BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE
FIFTY EIGHT SESSION
OF THE UNITED NATIONS
ON THE OCCASION OF UNITED NATIONS DAY
24 OCTOBER 2003
years ago, a spark of hope rose from the ashes of a devastating
Second World War. It ignited the human spirit in the higher
cause of peace, equality, order and economic and social
progress. In that defining moment in the lives of people
and of nations, the United Nations was created, not to protect
the interests of the powerful and influential, but as an
organization dedicated to the service of all the people
of the world. A mutual understanding of the importance of
multilateralism was enshrined in the ideals of the Charter.
United Nations Day, dedicated to celebrating our premier
international organization, we are reminded that even as
the world all around us continues to change, the imperative
which led to the founding of our United Nations has not
changed. We can still say with confidence that the global
community truly believes in the United Nations. Over one
hundred and thirty Heads of State and Government and Ministers
participating in the General Debate of the Fifty-eighth
session of the General Assembly reaffirmed their faith in
the United Nations, as our best hope for a better world.
therefore, reflect with pride on the many accomplishments
of the United Nations family. It has extended its reach
into every corner of the globe, providing critical leadership
and partnerships to promote respect for human rights and
fundamental freedoms; to fight deadly diseases including
HIV/AIDS; to mitigate the plight of the vulnerable groups
in society, including refugees, women and children; to advance
initiatives for sustainable development, protection of the
environment and poverty alleviation; to combat transnational
crime and criminality and terrorism; and to help keep the
is not to say that our United Nations is not sorely challenged
- it is. It is also not to say that we have in the United
Nations a perfect organization - we do not. It is rather
to express our confidence that the United Nations can and
must continue its essential work in the service of humankind.
To do so requires us to address head on those issues that
divide the global community and that challenge multilateralism.
We must also strengthen the United Nations through reform
to better position it to carry out its essential work, and
also by providing the level of resources it needs to function
effectively. Importantly, we must, through our collective
political will, ensure that United Nations decisions result
in action that meets the expectations of our people, our
nations, and our world.
the Fifty-eighth anniversary of the United Nations, let
us not forget the many serious global problems that continue
to challenge the United Nations. Nor should we forget those
who have given their lives to uphold the ideals of the Charter.
We must, however, overcome both challenges and tragedy and
use our collective will and collective action as building
blocks for a better future, and for a better world.
my sincere good wishes to Secretary-General Kofi Annan and
colleagues who work in the United Nations family as we join
hands with people around the world to celebrate United Nations