15 October 2001


"Honour for the Whole United Nations"

The following is the text of this morning’s statement by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the General Assembly on the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize award:

The decision of the Nobel Peace Prize Committee is truly an honour for the whole United Nations -– which means of course, for all its Member States, and for this Assembly which represents them.

It is also an honour for all parts of the Organization, and above all for its dedicated staff around the world.

They work hard every day to make the world a more just, more peaceful, and happier place. Many of them risk their lives and they richly deserve this award.

A year ago your heads of State and government at the Millennium Summit reaffirmed the indispensable role of the United Nations as "the common house of the entire human family". And now the Nobel Committee has used this prize, in its own words "to proclaim that the only negotiable route to global peace and cooperation goes by way of the United Nations".

In a world which is growing ever closer and more interconnected, and is yet still torn by brutal conflict and cruel injustice, it is more important than ever that humanity travel that route, and that all of us work hard to pave the road ahead of it.

All of us who work at the United Nations should feel proud today -- but also humble, because even more will be expected of us in the future.

This award is a tribute, above all, to our colleagues who have made the supreme sacrifice in the service of humanity. The only true prize, for them and for us, will be peace itself.

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