Following is the text of the toast delivered by Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali to the luncheon for heads of state and government at Headquarters on 23 October:


We are here to mark fifty United Nations years. As we reflect on the record of the past, we lift our eyes to the future. Yesterday I spoke of the United Nations as the Organization of tomorrow. An Organization with the ability to forecast the problems of the future and to take the lead in searching for solutions to those problems. Today I say to you that the United Nations is also the Organization of hope. Hope is essential if we are to have a better world of tomorrow.

Hope must be more than a dream. Hope must be more than a pretty balloon which lift our eyes to the sky. Hope must stand upon a foundation of consensus and commitment. Only the United Nations is building that foundation for the future.

Starting a little over two years ago, the United Nations began to bring people from all over the world together in a continuum of world conferences. They are linked. They are cumulative. They amount to a new and unique process for international cooperation. These conferences are the pillars of hope. They are providing the framework for broad and durable global consensus -- political, economic, environmental and social.

They are drawing attention to the key dimensions of human progress: Investing in people is a prerequisite to progress; strong and vibrant civil society must support the effort of development; active social justice is required so that the fabric of society will not be torn from within; respect for the environment is essential to satisfy needs in ways that do not endanger the planet upon which we depend; economic growth is essential not only to material progress but to provide a society with options in every important field; commitment to democratization is the key to long-term peace, the cornerstone of all development, and the driving force for progress on all fronts.

We live in a time marked by bitter conflict. The United Nations is on the front lines in the search for peace. But peace-keeping, however urgent, is not our only task. By far the greatest proportion of the time, personnel and resources of the United Nations is dedicated to development. Unless peace is restored to war-torn lands no progress can be possible. But hope requires more than restoration of the status quo. Hopes lives in a vision of a better life ahead.

Hopes lives in peace, development, democratization and human rights. These are the great tasks of the era before us. These are the tasks entrusted by the history to the United Nations. These are the foundation for hope in our common future. These are the goals your world Organization will continue to pursue. I thank you for your presence here, and for your participation in these historic ceremonies. I ask you to join me -- with hope in the future -- in a toast to your United Nations.


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For information media. Not an official record.