31 March 2005

On Centennial of Dissolution of Norway, Sweden Union, Secretary-General Says Peaceful Settlement Inspiring Example for World Still Riven by Conflict

NEW YORK, 30 March (UN Headquarters) -- Following is UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s message on the centennial of the peaceful dissolution of the union between Norway and Sweden, which appeared today in the Swedish daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter:

This centennial is an inspiring occasion for all of us who work in the cause of peace.  As Sweden and Norway were negotiating to dissolve their union, both sides were willing to compromise, making it possible to settle the issue peacefully.  Today, the Karlstad agreement remains an example to aspire to in our world, a world still riven by conflict.

Norway and Sweden went on to become good neighbours, close partners in regional Nordic cooperation, and exemplary Member States of the United Nations.  Both are long-standing donors of development assistance, generous providers of humanitarian relief, and steadfast contributors to peacekeeping operations -- thus showing solidarity and sharing their prosperity throughout the world.  Norwegians and Swedes have served prominently in our Organization, including as its first and second Secretaries-General.  Both countries will undoubtedly continue to play an important role in 2005 and beyond to help strengthen the United Nations as it adapts to deal with the challenges of the twenty-first century.

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