U Thant: Divinity’s Smile and Humanity’s Cry – Programme of music and speech 21 Jan 1977

Filed under Significant events & meetings | Tributes and Expressions of appreciation

A programme of music and speech in tribute to the late Secretary-General U Thant took place 21 January in the ECOSOC Chamber, the day before what would have been his 68th birthday.

U Thant’s daughter, Mrs. Aye Aye Myint-U, and her family were present as Ambassador Rossides of Cyprus, Ambassador Vinci of Italy and Director and Deputy Under-Secretary-General for Inter Agency Affairs Dr. Robert Muller spoke movingly about the ex-Secretary- General . Sri Chinmoy,  leader of the Meditation Group, presented Dr. and Mrs. Myint-U with copies of his newly published book, U Thant : Divinity’s Smile and Humanity’s Cry, which contains comments and essays about U Thant by United Nations and other international figures.

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H. E. Mr. Zen on Rossides. Permanent Representative of Cyprus: U Thant is a luminous ideal that moved among us as a human figure. His thoughts and actions had a transcendental quality . Because he was eminently a man of the spirit in the integrity of his mind, he transcended the adversities and limitations of the intellect. Through his intrinsic dedication to the universality of man and his inspired leadership, he saved the United Nations and the world at the most
critical junctures.

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H. E. Mr. Piero Vinci, Permanent Representative of Italy : I think th e best way we can pay tribute to U Thant is by keeping alive his highly spiritual message. For me , the message is one that called for a radical change in our political thinking as well as in our moral approach to life and to the problems that we all face today.

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Dr. Robert Muller : I intended to speak about U Thant’s influence on my persona l life, but when I saw the beautiful title of this ceremony, which is also th e title of Sri Chinmoy’s new book, U Thant : Divinity ‘s Smile and Humanity ‘s Cry, I felt that I should direct my thoughts to this theme.
U Thant was a great man because he was able to distill from the immense complexity of the surrounding world and from his observation of life, a few basic, deeply felt principles. These were always the same : that every human being had physical, mental, moral and spiritual qualities and needs. He established a hierarchy among these, as if the whole evolution of mankind was directed to the achievement of the highest level, namely the spiritual level. This inspired his entire work.

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Sri Chinmoy thanks Dr. and Mrs . Myint-U for their gift to him of a colour photograph of U Thant.

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