Press Releases

    2 January 2004

    China’s Role in Global Efforts for Peace, Development “Vital”, Says Secretary-General in New Year’s Greeting to Chinese People

    NEW YORK, 31 December (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s videotaped greeting to the Chinese people on Chinese New Year (22 January 2004), which aired today, 31 December:

    My dear Chinese friends,

    I know that your New Year is a special time for all of you.

    Family comes together.  Friends pay a visit.  You eat well.  You celebrate.

    You come together to see out the old year and welcome the new one.

    Our world needs to come together too.

    For the United Nations, the Year of the Goat has not been easy.

    But we are looking ahead with hope to the Year of the Monkey.  We know it will bring new challenges, but we are determined to meet them creatively.

    During the year ahead, I will do all I can to encourage world leaders to come together in the cause of peace, and do more to promote development and human rights.

    In all such efforts, China plays a vital role.  And China can take pride in its successes, in reducing poverty and opening up new opportunities for its people.

    Of course, you still face many challenges.  But if you keep moving on the path of reform, development, democratization and human rights, I am sure you will meet them.

    And if all countries walk together down that path, our world will be a safer and more peaceful place.

    I hope this year gives me another chance to visit your great country, and to share the excitement of China’s historic transformation.

    Congratulations and a Happy New Year to all my Chinese friends!

    Gongxi fa cai!  [“Good luck and prosperity!”]

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