Press Releases

    28 October 2002


    NEW YORK, 24 October (UN Headquarters) -- Following are the remarks of Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette at the United Nations Day ceremony in Ralph Bunche Park on 24 October:

    I would like to begin by thanking the people of New York and Mayor Bloomberg for this warm gesture of support and hospitality towards the United Nations. Thank you, Deputy Mayor Walcott for joining us today.

    I am especially pleased that young people from New York City’s schools are here to help mark United Nations Day. You remind us that what we are working for every day is a better and safer future for all of you, and for young people in all parts of the world.

    Today we mark the 57th anniversary of the ratification of the United Nations Charter. We meet in a park dedicated to an American who helped draft that Charter. Ralph Bunche began his career as a pioneering researcher in race studies and civil rights at Howard University, but soon came to the United Nations to serve the cause of peace and equal rights across the world.

    Upon accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in 1950 for his efforts to promote peace in the Middle East, Bunche said that "the United Nations exists not merely to preserve the peace but also to make change -- even radical change -- possible without violent upheaval". From his work in civil rights in America to his efforts for peace around the world, Bunche knew that radical change was both needed and possible.

    Our world is no less in need of radical change than his; the ideals of the Charter no less in need of affirmation. That is the belief that inspires the work that takes place here at United Nations Headquarters in New York City -- and continues across every time zone in refugee camps, schools, health clinics and conference rooms; in peacekeeping and humanitarian missions around the world.

    The United Nations is founded on the principle that all human beings have equal worth. It is the nearest thing we have to a representative institution that can address the interests of all States, and all peoples. Through this universal, indispensable instrument, countries can together work for peace and human progress, improving the living conditions of people around the world.

    On this United Nations Day 2002, let us look to a future when this dream becomes a reality for all.

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