from Nane Annan, wife of Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the
9 December 1999
Only a few days remain before the beginning of a new millennium. I
would like to invite you to join the United Nations and epals.com
in two exciting projects. Both involve you. Both need your active
the first project, Thoughts on the Millennium, you are invited
to send comments on the new millennium. Tell us what your concerns
and worries are, what kind of world you would like to see in the
new millennium and what role you think you can play in creating
such a world.
the second project, From words to deeds, we want you to think
of actions that you would take within the next few months to make
a difference in your own community and beyond. Use your imagination
and creative energy to come up with projects that you could work
on with your friends in school and in the neighborhood.
are our bridge to the future. Your thoughts about that future give
the leaders of today a road map to steer the world in a direction
that you, tomorrow's leaders, would like. But more importantly,
your actions can create a whole new culture of involvement. Everyone
says the world has to change for us to survive in a better way.
Your actions could show us how.
of us may find today's world quite chaotic. On the one hand, we
are making so much progress in science and technology and are accumulating
wealth as never before. On the other hand, a great number of people
do not have such basics as food and shelter or medicine. The world
grows enough food to feed everyone, yet every sixth person does
not get enough to eat. Most of you may have the world at the click
of your mouse, but nearly a billion people will enter the 21st century
without being able to read a book or sign their name. Many of us
will live longer and longer but every day, over 30,000 children
die because they have not been vaccinated.
United Nations has tried to change all that. It works for peace,
human rights and sustainable development:
It works to end wars through dialogue.
works to protect everyone's human rights.
works to end discrimination against women, indigenous peoples and
other marginalized groups in society.
works to protect refugees fleeing for their lives.
works to ensure that the 130 million children who are not in school
can go to school.
works to ensure that girls can go to school. Two-thirds of the children
not in school are girls;
works to protect the environment and to make sure that we have clean
water to drink and clean air to breathe.
works to combat poverty so that everybody can feed themselves and
can realize their dreams.
we are still far from creating a perfect world. My husband, Kofi
Annan, the Secretary-General of the United Nations said not long
ago that his dream was "to secure peace, to defeat poverty, to protect
human rights and to widen the circle of freedom, so that no one,
regardless of colour, nationality or belief, is denied the chance
to lead a life of their own."
it merely a dream he is talking about? Maybe it is, but it's a dream
we all share with the United Nations. However, it is not enough
to say you share the dream. I believe change has to start within
us and between us in our everyday lives. That is why we would like
to hear from you what you believe needs to be done and what you
are proposing to do in the next couple of months.