Secretary-General U Thant in his Introduction to the Annual Report of the Secretary-General on the Work of the Organization, 16 June 1962—15 June 1963 commented that the year under review had been marked by a number of developments which on the whole may be said to have brightened the international outlook and strengthened the UN as a result. According to the Secretary-General, the Cuban crisis provided the UN with the opportunity to help avert what appeared to be impending disaster. Proposals which he had been encouraged to make by a large number of Member States not directly involved in the crisis had the immediate effect of tending to ease the situation. In addition, the UN provided an opportunity, both through the Security Council and the Secretariat, for dialogues among the interested parties. The turn of the year also marked a sudden change for the better in the Congo. As a result the terms of the UN mandate in the Congo as far as the military force was concerned had now largely been fulfilled. External military interference in the Congo had ceased, the territorial integrity of the country had been secured, and law and order had generally been restored and were being maintained, although the situation in one or two areas still was giving some cause for concern.