SECRETARY-GENERAL, RINGING PEACE BELL, HAILS MILLENNIUM OF HOPE AFTER CENTURY OF DESTRUCTION20000905
Following is the text of remarks by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, delivered today on the occasion of ringing of the Peace Bell:
Good morning. Every year, the International Day of Peace is an occasion for the entire international community to come together and reflect on its successes and failures in the struggle for peace. Every year at the opening of the General Assembly, we ring this Peace Bell outside United Nations Headquarters to make our commitment to the ideal of world peace heard far and wide.
This is a special year. As we observe the first International Peace Day of the new millennium, we are also about to open the Millennium Summit. That gives us a double motivation to reaffirm our commitment to the ideals of peace and tolerance that the United Nations has symbolized throughout its history.
This requires us to look at peace from many different perspectives. It obliges us to look to the past and the present, but even more, to the future. It should deepen our determination to give succeeding generations what the United Nations was created for 55 years ago: freedom from want and fear, and the means to sustain our future on this planet. This day should remind us that we can achieve that, only if we summon the will.
As we stand in this beautiful garden surrounding the Peace Bell, let us consider the irony that on the other side of the window stands the Hiroshima statue bearing the eternal scars of a nuclear bomb. How right, and indeed necessary, that this day gives us space and time to reflect on those scars.
And so today, we look to the world's leaders to seize the opportunity of the Summit to build peace, and make it the truly historic occasion it should be. Today, let us hear the bell ring loud, clear and true in our conscience. Let it ring out a century of cruelty and destruction, and ring in a millennium of hope and peace.
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