Excellencies, Dear friends,

A year ago the world was shocked by the terrorist attacks (on the World Trade Center towers) in New York and (on the Pentagon) in Washington DC.

The tragic loss of life caused by these terrorist acts was felt not only by the families and friends of the victims but by the world at large.

Here in East Africa, the events of 11 September 2001, had a special resonance. Only three years before, on 8 August 1998, over 250 people were killed, and a further 5,000 injured, when bombs were detonated at the United States embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam

On behalf of the United Nations family here in Nairobi, I would like to express our solidarity with the victims of these atrocities. With their families and their loved ones.

We all express, again and again, our condemnation of all forms of aggression, terror and atrocity.

Today, as we pay our respects to the dead, and to the thousands whose lives have been harmed by these appalling acts, let us reflect.

Times of crisis often bring out the best in us. This was certainly the case in the aftermath of 11 September, and when the terrorists struck in Nairobi and in Dar es Salaam.

On both occasions people acted unquestioningly and unselfishly to help their fellow human beings. Often with disregard to their own safety.

All over the world, people expressed their compassion and their outrage.

After 11 September, there was an unprecedented feeling of global unity. The world was, and is still today, united in abhorrence for what happened. There was, and there is, a real commitment to work together to make the world a better place.

We need to keep that feeling alive.

Let Peace prevail on Earth - Peace is our vision in the United Nations - our determination.

Let peace begin with each of us, in all our dedication for dialogue and solidarity, for respect and tolerance.

We must work together.

To achieve peace we must work together to create a sustainable future for all humankind, we must continue to attack poverty and injustice.

This is the message we bring back from the World Summit on Sustainable Development, which took place in Johannesburg last week.

The path that binds us is the path that breaks the chain of hatred and violence.

As we pay our respects, let us also spare a thought for the millions of children around the world who die each year from poverty.

Let us make a pledge to continue to work together, with the spirit of unity we all felt after 11 September, to make sure these children grow up in a cleaner, safer, more prosperous world, able to give the gifts of hope and happiness to their children and grandchildren.

Let us now pray - in a minute of silence.

Thank you.


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