Press Releases

    16 August 2005

    Role of Civil Society Indispensable at Critical Stage of International Diplomacy, Secretary-General Tells World Korean Forum

    NEW YORK, 15 August (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of the message by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the 2005 World Korean Forum, in New York on 13 August, delivered by Aleksandr Ilitchev, Senior Officer, Department of Political Affairs:

    It is a pleasure to send my greetings to all the participants in the 2005 World Korean Forum, who have come to New York from different parts of the world to express their support for international efforts to achieve a secure, prosperous, democratic and reunified Korean Peninsula.

    The role of civil society at this critical stage of international diplomacy is indispensable. Your voices and exchanges can help build the trust, confidence, goodwill and better understanding that are necessary to ensure a Peninsula free of nuclear weapons and to bring an end to the Korean conflict.

    I also welcome your interest in the United Nations, especially at a time when the Organization -- in its 60th anniversary year -- is working hard to adapt to the challenges of our time, and to become more effective in realizing the aspirations of Member States and the world's people, as enshrined in its Charter.  You meet just one month before the 2005 World Summit, at which we are looking to Member States to take major decisions on reform and renewal.

    The Organization is committed to doing everything possible to support and promote encouraging trends in the Peninsula, and to strengthen overall security in North-East Asia.  We must all do our utmost to overcome the remaining hurdles in the six-party talks.  We must also do our part to generate positive momentum through the inter-Korean dialogue and through development and international cooperation.

    I wish your Forum every success, and urge you to be bold and constructive in your deliberations.  With creativity, vision and courage, we can achieve durable peace and a bright future for the Korean Peninsula.

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