Press Releases

                                                                                                                     10 June 2004

    Secretary-General Praises Courage, Determination of World Food Programme Staff in Message to Dublin Meeting

    NEW YORK, 9 June (UN Headquarters) -- Following is Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s video message to the World Food Programme Global Meeting for international staff in Dublin, 9-11 June:

    I am glad you have come together to take stock. This is a critical time in your work.

    As you know better than anyone, last year set a record for the World Food Programme. You reached more than 100 million people around the world.

    That is a remarkable achievement. But it’s worrying to think of so many people in need of emergency food. And I can imagine the strain it placed on many of you, your colleagues and your families -- especially when hundreds of staff were assigned to cope with the emergency in Iraq.

    I admire your courage and determination. While many people are content to analyse and comment on world affairs from a distance, you are out there in the field, helping some of the world’s most desperately needy people.

    As you know, the past year has been a difficult one not only for you, but for all of us in the United Nations family. And we are still facing tough challenges in Iraq, in the Middle East, in Africa, and around the world.

    All of these daunting challenges remind us that the world needs a strong multilateral system -- now more than ever.

    Ultimately, our United Nations will be judged by the difference we make in peoples’ lives. You, the staff of the World Food Programme, can be proud of the difference you are making.

    I hope this staff meeting will give you strength and inspiration as you pursue that work. I will do all I can to support you in your mission. Thank you very much, and the best of luck to you all.

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