Kofi Annan

21 October 2003, Seville, Spain

Secretary-General's message to the International Media Seminar on Peace in the Middle East [as delivered by Shashi Tharoor, Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information]

You gather in Seville at a critical juncture. Seldom has it been more urgent to re-establish momentum towards a just, lasting and comprehensive peace in the Middle East.

20 October 2003, The Hague, Netherlands

Secretary-General's message to the eighth session of the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention

Since the opening for signature of the Chemical Weapons Convention in January 1993, steady and tangible progress has taken place in the field of chemical disarmament. Earlier this year, the First Review Conference to the Chemical Weapons Convention was held to conduct a comprehensive study of the operation of the Convention, with a view to ensuring that the chemical weapons ban remains firm in a changing political and technological environment.

19 October 2003, Rimini, Italy

Secretary-General's message to the XXIX Pio Manzu International Conference [delivered by Giandomenico Picco, Special Advisor and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General for the UN Dialogue among Civilizations]

It gives me great pleasure to send my greetings to all who have gathered for this annual conference. Allow me also to extend my appreciation for the posthumous award you have given to Sergio Vieira de Mello. It comes at a time when we are still grieving for him and our other colleagues who died in Iraq, and wrestling with the wider implications of the bombing.

18 October 2003, New York

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Bolivia

The Secretary-General is heartened that a constitutional solution has been found to the crisis that has unfolded in Bolivia. He calls on all Bolivians to take this opportunity to engage in constructive cooperation aimed at building a more just society, in which all citizens may channel their social demands through democratic institutions and in which human rights are fully respected.

He offers the people of Bolivia the assistance of the UN System in helping to address the difficult challenges that they face.

17 October 2003, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Secretary-General's message on polio eradication on the occasion of the 10th Islamic Summit Conference [delivered by Dr. Abdelaziz Saleh, Special Adviser to the Regional Director on Medicines, World Health Organization Regional Office for the Eastern Medi

The campaign to eradicate polio is an illustration of the very founding principles of the United Nations. For the sake of our children, this humanitarian goal has transcended politics and dispute. Civil wars have stopped to let vaccinators pass. Governments, international agencies, private enterprise and 20 million dedicated volunteers have worked together to achieve the impossible. Billions of children have been vaccinated in all corners of the world, including in regions that have suffered years of conflict.

17 October 2003, New York

Secretary-General's message on the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Yesterday, we observed World Food Day. Today, we observe the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. This year, we are holding joint events in recognition of the close links between hunger and poverty.

16 October 2003, New York

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the death of Moktar Ould Daddah of Mauritania

The Secretary-General was saddened to learn of the death of Moktar Ould Daddah, who led Mauritania to independence and served as the country's first president from 1961 to 1978. He joins other Africans in mourning yet another of modern Africa's founding fathers –one of the continent's pioneers who through his courage and commitment propelled his people to freedom and worked for social and economic development in the post-colonial era.

16 October 2003, New York

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on the conclusion of China's first manned space flight

The United Nations is pleased to announce that following a formal request by the People's Republic of China to the Secretary-General, two United Nations flags were provided for flight on China's first manned space mission, as a symbol of its "firm commitment to use outer space for peaceful purposes and for the betterment of all humankind".

A small flag was shown on camera during the mission and a large 4 x 6 foot flag was stowed aboard the spacecraft prior to launch. Both flags, having completed 14 orbits around the Earth, will be returned to the Secretary-General at a future event.

16 October 2003, New York

Secretary-General's video message to the World Food Prize Symposium

Dear friends,

I add my voice to yours, on this World Food Day, in congratulating Catherine Bertini on winning this year's World Food Prize. She fully deserves it.

Thanks to her outstanding leadership, the World Food Programme is today on the front lines of the world's battle against hunger. Its staff have made many sacrifices in the line of duty, and have helped save millions from the scourge of famine. Let's congratulate them, too.

16 October 2003, New York

Secretary-General's message on World Food Day

Despite the extraordinary technological and agricultural advances of the modern era, the ancient and most basic affliction of hunger is still with us. Every day, 840 million people do not have enough to eat. In South Asia, one person in four goes hungry. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the proportion is as high as one in three.