Press Releases

    SG/SM/7976
    2 October 2001

    "WE ARE UNITED IN HELPING THE CITY IN ITS HOUR OF NEED", SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS IN WELCOMING NEW YORK MAYOR TO UNITED NATIONS


    NEW YORK, 1 October (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of remarks by Secretary-General Kofi Annan on welcoming New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to the United Nations:

    It is a pleasure to welcome you, Mayor Giuliani, to United Nations Headquarters. Our home is your home.

    And your home, this unique city of New York, is our heroic and hospitable host city.

    Mr. Mayor, the United Nations has always drawn enormous strength from this city. Since the attack on the World Trade Centre and Washington, D.C., we have also drawn strength from your leadership, your resilience, your commitment to the tolerance and diversity that have made New York such a magnet and such an outstanding world capital. Thank you for helping all of us in this city to at least begin to recover from this crisis.

    I am glad you are here today to see firsthand how the Organization is responding. The Security Council and General Assembly quickly condemned the attack. On Friday, the Council unanimously adopted another resolution aimed at cracking down on terrorism. And today, the General Assembly begins its debate on the subject.

    This attack has wounded the entire world. But shared adversity has brought New York City and the United Nations closer together than ever before.

    We are united in grief. At least seven of our staff members lost immediate family in the attack. Many more lost dear friends.

    We are united in helping the city in its hour of need. United Nations staff members have raised more than $100,000 to assist. Our tour guides are helping the American Red Cross. Other staff members are working as volunteer interpreters at the family centre at Pier 94. And as you know, the General Assembly postponed its high-level general debate so as not to further burden the city and particularly the police and fire personnel who have responded so valiantly to this crisis.

    Finally we are united in our determination to root out terrorism. If there is one message I took away from the tour of "ground zero" you provided two weeks ago, it is that the world must come together to defeat this menace.

    Mr. Mayor, you are not the only mayor of New York to have been frustrated by some things that have been said or done in this building. No healthy partnership is without strains. But today we are truly united.

    We are your neighbours. We share your hopes for a world where peace, justice, health and opportunity are enjoyed by all. I am sure there are also, in this hall, men and women who share your love for the opera and the Yankees. I should add, in the spirit of tolerance, that there are probably some Met fans here, too.

    Most of all, Mr. Mayor, we pledge our support for the city's swift and full recovery. Thank you very much for joining us this morning.

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