Olympic torch relay to make stop Saturday at UN Headquarters

Secretary-General Kofi Annan will light a cauldron from the torch’s flame at around at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Joining him at the event will be General Assembly President Julian R. Hunte of St. Lucia, as well as the Greek Alternate Minister for Culture, Fanny Palli-Petralia, and the head of the Athens Organizing Committee, Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki. Among the 140 relay runners in New York are Toni Jones and Daniel Mejia, two young people whose lives have been deeply affected by conflict and chosen by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to carry the torch into and out of the UN complex. Ms. Jones, 18, was born in Monrovia, Liberia. After being forced to flee the country in 1990 because of political conflict, she and her family spent three years living in a UNICEF-supported refugee camp. During that time, her eight-year-old friend was kidnapped, forced to become a child soldier, and later killed in the conflict, inspiring Ms. Jones to become an influential voice against the use of children as soldiers. Daniel, 17, was born in Queens, New York, after his parents emigrated from Colombia 20 years ago. Daniel’s uncle was the victim of a political assassination in Colombia in 1994. Many of his relatives have received asylum in the United States and now live in Miami and New York City. read more