Press Releases

     
    For information only - not an official document.
    Press Release No:  UNIS/SG/2593
    Release Date:  15 June 2000
    Secretary-General’s Remarks on Receiving 2000 Path to Peace Award

    NEW YORK, 14 June (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s remarks on receiving the 2000 Path to Peace Award, which he will deliver tonight in New York:

    I am moved several times over to receive his award.  First, by the honour you have bestowed on me in the award itself; also, by the added significance it takes on this Jubilee Year; above all, because the Path to Peace Foundation works to bring to the world the teachings of His Holiness Pope John Paul II -- teachings that resound with people in all continents as the fundamental tenets of peace. 

    In those teachings, His Holiness has asked us to heed the warning bequeathed to us by the previous century: that war is often the cause of further wars because it fuels hatred, creates injustice and tramples upon human dignity and rights.

    He has reminded us of our obligations under humanitarian law; of our duty to provide humanitarian aid to suffering civilians and refugees; of the need to make the fullest and the best use of the United Nations Charter in defining instruments of intervention within the framework of international law.

    He has reminded us that lasting peace means more than the absence of war, and depends on two indivisible and interdependent rights:  the right to peace and the right to development.  That to face today's problems, most of which are assuming a global dimension, we must foster a consciousness of universal moral values among all sectors of the international community, whether governments, civil society or the private sector.

    He has explained how we can give our globalizing world a soul, a meaning and a direction.  How globalization, for all its risks, also offers exceptional and promising opportunities -- for he has given us an alternative concept:  the globalization of solidarity, whereby the benefits of our new age can be spread more equally among the world's peoples.

    He has spelt out that there will be peace only if humankind rediscovers itself as one human family, a family in which the equal dignity and rights of individuals -- whatever our status, race or religion -- are recognized as more important than any difference or distinction among us.

    That is why, for millions around the globe, Pope John Paul has become the most powerful voice of peace, hope and justice they know.  I am particularly grateful that in my meetings with him, I have been fortunate enough to be inspired by that voice first hand.

    I would like to think, therefore, that this award is a symbol of the bonds between us -- of our common endeavours for peace across the world.  And that in this Jubilee Year, we have a new opportunity to translate the vision of His Holiness into practice.  For his teachings also constitute a most eloquent formulation of the Millennium goals I have urged the world's leaders to adopt on behalf of all the world's peoples.

    And so, Archbishop Martino, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the honour you have bestowed on me in the form of the 2000 Path to Peace Award.  I add the hope that the voice of His Holiness may guide us all on the path to peace in the new Millennium.

    * * * * *