Press Releases

                                                                                                                            1 June 2004

    Secretary-General Receives Honorary Doctorate from Université De Montréal

    NEW YORK, 28 May (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s video message to the ceremony today at which he was awarded an honorary doctoral degree by Université de Montréal.

    I am deeply moved to be honoured in this way by one of Canada’s great universities.  And I am really sorry I cannot be with you in person today to accept the honour.

    Institutions of learning like yours are of tremendous importance to the United Nations.

    You play a crucial role in instilling a global outlook in young people.

    You explore new ideas that can advance and inspire the progress of humankind -- and the work of the United Nations.

    You are catalysts for change, and custodians of the future.

    I know that the Université de Montréal has a broad curriculum and many partnerships with other universities around the world.

    So I hope those who are graduating today have been well prepared to play their part abroad, as well as at home.

    Ours is a world in which no individual, and no country, exists in isolation.  All of us live simultaneously in our own communities and in the world at large.

    We are consumers and producers in the same global economy.  We are all swept along by a tide of political, social, environmental and technological change that knows no frontiers.

    If we are to stay afloat, we must work together, to make sure that the new global economy is firmly embedded in a global society, based on universal values.

    We need to work together to ensure that all the world’s people can live free from fear and free from want.

    Thank you again for this honour, and thank you for your commitment to making our global village a healthier, better, more peaceful place to live.

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