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Universal Religious Values Animate UN’s Work

Universal Religious Values Animate UN’s Work, Annan Says

New York, Sep 12 2006 10:00AM

Observing that universal religious values animate the work of the United Nations, Secretary-General Kofi Annan has said that men and women of faith are crucial to the world body.

“As teachers and guides, you can be agents of change and inspire people to new levels of public service,” Mr. Annan said on Monday in remarks at the Holy Family Church in New York. “You can help bridge the chasms of ignorance, fear and misunderstanding that plague our world. You can set an example of interfaith dialogue, cooperation and respect, he said.

While spiritual and religious practices differ widely, “at heart we are dealing in universal values: to be merciful, to be tolerant, to love thy neighbour,” he pointed out.

“No tradition can claim a monopoly on such teachings; they are ingrained in the human spirit and enshrined in international human rights law. They animate the United Nations Charter and lie at the root of our search for global harmony and peace.”

Mr. Annan, whose second and final five-year term as Secretary-General ends this year, hailed the annual event. “As someone who believes in the power of prayer, I am grateful for all your prayers these past 10 years,” he said.

Ends

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