Mr Speaker of the Sejm,
Mr Speaker of the Senate,
Madame Prime Minister,
Ladies and Gentlemen!
1. Polish tradition brings us today to cross the threshold and enjoy the hospitality of the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, at the invitation of the President and First Lady to welcome the New Year and to express our respect to the Head of the Polish State.
On behalf of the Diplomatic Corps accredited in Poland, I am particularly honoured and filled with emotion to greet – for the first time as Dean of this august group – the Host of this gathering and to convey to him our best wishes for a successful and prosperous New Year.
2. The first days of each year provide a good opportunity to reflect for a moment on the passing of time. In a natural way, the joyful atmosphere of the New Year celebrations prompts us to look to the future with greater optimism. At the same time, it does not allow us to forget failures and challenges. We must humbly acknowledge that many different areas of the world are unfortunately not free from injustice and discrimination. Our thoughts turn also to the masses of people who are migrating, a phenomenon we have witnessed in recent times in Europe. These migration movements give rise to further difficult challenges for the Authorities and societies of many countries.
The international community is constantly struggling with crisis situations. At the same time, the nations of the world are affected by terrorism, crime and unpredictable attacks, abuses of human rights and environmental devastation. It is not our purpose here to draw up a detailed list of wrongs, but we wish to remember in a particular way the Middle East, Africa, Europe and many other regions of the world.
These situations are a constant reproach to all humanity. As people of good will, they call on us to intensify our efforts to contain and overcome evil in all its dimensions. As representatives of our respective missions and as members of the Diplomatic Corps accredited in this country, together we declare ourselves sufficiently determined and ready to increase our efforts in this regard, as we appeal for a lasting peace, which is long awaited in all the troubled corners of our common world.
Pope Francis, in his Message for this year’s World Day of Peace, poses many fundamental questions relating to such negative realities: “Can violence achieve any goal of lasting value? Or does it merely lead to retaliation and a cycle of deadly conflicts