19 October 2006

In His Last Message For United Nations Day, Secretary-General Assesses Progress, Highlights Remaining Challenges

NEW YORK, 9 October (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the message by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan for United Nations Day, observed 24 October:

For the tenth and last time as Secretary-General, I offer friends and colleagues around the world my best wishes on United Nations Day.  I have spent almost my whole professional life working for the United Nations -- so this day, and the values that it stands for, will always be special for me.

Over the past 10 years, we have made some big steps forward in our common struggle for development, security and human rights.

But, there is so much that still needs doing:

It seems we don't even agree which threats are most important.  Those who live in small islands may see global warming as the biggest danger.  Those who live in a city that has suffered terrorist attacks -- like New York, or Mumbai, or Istanbul -- may feel that confronting terrorism is more urgent.  Others, again, may cite poverty, disease, or genocide.

The truth is, these are all global threats.  All of us should be concerned about all of them.  Otherwise, we may not succeed in dealing with any of them.

At this time of all times, we cannot afford to be divided.  I know that you, the peoples of the world, understand this.  Thank you for all the support and encouragement you have given me, throughout these 10 difficult but exciting years.

Please urge your leaders to work with my successor, and make the United Nations ever stronger and more effective.

Long live our planet, and its peoples.  Long live the United Nations!

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