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Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during the Second World War
8 - 9 May

Secretary-General's Statement

Statement at the Commemoration of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War, 9 May 1995

The significant event that brings us all together today is not only the commemoration of a military victory. It is also the celebration of a privileged moment in history when mankind and nations were able, at the same time, to ward off the forces of destruction and project themselves into the future as art indissoluble international community.

Indeed, in 1945, even as hostilities were continuing on all fronts, the founding fathers of the Charter were already at work, preparing to issue the powerful exhortation with which the Preamble to the Charter begins: "We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind".

It is essential to keep firmly in mind today that it was precisely when war was raging and people were tearing one another apart that courageous minds imagined the foundations and principles of what is now the United Nations.

And it was Moscow itself, on 30 October 1943, that witnessed the signing of the famous Declaration proclaiming "the necessity of establishing at the earliest practicable date a general international organization ... for the maintenance of international peace and security".

The United Nations is therefore the result of the struggle by all those who fought i during the Second World War, for the triumph of justice and fraternity.

It is to all those women and to all those men that I should like to pay a tribute here, on behalf of the United Nations as a whole.

In the name of the dreams of peace and progress for all humanity; in the name of the wise diplomacy that, for fifty years, spared the world the winter of nuclear annihilation; in the name of the vision that led to the creation of the United Nations:

I call 'upon you, the world leaders, assembled here today, to continue your support in this great enterprise — to enable the family of nations to face the future with confidence.

We need your help, we need your leadership, we need your renewed commitment to the promise of the United Nations. Only by so doing can we remain faithful to the vision of those men and women who saw, beyond the war, a world of peace and cooperation.

It is our duty to the victims of all wars, the victims of hatred, intolerance and poverty. Let a strong United Nations be our legacy to the children of peace.

Boutros Boutros-Ghali

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