"It is a great pleasure for me to join so many children from all over the world to celebrate water as a symbol of life."

The Secretary General Mr. Kofi A. Annan contributed water to the Our Uniting Water Ceremony in Stockholm 1998.

Mr. Kofi A.Annan was the first adult to contribute with water to the ceremony. The only other contribution from adults has been from astronauts and cosmonauts who brought water from space.

The Secretary-General



Stockholm, 23-24 October 1998

A global outlook is indispensable today. The issues that confront us on the eve of the 21st century – be it the environment, drugs, pandemics, or sustainable development - are issues that cut across all frontiers. This is the message of the United Nations is trying to send to the world. Yet too many people are still thinking in local terms, constrained by national boundaries.

By coming together in this Globetree project, you are showing that you can transcend such narrow confines and think in much broader terms. For that, you deserve all our support.

The challenges of our age are problems without passports; to address them we need blueprints without borders. Young people will be responsible for those blueprints in the next century.

You who are building this Future Vessel project have already started to think about how to shoulder that responsibility. You have already shown that rather than waiting for the future, young people have an important task in working with Governments and other civil society actors in addressing the challenges of today’s world.

Young people, who have the skills to master the technology of the future and the energy to tackle the challenges of tomorrow, are the spearhead of the new civil society we see emerging worldwide. As we in the United Nations expand and enhance our partnership with civil society everywhere, young people’s voices will be heard. I promise you that.

An ancient saying tells us that the sense of a vessel lies not in its shell, but in the space it holds. It is for all of us to bring to it the content that gives us purpose and meaning. And so, on behalf of the United Nations, it gives me great pleasure to extend my best wishes to those building the Future Vessel, and to all who will sail in it in future. May you bring to it all your energy, creativity and imagination.

                                                Kofi A. Annan