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STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE FIFTY EIGHT SESSION
OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
FOR THE RINGING OF THE PEACE BELL CEREMONY


19 SEPTEMBER 2003




For twenty-one years we have marked the International Day of Peace and have sounded a message of hope by the ringing of this Peace Bell. The International Peace Day reminds us that we are one human family and that, for our continued survival, we must renew our commitment to work together for peace in the world.

I wish, therefore, that the message we ring out on the Peace Bell today could be a message of hope to all the people of the world that we have brought an end to conflict and war, poverty and deprivation, and deadly disease. I wish that the message could be that there is economic justice, respect for democracy, human rights and the rule of law. I wish that the message could be that we have eliminated violence and terrorism, and that our legacy to the children of this world is a world community that ensures their well-being and the well-being of all the world's people.

The reality is, however, that many serious challenges face our United Nations and our world, including events that shatter our peace and heighten our insecurity. One such event that is permanently engraved in our minds is the terrorist attack on the United Nations Headquarters in Baghdad and the loss of life and injury that resulted.

We should, however, let nothing cloud our message of hope. We must remain undaunted in our search for lasting peace. In doing so, each and every one of us must resolve to help to make it a reality. Therefore, as we join hands today with many around the world to observe the International Day of Peace, let us do so in recognition that peace is an imperative for the progress of people and of nations. And as we do so, let us reaffirm our faith in the letter and spirit of the United Nations Charter, which commits us to "practice tolerance and live in peace with one another".

So, on this special day, let us ring the Peace Bell as our affirmation that peace can be a reality. It is up to us to make it so.

 


 




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