Citizens of nation states must be world citizens in era of globalization - Annan

12 September With the forces of globalization on the rise and the interdependence of the world's peoples growing, citizens of the nation states must also act as global citizens with a major role accruing to the United Nations in the effort to reach truly multilateral decisions, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said today.

"The challenge for us is to manage our interdependence in ways that bring people in rather than shutting them out," Mr. Annan told a ceremony marking the First Annual Interdependence Day held in Philadelphia, site of the United States Declaration of Independence in 1776.

"Citizens need to think and act globally so as to influence global decisions. And that means that the United Nations, in order to play its part, must live up to the first words of its Charter, 'We The Peoples'," he said in a message delivered on his behalf by the UN Director of Communications, Edward Mortimer.

The event brought together public, civic and corporate leaders, distinguished academics and diplomats, and interested citizens and students, to reflect together on the world's interdependent reality.

"In the era of independence, peoples have achieved and practiced self-government within the framework of nation states," Mr. Annan said. "That framework is still very important, and will remain so even in the new era of interdependence. But the more interdependent we become, the more decisions have to be taken, not by one nation state alone, but by many acting together."