PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED NATIONS
H.E. MR. JULIAN R. HUNTE
THE OCCASION OF
NATIONS ATHENS 2004
OLYMPIC TORCH RELAY EVENT
UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
the world converges on Athens in August of this year,
we will be continuing our celebration of a most unique
event in the history of humankind - the Olympic Games.
For this brief period, a world vision will inspire us
all. Differences among nations will not matter as much.
Rich, lifelong friendships and memories will be made.
And an adventure will begin that will give to many,
particularly our young people, an invaluable opportunity
to listen, to learn, to understand, and to grow.
Our world is well served by the Olympic Games, the Olympic
Ideals and the Olympic Truce - a time-out from violence,
conflict and war that I urge all to take. For when we
do so, we allow ourselves to stop and contemplate our
world, not as it is, but as it ought to be - a global
village fully in accord with the goals and objectives
of the United Nations Charter.
is a place for national pride, as there is for individual
accomplishment at the Olympic Games. But there is also
a place for cooperation and accord across nations that
is embodied in the collective resolve to uphold the
Olympic ideals, to reach for the highest athletic and
ethical standards, to build bridges across divides of
language and culture, and to create effective networks
through which we may celebrate the rich diversity of
message of the Olympics Games for all of us, then, is
clear. Our countries may differ and our perspectives
may differ. But we all appreciate the importance of
sport, especially for the growth and development of
young people of sterling character, in whose hands we
must entrust the future of the United Nations, and indeed
of our world. The message is also that we must recognize
and respect the talent, skills and dedication that the
Olympics embody, and which engage us in celebration
of the accomplishments of women and men and of nations
large and small, even as we pay tribute to the indefatigable
human spirit that bring so many competitors to the Olympics.
Olympic flame is a most compelling symbol of the Olympics
Games. I believe it fitting that, on a journey that
takes it around the globe on its way to Athens, the
Torch bearing that flame should come to this United
Nations - the organization to which consideration of
the affairs of the world has been entrusted. It is indeed
my pleasure, as President of the United Nations General
Assembly to participate in this historic event.
is my hope that when history writes the account of the
2004 Olympic Games in Athens, it will once again reaffirm
that the prize for excellence and commitment is so much
more than winning. Indeed, the prize is that we would
have done our very best, and that the spirit of the
Games, of friendship and tolerance would have spurred
us to celebrate all that is good in people and nations
- to celebrate life. It is that so many would leave
Athens powerfully inspired to play their part in meeting
critical global challenges in the interest not only
of our countries, but of the peoples of the world.
To the Government and People of Greece, the host of
the 2004 Olympics, I extend my sincere congratulations
and good wishes for a successful and enriching Olympic
I thank you.