1991 Thanksgiving Programme and Reception – “Moments of Peace,” Nov 26

Filed under Thanksgiving - Gratitude | Thoughts from the UN community.

A programme and reception for Thanksgiving, entitled “Moments of Peace,” honoured members of the United Nations community on 26 November 1991 at Buchman Hall in Manhattan.

Several delegates addressed the gathering, including H.E. Dr. Stanley Kalpage, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations, and H.E. Prof. Perezi Karukubiro Kamunanwire, Permanent Representative of Uganda to the United Nations,  (Link to brief excerpt of remarks from the meeting –  Meditation at UN  – 1992  02 – Apr, May, Jun Bulletin ( see page 45 – 47)


Welcome to this evening’s programme, “Moments of Peace, ” honouring the Ambassadors to the 46th General Assembly for their tireless labours on behalf of the world community. Ambassadors have been invited to share with us brief statements describing their personal vision of the United Nations. These tributes will be published in a volume commemorating their joint ideals for the UN.

The programme will begin with a song of welcome followed by songs dedicated to peace, to the UN and to the individual nations that we are honouring tonight.

The General Assembly signifies interdependence. It represents a song of the community of nations, a song of group-souls. “

“Each mission is like a river flowing into the ocean, the United Nations, and entering with hope, with eagerness and with a willingness to become part and parcel of that ocean. “

Sponsored by Sri Chinmoy: The Peace Meditation at the United Nations.

H.E. Prof. Perezi Karukubiro Kamunanwire, Permanent Representative of Uganda to the United Nations:

Where I come from, we greet each other with the word ‘Salaam’. I am sure most of you know this word, which means ‘peace’.

I am personally thankful to the convenor of these moments of peace tonight. We need this. We’ have been in a very long session, and we are still continuing.

One chapter of our life has now been completed. It has taken us about a year of struggle to elect an African Secretary- General. It wasn’t easy; it wasn’t popular; but the goodwill of many nations convinced others. As we know, Secretaries-General have come from all over the world 45 except our continent. It gives me pleasure, on this eve of a momentous day in American history, Thanksgiving, to know that tomorrow the new Secretary-General will be arriving to start his new job.

Since the two races met, the native Americans and the Europeans, the world has never been the same. We can also add that the world as a whole is now a lot better than it was before those two groups met. Countries which we did not even know existed can now be reached in a matter of hours. As some people have said, “What used to be my world is now my village. ”

So we have all grown into one nation. Peace is needed all over the world, and we should work and pray for peace. Our own continent has not seen peace since 1442. There has been war in Africa for over 500 years, every single day. We pray for that continent and we hope that peace is coming. We have to be patient. We have to pray very hard that there will be peace. Thank you very much.


H.E. Dr. Stanley Kalpage, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations:

I wish to thank Sri Chinmoy and the organisers of the events of this evening. The United Nations is an institution in which Sri Lanka has great trust and faith. We subscribe to all the principles and purposes of the Charter. For small countries like Sri Lanka, 46 what other refuge have we other than the United Nations? We rely on the United Nations for our security. We have no armies worth mentioning, no navy, no air force. It is only because of the mechanisms instituted by the United Nations that we are safe and secure.

It is because of the existence of the United Nations that the world has been spared another world war. If the United Nations had not existed, there would have been no end to the Cold War. The very fact that year after year representatives from the Soviet Union and the East European countries were able to come here to the United Nations and speak face to face with representatives from the United States and the Western democracies has helped to bring the two groups together.

It is my hope that all the other countries and groups should also get together. I am Chairman, as Representative of Sri Lanka, of a committee of the General Assembly which goes every year to the Middle East to examine the human rights situation in the occupied territories. We are having that debate in the Special Political Committee now, and I was very pleasantly surprised when the distinguished representative of Israel spoke in moderate terms. There was not the same acrimony that existed in the past. They are also conscious of the fact that a peace process has begun and I think they are willing to give that peace process a chance to bear fruit. In the present instance it is the United States and the USSR that have taken the initiative, but I think this is a result of a dialogue that has taken place among the nations of the world for the last 46 years.

I wish to thank you for having given me this opportunity to speak to you. As Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka, my heart and soul is in the work of the United Nations. I also wish to thank Sri Chinmoy for having come to our country two years ago. I know that President Premadasa holds Sri Chinmoy in the highest regard. I would like to wish Sri Chinmoy and the Peace Meditation at the United Nations continued success in the future. Thank you.


  • page 45-47  from Meditation at UN  – 1992  02 – Apr, May, Jun Bulletin PDF Format

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