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STATEMENT OF THE PRESIDENT
OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,
H.E. MR. JEAN PING (GABON),
ON UNITED NATIONS DAY

24 October 2004

This United Nations Day provides us with an opportunity to renew our attachment to the ideas of peace and security, as well as sustainable development.

On this day we are particularly encouraged by the fact that the international community truly believes in the United Nations. 190 countries participated in the General debate of the Fifty-ninth Session of the General Assembly. They reaffirmed their determination to deal with the multiple challenges and threats to international peace and security, including the fight against deadly diseases, such as HIV/AIDS and malaria; global partnerships to combat terrorism, promote respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms; efforts to advance initiatives for sustainable development and poverty eradication.

As we prepare for the sixtieth anniversary of the United Nations, we express our confidence that our premiere international Organization can and must continue its essential work in the service of humankind. To do so we must strengthen the United Nations through reform in order to better position it to carry out its mission. All member states have reached a consensus that the United Nations must change to reflect the realities of the world today, by the sixtieth anniversary we will have made significant strides in revitalizing the United Nations.

The commemoration of the sixtieth anniversary will also be an occasion for all of us to celebrate the achievements of the United Nations, to assess the results since the Millennium Declaration and to plan for the future. This will help us to ensure that decisions taken by the United Nations result in actions that commensurate with the expectations of our people, our nations and our world. We must therefore do everything possible to prepare the sixtieth anniversary in the best possible conditions.

I would like also to take this opportunity to extend my warmest wishes to Secretary-General Kofi Annan and the entire staff of the United Nations who work with courage to make this world a better place to live in. I would like to launch an appeal to Member states so that, in a move of unprecedented solidarity, we can use our collective will and collective action as building blocks for a better future and for a better world.

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