10 July 2001


NEW YORK, 9 July (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of the message from Secretary-General Kofi Annan, delivered on his behalf by K.Y. Amaoko, Executive Secretary, Economic Commission for Africa, at the launch of the Dag Hammarskjöld Living Library in Ndola, 7 July:

Four decades after his death, Dag Hammarskjöld continues to inspire people around the world. Many continue to ask where he found the strength of character that became the hallmark of his years at the helm of the United Nations. Many have sought to trace the roots of the personal integrity that marked his service in the cause of peace and development. Many have studied the sense of devotion and spirituality that guided him until his tragic and untimely death here in 1961.

We may never find the answers to those questions. But this memorial will help us give thanks for his life. It will help us reflect on the challenges he faced, and the challenges, old and new, that we face today. It will help us renew our commitment to the work for peace, justice and better lives for the world's people, no matter how intractable the obstacles may seem. It will help us remember that this is what our United Nations is about.

Allow me therefore to express my gratitude to the Governments and people of Zambia and Sweden for creating this living memorial to Dag Hammarskjöld, and thus helping to ensure that his legacy does indeed live on in the minds of succeeding generations. And allow me to add my voice to his, in what he called the greatest prayer of man: that which asks not for victory, but for peace.

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