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SG/T/2177
3 May 1999

SECRETARY-GENERAL TRAVELS TO UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

3 May 1999


Press Release
SG/T/2177


SECRETARY-GENERAL TRAVELS TO UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

19990503 Secretary-General Kofi Annan travelled to Ann Arbor, Michigan, on the afternoon of Friday, 30 April, to deliver a commencement address at the University of Michigan on Saturday morning and to receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

On Friday evening, he attended a dinner hosted by President and Mrs. Lee Bollinger of the University of Michigan for recipients of 1999 spring commencement honorary degrees. The three other recipients were: Aharon Barak, jurist and President of the Israeli Supreme Court since 1995; Shirley M. Malcom, American scientist and educator; and Pramoedya Ananta Toer, a celebrated writer from Indonesia.

On Saturday, his speech, on the theme of diversity and the United Nations' struggle for tolerance and human rights, was before the largest live audience he has ever addressed. Some 35,000 people attended the ceremony at Michigan Stadium. In his speech, he referred to reports of inhuman crimes committed in Kosovo, saying that "the battle against intolerance still needs desperately to be fought". He noted that, slowly but surely, an international norm against the violent repression of minorities is emerging that will and must take precedence over concerns of State sovereignty.

The Secretary-General returned to New York Saturday afternoon.

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For information media. Not an official record.