3 April 2006

Secretary-General Praises Louise Fréchette as Pioneer, Inspiration to Women; Leaves "Legacy of Reform and Renewal"

NEW YORK, 31 March (UN Headquarters) -- Following is today's statement by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the departure of Deputy Secretary-General Louise Fréchette:

For the past eight years, Louise Fréchette has played a pioneering role as the first Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.  She has been crucial in ensuring coordination across the entire United Nations system -- from economic and social issues to the strengthening of our peace operations.  She has worked tirelessly for a more coherent and effective United Nations, on subjects ranging from HIV/AIDS to our relationship with civil society.  And, she has helped advance understanding everywhere of what it takes to equip the United Nations to meet the challenges of the twenty-first century.

As the most senior woman in the history of the Organization, Louise Fréchette has been an inspiration to women both inside the United Nations and around the world.  As my right-hand woman, she has been a constant source of support and strength to me personally.  Her indefatigable efforts for reform of the Organization and her unstinting faith in its ability to keep changing for the better, have contributed immeasurably to the renewal we are experiencing today.  We owe her a profound debt of gratitude for that legacy of reform and renewal -- a legacy that is hers as much as it is mine.

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