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3rd Worldwide UN Vigil, October 23rd

Just a few days before UN Day, hope has faded even further for the
possibility of receiving even a portion of the US $1.5 billion owed to
the United Nations by the United States.  Now, more than ever, it is
important for supporters of the United Nations to show that they care
about the future of the organization and its work.

President Clinton vetoed legislation that would have paid US $1 billion
of the payments owing to the United Nations by the United States.  The
reason for the veto was a Republican amendment to the legislation that
would bar using U.S. funds to support international family planning
organizations that seek changes in their countries' abortion policies.

In the wake of this terrible turn of events, we hope that you will join
us tomorrow (Friday) night at 7:30 pm for the Third Worldwide Vigil for
the United Nations.  Please gather at the InfoCentre on the corner of
Wellington and Metcalfe (in Ottawa).

Here for your information are the Secretary-General's remarks:

UNITED NATIONS                          NATIONS UNIES

The Secretary-General
New York, 23 October 1998
(Delivered by Mrs. Gillian Sorensen, Assistant Secretary-General for
External Relations)

My dear friends,

Last week, as you know, we suffered a disappointment.  Despite the
extensive programme of reform that we have undertaken, and despite many
promises made to us, the US Congress and Administration failed to
honour America's legal commitment and moral obligation to the United
Nations and its 184 other Member States by paying even a portion of its
long-standing arrears.

Discouraged though I am by this outcome, I do not for one moment regard
it as the last word on relations between the United Nations and the
United States.  I am well aware that, out beyond the Washington
Beltway, millions of Americans firmly support the goals and values of
the United Nations, and want to see their country play its proper role
in the Organization it did so much to found.

Your presence here tonight symbolizes that deep well of US public
support on which we continue to draw.  I am deeply grateful, and only
regret that, because of official commitments in the Republic of Korea,
I cannot be with you in person.

By your candlelight vigil you keep faith with the spirit of Eleanor
Roosevelt, a great American and one of the authors of the Universal
Declaration on Human Rights whose anniversary we celebrate this year. 
It was of her that Adlai Stevenson wrote: "she would rather light a
candle than curse the darkness, and her glow has warmed the world."

Al Banner                                 banner@freenet.carleton.ca
United Nations Association in Canada, National Capital Region Branch
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