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    For information only - not an official document.
    Press Release No:  UNIS/SG/2530
    Release Date: 3 April 2000
     The Millennium Assembly and the Millennium Summit
    of the United Nations

    “The Millennium Assembly offers a timely opportunity
    for the world’s leaders to look beyond their pressing daily concerns
    and consider what kind of United Nations they can envision
    and will support in the new century.”
    – United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan
     

     Six billion human beings. Rapid globalization. Intractable conflicts. Genocide and ethnic cleansing. Combating poverty and AIDS. Controlling climate change. As humanity reflects on the challenges we face at this millennial milestone, it is a chance also to reflect on the only global organization to which we can turn: the United Nations. 

     To consider how to strengthen the role of the world body in meeting the challenges of the twenty-first century, the UN General Assembly decided to designate its 55th session, starting on 5 September 2000, as the Millennium Assembly of the United Nations and to hold a Millennium Summit.

     Likely to be the largest-ever gathering of Heads of State or Government, the Summit will be a historic occasion for the 188 Member States of the United Nations to address the challenges of the new century. It will be held from 6 to 8 September 2000 at UN Headquarters in New York. According to Secretary-General Kofi Annan, it is essential that the Millennium Summit should provide an opportunity for a “moral recommitment” to the principles of the UN Charter and new political momentum for international cooperation.

     At the Summit, heads of State or government will deliver formal statements and will have the opportunity to engage in interactive discussions by participating in several roundtable meetings. 

     The turn of the century is “a unique and symbolically compelling moment to articulate and affirm an animating vision for the United Nations in the new era”, the General Assembly stated when it decided in December 1998 to hold the Millennium events, based on the Secretary-General’s recommendation.

    Regional Hearings

     To prepare for the Millennium Assembly and Millennium Summit, five regional hearings have been organized to elicit innovative views from civil society and political leaders on how best to strengthen the United Nations to face the challenges ahead.

     In cooperation with the UN Regional Commissions, hearings have been held in: Beirut, Lebanon, for Western Asia; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for Africa; Geneva, Switzerland, for Europe; Santiago, Chile, for Latin America and the Caribbean; and Tokyo, Japan, for Asia and the Pacific. The reports on the hearings are available on-line at www.un.org/millennium.

    Secretary-General’s Millennium Report

     In preparation for the Millennium Summit, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan will present a major statement on his vision for the world body in a report to be launched at the end of March 2000. The report, entitled “We the Peoples: The Role of the United Nations in the 21st Century”,  sets out a practical vision for the United Nations in a globalized world that has changed dramatically in the 55 years since the Organization was founded. Among its key messages is the need to make globalization more inclusive, to create more opportunities for all, and not leave billions of people in a state of poverty and exclusion.

    Civil Society Participation

     To broaden the discussions on the world body’s future role, civil society organizations are planning a number of events related to the Millennium Assembly and Summit. A Millennium Forum will be held by non-governmental organizations on 22-26 May 2000 at UN Headquarters. The Forum, initially proposed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, plans to link closely to the themes for the UN Assembly and Summit. Also being organized by the Interparliamentary Union is a Summit of Speakers of National Parliaments to be held at UN Headquarters on 30 August – 1 September 2000. A calendar of Millennium-related events, including Internet links, can be found on the UN Millennium Web site.
     

    For More Information

    On the Internet: www.un.org/millennium
     

    Office for the Millennium Assembly 
    Room S-3275, United Nations 

    NEW YORK, NY 10017 
    Tel: (212) 963-5739 
    Fax (212) 963-0616 
    E-mail: millennium@un.org
     

    Department of Public Information
    Room S-955, United Nations

    NEW YORK, NY 10017
    Public queries: tel (212) 963-4475
    Media queries: tel (212) 963-6870
    NGO queries: tel (212) 963-8070
    Fax: (212) 963-0536;

     E-mail: inquiries@un.org 
     

    “Next year, leaders from all over the world will come to New York for the Millennium Summit. They will consider the challenges ahead, and what the United Nations can do to face them. Those leaders will be representing you, the peoples of the United Nations. It is up to you to make sure they come here firmly resolved to take decisions which can lead to a better life for all of us, and for our children.”  - UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan

     Published by the United Nations Department of Public Information - DPI/2083/Rev.1 – March 2000

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