Press Releases

    SG/SM/9561
    27 October 2004

    UN House Symbol of Bonds Between Organization, Country in which It Works, Secretary-General Says in Message to Inauguration in Sofia, Bulgaria

    (Delayed in transmission.)

    NEW YORK, 26 October (UN Headquarters) -- Following is Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s message to the inauguration of the United Nations House in Sofia, Bulgaria, 25 October:

    I am delighted to convey my best wishes to all who have gathered on the occasion of United Nations Day for the opening of the UN House in Sofia.

    A United Nations House is the epitome of the UN family in action -- an illustration of our efforts to work better together and to improve our performance, especially at the country level.  It is a symbol of the bonds between our Organization and the country in which we work.  And it provides a meeting place of ideas and initiatives for the advancement of the people we are here to serve.

    The UN is fortunate indeed that such a handsome, historic and centrally located building will be our new home, from which we will work to support Bulgarians in addressing the remaining challenges of transition and making the most of the opportunities Europe will offer in the future. I hope this House, which brings together eight UN agencies, will also form the foundation of an expanded partnership between Bulgaria and the United Nations. That partnership has many faces -- from Bulgaria’s important contribution as a Security Council member in 2002 and 2003, including President Parvanov’s chairmanship of the Council’s session of September 11, 2002, to the UN system’s work for development together with Bulgaria’s Government, civil society, and more than 170 of Bulgaria’s 264 municipalities.

    I extend my sincere thanks to the Bulgarian Government for its generosity and assistance in making this UN House a reality.  When the United Nations turns 60 next year, it will also be 50 years since Bulgaria joined the Organization.  As we prepare to mark those happy anniversaries, I hope this new House will help make it possible for the fruits of our partnership to reach more people than ever.

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