Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
It was with great pleasure that I accepted the kind invitation to participate in this initiative promoted by the Universal Peace Federation, the 5th Rally of Hope.
I take this opportunity to greet, warmly as your brother, all those participating in this event and, especially, its eminent promoters and organizers, for bringing to light a topic of enormous relevance to life in society, especially in these times of health crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, which affects us all.
In 2014, I was confronted with the question of what Peace means to me. After reflecting briefly, I responded, “More than just the mere absence of war, Peace, as a value and an asset, is a Blessing that is achieved through tolerance, solidarity and respect for people’s differences.”
My dear friends, the privileged geographical situation that the Cape Verde archipelago enjoys has made it, since the time of the first transatlantic maritime navigations in the 15th century, to this present global world, a wonderful point of cultural and strategic convergence. The State of Cape Verde has always defended - by choice and by a Constitutional imperative - through its external relationships, the principles of peace, and the negotiated settlement of disputes and development.
Most Distinguished guests, the Covid-19 pandemic has had repercussions not only of a biomedical and epidemiological nature on a global scale, but also social, economic, political, cultural and historical impacts unprecedented in the recent history of epidemics. This crisis is global and multifaceted. It is a health crisis, but it is also, without doubt, an economic, financial, social, environmental, and often political crisis - shaping the development of almost the entire planet, and with (very) negative consequences in the least developed countries.
The pandemic obliges us, therefore, to reflect together on the world that we aspire to see, for ourselves and for generations to come. It is necessary to move from the conceptual phase of a political option for peace, to a different stage, at which peace can assert itself as one of the major priorities in every dimension of life in society, beginning with education.
I sincerely believe that the essential aspects of the intercultural framework are crucial elements for the promotion of a Culture of Peace, which must be the antidote to the cult of intolerance and the predisposition to violence. In a cultural context consisting of the exchange of values, and communion among different peoples, of search for lasting relationships, it is ethical dialogue -- both within a civilization and between civilizations – that can be the effective engine of development and world peace. These should therefore be the elements that shape the young entrepreneurship that is emerging everywhere, and that is becoming increasingly important.
Therefore, I believe that in order to build a better world, to strengthen democracy and encourage citizenship, it is not only the economy that is important; values are also fundamental, and, in this sense, I agree with the young people: change must begin now.
I conclude by saluting the memory of Reverend Dr. Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Universal Peace Federation, who, through his philosophy of Peace, created this unstoppable global humanitarian movement that is continued by his wife and co-founder of this prestigious Organization, Dr. Hak Ja Han Moon, and [saluting] all who, like us Cape Verdeans, affirm the primacy of Peace as a fundamental vector for the progress of humanity.