These are the remarks of Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali today when accepting a gift to the United Nations from the Republic of Estonia:


On behalf of the United Nations, I wish to thank the Government and people of the Republic of Estonia for this wonderful example of Estonian decorative folk art.

This work is entitled "Mother Tree". It is the work of the distinguished artist Anu Raud, a poetess of Estonian folk weaving. It beautifully, eloquently, and powerfully expresses the national identify of the Estonian people.

The Estonian people, more than most, have known this sorrows of invasion, war, persecution, and exile. Their art both expresses that suffering, and asserts their national solidarity against it. Through their language, culture, literature, art, dance and music, the Estonian people have proclaimed and maintained their distinctive national identity over the centuries.

Finally, in August 1991, Estonia regained its freedom and independence. The United Nations welcomed Estonia, as a sovereign State, as a Member State of the Organization.

Those who view this beautiful gift are invited to share in the hopes and aspirations of the Estonian people. To celebrate, with them, their joy and their nationhood. And to join with Estonians in working for a better world of the future.

This gift will take its place in this building with other works of art presented by Member States. Visitors will see this marvellous expression of the art and skill of a woman artist of Estonia.

They will be reminded that the United Nations Charter, and the work of the Organization, embody the hopes of humanity.

As I receive this gift on behalf of the United Nations, I ask you, Mr. President, to take back to your country the sincere thanks of the United Nations for this splendid gift.


For information media. Not an official record.