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Actions Can Reverberate Worldwide - Annan

Annan Tells Graduates Their Actions Can Reverberate Worldwide

New York, Jun 9 2006 6:00PM

Employing examples drawn from the headlines and from popular culture, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today urged a group of high school graduates in New York to use their education for the good of others, aware that their actions can reverberate across the globe.

In an interconnected world, none of us can be indifferent to, or immune from suffering, Mr. Annan <"">told graduates of the UN International School (UNIS) at a ceremony held in the General Assembly Hall.

He emphasized that what the students undertake can profoundly impact the lives of others. You are not in a waiting period waiting to be leaders, waiting to make a difference. You matter now! You can make a difference now, he declared.

The Secretary-General pointed out that people are interconnected and interdependent as never before. Means of communication have reduced global distances to mere nano-seconds. Consequently, whatever may happen at one end of the globe can intensely affect large populations at the other, he said.

“No, I don't just mean the worldwide gasp at Chris Daughtry's exit from American Idol, he added, referring to the unexpected defeat of a rocker contestant widely favoured to win a popular talent search televised across the United States.

“I also have in mind the cartoons, published in one corner of the world, which cause widespread and agonized convulsions in lands far away, Mr. Annan said.

Applying the UN's ideals of understanding, open-mindedness, community service, respect and communication across all cultures, the students, he said, can naturally become “the best kind of world citizen.


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