Return to: Index of "Intl. Organizations and Conferences" || Electronic Research Collections Index || ERC Homepage

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 
ourselves. 

Thank you very much.
To the top of this page