15 October 2001


Security Council Members Told Their Role Is Acknowledged

NEW YORK, 12 October (UN Headquarters) -- This is the text of a statement in the Security Council today of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in response to remarks by the Council President, Richard Ryan (Ireland), on the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the Secretary-General and to the United Nations:

Thank you, Mr. President, for that very generous statement.

You have congratulated me, but I should also congratulate you and all the members of this Council, present and past alike. In awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to the United Nations, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has of course honoured the Security Council, which has, under the Charter, the primary responsibility for maintaining international peace and security.

Indeed, it has honoured all parts of the Organization, and above all -– as you have said -– the men and women who work for the United Nations, in the service of peace, wherever they may be.

Those women and men work hard every day to make this world a more just, more peaceful, and happier place for all its inhabitants. Many of them risk their lives. They deserve this award richly.

A year ago, at the Millennium Summit, our heads of State and Government 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, and I quote "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 conflicts and cruel injustice, it is more important than ever that humanity travel that route, the route described by the Nobel Committee, 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, and perhaps in the near future.

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

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