24 October 1995

Press Release


19951024 ADVANCE RELEASE Following is the text of General Assembly President Diogo Freitas do Amoral's (Portugal) statement for United Nations Day:

"The United Nations is today celebrating 50 years of life. Our founders were endowed with foresight and the Organization that was established by them in 1945, and represented then a great hope for people of good will throughout the world, still holds for us today a promise of a better future for all of humanity.

"It is true that these past 50 years have not been marked exclusively by successes and victories: as in the life of every individual, there have been many significant setbacks in the life of this Organization. But is that not inevitable owing to the very nature of human beings, of society and of the world as it is?

"In spite of the difficulties with which we are faced, the criticism that has been directed at us and the crises that we are experiencing - one of which, the financial situation, is particularly acute at the present time - the fact is that the achievements of the United Nations are many and are not always recognized as such.

"In the consolidation of peace and in the promotion of social and economic development, in the encouragement of disarmament and in the defence of the rule of law, in the protection of human rights and in the fulfilment of the needs of the weaker members of our societies, in the pursuit of worthy goals such as decolonization and democratization; in these ongoing achievements, the United Nations and its specialized agencies have fulfilled many of the expectations of our founders and accomplished other unforeseen feats, which have further reinforced the importance and significance of the United Nations as the universal organization for human progress.

- 2 - Press Release GA/8959 UND/817 18 October 1995

"The fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations has also coincided with deep changes in international relations, such as the end of the cold war, which challenge us to build on the Organizations's achievements and prepare for the next 50 years. On the other hand, there are improvements which can be made to the way the United Nations currently functions. The Organization can and must undertake a serious effort to be less expensive and more efficient. The process of reform is under way and the Members of the United Nations must be committed to finding solutions to the problems before us. Only in this manner, through our combined efforts, will we be able to adapt our Organization to current circumstances and to prepare ourselves for the needs of the future.

"I believe that on United Nations Day it is not only the Organization that is celebrating 50 years of life, but also all the peoples of the world who commemorate with us and who hope that the United Nations will be able to continue to serve humanity so nobly in the future."

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For information media. Not an official record.