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50th anniversary of Bulgaria's UN membership

Date: 24.12.2005

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has sent this message on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of Bulgaria's membership and the sixtieth anniversary of the United Nations. Bulgaria joined the UN on December 14, 1955.

I am delighted to send warm greetings to you all on this double anniversary. Throughout its half century of United Nations membership, Bulgaria has been a constructive and engaged Member State. It continues to be so to this day.

As we also celebrate sixty years of our United Nations, we must recognize that the world today is very different from that of our founders. Our mission is still to serve the cause of peace, advance development, and defend the dignity of every human being. But to achieve that mission in the 21st century, the UN must adapt to new realities, and be equipped to deal with new challenges.

This is so, whether we are fighting poverty, disease and environmental degradation, or working to strengthen democracy; whether we are advancing human rights and the rule of law, or combating terrorism; whether we are building peace, or making the United Nations more effective and more accountable to the peoples it exists to serve.

At the 2005 World Summit in September, world leaders agreed that development, security and human rights are not only vitally important in their own right; they reinforce indeed, depend on each other. And on one crucial issue, the Summit achieved a historic breakthrough: all Member States expressed their will to act collectively, through the Security Council, when a population is threatened with genocide, ethnic cleansing, or crimes against humanity.

This gives us a foundation for progress in the future. My colleagues and I will do our utmost to help Governments succeed in the next stage: translating the decisions into reality. And where they failed to agree, we will keep looking with them for common ground.

A great deal of work lies ahead of us. If we succeed, we will improve the opportunities for all human beings to build better lives. And we will move closer to fulfilling the dream of our founders the dream of a just and peaceful global community. As we move forward in that shared endeavour, I know Bulgaria will do its part. So this joint anniversary is truly a reason to celebrate. Here's to 60 years of the United Nations, 50 years of Bulgarian membership, and many more years together.

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