The Sierra Leone Web


Message delivered by
President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah
On the Occasion of United Nations Day
24 October 2002


Today, we join the international community in celebrating yet another anniversary of the founding of the United Nations fifty-seven years ago. On this day, it is important for us to reflect and remember the many good things that the Organization has done to improve the lives of the people of the world in various ways.

You will no doubt agree with me that in the case of Sierra Leone, this anniversary and the United Nations itself have a special significance for us, given the role it has played and continues to play in bringing about the peace that we are now enjoying. I can also confidently say that our sub-region has benefited immensely from the work of the United Nations in uplifting the quality of life of our peoples.

Through its programmes and specialized agencies, and various emissaries of peace, the UN continues to enhance the prospects for peace and stability within the Mano River Union and the West African sub-region at large, and to meet the special needs of our people, especially the vulnerable. It continues to seek ways and means of resolving conflicts within our region.

The United Nations is just as relevant today as it was when it came into being in 1945. This year alone we saw two new members joining the Organization and subscribing to its invaluable and timeless objectives. The universality of the United Nations and the principles it stands for can only assume greater significance in the lives of every man, woman and child in the years to come. Today, this Organization, ably led by Secretary-General Kofi Annan, faces tremendous challenges in all fields of human endeavour. Some of these are more complex and greater than others, but none is less important.

While the Organization's preoccupation with the maintenance of peace and security in our rather unstable world is appropriate and commendable, this should however, not overshadow the very basic human needs of food, shelter, education, and health, especially the fight against HIV/AIDS. Those of us who are lucky to be saved from the "scourge of war" should not otherwise perish because of poverty, hunger and disease.

Throughout the years of its existence, the United Nations has been tried and tested. I am heartened to note that on every occasion, the Organization has emerged re-invigorated and stronger. Therefore, I have confidence, and strongly believe that our collective trust in the United Nations is well placed.

The United Nations has held us together as one human race. Within the United Nations all nations, in effect all peoples, great and small are equally important. These were the dreams of the founding fathers as enshrined in the Charter. These remain our goals today. It is in this spirit that we join the rest of the world in celebrating the birthday of the United Nations.