Press Releases

    SG/SM/9699
    AFR/1099
    ORG/1432
    1 February 2005

    Secretary-General Expresses Gratitude to Nigeria for Making ‘Magnificent UN House’ in Abuja a Reality

    NEW YORK, 31 January (UN Headquarters) -- Following is the text of Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s remarks at the inauguration of UN House in Abuja, Nigeria, on 29 January:

    I am delighted to be with you on this happy occasion.  The 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 we work in.  And it provides a meeting place of ideas and initiatives to advance the welfare of the people we are here to serve.

    With these common premises here in Abuja, UN agency staff can now spend less time and energy commuting between here and Lagos, and more time on their primary mission:  helping the people of Nigeria.  It also makes it easier for Nigerians and others to conduct business with the UN agencies

    Whether you are working to help alleviate poverty, building better lives for children or protect the environment, it is vital that your efforts reinforce each other, that you avoid rivalry and duplication, and that you pool your resources and harmonize your programming to achieve the greatest possible impact.  Teamwork is the only way we can and we will help Nigeria reach its objectives, and help the wider world to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

    I would like to express my gratitude to President Obasanjo, the Government and people of Nigeria for their assistance and generosity in making this magnificent UN House a reality.  It is a further demonstration of Nigeria's commitment to multilateralism and the goals and objectives of the United Nations.  And I would like to thank the Nigeria Country Team for its efforts to help the people of Nigeria build a peaceful and prosperous future.

    May this House long contribute to that vital work.

    * *** *