13 April 2006

In Video Message, Secretary-General Praises Bill Clinton as "Valuable Ally" of the United Nations

NEW YORK, 12 April (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of the video message by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the occasion of the awarding, today, of the J. William Fulbright Prize for International Understanding to President Bill Clinton:

Dear Bill, I'm sorry I could not be there in person to celebrate with you today.  But Bill, I know you'll understand.  After all, you have won the Fulbright Prize for International Understanding.

You've done so much to deserve this award.  It's hard to know where to start.

From your efforts for peace in the Middle East to your work in the struggle against AIDS, you have been a valuable ally of the United Nations.

With the Clinton Global Initiative, you have been a true visionary -- focusing on poverty, climate, religious reconciliation and governance. You've helped people understand that development, security, human rights and the rule of law are vital, interlinked pillars if we are to make this world better.

And as the UN Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery, you have made it your mission to "build back better" than what was there before.  In this way, you have given practical meaning to your passion for development, and helped improve millions of lives.

Bill, you have achieved quite a lot since leaving office, and what you have achieved is an inspiration to us all -- especially those of us who will soon be leaving office ourselves.

Warmest congratulations on this award from Nane and from me.  And, above all, keep up the fight.

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