Press Releases

                                                                                                                            5 July 2004

    Seoul Peace Park Magnificent Reaffirmation of Ideals Shared by UN, People of Korea, Says Secretary-General in Message to Ground-Breaking Ceremony

    NEW YORK, 2July (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s message to the ground-breaking ceremony of the United Nations Peace Park and NGO Complex, delivered by Under-Secretary-General Joseph Verner Reed, in Seoul, 2 July:

    I convey my warmest greetings to all from Korea and around the world who have gathered at the University of Kyung Hee to celebrate the opening of the United Nations Peace Park and NGO Complex at the Suwon Campus in Seoul.

    The Peace Park bears witness to the grand vision of my friend, Chancellor Young Seek Choue.  That same vision, which was shared by the Government of Costa Rica, and by many people all over the world, helped lead to the establishment the International Day of Peace. It is fitting that you commemorate its twenty-third anniversary today. I send the Chancellor my warmest personal greetings, and my best wishes for a full and speedy return to the best of health.

    The Peace Park is a magnificent reaffirmation of the ideals that the University of Kyung Hee and the people of Korea share with the United Nations. It is a powerful testament to the feelings of brotherhood shared by all Koreans, no matter where they live.  And at a time when you have been so deeply saddened by the murder in Iraq of one of your beloved sons, the inauguration of the Peace Park is a fitting occasion for us all to reaffirm our belief in the essential goodness of the human spirit.

    The United Nations, which was founded in the name of “We the peoples”, cherishes the solidarity of the Korean people with the Organization. That solidarity was forged in the crucible of your country’s modern history. It is sustained by a shared dream of peace within and among all nations, and by our common efforts to achieve it -- including here on the Korean Peninsula.

    That dream of peace will be realized only if all people, particularly young people like those who study at the University of Kyung Hee, are determined, through their daily lives, to build a peaceful future for their society and their world. The Peace Park will be a special place for each person to reflect on their own contribution to peace, and I congratulate all who have worked to bring this noble project to fruition.  May peace prevail on earth.

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