Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me give you the welcome to the heart of the Organization of United Nations. Now, I also wanted to add that you are here like in house.
The Letter, of which this year we celebrate its fiftieth anniversary, begins by a formula that I would like to repeat today, before you: "We, peoples of United Nations". This expression wants to say, in the most powerful way, that each one of you, help, in his way, to constitute this great human Community that the world Organization wants to constitute.
Your presence in New York as well as your common reflection on the peace teaches us that you have understood this message of the Letter. Be sure that I appreciate your wish of delivering this "Letter of Peace" to me. I am deeply grateful for it. And this manifestation is a considerable support for me. Indeed, I am absolutely convinced that without the support of the public international opinion, the United Nations would not achieve this ideal which is assigned by the United Nations Charter to us: to support and establish the peace. True, we all know that in this field, the States have a dominant role. We all also know that the Letter awards to the Security Council the main responsibility of keeping the peace.
But I wanted to underline in the "Agenda for the Peace", in a firmer way that "the peace in the widest sense cannot be assured only by the system of the United Nations or of the governments. Not governmental organizations, institutions of education, members of parliament, central business districts and professionals, mass media and great public, all have to contribute to it".
Your delegation expresses perfectly this common effort for the search of a more harmonious, more pacific world. I wish, so, fervently, that your "Letter of Peace" could constitute an instrument of collective mobilization to the service of the big ideal of the Letter. As General Secretary of the United Nations, I sometimes experience some difficulties to convince the States to promise to take actions addressed to support the peace inside of situations where it would be indispensable. In order that the States compromise themselves with men, material, money, to the service of peace, in the frame of the actions taken by the Organization of United Nations, many times it is necessary that the public national opinions teach them the way. I am sure that your Letter will help to open this way.
It would also like to add that the presence of your delegation seems to me to reveal an aspiration to the democratization of the international institutions to which I lavish my best compliments. Here also, the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Letter has to be the occasion to go hereafter in this collective will of democracy. The editors of the text of San Francisco have had the deep intuition of that the international community would not only be a juxtaposition of sovereign States, but on the contrary, that the world Organization would have to administer a new solidarity at a planetary scale. Indeed, the United Nations Charter suggests, implicit but strongly, not only the advent of a global and transnational society, but also the need of a collective and democratic project. In order to base this opened and alive democracy, we must bear in mind not only the will of the politicians and the behaviour of the economic agents, but also the aspirations of the social and cultural actors that you represent. It is indispensable that the public opinion announces strongly its aspirations to a better and more supportive world. Your "Letter of Peace" is an important step in this direction.
For these reasons I am here today, lucky of meeting you, and once again I congratulate you for this initiative coming from Barcelona, and that from now on does not stop spreading in the world. I am happy that "Letter of Peace" has been already spread in the world and I thank, in the name of the United Nations Organization and in my own name, all those who have taken part in this diffusion. Like you, I wish to impregnate the spirits of the imperious need to construct together a world of peace and brotherhood. The advent of a real culture of the peace is today more than never indispensable in order that we can reach our goals. Your "Letter of Peace" is a testimony of this strong exigency.
And I want to hope that this message of hope could be personified in the reality of the peoples and in the life of the nations. I am grateful for your attention and for your presence, here in New York.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Today, with the beginning of 1995 we are also celebrating some notable beginnings for UNESCO and the UN system. 1995 is the UN Year of Tolerance, as well as the first year in the UN Decade for Education for Human Rights. And of course, this year marks the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations and of the signing of UNESCO's Constitution on 16 November 1945.
We are dedicating our lives to an international system which was created with the specific objective of creating a lasting and equitable peace -a peace which must have toletance and respect for human rights as its foundations if it is to endure.
The Director-General is honored to be among the eminent personalities in the world of culture, education, industry and politics who have signed the Letter of Peace. It is a letter which expresses the heartfelt aspirations of so many on this planet to be delivered from war and violence. If we are truly to move from a culture of war to a culture of peace, to achieve the change in lifestyles and attitudes that creating a permanent culture of peace requires, then we must be ready to embrace sentiments and principles expressed in this letter.
It is by no accident that many of the phrases contained in this letter are reminiscent of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It is no accident either that the letter's call for us to love one another as brothers and sisters brings to mind all of the world's gret religions and creeds. These are not mere words. These are arrows to the heart, and the fact of this letter's being written serves as a reminder that all over the world there are men and women who feel as we do, believe as we do and are ready, as we are, to dedicate their lives to the pursuit of peace.
Today, this Letter of Peace was accepted by the Secretary-General of the United Nations. With this gesture on his part, the Letter of Peace becomes part of the archives of the United Nations and therefore part of the official record of our desire for peace, love and freedom.
Mr. Secretary General,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is a pleasure for me, as Representative of the Principality of Andorra to the United Nations, to attend this ceremony in which a Letter of Peace, –written in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Russian and Catalan–, is being presented to the world after a tour of various countries and the signature of scores of people of good will. I understand that Andorra has been invited to sea at your side, Mr. Secretary General, on such an occasion, because my country has one of the world peace “records”, that is 700 years of uninterrupted peace in our territory.
Peace, Mr. Secretary General, is at the own basis of the foundation of an independent Andorra in 1278: in order to achieve peace my ancestors gave their support to an agreement that required all fortifications and castles to be destroyed and the impossibility of any of the Co-lords of Andorra to raise armies against the other. More than 700 years later, among endless conflicts that have torn our European continent and the earth, peace has been preserved as a pillar of our small state of ideal Aristotelian dimensions.
Il est donc naturel pour nous celébrer toute manifestation visant à fomenter la paix dans le monde. Sur le plain international, vous nous trouvez solidaries avec les initiatives que les Nations Unies, –suivant les sages recommendations que l’on trouve, M. Secrétaire Général, dans votre Agenda pour la Paix–, lancent régulièrement. Aussi, nous sommes satisfaits aujourd’hui de voir que le concept de « paix », si intimement lié à l’idée de « developpement » n’est pas quelque chose d’abstrait pour beaucoup de citoyens de notre planète, et que bon nombre d’entre eux, provenant de continents différents, ont signé cette Lettre de la Paix. Il s’agit là d’une iniciative privée qui fait honneur à ses promoteurs.
A la fin de cette briève allocution, permettez-moi, M. le Secrétaire Général, Mesdames et Messieurs, que, en ce début de l’anée du 50ème. Anniversaire des Nations Unies, et à l’occassion de cette cérémonie, j’étende tous mes voeux de paix, au nom de Peuple et du Governement Andorrans, à tout les autres peuples du monde.
Mr. Secretary General,
From April 22, 1993 when the Letter of Peace appeared and was signed, for the first time, in Barcelona, until today when we deliver the whole compiled material to you, we have stated that the Letter of Peace has woken a great interest up in all the countries where it has been presented. A lot of persons, institutions, organizations, associations, etc., have seen in it the occasion to work for the peace with a new exposition: from evidences.
The Letter of Peace, since it is based on evidences, also belongs to everybody and nobody can take possession of it. For all these reasons, it is expressly indicated in the Letter that to sign this document does not imply any link with any of both promoting organizations but to sign it simply demonstrates an agreement with its content. In the same way as to work for the peace is not only a task of politicians, leaders or intellectuals but it is a task of all, the Letter of Peace is addressed to the whole mankind and it is opened as to all those who tune with it, promote concrete accomplishments for the peace, in the light of the evidences announced in it.
The Letter of Peace tries to underline, among others, the importance of the following evidences:
1) That we are not the ones to blame on because of the problems happened in the history for the simple reason that we did not exist. So, why do we have to have any resentment against others if we do not have any responsibility for what happened in the history? Eliminated these absurd resentments, why not to be friends and to be able to work together to construct, globally, a more supportive and gratifying world for our children and for ourselves?
2) To discover the existential brotherhood. If we did not exist we might be not even brothers of anybody. To feel and to live through this existential brotherhood is what facilitates, on having opened ourselves to the society, being more supportive.
3) Love arises freely or is not authentic. It needs also brilliancy. Therefore, to restrict the freedom or to impede the knowledge of the evidences to someone is to prevent us from being truly loved. To favour the freedom and the access to the evidences is what facilitates the love, and, this way, the peace.
4) We have to know the history and accept it as is it has been, because if the history had been different, now other persons would exist, but we would not. We cannot turn the history backward but we must repair, when it is possible, the negative consequences that we have inherited from them: we have not even to support the evil of the same one, nor want to repeat it.
5) Today, democracy recognizes and respects the freedoms of thought, of expression and of association for its citizens. Nevertheless, the current democracies, as many contemporary commentators indicate, carry a few diseases derived from its own limits: thirst for power, oligarchies in the semidarkness, corruptions... It is necessary that the democracy makes a qualitative jump, that is to say, defends that every one, besides being able to use the freedoms above indicated, can live his life in this world in a coherent manner with what one believes, without never committing an outrage, obviously, against the freedom of anybody nor to provoke damages against the others nor to oneself.
The Letter of Peace will be the more effective, the more it acts as a preventative medicine. On the other hand, once the armed conflicts have exploded, it will be more difficult that the Letter can be heard, and even less, that it can be applied.
The great reception that has had this initiative in the different places where it has been presented is what has taken the promoters of the Letter of Peace to decide that the route of it does not finish with the delivery of the documentation taken today. We want to be employed during a period of 5 years in the diffusion, study and collection of more signatures at each of the different countries where it has been already signed. Also to bring the Letter to many other countries where its presentation has not been possible yet.
This work probably will be carried out by the same methodology developed till now. To work with those persons, institutions, organisms, associations that wishing the peace, tune with the content of the letter and free and voluntarily want to be employed at his diffusion and knowledge. It is our whish that periodically we could deliver to the UNO the materials gathered, concerning this initiative, from January, 1995, following the instructions given by this organism. Likewise we await that the United Nations, having accepted this document, study it and spread it among their member state and through the suitable departments peel the evidences proposed by the Letter of Peace and can assume them as a way towards the Peace.
Thank you very much.
Mr. General Secretary,
On behalf of this commission that comes to deliver the Letter of Peace to you, I want to express our gratitude and also to recognize your attention from the moment we contacted you in Badalona, on the occasion of the presentation of the Olof Palme award for peace. Today, we want to express to you our gratefulness and gratitude for everything you do in favour of the peace. We are conscious that you, more than any other person, suffer from the pains of the war. Thank you for your exemplary attitude. The commission that today visits you does not represent either any State or any political or religious group. We are citizens of different countries who love the reason of the peace.
We have longed a State to support us, a small country, one of the latest countries to become a member of the United Nations: Andorra. A beautiful nation that after seven centuries of existence, never took part in any armed conflict. This nation, assembled in Council of Government, agreed to support the Letter of Peace, and today its Ambassador before the United Nations is here, with us.
On the other hand, the UNESCO, such a significant organism in the good of the humanity, in the person of their General manager, professor Federico Mayor Zaragoza, offer us their support for this initiative, signing the Letter of Peace, in Paris, recently and today he has delegated his presence in the person of the director of the UNESCO office in New York.
On the occasion of the Fiftieth Anniversary of the creation of the UN, it is pleasant for us to present the Letter of Peace to you. An initiative born four years ago (on the first of March, 1989), in a Chinese city called Xian (city whose meaning is "peace from the west "), short time before the tragic events of the square Tiananmen took place.
Dr. Alfredo Rubio and professor Jose Luis Socías wondered how they could help to create a solid base for the construction of the peace. A peace based not only on ideologies or interests of political, social or economic type, and that the history, for its part, has taken charge of demonstrating us its fragility.
The Letter of Peace is only based on evidences. This is the force and the attraction of this document. What is evident does not need our consent to continue being evident; be accepted or not, the evidences are there. As such evidences, it is not possible say that they are property of a few concrete persons, as it happens with the ideas or the reflections. The evidences question us all from their objectivity and nobody can appropriate them in sole right: they belong to the common heritage of the Humanity, as it happens with the Human, Children or Elder rights.
To work for the peace is a common labour and the United Nations, ¡how much they have worked for the reason of the Peace!, they are also a major center of harmonization of the efforts carried out by nations in favour of it and promote relations of friendship based on the respect among them, the principle of the equality of rights and that of the free determination of the peoples. The Letter of Peace is an initiative which tunes with these noble intentions and appeals to obtaining them.
The United Nations, nowadays, it is the organization that better represents the whole humanity, for the immense majority of the peoples of the nations is present in it. The Letter of Peace is a document thought to be given to know to all the human beings, without distinction of ethnic group, sex, language or religion. It is for that reason that we address it to your organism, as a sign of our wish to reach the whole humanity.
The United Nations have to safeguard the international peace and safety: they will intervene provided that there is a breaking of the peace in some point of the world in order to solve the controversy. But it is also good to favour specific initiatives for the peace that develop in a pacific frame and that have as aim to achieve a major understanding and a more authentic solidarity among the nations of the international community. Such initiatives, far from being sterile, are the real base from where it is possible to build a culture of the peace that is capable of preserving present and future generations from the scourge of the war. The Letter of Peace is inserted among them and is oriented to the prevention from future acts of aggression that could originate man-to-man, peoples and nations.
The Peace, nowadays, is not evident. The difficulty of living in peace, may be yes. The Peace is something that has to be worked on and built constantly, that asks for a part of our work, effort and attention. A flood is formed by the sum of million water drops that come together simultaneously and that can manage to devastate a city, a people; a war is formed by the accumulation of resentments, of non-conformities of each one with oneself, with the family, with the work. When these resentments converge, they can cause conflicts and wars.
Mr. General Secretary, we feel honoured by presenting to you the work carried out, together with the repercussion that has had in countries and in a great number of citizens who undersign these evidences of peace. In the name of the Ambito de Investigación y Difusión María Corral, I want to express to you our most sincere gratitude.