ACTIVITIES OF SECRETARY-GENERAL IN BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, 5-6 MAY
Secretary-General Kofi Annan traveled to Boston in the afternoon of Sunday, 5 May. That evening, he and Nane Annan were guests of honour at a reception and dinner hosted by the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. The Secretary-General spoke briefly -- see Press release SG/SM/8224.
On Monday morning, at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston, the Secretary-General received the Profile in Courage Award from Caroline Kennedy, President of the Kennedy Library Foundation.
In accepting his Award, the Secretary-General paid tribute to the late President, saying "few Presidents...defined their times in the way John Kennedy did." He recalled that as a student at Macalaster College he heard Kennedy's inaugural address. "His youth and vigour made it a vigourous age," he said. "His boldness and courage made it an adventurous age. And his belief in man's ability to meet great challenges made it an age when anything seemed possible."
He described true leadership as convincing people that giving in to fear and hatred will not bring peace. "This is when leaders must make decisions of conscience," he said, referring to the Middle East, "and choose compromise over conflict, negotiation over violence, peace over war." See Press release SG/SM/8223.
Also awarded on the same day were Mayor Dean Koldenhoven, the one-term Mayor of Palos Heights, Illinois, for speaking out against bigotry and religious intolerance toward an Islamic community that had hoped to convert a local church into a mosque, and public servants who had been on duty on 11 September 2001, who were honoured for their courage and heroism.
At a press encounter with Senator Edward Kennedy before the ceremony,
Mr. Annan was asked how he found the courage to deal day in and day out with the deprived and unfortunate. He replied, "In many ways, you give them a voice, you encourage them . . . that cheers me on to see the hope in their eyes” and added “to give people hope is something that drives me.”
The Secretary-General returned to New York later on Monday morning.
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