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SPEECH BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE FIFTY EIGHT SESSION
OF THE UNITED NATIONS
GENERAL ASSEMBLY

ANNUAL INTERFAITH SERVICE
TO THE COMMITMENT TO THE WORK OF THE UNITED NATIONS


11 SEPTEMBER 2003




Ladies and Gentlemen:

I am honoured to be part of this Interfaith Service of Commitment to the work of the United Nations.

In these difficult and challenging times, the United Nations is a beacon of hope for better health, better education, the promotion of development, the alleviation of poverty and the maintenance of international peace and security, for people the world over.

As President of the Fifty-eighth Session of the United Nations General Assembly, I am inspired that people of the many faiths gathered here today recognise the centrality of the United Nations in human endeavour. Together, we pray, each in their own way, for the success of the work of the organisation, and publicly pledge our commitment and support. And as we pray, we remember with deep appreciation, those who have lost their lives in the service of the United Nations and humanity, most recently in Iraq. They have made their contribution to efforts to shape a better world.

We are also encouraged, in this Interfaith Service, to reflect on important initiatives to address pressing global problems. During this, the International Year of Freshwater, we have been asked to focus on a most precious resource, water, taken for granted in some countries, and scarcely available in many others, particularly in the developing world. It is our hope that during this Year, the situation will improve for many of those affected.

I wish to commend The Interfaith Center for bringing peoples and religions together, yet again, in a manner consistent with the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter, to reaffirm their support for the Organisation. I especially wish to thank the Center for welcoming me to this very special gathering.

Thank you.






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