World War II anniversary "powerful reminder" of need to protect UN principles

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Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (right) meets with President Bronislaw Komorowski (centre) of Poland and President Petro Poroshenko of Ukraine, in Gdansk. UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The anniversary of the end of the Second World War is a "powerful reminder" of the need to protect the principles of the United Nations according to the UN Secretary-General.

Ban Ki-moon was speaking at a commemoration in Gdansk, Poland, marking 70 years since the war came to an end.

Cathrine Hasselberg reports.

The UN Secretary-General described the years of World War II as a "time of unspeakable atrocities, of lost faith and lost humanity."

He said the various commemorations taking place throughout Europe and beyond is a reminder of what he called "the tremendous shared sacrifice and the huge price of victory over fascism."

The United Nations was established 70 years ago in 1945 just after hostilities came to an end, and was founded Mr Ban said "on the ashes" of the "calamitous war that claimed the lives of millions of fellow human beings."

"Therefore this 2nd world war has brought us very important mechanisms, legal and political institutions, and people resolved that we should not repeat again such kind of a horror. But unfortunately when the charter reaffirmed that we will save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, still we are seeing the conflicts and killing of people here and there"

He urged the international community to respect the principles on which the UN was established; namely non-aggression, the peaceful settlement of disputes and respect for human rights. 

He encouraged Poland and the countries in the region to share experiences and lessons learned from their successful post-World War II recovery.

Cathrine Hasselberg, United Nations

Duration: 1’21″

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