25 October 2005

Celebrating UN Day "Energizes Us", Strengthens Bonds, Secretary-General Says at Headquarters Ceremony Marking 60th Anniversary

NEW YORK, 24 October (UN Headquarters) -- Following are the remarks delivered this morning by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan at a Headquarters ceremony to mark United Nations Day:

Happy sixtieth anniversary to everyone.  Our gathering this morning is a fine illustration of the fact that the United Nations is an Organization for all people:  for those in Government, in civil society and the private sector, for all of us young and old.

Although the United Nations is an association of sovereign States, the rights and freedoms it exists to uphold and advance belong to everyone.  To carry out its mission to the best of its ability, it needs the support of people everywhere.

This is so, whether we are fighting disease and hunger, or working to strengthen democracy; whether we are advancing human rights and the rule of law, or combating terrorism; whether we are building peace, or making the United Nations more effective and more accountable to the peoples it exists to serve.

That is why celebrating UN Day is so important.  It energizes us.  It strengthens the bonds between us.  It makes us stop for a moment and realize how thrilling it is to work alongside people from every corner of the earth who share the goals of the Charter.

As we meet today, our anniversary is being celebrated around the world by men and women coming together from all walks of life.

By colleagues in missions and duty stations around the world, joining forces with the people they serve.

By supporters and allies of the UN, bringing home to people everywhere that the UN's agenda is their agenda; that the issues that concern the UN concern us all as human beings.

So I thank all of you for coming to celebrate today.  Let me say a special word of gratitude to the Mayors for Peace, the World Harmony Foundation, and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney for their wonderful support.

Thank you for understanding that the United Nations is your United Nations.

Thank you for understanding that it is up to all of us to make the most of this indispensable instrument, this real asset to all peoples of the world.  Let us make it as effective as it can be, in the interests of the people it exists to serve.

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