These are the remarks of Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali today on receiving a gift to the United Nations from the People's Republic of China:


On behalf of the United Nations, I express my deep gratitude to the Government of the People's Republic of China for this generous gift. We express our great admiration for the men and women whose artistic skills, imagination and energy brought it into being.

This Centenary Treasured Tripod manifests the great qualities of Chinese civilization: its proud and ancient history; its profound and imposing cultural presence; its determination to build upon the grandeur of the past to create an even greater future.

The tripod, in Chinese history, represents stability, tranquillity and peace. It was for these objectives that the United Nations was founded. This great tripod will feel very much at home here in this House.

Life was not easy when the first tripods were cast in the bronze age. Survival was often a struggle. And yet, talent and civilization flourished. There appeared a nobler purpose to living than simple existence.

The United Nations can be inspired by that example. Today, in many parts of the world, life is diminished, marginalized and endangered. The "better standards of life in larger freedom" pledged by the Charter have yet to be achieved.

Just as this imposing tripod gives form and life to barren bronze, we must shape a beautiful future out of the human and material resources of our world.

The vision of the United Nations can create a world we can be proud to leave as a legacy, a world where beauty and creativity can flourish, a world where the joys of life can be fully explored by each human being. The world that the peoples of the United Nations decided to create 50 years ago.

Of that determination, and our responsibility to fulfil it, this work of art is a reminder and a symbol.

To the Chinese people, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, to the State Council of the People's Republic of China -- thank you.



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For information media. Not an official record.