Ban commemorates 70th anniversary of end of Second World War
7 May 2015

 United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in Poland today at an event commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe, recalled the “tremendous” shared sacrifice and the huge price of victory over fascism, paid by the millions of lost lives.

“The terrible long years of World War II were a time of unspeakable atrocities, of lost faith and lost humanity,” said Mr. Ban at the ceremony held in the coastal city of Gdansk, where also had meetings with Heads of State including the Presidents of Poland and Ukraine.

“The war took a heavy toll on many countries, including all those represented here, and particularly on their youth,” he added, commending the “collective effort” and bravery that led to victory over evil and the “ultimate triumph” of ideas over tyranny.

In 1945, the United Nations was founded “on the ashes of this calamitous war.” Out of the war emerged a common resolve by the international community to come together and create an organization to foster international peace and security.

“The war shaped our mission and its lessons guide our work,” Mr. Ban emphasized, adding that the key principles of the UN Charter and all modern principles of international law were formulated as direct responses to the war. This includes principles of non-aggression, the peaceful settlement of disputes and respect for human rights.

Today’s commemoration comes at an especially crucial time for Europe as the continent faces a number of challenges that require cooperation, including in dealing with the tragic and destructive conflict in Ukraine and a number of protracted conflicts plaguing the region, Mr. Ban said.

UN Partner Agencies