9 December 2005

Secretary-General Hails Prime Minister Blair on 'Statesman of Decade' Award

NEW YORK, 8 December (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's video message for the East-West Institute "Statesman of the Decade" award to Prime Minister Tony Blair in London yesterday, 7 December:

I'm delighted to join you in congratulating Prime Minister Blair on this well-deserved award.

Tony is a conviction politician, so even when we've disagreed, I've never doubted his support for the principles and purposes of the United Nations.

On so many issues he has been in the forefront of global action for development; for peace and security; and for human rights.

I think especially of all he has done for Africa -- from the timely help he gave us in Sierra Leone to the Commission he set up, which produced such an excellent report earlier this year.

I salute his far-sighted leadership of the Group of Eight in mobilizing a global partnership to achieve the Millennium Development Goals; and the courage and dignity with which he responded to the terrorist attacks in London last July.

I am grateful, too, for his persistence in urging action on climate change before it is too late; and for his steadfast support to the cause of strengthening the United Nations.

Working with him has been one of the great pleasures of my time in office.  I count on his continued support, as he will continue to have mine.

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