United Nations Day

24 October 2002
Message by H.E. Mr. Jan Kavan,
President of the Fifty-seventh session of the United Nations General Assembly

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As we celebrate the 57th anniversary of the United Nations, we may rejoice on this day and pay tribute to the founders and their foresight in establishing an organization that was mandated to ensure a just and peaceful world, an organization that would reflect the universal moral conscience, an organization which is the most inclusive of all world forums and where nations could settle their differences and disputes peacefully. The relevance of United Nations is confirmed more than ever in these times when there are so many global problems challenging our world. On this day, we can take pride and satisfaction that, every country and therefore every citizen, is a stakeholder in this enterprise.

Over the years, United Nation's influence and substantive work has impacted on issues such as decolonization, democratization, human rights, gender sensitivity, protection of the environment and most important of all in the domain of peace and security backed by world solidarity.

Focus of the United Nations on crucial issues of development materialized in the Millennium Declaration followed by the Monterrey Consensus in Mexico and the Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. The Millennium Development Goals including the eradication of poverty and HIV/AIDS have received new impetus in the follow up process.

Another important addition in the work of the United Nations is the concept of new partnerships that have been fostered between the non-governmental organizations, the civil society, the religious and ethnic groups and the multinational corporations and multilateral organizations.

As the United Nations continues to enlarge its membership that now stands at 191 members - it has also embarked on important reforms and changes within the organization to consolidate various departments, to increase efficiency and better serve Member States. The introduction of the internet has provided the opportunity to disseminate, to a wider public, information on the role of the United Nations and its work on global issues.

In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that, although United Nations has many important achievements to its credit, the ultimate test of its credibility is based not only on its ability to articulate political goals but also, and primarily, on its ability to mobilize the will for their implementation.

Office of the President of the General Assembly
United Nations, New York, NY, 10017
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