Press Releases

                                                                                                                            12 May 2004

    Enlargement of European Union Is Expression of Confidence in Ability of Diverse Cultures to Live, Work together Creatively, Deputy Secretary-General Says

    NEW YORK, 11 May (UN Headquarters) -- The following is the text of remarks by Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette at the “Europe Day” reception in New York on 10 May:

    Indeed, it cannot be a matter of indifference to the United Nations that 25 of its Member States have come together in a close economic, political and legal union.  We should all rejoice -- for at least two reasons.

    First, by pooling their efforts these countries can make an even more effective contribution to world order and world prosperity, and indeed to the work of the UN itself, than they do in their national capacities.

    I recently visited the institutions of the European Union (EU), and saw new evidence of its willingness to assist in development, in peacekeeping, and in solving a broad range of global problems.  We need such partnership more than ever.

    Second -- and even more important -- the enlargement of the EU is an expression of confidence in the ability of human beings from widely differing cultural backgrounds to live and work together creatively.  As was said, the works of art here this evening give us an insight into the cultural diversity of the new Europe.  But really they are only the tip of a deep and rich iceberg.

    The tip is here in New York, but the base is spread across the map of Europe.  I am delighted to see that it includes not only the 25 existing EU members but also the candidate countries -- Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey.  That too brings us all a much-needed message of hope.

    It’s also very appropriate that you are using the occasion to raise money for “Adopt-a-Minefield”, so that examples of human creativity at its best can help remove some of the products of human destructive ingenuity at its worst.  I hope there are eager and generous art-lovers among us today:  they have a real chance to “do well by doing good”.

    Finally let me thank the United Nations Foundation for supporting this wonderful event.

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