21 October 2005

Global Action, Collective Efforts Now Needed More than Ever, Says General Assembly President in Message for UN Day

NEW YORK, 20 October (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the message by General Assembly President Jan Eliasson (Sweden) for United Nations Day, 24 October:

On this United Nations Day, which marks the sixtieth anniversary of the birth of the United Nations, we have reasons both to celebrate and to reflect.

This is a day to take pride in all the accomplishments of the United Nations family in providing for safer and better living conditions for hundreds of millions of people.  It is also a day to pay tribute to all those who have served and serve this Organization so faithfully in the common interests of all nations and peoples.

The United Nations Day is also a time for us to pause and reflect on what the United Nations means to us and how we can make it a more effective actor on the international scene.  The United Nations is an expression of the common will and aspirations of its Members.  Like no other organization, it represents universality and international legitimacy.  This provides the foundation for the Organization to take on the triple challenges of development, security and human rights.

Today, we face a test of multilateralism.  The realities of the world are a constant reminder that global action and collective efforts are now needed more than ever.  And every day, the United Nations proves that it makes a difference for people and crisis areas around the world:  for the starving child, the AIDS-stricken mother, the war-torn country, the disaster-stricken area, the desperate refugee, for the oppressed, the neglected and the vulnerable.

This year, the United Nations has embarked on an ambitious and comprehensive process of reform.  The World Summit in September instilled new energy into our efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and to prepare the United Nations to meet the wide-reaching demands on multilateral cooperation.

The best birthday gift to our Organization is for all of us, the members of the global community, to translate our leaders' commitments at the 2005 World Summit into concrete action to the benefit of the peoples of the world.

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