Ladies and gentlemen,
Last year, when I had the pleasure of welcoming you at this same place, in New York, I insisted on the importance I felt your iniciative had.
Certainly, the Letter of Peace is, in my opinion, one of the most tangible manifestations of the role of the international public opinion when it is mobilized by the great ideas of the Letter. I wanted eagerly to encourage you to go on with your task and your activities, displaying its message to all the peoples and all the continents. Today, I can see with joy that you understood me. And I dared say, beyond my own hope! For the impressing amount of signatures show the enthusiasm you have roused for the sake of peace. From the charge I have today, I feel really encouraged and confident about the future.
We know too well that we have entered the era of the global society. That is to say, a world where the actors are not merely the states but also the non-governmental organizations, the national congresses, the private firms, the mass media, any type of association, the universities, the intellectual circles, every man and every woman that feels a member of the great family of man. Globalization in the world means opening. And it must be also a sinonyme of democratization. Democratization in the international relationships must be, in my opinion, one of the essential conditions of the present world. And I will devote all my energy to favour it wherever it be possible. The democratization of the international relationships needs not only the democratization of the institutions as the UN, but also the democratization of the places where there is power at a global scale. We must then impulse democratic reformations at an international scale, welcome the new actors of the global society and help to the blooming of a new citizenship of the world!
It is in this new prospective that I want to understand and place our meeting today. Your Letter shows neatly that peace is a problem too serious to be left to the states alone. Only through the international public opinion mobilization peace will really make its progress in the world. Because peace is mainly a culture that must be written in the heart of mankind. And it is logical that UNESCO, from its beginning, has encouraged you. Be sure that I, myself, give you all my endorsement. So, I want to congratulate all that participate at diffusing the Letter of Peace. I want to thank the Universitas Albertiana of Barcelona and their leading members the outstanding role they have in this iniciative. I assure you that you always will be welcome at the United Nations.
I thank your presence here today, and the task you perform for the sake of peace.
Mr. General Secretary:
In the name of the Universitas Albertiana and the Maria Corral Association, I want to thank you sincerely for the interest shown from the very first moment by the United Nations and especially by its General Secretary, in the Letter of Peace, addressed to the UN.
When we delivered this Letter of Peace on last 4th of January 1995, we had just ended an initial period which began in the Chinese city of Ch'ian, where the first version of the letter was written. It would be publicly and solemnely presented at the Marc Palace -See of the Department of Culture of the Catalonia Government-, in Barcelona, on the 22th April 1993.
We delivered you thousands of signatures and testimonies collected over that year in 38 nations. But the interest aroused by the Letter of Peace in the countries where it has been presented, the wish of many people to know it, endorse it and help this iniciative, as well as your express comand on last January to keep on expanding the Letter in other countries of the United Nations, has led us to go on working in this direction. At the same time, a great effort has been made to begin a task of research about its contents, by creating the Institutes of Peace and impulsing many other activities that will be explained later.
We are specially glad because we can state that, over this year of 1995, the Letter of Peace has been circulated around the five continents. It has been a task of diffusion carried out by a group of volunteers and with few financial resources. This allows us to confirm, with gladness, that this document is much more widely known and endorsed with many new signatures and testimonies of well acknowledged figures, such as Nobel Prizes of Peace. There is no doubt this will contribute to the "culture of peace".
Without ceasing to get new signatures and endorsements to the Letter of Peace, this year we have focused on the research, study and reflection about the evidences contained in the Letter.
This task has been carried out by the creation of the Institutes of Peace in several countries, whose aim is to study each one of the points of the Letter from all the disciplines and to give specialised courses to provide further matters to be issued later. We wish to organize an International Congress to join all the teachers and professors that have dealt with any issue of the Letter, so that they can have a dialog and to publish a book about all the subjects concernign each one of the points of the Letter of Peace.
The Institutes of Peace are complemented with conferences, lectures, meetings, forums, "Groups Letter of Peace", Summer University encounters, roundtables, and writings published in different mass media.
We wish that the Letter of Peace may make its way forward and may it arise in the people who knows it new iniciatives for the sake of peace, and that the evidences announced in it may be assumed by the people and the organizations as a serious contribution to the way towards peace.
Since its beginning, the Maria Corral Association organizes some annual conferences. Some of them have dealt with the subject of peace from several points of view. This year, for the first time, they have been celebrated out of Barcelona. They have taken place at Santiago de Chile, with the collaboration of the Metropolitan University of that city. The subject of these conferences has been the 10th point of the Letter of Peace, which we delivered to Mr. Boutros Ghali last year, and that you welcame so favourably and warmly. This point of the Letter talks about the "qualitative step forward of democracy".
Many democracies are sick today. The reasons are different: many intellectual figures, politicians and teachers point at them. For instance, in a democratic country of today, a relative majority of a 21 % wants to impose its way of living over the rest. This makes peace very difficult among the different groups.
However, democracies perform their role more or less according to their common premises. Firstly: to respect the freedom of thought and conscience. Secondly: to respect the right of people to express their thought. And, thirdly, to associate freely to expand a group's common thought.
Hence, it is also allowed to join in an ellections' system so that everybody may have vote and power of decision in the government of the nation, according to the number of people who endorse a certain position.
Those who achieve an absolute -or relative- majority will govern, accordingly to their points of view, for the sake of society. But the minorities are compelled to follow the laws and directions dictated by the majority. As a consequence, the minorities often become a hindrance for the majority, in order to get them out and achieve power.
The qualitative step suggested in these conferences in Chile, inspired in the 10th point of the Letter of Peace, is not only the respect to the right to think, to express, to speak and to join freely for a political action, but the right of all the groups, including the minorities, to live according to what they think. And this right should be guaranteed by the central government.
Now this seems a utopy. But, do not the citizens of a nation travel in the way they like the best? It is not impossible, therefore, that different ways of life can coexist. This would save democracies from their actual troubles, from the danger of failure and to return to the totalitarian systems, which may appear the solution in the critical situations. The real difficulties to achieve this full democracy were studied in Chile, as well as the possible, real ways to achieve this qualitative step.
This subject and its developing will be collected in a book that will be translated into other languages, and it will be delivered first to this institution, the United Nations, personally to its General Secretary, Mr. Boutros Ghali, who has all our love and respect.
"In the different presentations of the Letter of Peace, we were always saying that the Letter of Peace is addressed to the UN and to oneself. To every man and woman who on having read the evidences that the Letter indicates, works for constructing the peace. To accept these evidences carries a change of attitude with regard to each one, to one´s relatives, to the contemporary ones, and that supposes finding some initiatives that lead to work for the peace (…).
If this morning a stage was closed in the headquarters of the United Nations, in the headquarters of the "Spanish Institute" we begin a new one. (…) We want to continue presenting the Letter in new countries, to continue spreading its content keenly, creating spaces of reflection, interdisciplinary study of the content of the Letter. That is to say, to continue with the task that, one way or another, all who are present here have helped to carry out. (...)"
"I believe that this Letter removes many things, above all the conscience and the emotions. (...).We proposed ourselves the task of gathering signatures in all the E.G.B.'s colleges in the seven provinces of the Diputación del Común del Archipiélago. (…) A second aspect was to offer a platform. This so beautiful expression of spaces of reflection, spaces of meeting, spaces of brotherhood and from that point, to think about the new situation, to see in which way the fall of the wall implied that this wall of poverty was not being erected, this wall of the most unfair distribution of wealth among the enriched countries and the impoverished countries. Be aware that in the measure of my possibilities, as a Diputado del Común or when I finish with this task, as a judge, or….. just as a human being –the rest is merely circumstantial- be aware that you can count on me to develop this initiative.”
"This Letter that we present today is inspired in the humble intention of helping to think about the topic, offering foundations for his own thoughts. Personally I believe that the problem of the non-peace among men has to be found inside the man himself.
This morning, you remember that Boutros Ghali, in a moment, said that the peace was residing in the culture of heart. That is to say, the culture - you know that culture means cultivation- and I believe that there, in the cultivation of the heart of the man, of his aptitudes for the construction of a better world, is where the core is and where it is necessary to work on the problem of the peace. We have been making this today ... with simplicity, but with pleasure, without big pretensions, but with many hopes, we are sowing. It is as if we all joined, one by one, to cultivate the land with good seed".
"El meu desig en aquest moment, sapiguent que vostè és de la Autonomia de Catalunya, com tants de nosaltres i sabent que és on va néixer la Carta de la Pau i va ser escrita en català, faig aquesta salutació en la nostra llengua".
(“My wish in this moment, knowing that you are from the Autonomy of Catalonia, like so many of us and knowing that the Letter was born there and it was written in Catalan, I make this greeting in our own language".)
"This binding of the Letter of Peace that I deliver to you is written in Catalan, language in which its first draft was written. When I have opened it, I only saw blank pages, on both sides; finally, I have seen that the text was written in the center. This Letter of Peace, which is very brief, is based on evidences. Not on ideologies nor on religious beliefs but on evidences. Everybody can understand it with the simplicity of that one who looks out of the window and says: “it´s night”. If it is night, this can be said by everyone with total peace of mind. Let these blank pages be a representation of what each one will contribute to the peace, in the light of the evidences of the Letter of Peace, with his actions".
"On behalf of the Spanish Institute I want to thank you for having chosen this house for this act, act in which I have very much learned. Not only something has been sowed, but what at first was a utopian, almost quixotic task, it is adopting a perceptible, nice and motivating form and that seems, to the Spanish Institute, that it is going to have an echo. On the other hand, the beauty of the literary images that have been used this evening, which they have gone dazzling, I am grateful for it to him because to me and to this house we like very much the good taste of the beautiful thing. (...). On the other hand, the beauty of the literary images that have been used this evening, they have been dazzling. I am grateful for it because this institution and I like the good taste of the beautiful things very much (…). All what has been said is a cause of happiness, of satisfaction and of wish of repeating it soon, and, if it is possible, with more fervour of multitudes”.