Shared sorrow

"On a day like this, I wonder: what would the world be like without America"
OECD Observer

© Silvia Thompson/OECD

Spetember, 2001

"On a day like this, I wonder: what would the world be like without America, without the US. A darker place, certainly." Anders Ferm, Swedish ambassador to the OECD, September 14, 2001, to colleagues at Chateau de la Muette before the three-minute silence in mourning for those killed in the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11.

“We have come together here today in this hall to show our solidarity with you and your fellow Americans all over the world, to share your grief and sorrow and also to seek comfort and consolation together with you. On behalf of us all I offer our condolences.

There are moments in life when one feels small and helpless. You realise what is futile and what is important. Love is important, friendship is important, solidarity is important, life itself is important. When you look around you will find that you are surrounded by friends.

What has been done to you, to your country, to your society, has also been done to us. For we share the same values of freedom, openness, tolerance, democracy.

We work with you here every day. We agree and we disagree. But on a day like this, I wonder: what would the world be like without America, without the US. A darker place, certainly. A place with less freedom. A place with more dogmatism, a place with less tolerance and openness. With less wisdom. With more poverty. What I am trying to say is simply this: we need you, and we are with you in your difficult moment as you have been with us in our difficult moments.”




Economic data

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Last update: 9 July 2020

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