New York, 14 December 2005 - "The 60th anniversary of the UN and our fifty-year membership of this world peace community embody the hope of the people for peace and prosperity in the world," said Hans Winkler, State Secretary at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, at the official ceremony marking the 50th anniversary of Austria’s membership of the UN.
In his speech at the UN Headquarters in New York, Winkler stressed the importance of the United Nations and Austria’s contribution to the creation and maintenance of peace and security in the world. "During the 50 years of its membership, Austria has endeavoured to make an active contribution to the objectives of the United Nations." In addition to major contributions to the development of international law, the State Secretary paid tribute to Austria’s commitment to numerous international peace missions, in the field of human rights and humanitarian aid. The role assumed by Austria in the United Nations was underlined by the presence of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan at the Austrian ceremony.
The values and principles embodied by the UN have to be implemented and put into practice on a global scale. "In doing so, the UN assumes an essential role as a forum for dialogue and rapprochement," emphasised Winkler, who also referred to the reform process of the United Nations and the need to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. "In order to tackle current challenges and avoid further conflict we need an organisation that works at the achievement of fundamental goals such as peace and security in a credible and consistent manner," said Winkler.
"I take pride in the fact that over the years Vienna, which is one of the three official seats of the United Nations, has become an extremely important centre of security and dialogue," stressed the State Secretary. Winkler took the opportunity to thank UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan for his personal commitment and continued efforts to promote and implement UN reforms.