Press releases

Friday 12 Oct 2001

Klaus Toepfer: The Peace Prize Inspires Us

Nairobi, 12 October 2001 - A redoubling of efforts to fight poverty and environmental degradation has been pledged by the head of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

His pledge comes in the wake of the news that Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations (UN) and the family of organizations which he leads, have won the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize.

Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director of UNEP, writing to congratulate Mr Annan, said: "We, in the UN family, are extremely proud to serve you in this great and vital organization".

He added that the Secretary General's vision, dedication and personal commitment to decrease tension and conflict had served as a beacon not only for UN staff but for the peoples of the world as a whole.

"There has been more than one lesson learned from you and your openness for integrating civil society and governments in seeking dialogue and solutions to the challenges facing the world. Your leadership has illuminated the difficult path we are travelling on the road to a better world, "said Mr Toepfer, an Under-Secretary General at the UN.

He said the awarding of the prize was a clear signal that the UN has achieved important results in the search for peace. It also signalled confidence in the organization's ability to deliver peaceful solutions to the planet's many difficulties and conflicts in the future.

Mr Toepfer added: "This award will spur myself and UN staff world-wide to even greater efforts to protect our beautiful blue planet, to fight poverty and release millions from misery. We must work towards a stable environment, in a society based on cooperation and the rule of law, where each one respects the spiritual and cultural values of the other".

He said once these goals are achieved, once social equity is delivered globally, humankind will have the essential "preconditions for peace and solidarity".

For more information please contact: Tore J Brevik, Spokesman/Director, Division of Communications and Public Information UNEP, on Tel: 254 2 623292, E-mail: tore.brevik@unep.org or Nick Nuttall, Head of Media Services UNEP, on Tel: 254 2 623084, Mobile: 254 (0) 733 632755, E-mail nick.nuttall@unep.org

Friday 12 Oct 2001
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