Press Releases

          19 October 2004

    Secretary-General, in Message to Rimini Meeting, Says Efforts Needed to Ensure Benefits of Globalization Are Widely Shared

    NEW YORK, 18 October (UN Headquarters) -- This is the text of a message from Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the thirtieth Pio Manzù Conference on “Islands without an Archipelago” in Rimini, Italy, yesterday (delivered by Giandomenico Picco, Adviser to the Secretary-General):

    I send my greetings to all participants in the thirtieth Pio Manzù Conference.  You have gathered in Rimini to reflect on some of the great challenges of our era -- an era of globalization.

    Globalization is bringing many people more choices and opportunities.  Yet millions around the world do not share those opportunities.  Instead, they find that globalization is disrupting their lives, threatening their jobs or sweeping away their traditions.  Moreover, the same open borders, free markets and technological advances that are the hallmarks of globalization can also be exploited by terrorists, drug traffickers and other criminals.  Meanwhile, hundreds of millions of people in poor nations are deprived of the benefits of globalization.

    I believe we must make globalization work for all the world’s people -- and I believe we can do it.  First, we must recognize that the more interdependent we become, the more decisions have to be taken, not by one State alone, but by many, acting together.  We need to make full use of our collective institutions -- including the United Nations -- and we must find the common ground needed to update them to make them more responsive to the world we live in.

    During the course of the next year, as the international community reviews progress since the adoption of the Millennium Declaration in 2000, I am hoping that world leaders will come together to overcome some of the deep divisions that have arisen in recent years, to renew the United Nations, and to deepen their commitment to a global partnership for development that helps poor nations fight their way out of poverty.

    I ask every concerned citizen for their support in that effort.  Every person who thinks globally has a role to play in helping their own societies develop a true sense of solidarity with peoples all over the world, and in encouraging their own leaders to work with others to tackle the challenges of our time.

    We must make our globalized era safer and fairer for all.  In that spirit, I wish you a successful conference.

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