UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, and his wife, Nane Lagergren Annan, met on July 1st 2000 with the Hungarian Raoul Wallenberg Association in Budapest. President and Prime Minister of Hungary, Viktor Orban and Arpad Göncz, respectively, invited the Secretary General to visit their country.
The central ceremony was carried out in the St. Stephen Park, at one of the monuments of Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg in Budapest. Speeches were delivered by both Mr. and Mrs. Annan, as well as by Gabor Demszky, Mayor of Budapest, by Peter Trufo, American Ambassador to Hungary and by Ferenc Orosz, chairman of Hungarian Raoul Wallenberg Association.
In the name of the Association, Dr. Orosz made a public statement that the Association – in agreement with Mrs. Annan- initiate the celebration of July 9, the anniversary of the start of Raoul Wallenberg’s activity in Budapest, as the ‘Day of Rescuers’ The ceremony was attended by Jozsef Schweitzer, Chief Rabbi of Budapest, Gabor Deak, main donator of the monument, Gabor Szekely, President of the Cultural Association of Hungarian Jews, Endre Bela Huff, member of the Raoul Wallenberg International Foundation and people saved by Raoul Wallenberg during World War II.
Mrs. Nane Annan, niece of Raoul Wallenberg, visited the office for an hour where she met the members of the Presidium of the Hungarian Raoul Wallenberg Association and Mrs. Erdos Gyulane, one of Raoul Wallenberg’s coworker during his stay in Budapest. After the meeting, the Wallenberg’s memorial places were shown her by Jozsef Sebes, member of the Executive Board of the Association. She also met the leaders of the Hungarian Jewish Community, Chief Rabbi Jozsef Schweitzer and General Director, Gusztav Zolnai.