SECRETARY-GENERAL PRAISES CANDLELIGHT AWARD
NEW YORK, 6 December (UN Headquarters) -- Following are Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s remarks at the presentation of the Candlelight Award, given by the Carriage House Center on Global Issues, in New York, on 6 December:
The winners of this award are good friends of mine and among the strongest supporters of the United Nations.
Maurice [Strong] has been a dynamic public presence on the international stage for so many decades. He personifies what it means to bring together the strengths of the private sector and public service. He was instrumental in putting the environment on the international agenda and in orchestrating the "Earth Summit". His efforts have been crucial in getting the world to begin the essential transition to sustainable development.
And Jim [MacNeill], you have played a crucial role in conceiving the very notion of sustainable development. As one of the main authors of the pioneering report, "Our Common Future", and as a diplomat, a public servant and a United Nations official, your voice has helped people think differently about their relationship with the natural world.
Thanks to these two visionaries, governments and grass-roots organizations alike now understand, more than ever before, that fighting poverty and protecting the environment are two sides of the same coin -- compatible, mutually reinforcing goals. The challenge now is to implement what were agreed -- and reach our long-sought goal of a safer, more equitable world in which people live in harmony with each other and with nature.
So Maurice and Jim, you have helped bring us closer to that day. You richly deserve this recognition and congratulations to both of you.
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