Part II — Kind words from world leaders

Abdelaziz Bouteflika

The past and the present can be united. The past can offer its wisdom-light to the present so the present can be a source of pride, light and delight to the future. It happens that sometimes it is necessary to break asunder the past in order to have a clear and illumining vision of the years to come. But U Thant had the unusual inner strength to do what was nearly impossible and unite the past, the present and the future.

Abdelaziz Bouteflika, President of the UN General Assembly in 1974, has brought to the world’s attention something unique with regard to U Thant’s unusual capacity and unprecedented achievement: “Who was better qualified than U Thant to preside over such a transformation without breaking with the past while keeping a clear vision of the future, without frustrating the great powers or driving the small ones to despair? The metamorphosis through which our Organization went at that time resulted from a gradual evolution the scope or depth of which, since it took place smoothly, was often unguessed at.”