Global perspective Human stories

In Barcelona, Nane Annan commends Rotary International for humanitarian works

In Barcelona, Nane Annan commends Rotary International for humanitarian works

Nane Annan
Nane Annan, the wife of the United Nations Secretary-General, today paid tribute to Rotary International for its "outstanding volunteer efforts in the service of humanity," in an address to the organization's annual convention in Barcelona.

Speaking to thousands of Rotarians from around the world, Mrs. Annan praised the "daunting yet wondrous task" that Rotary began in 1985 towards the global eradication of polio within two decades, and urged the organization to continue this noble quest.

Rotary's anti-polio drive is being carried out in cooperation with the UN World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, and concerned governments.

Mrs. Annan also hailed Rotary's "impressive" youth outreach efforts, including student exchange programmes and the organization's scholarship for International Studies in Peace and Conflict Resolutions, which was launched in April.

The work of Rotary, she said, closely reflected the UN's ideals, including the priorities set by the recent General Assembly Special Session on Children. She also urged partnerships towards reaching the goals set by the Secretary-General for the upcoming World Summit for Sustainable Development. He has identified those aims with the acronym WEHAB: W for water, E for energy, H for health, A for agriculture and B for biodiversity.

After her address, Rotary Foundation Chairman, Luis Vicent Giay, presented Mrs. Annan with the Rotary Humanitarian Service Award for "outstanding leadership in humanitarian service to mankind." Some 17,000 Rotarian from 147 countries attended the convention. Later, she met with the Mayor of Barcelona, Joan Clos.