Magazine article UN Chronicle

On the Eve of the Millennium

Magazine article UN Chronicle

On the Eve of the Millennium

Article excerpt

A New Chapter in Human History

"The birth today of the six billionth person on the planet -- a beautiful boy -- in a city returning to life, to a people rebuilding their homes, in a region restoring a culture of coexistence after a decade of war--should light a path of tolerance and understanding for all peoples."

Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed these thoughts as he greeted the eight-pound newborn designated "Baby 6 Billion". Adnan Mevic was born one minute after midnight on 12 October 1999 at Sarajevo's Kosevo Hospital to Fatima and Jasminko Mevic. Twelve days later, on 24 October, Mr. Annan spoke of the opening of "a new chapter in human history", in a statement on the occasion of United Nations Day.

MESSAGE ON UNITED NATIONS DAY

24 October 1999

My dear friends,

This year's United Nations Day is a special one. The world's population has just passed six billion, and we are about to enter a new millennium.

In one sense, both these things are simply numbers. Yet both give us something to celebrate, and something to think about. Together, they mark the opening of a new chapter in human history -- a chapter in which, more than ever before, we shall all share the same destiny.

It is a moment to take stock: to look back on what we have achieved, and where we have failed -- and then to look forward, and think how we can make the new era better than the old.

It is shocking to think that half of us -- three billion out of the six billion -- are entering the new era in abject poverty, with three dollars a day, or less, to live on. …

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