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F. Sejdiu: Address to World Summit

Address to World Summit 2019, Seoul, Korea, February 7–11, 2019


Excellencies, Dr. Walsh, honorable ladies and gentlemen:

I am profoundly honored to have the opportunity to be part of this conference, which addresses many of the challenges that stand in the way of human development.

At this time in our lives, despite the progress in many walks of life, we still see many challenges that humankind is facing. We are still faced with painful developments affecting people's lives, developments that consistently produce serious social, cultural, and political consequences.

With all of us facing these challenges, ethnic or religious affiliation is not important at all. It is important that the development of humankind is oriented toward finding a solution to the many problems in different locations around the world, such as Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Myanmar, Nigeria, Turkey, the Maghreb, and elsewhere.

Such crises, in addition to dehumanization, also produce other ways of deconstruction and various extremisms, which inevitably become part of our daily life.

These crises obviously affect the family as the first nucleus of the society, followed by the societies at large of the different countries of the world.

By putting great strain on the resistance and survival of these two main components, individual and collective fate is called into question, by creating new contexts between different societies, cultures and beliefs.

Such circumstances undoubtedly lead to constant challenges, such as: physical, social and economic insecurity, the refugee crisis, extreme nationalism and as a result, inevitably, the increasing difficulties in life and survival in general.

The practice so far shows that, unfortunately, in many parts of the world there has been insufficient work in the realization of the feelings of humanity, solidarity and mutual respect among ethnic and religious communities. This becomes primarily a burden and responsibility of religious leaders.

I see this World Summit as another attempt to create a suitable ground to find solutions to such problems that burden the fates of humankind.

All of these grave developments, in addition to the impact they have on the lack of development of humankind, produce crisis hotbeds that normally have complex individual and collective repercussions.

Respect for human rights and freedoms is not and should not be seen as the will of anyone but, as guaranteed by international conventions, must also apply everywhere.

Escalation of such crises as already mentioned involves a high risk of many challenges that burden the family as the first nucleus of society. In this way, they can cause physical, social, psychological and economic insecurity, directly causing the stagnation of human development and questioning human sentiment. 

In addition, social and economic insecurity, besides the fact that they incite the illegal migration of many young people from poorer and transitional countries, is also making life more difficult. Unfortunately, many people have lost their lives in difficult quests for a better life. The great social and economic crises that our societies face today are a major obstacle to the development of humanity and life in normal circumstances.

These crises as such, in these times, are escalating even more, especially when they come as a result of social conflicts and armed conflicts to bloody massacres, which necessarily imposes a huge influx of refugees. In addition to physical destruction, the people affected also experience emotional breakdown, completely breaking away from their countries, leaving behind all that they have built up throughout generations, and seeking to build the future in another culture and in an unknown environment. Unfortunately, in such situations, apart from the many welcoming approaches from the host countries, these phenomena are rarely seen as an idea, and now and there the policies that are the result of extreme nationalism, which obviously produces crises between different cultures, also produces extreme and constant stress. Therefore, a human response is necessary in this regard.

Dear friends, today our societies are facing a great transition that is affecting our families and our societies at large. This transition is often misunderstood or misinterpreted, and as such it has posed many dilemmas before us, and more than that, it has raised the need for adjustments and adaptation to the walks of life, despite the great and fast changes that have been imposed on us. Many countries today are faced with rapid economic, political and social changes, and these major changes undoubtedly have affected crucial sectors of our lives, such as education and healthcare, both under grave strains.

The inability of a deep transition or this kind of fast and hard-to-manage transition has impeded the transition within the educational sphere, which is the foundation of all other socio-cultural developments. Likewise, the difficulty in attaining a viable transition leads to additional repercussions, especially in the field of education, where because of the intention for material gains, loses balance between the public and the private sector, and disables fair and loyal competition based on the weight of knowledge, but includes other criteria that not only creates consequences but also ruins the foundations of a genuine education.

In line with this, we also are faced with low-quality health services which, as such, exacerbate civic life.

Such actions, in which human life is at risk precisely because of poor public healthcare, such as lack of proper treatment or the inability to receive private healthcare, are the most inhumane thing in relation to the human being.

These are just a few of the many irregularities that accompany a society after a conflict, which undoubtedly have implications in the surrounding countries.

Currently, as far as I know in European Union countries, which are considered high-ranking countries in the design and implementation of health policies, ideas are being developed for a new approach in which the standards would regulate this balance and would further improve the quality of overall health services.

Unfortunately, in the times in which we live, in many countries around the globe, there is still great controversy with providing life and health for people and especially children from birth.

In addition, there are absolutely unacceptable phenomena in approaches (non-access to health services) to protect the lives of children even before their birth, and these are generally the result of wrong demographic policies as practiced in some countries.

Unfortunately, my people have been selectively subjected to such policies.

Ladies and gentlemen, I come from a country that has experienced all of these: war, refugee crisis, physical, social and economic insecurity and unwanted transitions in family and society.

Undoubtedly we still suffer today the consequences of these severe experiences that my country has gone through. Two decades ago, many women, children and the elderly were slain in my country. There were many massacres that shocked the world and knocked on the conscience of the civilized world. One million citizens were expelled. They also were deprived of their human rights, but also expelled from their homes and from their own country. We also have experienced the fate of refugees, as we have experienced such a crisis of physical, social and economic insecurity. Even today many families in my country live under constant anxiety and permanent waiting for the return of their family members, who even after two decades are still unaccounted for.

Going through all of these difficulties undoubtedly involves a major challenge for a human being. In a place where not only perspectives but also hopes are killed, running away may be seen as the only solution. This, unfortunately, has been experienced by many societies which have been attacked by pressures of this nature.

Many young people from my country moved to different European countries and around the world to build their future. They were simply forced to find the way of salvation, often physical, but also spiritual.

The powerlessness and the inability to secure existence within their own country imposed the creation not only of hope but also of life beyond the borders of Kosovo.

Today, many of those who once were forced to flee Kosovo are renowned names in sports, music and many other spheres of life, with whom we not only take pride in our country but also the country that offered them refuge.

Dear friends, one thing that is certain is that all these challenges pose the right of disobedience and opposition to society. Regardless of the circumstances or contexts, the unpleasant gaps one day will surely explode through strikes or various protests as a form of opposition.

I think it is important, first of all, to give all these issues an alternative to the human solution, always aiming to preserve our humanness regardless of race, political, religious, or ethnic affiliation.

And this is in fact the need to enrich these diversity values in different scales.

Therefore, even in these aspects, free media, scientific sessions and publication of the proceedings are one of the insurmountable factors that can help raise the level in each of the areas mentioned.

At the same time, this implies ongoing reforms in each field, and these reforms are the result of—if I may put it this way—collecting the nectar from the best experiences as a way of raising awareness, maintaining health and improving quality of education in which, above all, regardless of race, they see human beings as a product of love.

Dear friends, I would like to conclude my remarks with the words of the mother of love, peace and humanism, Mother Teresa, "The biggest illness today is not cancer … but indifference and lack of interest.”

Therefore, I urge you not to remain silent, and not to let challenges go unmet under the shadow of indifference, because as Mother Teresa said, "Wherever life is in danger, we should be there."

Thank you very much!



To go to the 2019 World Summit Schedule page, click here.