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We the Peoples: The Role of the United Nations in the 21st Century

Date: 2000
The world did celebrate as the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve, in one time zone after another, from Kiribati and Fiji westward around the globe to Samoa. People of all cultures joined in—not only those for whom the millennium might be thought to have a special significance. The Great Wall of China and the Pyramids of Giza were lit as brightly as Manger Square in Bethlehem and St. Peter’s Square in Rome. Tokyo, Jakarta and New Delhi joined Sydney, Moscow, Paris, New York, Rio de Janeiro and hundreds of other cities in hosting millennial festivities. Children’s faces reflected the candlelight from Spitsbergen in Norway to Robben Island in South Africa.For 24 hours the human family celebrated its unity through an unprecedented display of its rich diversity. The Millennium Summit affords an opportunity for reflection. The General Assembly convened this gathering of Heads of State and Government to address the role of the United Nations in the twenty-first century. Both the occasion and the subject require us to step back from today’s headlines and take a broader, longer-term view—of the state of the world and the challenges it poses for this Organization.

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