27 June 2005

Since UN’s Creation, Rotary Has Been “Wonderful Partner”, Secretary-General Says in Video Message to Organization’s Centennial Convention

NEW YORK, 26 June (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of the video message by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan for the Rotary International Centennial Convention in Chicago, 18-22 June:

For the past 100 years, Rotary has been at the forefront of efforts to improve the lives of people around the world.

And ever since the United Nations was created, Rotary has been a wonderful partner.

You have joined forces with us in efforts for health, literacy and poverty eradication.

You have spread the word about the work of the United Nations.

You have promoted peace through your exchange programmes.

And you have played a critical and historic role in our joint mission to eradicate polio worldwide.  By championing the vision of a polio-free world, raising over half a billion dollars in donations, and giving countless hours of volunteer time, Rotarians have helped immunize almost 2 billion children.

You remind us of the true meaning of the word humanitarian, by uniting around the things we have in common as human beings.

And you are 100 years old this year.  The United Nations, a mere spring chicken of 60, wishes you happy birthday!  I hope you will keep going, and going strong, for many centuries to come.

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