UNDP > Speeches & Statements > in Belarus
Address by Ms. Cihan Sultanoglu UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative at wreath laying ceremony dedicated to the Days of Remembrance and Reconciliation, 8 May 2005
Ladies and Gentlemen!
Thank you for coming to this solemn and highly significant event, one of the first in a series of events to commemorate the end of the Second World War.
In November 2004, the CIS countries, including Belarus, have put forward a proposal to the UN General Assembly to proclaim May 8 and 9 as a time of remembrance and reconciliation.
By its resolution of 22 November 2004, the General Assembly declared 8 and 9 May as Days of Remembrance and Reconciliation and invited Member States to observe them annually to pay tribute to all those who lost their lives in the Second World War. The resolution aims to further efforts to create a secure and just world order in accordance with the United Nations Charter and international law.
The war turned into the greatest tragedy for the peoples of Europe and the entire world, irrespective on whose side their states fought. Not a single family, not a single human story was left untouched by its consequences. As survivors dwindle in number it falls to succeeding generations to carry forward the work of remembrance.
While there must be contemplation of the past, there is a need to look forward and create a new environment based on harmony.
The 60th anniversary of the end of the World War II must not be a cause for confrontation or serve to settle old scores and reciprocal grievances. It is essential for all of us to remember, reflect on and learn from what happened sixty years ago. Every generation must be on its guard, to make sure that such a thing never happens again.
The end of the World War II gave a powerful impetus to the international community cohesion, which resulted in the establishment of the United Nations. Through the suffering and death of millions of people the nations of the world came to realize that there is no alternative to the system of collective security that took shape in the UN Charter for maintaining international peace.
We live in a changing world. And we live in a world which hopefully presents us today with a unique window of opportunity, a very historic moment, for making peace in our region and all over the world.
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