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UN must lead way, says queen

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UN must lead way, says queen

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UNITED NATIONS – Queen Elizabeth II challenged the United Nations today to spearhead the international response to global dangers and promote prosperity and dignity for all the world’s inhabitants.“In my lifetime, the United Nations has moved from being a high-minded aspiration to being a real force for common good,” the 84-year-old British monarch told diplomats from the 192 UN member states.“That of itself has been a signal achievement. But we are not here to reminisce. In tomorrow’s world, we must all work together as hard as ever if we are truly to be United Nations.” Speaking as queen of 16 UN member states and head of the Commonwealth of 54 countries with a population of nearly two billion people, Elizabeth recalled the dramatic changes in the world since she last visited the United Nations in 1957, especially in science, technology and social attitudes.But she also praised the UN’s aims and values which have endured – promoting peace, security and justice, fighting hunger, poverty and disease and protecting the rights and liberties of every citizen.“For over six decades the United Nations has helped to shape the international response to global dangers,” the queen said. “The challenge now is to continue to show this clear … leadership while not losing sight of your ongoing work to secure the security, prosperity and dignity of our fellow human beings.” Elizabeth and her husband, Prince Philip, flew to New York from Canada for a five-hour visit that will also include stops at the ground zero site where the twin World Trade Centre towers were destroyed in terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.Dressed in a two-piece white, blue and beige print dress, the queen was greeted on her arrival by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and General Assembly President Ali Abdessalam Treki and their wives. (AP)