The United Nations was created shortly after the end of the 2nd world war, and in the beginning it was a relatively weak and non-influential entity. One of the key figures, perhaps *the* key figure, in making it into the kind of organisation that it is today is the former Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld. He is, I am proud to say, Swedish, and is one of the most important Swedish politicians to date. In the above speech, he had been at his post for some time, and was starting to show some results. For this reason, president Khrushchev from the Soviet Union was pushing him to resign, and shortly before this address he had just given an agitated speech to this end. However, mr Hammarskjöld responded that it was not the big and powerful who could dictate that, and as you see in the video, he got an enormous response from the rest of the congretation.
Even though many people would say that the UN is far too unimportant and uninfluential an organ - and would be right in saying so - it is still one of the most important organs we have, to balance international affairs, and to help us mature as a global community. The UN is therefore both the playing ground for the power hungry elite leaders and for the truly influential agents of change in our world. In other words, here you find the kind of people who are here as world catalysts, here you find the kind of people who can give speeches that changes the hearts of millions of people. Here you can find not only bureacracy and frustration - but inspiration and role models. In 1992, one such inspiring speech was given, by a little girl
This is one of my favourite speeches, and it was given at the UN earth summit in Rio. I have listened to this speech many times, and I am therefore happy to note that another speech by a new girl just has been delivered, just a few days ago.
This speech is a little bit longer, and in my view a little bit more uneven in quality (condensed version of video, transcript) but the peaks of the speech certainly reaches the hights of any other of my favourites. And their are some wonderful quotes. What about the following?
"They thought that the bullets would silence us, but they failed. And out of that [attempted] silence came thousands of voices. The terrorists thought they would change my aims and stop my ambitions. But nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born."
"Dear sisters and brothers, we realize the importance of light when we see darkness. We realize the importance of our voice when we are silenced. In the same way, when we were in Swat, the north of Pakistan, we realized the importance of pens and books when we saw the guns."
Also, don't miss that the you see Jan Eliasson glimpse by a few times. He is also Swedish, and is the vice Secretary General.