Aye Aye Thant’s UN Day Message

Aye Aye Thant was a longtime Westporter, and the daughter of U Thant — the 3rd secretary-general of the United Nations (1961-71). 

In 2011 Aye Aye Thant spoke at Westport’s UN Day ceremony.

Today is UN Day. In honor of the organization’s founding 78 years ago, she writes:

On October 24, as we celebrate the birth of the UN “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war,” I reflect on my father’s ideals and his belief in the role of the UN as a means towards lasting peace.

He stated:

“The principle of non-violence is also a basic concept of the UN Charter. One of the most fundamental principles to which member states have committed themselves is to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force.

“History teaches us that no durable solution can be found for any human problem except by persuasion and by common consent. The use of violence is double-edged, as violence is bound by the doctrine of reciprocal action, to provoke violence in turn. Before long, we find that the rule of law has given place to the rule of the jungle.

We have therefore to go back to first principles and to observe the Charter commitment regarding the non-use of violence or the threat of violence in international relations. In modern war there is no such thing as victor and vanquished. There is only a loser, and the loser is mankind.”

It has been  a  source of great hope to witness convoys of trucks carrying the UN flag bringing in urgently needed food, water, and medicine to those in a desperate situation in Gaza.

This mobilization — which engages the entire UN system for a humanitarian effort — embodies human solidarity which, my father said, reflects the fundamental  moral values of the United Nations.

Happy United Nations Day!


U Thant


8 responses to “Aye Aye Thant’s UN Day Message

  1. I didn’t realize U Thant’s daughter lived in Westport. I remember him well. He criticized the Vietnam War, as he should have, and was Secretary General during the Cuban Missile crisis in 1962 when we were all petrified as kids. Happy UN Day to everyone. The UN has a difficult job in these difficult times.

    • Jack she did until early this year, when I helped her sell home. It was a honor to work with her- she was an exceptional person.

  2. Larry Weisman’s letter published by the Westport Journal should be given a read. Relevant to this post https://westportjournal.com/community/letter-library-postponement-of-un-talk-by-kuwait-official-really-censorship/

  3. Until Hamas steals the humanitarian aid and redistributes it to their leaders hiding in tunnels while the Palestinian people are used as human shields

  4. Thank you Jack. The library still has not explained its decision to cancel the speech by the permanent representative of Kuwait to the UN. entitled, “Identifying opportunities for creative diplomacy to solve global challenges. A view from the Arabian Gulf”.
    That may be because it cannot be justified except as an act of intolerance and censorship.
    Perhaps the library needs to change language on its web site to read, “Enriching the intellectual and creative lives of the community. A vibrant hub to seek information, gain knowledge, exchange ideas and share experiences “…except those that the Director and his board deem inappropriate.

  5. Thank you Aye Aye for continuing your family tradition to lead the world in a positive direction. Thank you for your efforts to help Miggs & myself get to exhibit “Signs of Compassion” now in the lobby of the U.N. appropriately till Thanksgiving.

  6. None of the reasons stated by the library should result in the cancellation of the speaking engagement of Ambassador Tareq M.A.M. Albanai of Kuwait. If the library is to be the very expensive forum that it is set up to be, then all who wish to attend such a presentation should be allowed to challenge the speakers. This is the purpose of an open forum. The idea that “concerned” donors should be a governing voice in deciding who speaks to the Westport community is offensive and does border on censorship. The fact the we live in volatile times is all the more reason to have this discussion with the ambassador in a civil manner. Does the fact that Kuwait does not recognize Israel suggest that no one should be able to hear and question him and put him on the spot? And … protests at universities? Certainly that is part of what universities and freedom of speech are for—not cancelling every speaker who “donors” don’t agree with or like.

  7. Ms Thant,
    I appreciate your father’s quote about peace and humanity. If only evil terrorists didn’t exist. In fact, the only way forward for humanity is to eliminate this evil.
    How troubling is it that the organization bearing the UN flag bringing in supplies to Gaza is actually part of the problem. I’m not talking about the past and present peace loving members of the UN like your father. I’m talking about UNRWA, a UN agency tasked with providing support for Palestinian refugees in Gaza. They are in charge of schools and education. It’s quite unfortunate that the text books these innocent children learn from, teach them all about hate and violence, and specifically against the Jews. So, through this teaching of hate, these young minds grow up learning all about violence against the Jews. I wonder how many Hamas terrorists found their savagery from these UN books. So when I see the UN flags on trucks, I hope for the day when UNRWA and similar antisemitic agencies, change their ways and actually work towards peace and humanity for all.

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