Kofi Annan

16 December 2003, Stockholm, Sweden

Secretary-General's message on the launch of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission

I welcome the launch of the Weapons of Mass Destruction Commission chaired Dr. Hans Blix. The Commission faces a task of the utmost importance -- providing proposals on how to make progress in non-proliferation and disarmament of weapons of mass destruction, and on how to minimize the risk of these weapons falling into the hands of terrorists. I commend this timely initiative taken by the late Foreign Minister of Sweden, Anna Lindh, and look forward to fruitful cooperation between the Commission and the United Nations.

16 December 2003, New York

Secretary-General's remarks to the Security Council on Iraq

Mr. President, Mr. Foreign Minister, Excellencies,

We meet three days after the capture by coalition forces of Saddam Hussein. His capture is not just a symbol of the downfall of the former regime in Iraq. It is also an opportunity for a new beginning in the vital task of helping Iraqis to take control of their destiny—of helping them to create a secure, stable and independent Iraq, which can once again take its proper place in the region and in the international community.

16 December 2003, New York

Secretary-General's encounter with Associated Press following Security Council meeting on Iraq (unofficial transcript)

AP: The Iraqi Foreign Minister said that he didn't think that the UN could do its job from either Nicosia or Amman. I mean he made quite a serious point on that.

16 December 2003, New York

Press encounter with the Secretary-General at the Security Council stakeout

SG: You have my report and you heard my statement this morning.

Q: You heard Mr. Hoshyar Zebari's criticism of the United Nations and his invitation to you to come back to Iraq would improve security. I would like to have your reaction on that. And do you feel the Iraqis are asking you to come back to take part in the immediate political process, or is it a long term process?

15 December 2003, New York

Statement Attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General

The Secretary-General has seen the reports of the Turkish Cypriot voting. It appears that it may take some time for a new political dispensation to be established.

The Secretary-General takes this opportunity to restate his position, which is that his plan for a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem remains on the table but that he does not propose to take a new initiative without solid reason to believe that the political will necessary for a successful outcome exists.

15 December 2003, New York

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the death of Oscar Schachter

The Secretary-General was saddened to learn of the death of Oscar Schachter, one of the first officials to join the United Nations and a pioneer in the development of international law. Professor Schachter joined the United Nations in 1946 and held a succession of key legal posts for two decades, before serving as Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research from 1966 until 1975.

15 December 2003, Basel, Switzerland

Secretary-General's message to the Poverty Soccer Game [delivered by Mark Malloch Brown, Administrator of UNDP]

It's time to score goals for development. Poverty, hunger and disease affect hundreds of millions of lives and kill a child every three seconds. But we have a plan of action to change this. To set the 21st century on the right track, all Member States of the United Nations have agreed on eight essential goals to be reached by 2015. These Millennium Development Goals, ranging from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education -- all by the target date of 2015 -- form a blueprint for building a better world in the 21st century.

15 December 2003, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Secretary-General's message to the Second Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation [delivered by Zephirin Diabre, Associate Administrator of UNDP]

It gives me great pleasure to greet participants in this Second Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa cooperation, and to celebrate the long and lasting friendship and cooperation between China and Africa

15 December 2003, Algiers, Algeria

Secretary-General's message to the Partners' Conference on the Implementation of the Action Plan for the Environment Initiative of the New Partnership for Africa's Development [delivered by Mr. Klaus Topfer, Executive Director of UNEP]

It gives me great pleasure to send warm greetings to all who have gathered for this important conference. On the occasion of this meeting between Africa and its development partners, allow me to reaffirm the United Nations' continuous support and engagement in the rapid implementation of the Environment Action Plan of the New Partnership for Africa's Development.

15 December 2003, New York

Secretary-General's press encounter upona arrival at UNHQ (unofficial transcript)

SG:Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. It's good to see you all again. I think over the weekend we saw a major development in Iraq. This is a positive development because Saddam Hussein has cast a rather long shadow over developments and over the transition process. With his capture, that shadow has been removed and I hope this will help us move ahead with the transition period, and also accelerate the process of reconciliation and attempts to establish a provisional Iraqi government that is inclusive and transparent.