Sixty years ago, in San Francisco, the representatives of 50 nations signed the United Nations Charter.
In the name of the peoples of the United Nations, they pledged to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.Those words are engraved on the collective memory of mankind.
They reaffirmed their faith in fundamental human rights; in the dignity of the human person; in the equal rights of men and women, and of nations large and small.
They pledged to establish conditions under which justice and respect for law could be maintained.
They promised to promote social progress, and better standards of life, in larger freedom.
Over sixty years, the United Nations has striven to redeem those pledges.
We have had many successes.We have kept the peace in many places.We have helped banish smallpox and polio from almost every country.We have give millions of children an education that their parents could not dream of.We have helped organize elections, from Afghanistan to Burundi.And we have brought relief to victims of disasters like the Indian Ocean tsunami.
We have had failures.The worst, perhaps, was our collective failure to prevent the genocide in Rwanda.
Today, in a new century, we face new threats and challenges, but also new opportunities.
Those “better standards of life in larger freedom” are now within our reach.To reach them, we must advance on all three fronts at once: development, security and human rights.
Never in the history of the United Nations have bold decisions been more necessary.And never have they been more possible.
This September, at the 2005 World Summit, leaders from 191 nations have the chance to make those decisions.With support, and encouragement from you, the peoples of the world, I believe they will.