Press Releases

2 January 2002


NEW YORK, 31 December (UN Headquarters) -- The following was issued today by the Office of the Spokesman for Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

The Secretary-General warmly welcomes the introduction of the euro as the new, common currency for 300 million Europeans. The adoption of the euro by a dozen countries represents a bold and visionary choice for unity over division, cooperation over conflict, and a common future over a divided past.

History will record the adoption of the euro as much more than an economic decision. To see peoples and nations which once were enemies come together in the cause of prosperity for all -– and to share one currency -- is to witness a political act of unity and integration.

It is an example to all the world that unity and diversity can thrive side by side –- that uniting in the cause of economic progress and political stability does not mean sacrificing the unique diversity that characterizes each nation, each people. It is simply a recognition that nations can achieve much more for their individual citizens when joining forces than when acting alone.

The Secretary-General congratulates the European leaders and nations which have adopted the euro on their decision, and hopes that it may serve as an example to every part of the world -– rich and poor, developed and developing -– that uniting in a common cause can bring benefits to all.

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