideas. Yet, well over half of the Organization's staff and resources have been devoted to economic and social development, and many great minds and outstanding leaders have been part of the story.

With the publication of this first volume in the United Nations Intellectual History Project, a significant gap in twentieth-century scholarship and international relations begins to be filled.

This is an independent study, prepared outside the United Nations and published by Indiana University Press. But the project's three directors and authors are individuals I have known as colleagues for years: Louis Emmerij, Richard Jolly, and Tom Weiss. Thanks to them, this project is off to a good start. I am pleased to note that the project will also include the history of the United Nations work to promote international peace and security.

None of this would be possible without a strong public-private partnership. The Governments supporting the project are Canada, Netherlands, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. The Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, as well as the Carnegie Corporation of New York, have also contributed.

I urge others to emulate their fine example. And I hope this book, with the others to follow, will help raise public awareness about the work of the United Nations.

Thank you very much, and congratulations to all involved on a job well done.

* *** *