Statement delivered by UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator on UN DAY 2005Oct 24, 2005
Speech for UN day - 24 October 2005
Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
On this day 60 years ago, a group of men and women from around the world met together to make a promise to all people that they will have the right to work out their own destinies under such form of government as they may choose, free from fear and want, free from tyranny and oppression. This promise was embodied in the United Nations Organization – a world body which transcends the barriers of geography and race, and represents the hope that the world of the future will be one of freedom, security and peace.
When the United Nations was founded, sixty years ago, war was raging, the world was in turmoil, national economies were destroyed, epidemics ran out of control and millions of refugees were homeless. The UN was a beacon in the darkness that helped to shape the global dream of a world in which everyone enjoyed the political, economic and social freedoms essential to human well-being and dignity.
Last month, at the World Summit, the UN made progress across a broader front than on any other single occasion in the 60 year history of the Organization with new Major breakthroughs to fight poverty and disease, creating new machinery to win the peace in war-torn countries, and pledging stronger action to protect human rights and to prevent genocide.
Today, as we celebrate sixty years of our United Nations, we must recognize that the world today is very different from that of our founders.
The United Nations must reflect this new age, and respond to its challenges.
As we meet here today hundreds of millions of people are left defenceless against hunger, disease and environmental degradation, even though the world has the means to rescue them.
• In Pakistan, the United Nations is facing its worst logistical nightmare ever as it scrambles to save the lives of tens of thousands of earthquake survivors in inaccessible areas, in an unprecedented race against time that dwarfs efforts after last year’s Indian Ocean tsunami.
• Meanwhile the world is bracing itself for an avian flu pandemic which could happen at any time and kill millions of people.
• Here in Nepal, conflict has been escalating since 1996, adding to the suffering of a people already burdened by poverty, hunger and disease.
Currently, the UN System in Nepal is present in all 75 districts in the country striving to reach the country’s poor and disadvantaged population – women, Dalits, indigenous people, children, the elderly, and those with disabilities. UN staff and the staff of partner organisations work in the Terai, in the hills, and in the mountains - in some of the remotest and most inaccessible areas to address needs arising from poverty, hunger, sickness and conflict. UN staff are also working to address the needs of the Bhutanese refugee as no solution has been found after 15 years. Meanwhile, efforts continue to strengthen and extend the capacities of governance institutions, civil society and the private sector and to monitor and protect human rights. Yet efforts to advance development, and address needs arising from poverty, hunger, sickness continue to be hampered by the conflict.
Let me take this opportunity, once again, to urge all sides to take all measures which will lead to peace talks and the lasting peace.
I would like to conclude by reminding you of another anniversary we will celebrate later this year - the 50th anniversary of Nepal joining the United Nations. Since 1955 Nepal has contributed consistently to the UN, serving on the boards that govern the UN’s developmental and humanitarian work, including the Economic and Social Council, the Commission on Human Rights, the UNDP/UNFPA Executive Board, the UNICEF Executive Board and the Commission on Sustainable Development. Nepal also plays an important role in the peace keeping missions around the world. The United Nations looks forward to Nepal’s continued active contribution to the common efforts of its member states, and remains willing and ready to share its expertise and experience in peacemaking, should it be asked to do so.