Your Excellency, Mr President,
Mr Speaker of the Sejm,
Mr Speaker of the Senate,
Mr Prime Minister,
Mr Minister of Foreign Affairs,
Representatives of the Judiciary,
Ladies and Gentlemen!
1. The joyful atmosphere of the New Year celebrations that still resound in our hearts brings us today to the Presidential Palace in Warsaw, at the invitation of the President and First Lady, to welcome the year 2018 and to express our respect to the Head of the Polish State.
On behalf of the Diplomatic Corps accredited in Poland, it is a great honour and privilege to greet the Host of this gathering and to convey to him our best wishes for a successful, joyful, peaceful and prosperous New Year.
2. We, the Diplomatic Corps, take the opportunity of this auspicious occasion to congratulate the newly appointed Prime Minister, Mr Mateusz Morawiecki, wishing him every success and hoping that he will be inspired in a fruitful, dynamic and creative way in leading the Council of Ministers and governing the Nation. We express also our profound appreciation for the tireless work, efforts and great achievements of the former Prime Minister, Mrs Beata Szydło, during her term in that office and wish her all the best for the future. May this New Year be a prosperous one for the Prime Minister and may it be abundant in successful achievements for the wellbeing of the Nation and for each individual Polish citizen.
3. Once again the beginning of New Year provides us with an occasion to reflect on the time that has passed and prompts us to look to the future with greater optimism, hope and confidence. And there is much on which to reflect.
First of all, we must acknowledge that many different areas of the world are still struggling with injustice and discrimination. The international community continues to face crisis situations; many nations of the world are affected by terrorism, conflicts, crime and abuses of human rights. As Pope Francis rightly observed in last year’s message for World Day of Peace, “we find ourselves engaged in a horrifying world war fought piecemeal”.
Such situations cause people to flee from war and hunger; they are often forced by persecution, poverty and environmental degradation to leave their homelands. These are the people like us, men and women, children, young and elderly people, who are searching for somewhere to live in peace. And yet, they are often victims of discrimination, prejudice and xenophobia, in all its forms, based on their race, culture or religious belief.
In any case, all these situations are a constant reproach to all humanity and are a strong call on international community, as well as on individual states and governments, to intensify efforts to contain and overcome evil in all its dimensions, to seek peace in the world and to build nonviolent and peaceful communities that care for our common home.
4. This year the Polish Nation celebrates the centenary of the recovery of Poland’s independence. Last month, the solemn celebrations of this significant anniversary were inaugurated. In your address to the National Assembly on 5th December last, you, Mr President, emphasised, among other things, a strong belief in the self-worth and strength of Poland and stressed that a common, independent state is a priceless good, a good that is entrusted to the present generation of Poles. You also stressed that a “healthy spirit” is needed, one that unites Poles as a community and makes them want to “last as one nation”. For this reason, Mr President, you expressed the view that this year’s jubilee is perhaps the best chance that has arisen in recent years to rebuild the sense of national community, without which it would be impossible to build a modern, just and truly strong state.
5. We cannot but agree with this statement and these noble aspirations. The year 2018 will bring us many occasions to convey our best wishes to Poland. Even now we rejoice in the joy of this beautiful and hospitable country which a century ago regained its independence and today is building its future shape in the family of the nations of Europe and the world. It should be widely recognized that, thanks to its internal efforts and its diplomatic activity, Poland is making its presence ever more felt in the international arena and is strengthening its good relations with traditionally friendly countries in Europe, as well as in the North and South Americas, Africa, Asia, Australia and Oceania.
We recognize and congratulate Poland, among other things, for its full-fledged, loyal and constructive membership of NATO and the EU, for its continuous individual contribution to the construction of global order and security in the future, in particular, as a member of the UN Security Council for the next two years, and for its active participation in the Three Seas Initiative and other major international projects, including military peacekeeping and stabilization missions. Next December Poland will host the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – COP24 in Katowice. Hopefully, the event will enable the States to reach a political consensus in such an important area and adopt the implementation package for the Paris Agreement.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
6. 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!
Szczęśliwego Nowego Roku!