Annan says the world needs the vision of John Wallach, founder of Seeds of Peace

Annan says the world needs the vision of John Wallach, founder of Seeds of Peace

United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan today described John Wallach, the late founder of the Seeds of Peace, as a visionary whose work had an enduring relevance and remains needed in the world today.

Speaking at a memorial service, the Secretary General said Mr. Wallach was one of the few who did not stop at merely dreaming of world peace, but actually devoted his life and heart to make that dream come true. He recalled that Mr. Wallach had described his idea as "a detox programme for the hatreds that often lead to violence and terror."

Mr. Annan said that although the project began as an initiative which allowed Israeli, Palestinian and Egyptian youths to meet and learn to appreciate one another, it had also brought together Bosnians and Serbs; Indians and Pakistanis, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots and many others.

"Death took John at a time when peace seems painfully elusive in many parts of the world - including the Middle East, where he first began planting his seeds of peace," Mr Annan said.

"It is precisely because John had the courage to keep going - and because he knew that peace must begin with young people who represent the future itself - that his example is so important," the Secretary General added.