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MESSAGE OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL
ON UNITED NATIONS DAY

24 October 2004

Today is United Nations Day.

Fifty-nine years ago, the United Nations was founded as an instrument of peace, human rights and development. The world is a better place because of the United Nations. But too many people are today the victims of violence, oppression, poverty, hunger, illiteracy and disease.

We can and must do better. All people deserve to live free from fear and want. They must have hope that tomorrow will be better than today. Our common humanity requires it. Our common security demands it.

Each nation needs a government that truly serves its people. And we all need an effective United Nations – one that reflects the world we live in today, and can meet the challenges we will face tomorrow.

I believe we can build a better United Nations. That's why I will soon be putting before world leaders a package of measures to renew the Organization. It will be up to your leaders to respond with vision and goodwill. They must find common ground at a historic meeting this time next year.

I ask you to encourage your leaders to give our world the United Nations it deserves. With your help, I know we can do it.

We are in a new era. We need a new United Nations. Let's make it happen.

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