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 [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][…]?” His answer is clear and decisive: “Violence is not the cure for our broken world” (n. 2).
3. In the past year we have had two important events in Poland. One of them, the NATO summit, was held in Warsaw and was related to security in Europe and in the world.
The second one was a celebration of youth in and around Kraków, which was attended by many young people from all over the world, citizens of the countries we represent, who came to Poland in order to meet Pope Francis and one another. We recall, with deep appreciation, the great organizational effort of State, Church and local institutions that went on behind the scenes and the extraordinary hospitality of the people of this country, which last year celebrated the one thousand and fiftieth anniversary of its baptism and the beginning of its statehood.
Both of these events – each in its own way – sent a clear message about the need to combine security and solidarity, peace and sustainability, in a spirit of mutual care and transparency.
4. Mr President, in your address at the National Day celebrations on November 11th last, you referred to the upcoming centenary of the recovery of Poland’s independence and you announced preparations for next year’s celebrations of this event.
Among other things, you said: “We are approaching the centenary of the independence from 1918 – and I firmly believe that those heroes look at us from heaven today, the fathers of independence and those who were killed or died in battle and in longing for the homeland, and those who fought for it and won it – they are not anymore among us. But I am deeply convinced that all of them would have desired that in these fundamental issues – and the most fundamental of these is independence – we were all together.”
We rejoice in the joy of Poland which at that time regained its independence and today is building its future shape in the family of the nations of Europe and the world; which, thanks to its internal efforts and diplomatic activity is more and more making its presence felt in the international arena, strengthening its good relations with traditionally friendly countries in Europe, as well as with the Americas, Africa, Asia and Australia.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
5. Sharing the joys and concerns of the State that hosts us, we wish to express to you, Mr President, our best wishes for Polish society as a whole. May this New Year be a good time for all, without exception; may it lead to new achievements in solving difficult issues; may it not only lead to a consolidation of the good, but also bring about what is best.
We extend our good wishes to you, Mr President, and to the First Lady, to both houses of the Polish Parliament, the Government, the Judiciary and the local government authorities.
Happy New Year![/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]