United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan chooses the Truman Library in Independence as the back-drop for his farewell address, telling the audience in Independence that if Franklin Delano Roosevelt was the architect of the UN, Harry S Truman was the master builder of what he calls the “indispensable common house” of the world. Annan outlines five principles upon which nations must relate to each other: that the security of one nation is linked with the security of all, that each nation is responsible for the welfare of each other nation, that the rule of law must prevail, that governments must be held accountable and that nations must be willing to work together. Annan says the UN must go beyond promoting nice sounding words, quoting Truman as saying, “If we should pay mere lip service to inspiring ideals and later do violence to simple justice, we would draw down upon us the bitter wrath of generations yet unborn.” Annan says human rights and the rule of law are vital to global security and prosperity and adds that when the United States appears to abandon its own ideals and objectives; its friends abroad are naturally troubled and confused. Annan quotes Truman liberally in the speech, noting that Truman brought the problem of North Korea before the UN in 1950. Annan says the Security Council make-up should change, noting that it still reflects the reality of 1945. Annan dismisses suggestions that his farewell address was critical of the United States, adding that to appeal for cooperation and leadership should never be seen as an attack.
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