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U.S. Department of State
95/06/26 Remarks: Amb. Albright at UN 50 Charter Ceremony
U.S. Mission to the U.N.
REMARKS BY AMBASSADOR MADELEINE K. ALBRIGHT
U.S. PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE TO THE UNITED NATIONS
AT THE UN 50 CHARTER CEREMONY
WAR MEMORIAL OPERA HOUSE
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA
MONDAY, JUNE 26, 1995
When the delegates gathered here 50 years ago, they carried with them
the expectations of children from around the world.
In classrooms from Santiago to San Francisco to Seoul, the vision behind
this bold experiment was explained. Teenagers met in mock debates,
reciting with passion the views of various delegates, while their
younger sisters and brothers put down in crayon and water color the
images they could only imagine of a world without war.
To say that children are naturally peaceful is to defy all parental
experience. But to say that children dream is to recognize the origin of
all human progress.
Yes, the United Nations Charter was authored by a world emerging from a
nightmare; but it was also a world determined to dream again; determined
to provide the means, not through words alone, but through concrete
action, to ensure that the horrors just past would not be re-lived.
To the generation that were children then, that gift was nobly given and
gratefully received. To the generation that are children now, that
legacy we must with honor and interest bequeath.
Let us vow, together, to go forward from this ceremony of honored memory
and shared resolve: to reject outright the forces of faction and fear
that divide us; to celebrate our diverse cultures and histories without
denying the common humanity that binds us; and by so doing so breathe
new life into the unifying dream that is the UN Charter so that the
children living on this beautiful city's highest hill and those in the
deepest valley in the most remote land will have something precious to
share and safeguard and by which they may to lives of boundless
accomplishment be inspired.
Let us heed the instruction of our own lives.
If Nelson Mandela and Vaclav Havel could envision from jail the freedom
not only of themselves, but of their peoples; if Aung San Suu Kyi can -
as we speak- hold firm to the conviction that lies must inevitably give
way to truth; if Anne Frank, a child surrounded by evil, could believe
nonetheless in the fundamental decency of human beings; Then we, too,
can believe the dreams begun here 50 years ago, we, too, can believe in
Thank you very much.
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