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UN, Annan receive Nobel Peace Prize

UN, Annan receive Nobel Peace Prize at award's centennial ceremony in Oslo

10 December – Hailed for "their work for a better organized and more peaceful world," the United Nations and its Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, today received the Nobel Peace Prize for 2001, the year marking the 100th anniversary of the venerated award.

Delivering the Nobel Lecture following the award ceremony, the Secretary-General said that in the 21st century the mission of the United Nations would be defined by a new, more profound, awareness of the sanctity of every human being, regardless of race or religion.

“This will require us to look beyond the framework of States, and beneath the surface of nations or communities,” he said. “We must focus, as never before, on improving the conditions of the individual men and women who give the state or nation its richness and character.”

The Secretary-General, who was joined in accepting the prize by the President of the UN General Assembly, Han Seung-soo of the Republic of Korea, warned that a genocide begins with the killing of one man – not for what he has done, but because of who his is: “What begins with the failure to uphold the dignity of one life, all too often ends with a calamity for entire nations."

"The sovereignty of States must no longer be used as a shield for gross violations of human rights," Mr. Annan stressed, adding that it was important to start the new century from the understanding that peace belonged not only to States and peoples, but to each and every member of those communities.

“Peace must be sought, above all, because it is the condition for every member of the human family to live a life of dignity and security,” the Secretary-General said. He added that from the vision of the UN’s role in the next century flowed three key priorities - eradicating poverty, preventing conflict and promoting democracy….

ENDS

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