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Welcome to DagHammarskjold

Speech in the General Assembly Welcoming Dag Hammarskjold as Secretary-General of the United Nations, April 10, 1953.

I am sure that I do not have to remind the General Assembly that, as ringside spectators from many distant parts of the world, we have today, witnessed a major event in modern history. We have seen seven long and': distant years come to a close, years during which Mr. Trygve Lie was one of the major pioneering architects of this Organization. They were difficult years, and he was faced with many problems which were undreamt of when the Charter was signed. I am certain that, as time goes on and this Organization becomes stronger and stronger, his work will be remembered with greater and greater warmth. Certainly my country is happy to take this opportunity of again paying its tribute to him.

We have also seen the installation of his illustrious successor. By a happy accident, it was during the month my delegation was presiding over the Security Council that this Organization, under the name of my delegation, sent the first warm invitation to Mr. Dag Hammarskjold, and received in reply his modest response, fraught with, and weighed down by the tremendous sense of responsibility which we are sure he feels.

Mr. Hammarskjold comes to this Organization at a time which may be described, as the period of dilemmas. He comes at a time when the engines of destruction and the instruments of killing, on the one hand, are more deadly than the world has ever known before, and, on the other hand, when there is a strong growing feeling and anguish for peace. He also comes at a time when the world has become more fully aware than ever in its history of the terrible economic disequilibrium that exists in the world and is striving very hard and very anxiously, first of all, to study the possible evil effects of that disequilibrium and, secondly, to apply appropriate remedies and solutions.

Mr. Hammarskjold knows very well that the hope of the world in this Organization is growing every day. He also, I am sure, knows that those who have pinned their hopes perhaps most of all to this Organization are those who are not articulate in its halls today, and that millions of people in the world have not yet found a voice within this Organization, and yet they are the ones who hope this Organization will prove their salvation.

I am perfectly sure that he is fully sensible of the tremendous task that lies before this Organization, but, to compensate for all that may I remind him that the desire of the world for the strengthening, the development, and the betterment of this Organization was never greater. Millions of people hope that in the times to come within these walls we shall see peaceful revolutions taking place under the vigilance of the world. They hope that new formulae of friendship and amity will be evolved between stronger and weaker peoples.

I mention these things, not to depress him or ourselves. Indeed, the choice of the world has fallen upon him because we know he will not be depressed by these problems. The choice of the world has fallen upon him because we know that these problems only quicken his eagnestness and zeal in the task. Every illustrious man, who comes to occupy an exalted office raises expectations in the world, and so does the appointment of Mr. Hammarskjold. Expectations, I assure him, have been raised allover the world, together with the supreme confidence that, at this point in history, the world could hardly have made a better choice for the leadership that the United Nations requires.

On behalf of my country, I wish him the greatest success in the leadership which lies ahead of him for promoting world peace, world welfare, world culture, and world equality. We wish him the best success in his task.