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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

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New York, 8 October 2004 - Statement Attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the Nobel Peace Prize

The Secretary-General was delighted to learn of the award of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2004 to Wangari Maathai, which shows that the Nobel Committee shares his view on the need for a broad vision of human security, in which the connections between peace, development and responsible stewardship of the environment are clearly understood.

Renowned and admired throughout her native Kenya and across Africa for her pioneering struggle against deforestation and for women's rights and democracy, Ms. Maathai has also played an important role at UN conferences such as the Earth Summit, making an imprint on the global quest for sustainable development. She has had a long and fruitful relationship with the United Nations, including membership on various UN advisory boards and juries. Selfless and steadfast, Ms. Maathai has been a champion of the environment, of women, of Africa, and of anyone concerned about our future security.

As a fellow African, as well as in his official capacity, the Secretary-General warmly congratulates Ms. Maathai on this richly earned recognition, and hopes this timely award will bring new urgency to the causes to which she has devoted her life.

Statements on 8 October 2004