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In Message on International Day of Friendship, Secretary-General Says Challenge Now to Sustain Global Spirit of Solidarity Forged at Olympic Games in London

30 July 2012
Secretary-General Takes Part in London Summer Olympics Torch Run. © UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

Following is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message on the International Day of Friendship, 30 July: "This year’s International Day of Friendship falls as the 2012 Olympic Games are under way in London, reminding us of the power of sport to bring countries and people together.

The United Nations General Assembly resolution on the Olympic Truce was co-sponsored by all 193 Member States — a first in history, and another example of the uniting power of friendly competition.

Now our challenge is to sustain and extend the international spirit of friendship and solidarity forged at the Games through people-to-people connections at every level.

In families and communities, friendship is the bond that unites different interests for common goals. Within countries, dialogue and understanding promote progress. Globally, friendly personal connections among individuals can generate momentum toward achieving peace, development and human rights for all. And amicable relations among countries provide a solid basis for peace, prosperity and progress.

But friendship is much more than a means to a better future, it is an end in itself — an invaluable source of joy and happiness.

On this International Day of Friendship, let us cultivate warm ties for their own sake.  The positive impact on our world will naturally follow."

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