"The Millennium Assembly offers a timely
opportunity for the world's leaders to look beyond their pressing
daily concerns and consider what kind of United Nations they can envision
and will support in the new century."
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan
- Six billion human beings. Rapid globalization. Intractable conflicts.
Genocide and ethnic cleansing. Promoting development. Combating poverty
and AIDS. Controlling climate change. As humanity reflects on the challenges
we face at this millennial milestone, it is a chance also to reflect
on the only global organization to which we can turn: the United Nations.
- To consider how to strengthen the role of the world body in meeting
the challenges of the twenty-first century, the UN General Assembly
decided to designate its 55th session, starting on 5 September 2000,
as the Millennium Assembly of
the United Nations and to hold a Millennium
- Likely to be the largest-ever gathering of Heads of State or Government,
the Summit will be a historic occasion for the 188 Member States of
the United Nations to address the challenges of the new century. It
will be hled from 6 to 8 September 2000 at UN Headquarters in New York.
According to Secretary-General Kofi Annan, it is essential that the
Millennium Summit should provide an opportunity for a "moral recommitment"
to the principles of the UN Charter and new political momentum for international
- At the Summit, heads of State or government will deliver formal statements
and will have the opportunity to engage in interactive discussions by
participating in several roundtable meetings.
- The turn of the century is "a unique and symbolically compelling moment
to articulate and affirm an animating vision for the United Nations
in the new era", the General Assembly stated when it decided in December
1998 to hold the Millennium events, based on the Secretary-General's
- To prepare for the Millennium Assembly and Millennium Summit, five
regional hearings have been organized to elicit innovative views from
civil society and political leaders on how best to strengthen the United
Nations to face the challenges ahead.
- In cooperation with the UN Regional Commissions, hearings have been
held in: Beirut, Lebanon, for Western
Asia; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for Africa;
Geneva, Switzerland, for Europe;
Santiago, Chile, for Latin America
and the Caribbean; and Tokyo, Japan, for Asia
and the Pacific.
Secretary-General's Millennium Report
- In preparation for the Millennium Summit, United Nations Secretary-General
Kofi Annan will present a major statement on his vision for the world
body in a report to be launched at the end of March 2000. The report,
entitled "We the Peoples: The Role of the United Nations in the 21st
Century", sets out a practical vision for the United Nations in a globalized
world that has changed dramatically in the 55 years since the Organization
was founded. Among its key messages is the need to make globalization
more inclusive, to create more opportunites for all, and not leave billions
of people in a state of povery and exclusion.
Civil Society Participation
- To broaden the discussions on the world body's future role, civil
society organizations are planning a number of events related to the
Millennium Assembly and Summit. A Millennium
Forum will be held by non-governmental organizations on 22-26 May
2000 at UN Headquarters. The Forum, initially proposed by Secretary-General
Kofi Annan, plans to link closely to the themes for the UN Assembly
and Summit. Also being organized by the Interparliamentary Union is
a Summit of Speakers of Nations Parliaments to be held at UN Headquarters
on 30 August - 1 September 2000. A calendar
of Millennium-related events, including Internet links, can be found
on the UN Millennium Web site.
For more information
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"Leaders from all over the world will come
to New York for the Millennium Summit. They will consider the challenges
ahead, and what the United Nations can do to face them. Those leaders
will be representing you, the peoples of the United Nations. It
is up to you to make sure they come here firmly resolved to take
decisions which can lead to a better life for all of us, and for
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
Published by the United Nations Department of Public
Information - DPI/2083/Rev.1 - March 2000