Annan Calls on World Leaders to Work Together for Success

U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan Tuesday called upon leaders of the 189 member states to take action to carry out their pledges at the Millennium Summit, which was the largest gathering of world leaders in the history of the world body.

Annan made the appeal in his message to mark the United Nations Day, which falls on October 24 annually.

More than 150 heads of state or government gathered at the U.N. headquarters in New York in September for the Millennium Summit. They came together to consider the challenges the world body faces in the new century, and set out their aims in the Millennium Declaration adopted at the end of the summit.

"They pledged themselves to free their peoples -- from the scourge of war, from abject and dehumanizing poverty, and from the threat of living on a polluted planet with few natural resources left," Annan said.

They undertook to promote democracy and the rule of law, to protect children and other vulnerable people, and to meet the special needs of Africa, he said. "They promised to make the United Nations itself more effective, as an instrument for pursuing all those aims."

"These pledges give us cause for hope," he said. "But they will change nothing if they are not followed by action."

"Even after the Millennium Summit, renewed bloodshed in the Middle East has reminded us all how dangerous it is to leave political and social grievances unresolved," he said.

The United Nations has been working hard to develop detailed plans to help world leaders carry out their commitments, Annan said. "But the biggest responsibility falls on the leaders themselves -- and on you, the peoples" of the United Nations.

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