Press Releases

SG/SM/8370
10 September 2002

"MAY THE MEMORY OF THOSE WHO PERISHED ON SEPTEMBER 11TH
SERVE TO INSPIRE A BETTER, MORE JUST, MORE PEACEFUL
WORLD FOR ALL, SECRETARY-GENERAL SAYS


NEW YORK, 9 September (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the message by Secretary-General Kofi Annan on the one-year anniversary of the 11 September attacks on the United States:

A year has passed since the terrorist attacks on the United States. A year has passed -- and yet time cannot separate us from the horror of that day, from our shock, our grief, our compassion for the children, the spouses, the friends and families of those who perished. We feel that shock still.

On September 11th, grief enveloped the globe -- not only out of solidarity with the people of the United States, but out of shared loss. More than ninety nations lost sons and daughters of their own -- murdered that day, for no other reason than they had chosen to live in the United States. Today, we come together as a world community because we were attacked as a world community.

There have been and will be other occasions to explore the causes of the attacks -- and explored they must be. There will be other occasions to debate our response to the attacks -- and debated it must be. There will be other occasions to consider how best to maintain the global unity of that day -- and considered it must be.

But today is a day for remembrance, for respect. A day to recall the loss of those who died trying to escape the fire, and the sacrifice of those who died rushing into it. A day to recall the lives of citizens from every part of the world who met danger and death without warning, without cause, without a chance. A day to recall the spirit of unity that seized the world that day -- from New York to Tehran to Berlin to Beijing -- in the face of unimaginable horror.

There could be no greater affront to the spirit and purpose of the United Nations than the terrorist attacks of September 11th. Everything that we work for -- peace, development, health, freedom -- is damaged by this horror. Everything that we believe in -- respect for human life, justice, tolerance, pluralism and democracy -- is threatened by it. It must be defeated -- by the world acting as one.

May the memory of those who perished on September 11th serve to inspire a better, more just, more peaceful world for all.

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