Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson in action during a penalty shoot-out remembering the Christmas truce (UN Photo/Mark Garten)

Christmas truce: UN chief Ban Ki-moon pays Centenary tribute

Posted on on 09 December 2014
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The United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, paid tribute to the Christmas truce on December 5th 2014 at a commemorative event hosted by the UK and German missions to the UN.

There were readings from letters recording the events of 1914, carol singing and a penalty shoot-out between the two delegations, refereed by the Secretary-General.

“To this day, the events of Christmas 1914 give us hope that enmities can be forgotten, and that former enemies – such as the United Kingdom and Germany – can become great allies,” Mr Ban told the gathering at UN headquarters in New York.

“As we reflect on the lessons of one of the deadliest conflicts in history, let us also remember some of the most glorious examples of man's humanity to man.”

The event recalled the spontaneous ceasefires along the Western Front, during which soldiers on opposing sides exchanged gifts, sang carols and played a game of football. 

Mr Ban described how the carnage of the First World War led to the birth of the League of Nations, 'one of the first comprehensive attempts by the international community to create a multilateral body dedicated to maintaining the peace.'

“Tragically, the world found itself at war again. The United Nations rose from the ashes and next year will celebrate its 70th anniversary,” he said.

The result of the penalty shoot-out between the British and German missions was a 2-2 draw.

Sources: UN News Centre; UK Government 

Image courtesy of the UN News Centre (UN Photo/Mark Garten)

Posted by: Peter Alhadeff, Centenary News