17 September 2001


NEW YORK, 14 September (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of remarks made by Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the annual ceremony of the ringing of the Peace Bell, held today at Headquarters:

None of us will forget Tuesday, 11 September 2001. But how many of us will remember that it was also the International Day of Peace -- the day on which, every year, we ring the peace bell here at UN Headquarters, and people throughout the world try to imagine a future free of conflict and violence?

Clearly, this year, it was a dream deferred. We did not ring the peace bell on Tuesday. And perhaps many of us do not feel like ringing it now, as we are still learning the full scale of this week's tragedy.

We ring this peace bell in solidarity with the people and Government of the United States, at this moment of immense suffering and bereavement.

We ring this bell in honour of the victims. To everyone who suffered a loss, I say, the United Nations community grieves with you.

One of our guests today, Mr. Wei Li Chai, lost several of his colleagues. Last Tuesday morning, instead of going to his office at the World Trade Centre, he came here to listen to his daughter sing as part of the peace bell ceremony, which was of course cancelled. Had it not been for that plan, he, too, might not be with us today.

The world has been horrified. People wonder if there is anywhere they can be safe.

We have lost family, friends, and colleagues. But let us not lose hope.

We must maintain our resolve, and all nations must unite against the forces of darkness and depravity. It is at moments such as this, more than ever, that we need to re-dedicate ourselves to the cause of peace.

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