Dr. Federico Mayor
President, Culture of Peace Foundation
Former Director General of UNESCO
(United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, 1987-1999)
“Culture of Peace and Non-Violence: From Force to Word”
Dear Hana Ayala, dear Francisco, a cherished friend from so many years, guests, ladies and gentlemen. I would very much like to be in California with all of you on this very important day in the evolution of Pangea World, a wonderful mission created by Hana to transform the present foundations of the global economy into a knowledge based economy.
I remember meeting Hana Ayala in the early nineties. At that time, I was the Director General of UNESCO. In hindsight, we now know what a momentous period of history the early nineties was: Nelson Mandela emerged from decades of incarceration and rose to the presidency of South Africa sans apartheid; Mikhail Gorbachev brought the Soviet Union to a surprising end with glasnost; the end of the war in Mozambique and the end of the civil war in El Salvador exemplified the possibility of peace, supported by the restarting of the peace process in Guatemala. It was altogether a very good moment to have hope. Not to be merely optimistic, but to be fully hopeful. When I first met Hana Ayala, I realized that she lives in hope, with this kind of trust in humanity. I realized that she embodies global consciousness. That she sees the possibility of positive change not from a narrow perspective but in a deep, worldwide triumph of hope. Hana Ayala is this kind of person.
She is convinced that the human race, every single human being, who is able to create, to see and to foresee, can participate in the important victory of hope. Therefore, with Hana Ayala, we began to launch some ventures, all together, and to think that yes, we can, we can progress and to solve some common problems. The complexity of the today’s reality must be addressed now. Pangea World is one initiative for achieving this.
I remember that I was very, very much in favor of the United Nations system, and I still am today. I think that we must re-found the United Nations system because it is absolutely stupid to think that a handful of countries can have the governance of 196 countries (e.g., this plutocratic group of G6, G7, G8, or G20). The beginning of the U.N. charter, it says, “We the people…” Look, it is very important because it does not say, “We the states,” or “We the government” but “We the people.” The people. Every single human must be able to participate in “We the people.”
The peace and well being of succeeding generations should be our supreme responsibility. As President Nelson Mandela was repeatedly emphasizing, the main responsibility of every generation is to think of the next one. In 1945, the United Nations was founded, and, at that time, UNESCO was also established as the intellectual arm of the United Nations to build peace in the minds of men, and all of this was based on democratic principles with the understanding that only democracy can be the context in which human rights can be fully exercised.
Well, what really matters is that we were talking about the necessity of putting into practice these wonderful ideas, these ideas that are based in this fantastic power, this empowerment of all persons, of all the human beings. We developed the educational, cultural, scientific and communication aspects. Particularly, as a scientist, I was very worried about hunger and all the miseries that hunger creates. With the advent of UNESCO, it became evident that we have the capacity to overcome and address these very important problems. The main priorities that we must establish are food, nutrition, the availability of palatable water, and of health services to all the human beings, and the environment to ensure the sustainability.
Now we have an immense problem with sustainable development. But I would like to tell you, my dear friends, that this is precisely the main focus of Pangea World. It is for this that I would very much like to associate the Culture of Peace Foundation with Pangea World. Culture of peace again is very simple; it is the opposite of the culture of war. Instead of imposition, violence, domination, to have the possibility of engagement, diplomacy, conciliation, alliance, peace.
Today for the first time we have the possibility through new technologies to transmit our knowledge and work together. Pangea World and Culture of Peace must work together.
I would very much like to be associated, with my foundation for a Culture of Peace, with Pangea World. In order to make the links that today are very, very immediate, we need to have this capacity to link, to bridge this knowledge, power, noble wealth worldwide. Yes, together we can, and today even if I’m not physically here at this wonderful event, we are together. Thank you very much, Hana, and to all of you my kindest regards.