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B. Pinto: Address to World Summit 2013

Portuguese, French

After two devastating wars experienced by humanity in the 20th century, with all the difficulties that their indelible marks have left, followed by a period of almost five decades of cold war, we were convinced that we were going to live in a new era and a new culture of peace. Peace, development, and democracy are an interactive and interdependent triangle, because without democracy, lasting development is not guaranteed; its absence generates conflicts which erase liberty and give way to the imposition of domination.

Unfortunately, the world is still troubled with conflicts which multiply themselves in all the nooks and crannies of the planet, killing innocent people, destroying families and happiness, and hindering development.

It is necessary to strive to identify the roots of the problems and take action to prevent the development of conflicts, using measures that we believe are within our reach and capacity.

Peace is disturbed by conflicts of diverse origins, the principal one fortunately being well identified by UPF, which is the lack of harmony between the religions of the world. The efforts made by UPF through its vast network of Ambassadors for Peace around the world are right on target and constitute an important and crucial contribution to the establishment of peace on the planet.

We are convinced that in the modern world in which we live, world peace is not possible without overcoming the barriers that for centuries of history have divided and separated people: barriers of race, religion, culture, nationality, etc., creating harmony among human beings centered on our concern for ongoing human development.

It is not enough to condemn acts of war, criticizing the production and trafficking of weapons, expressing indignation at the thousands of refugees living in poverty and the children who are victims of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Beyond reacting to situations, each of us should contribute to the right to peace, the right to live in peace, and put into practice the principle of UPF: "living for the sake of others."

We cannot talk about peace without drawing attention to the very important debate that is always present today: the issue of the family. The family as the most fundamental social unit is essential to the well-being of all of society, and therefore no effort should be spared to strengthen it, which is surely one of the important steps to achieving peace.

I come from a small nation, an island in the middle of the Atlantic, the Gulf of Guinea, where we are in the midst of a struggle to consolidate peace and embrace democratic coexistence based on principles of respect for human rights, leadership development, justice, and good governance, since we are eager for a transformation into a culture of peace.

We make daily efforts to improve mutual understanding, because we have reached the conclusion that we are obligated to live together, regardless of our differences. We try to live with respect for diversity and different ideas and supporting the building of consensus, because our numbers are too few to respond to the challenges of the future.

From these magnificent islands on the equator we bring the warmth of our people and add our voices and our efforts to this common cause, which is to build lasting pace, participating in this learning process beyond the boundaries of geography, race, and culture.

In hope that this event may help reinforce all the enterprises to achieve peace on this planet, I end with best wishes for your work and thank you for your attention.