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|27 October 2000|
| Work of World Bank Leader to Ease Global Poverty Is Lauded
By Secretary-General at New York Award Ceremony
NEW YORK, 26 October (UN Headquarters) -- This is the text of remarks by Secretary-General Kofi Annan at a New York ceremony this evening to mark the presentation of the United Nations Association-USA award for global leadership to James D. Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank:
I am truly delighted to join you this evening to honour a pioneer in the cause of ending poverty and alleviating suffering around the world. Jim Wolfensohn’s tireless efforts and brilliant advocacy on behalf of the poorest and most vulnerable of our world testify to his unique leadership abilities, and to his fundamental humanity. Jim cares profoundly, and thinks profoundly, about the plight of those among us who lack food, water, adequate shelter or proper education.
He has become a global leader in a cause that too often is neglected or ignored in an era of globalization, and of unprecedented prosperity in this part of the world. He has done so not only by speaking boldly, but by acting boldly; by reaching out to new constituencies and old communities; by shaking hands with leaders of many countries, and by holding hands with the poorest of their citizens. He has given the World Bank a human face, and given its clients new hope for escaping poverty once and for all.
A renaissance man in the truest sense of the word, Jim Wolfensohn has dedicated his energies and abilities to putting poverty at the top of the international agenda -– to making everyone understand that ending extreme poverty is essential to achieving peace and securing human dignity for all the world’s people. He has broadened our understanding of poverty by pointing to the need to address the underlying causes, including debt burdens, terms of trade, corruption and a lack of good governance and accountable institutions under the rule of law.
And he has bravely tackled the question of globalization –- not by trying to turn the clock back, or by pretending that all are benefiting equally from it –- but by calling on all sides to help ensure that it brings progress and prosperity to the poorest as well as the richest nations in the world.
Jim Wolfensohn has been a friend, an ally, and an inspiration to me, and to all who strive to end suffering around the world. I therefore take particular pleasure in saluting him on this occasion, and congratulate him on receiving UNA-USA’s Global Leadership Award.
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