United Nations Staff Day
Message by H.E. Jan Kavan
President of the Fifty-seventh Session of the United Nations
25 October 2002
am honoured by the invitation of the Staff Union to speak today
at this special ceremony commemorating the contributions made
by many of the staff members whose lives were cut short in accidents
or due to malicious acts in foreign lands while serving the
United Nations. We mourn their loss and pay homage to their
courage and devotion. I appeal to Member States to ensure the
safety and security of United Nations and associated personnel
on their territories. In this respect, I also request and invite
Member States, who have not yet done so, to ratify the Convention
on the Safety of United Nations and Associated Personnel.
concept and the very foundation of United Nations would be incomplete
and void without the staff that carry out its mandate and ideals
in all parts of the world. Staff is in the front lines wherever
humanitarian assistance is needed, be they in uninhabited demarcation
lines between countries when refugees flee from persecution,
or in danger zones keeping and building peace between communities
in conflict - or simply providing technical support and assistance
to those in need in remote villages around the world. We salute
the staff of the United Nations in all corners of the world
and pay tribute to their unflagging spirit to make our world
more humane. In this tribute, I would also like to include some
47,000 United Nations retirees who dedicated their working years
and helped evolve this Organization to the powerful force that
it is today.
can be proud of the ethnic and cultural diversity of the staff
in the Organization, working side by side, respecting each other's
individual identities and living in harmony.
conclusion, I would like to welcome with enthusiasm the Secretary
General's decision and proposal to donate his share of the Nobel
Peace Prize to a "United Nations Nobel Peace Prize Memorial
Trust Fund". The Fund will be used, and I quote, "to
support the education of the children of United Nations staff
who gave their lives in the service of peace," unquote.
In my personal capacity, I very much endorse the suggestion
that the Organization´s share should be devoted to the
same purpose which I fully support.
us be inspired by the noble examples of devotion to peace that
we are commemorating. Let us renew our resolve to dedicate ourselves
to take this Organization to new heights in the service of mankind.