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Speech by Postmaster General at the "International Day of Peace" Special Stamps Issuing Ceremony
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    Following is the speech by the Postmaster General, Mr Tam Wing-pong, at the "International Day of Peace" Special Stamps Issuing Ceremony today (September 21):

The Honourable Commissioner Lu, distinguished guests and philatelic enthusiasts,

     Good morning and welcome to the issuing ceremony of "International Day of Peace" special stamps. We are especially glad and honoured to have Mr Lu Xinhua, the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), as our officiating guest on this early autumn morning.

     International Day of Peace, a very special day for all of us to think about the importance of global peace to mankind, falls on September 21, but it does not get as much attention as it should. Beginning in 2002, the United Nations (UN) decided that the International Day of Peace should be observed on the same day every year. To help make a difference, we are issuing a set of special stamps today to express our support for the UN's call for peace.
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     The set of five stamps draws on nature to visualise "a world of peace and justice enjoyed by all who share our beautiful planet". Bauhinia, the floral emblem of Hong Kong, denotes "love"; the origami crane symbolises "peace"; the lucky four-leaf clover brings "hope"; the thriving foliage suggests "caring" and the smiling earth stands for "harmony". With this set of stamps, we hope that the call for peace will travel to every corner of the world and inspire men and women, young and old, to give love and care to others and help promote peace and harmony between people.

     Before I go, I would like to thank Mr Lu Xinhua for officiating at today's ceremony, as I am aware that he has a very busy schedule awaiting him. Running foreign affairs for Hong Kong on all fronts, such as enhancing HKSAR's international relations and cooperation, safeguarding the legitimate rights and interests of Hong Kong people abroad and offering assistance to those who get into trouble while working or travelling overseas, the Ministry has been contributing much to our long-term stability and prosperity since Hong Kong's return to China more than nine years ago. What a blessing that we are able to lead a peaceful life in Hong Kong and make safe and happy trips at will when peace and non-violence are what people crave for in many parts of the world. I hope that all of us will cherish what we have and join hands to promote social harmony and the culture of love and care.

     May peace prevail on earth and all people live in harmony.
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     Thank you.

Ends/Thursday, September 21, 2006
Issued at HKT 12:26

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