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TRANSCRIPT: U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL: This year, the United Nations celebrates its twenty-fifth anniversary. A quarter of a century may not seem very impressive in terms of human history, but it does represent a considerable time span in the world in which we live today.
Profound changes are affecting our planet at an increasingly rapid pace. Developments that night have required centuries in the past, take place today in a matter of decades or even years. We live in a world where the future of mankind can be unalterably changed within minutes. We also live in a world in which the young - those under twenty-five - outnumber the rest.
We at the United Nations are very much aware of this changing world. For us, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Charter of San Francisco is not an occasion for complacency. Rather, we see it as a time when we musk ask ourselves in all seriousness, whether that which was built a generation ago is adequate for the immense tasks ahead. In this undertaking, we need your views and your help, for this is also your United Nations and will be increasingly so in the future.
I do not think that you are in any disagreement with the aims stated in the Charter. I can see no generation gap in mankind's desperate need for peace, progress, and justice. If anything, you would proclaim those aims today in even stronger language than was done by your elders in San Francisco, twenty-five years ago.
Nor do I believe that you are overly concerned with changing the structure of the United Nations. The machinery of the United Nations is not perfect, but it is viable and flexible enough to serve the aims of the Charter.
What, then, is it that needs to be changed? You and I have said it in different ways on many occasions. It is the frame of mind, the outdated scale of values, that has produced a growing disparity between words and deeds in our world.
In the world today, appeals fro peace often are but a prelude to the stepped up use of force. Calls for disarmament are followed by increased expenditures for ever more horrible weapons. Solemn assurances about human rights are contradicted by growing complacency and apathy concerning the plight of millions of our fellow human begins. Realistic recognition of the immense needs of the greater part of mankind is rarely matched by generous and farsighted action.
Above all, lip service is constantly being paid to the need for international co-operation and to the urgency of finding world-wide solutions for a growing number of problems.
It is here that change is needed, and change is needed now.
Many of you have already come to this conclusion, realizing that your won future is at stake. But you are often unsure as to the best way of bringing about the desired change.
The way lies not, I am convinced, in negation and destruction. Rather the way to your future lies in affirmation and in positive commitment to a new global set of values which now need to be clearly defined.
That set of value must take as its starting point the simple fact that we are all members of the same human race. and that the human quality which we all share in vastly more important than are the differences which have divided us.
We must recognize, in deed as well a in word, that we are all deeply responsible for the well-being not merely of our own relatives and friends, not merely of other members of our community or other citizens of the nation which we happen to belong, but of every human being anywhere in the world. We must place traditional nations of loyalty in an entirely new perspective. We must examine traditional values in terms of their benefit, not only for us individually and for our countries, but for the world as a whole.
To do all this, will require immense personal effort from every one of us.
You can begin the exciting task of building a new world in the awareness that yours is a unique generation.. Never before have so many young people from all over the world, across all boundaries of establishment and tradition, felt themselves so intensely linked to each other in common hopes, ideals and worries as you do today. Born since the foundings of the United Nations twenty-five years ago, you are the world's first truly global generation. It is natural for you to think and act in terms of what binds humanity rather than what divides it.
Do not lose this unique and precious gift, make it the foundation of a new world community. There is no alternative.
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