Speech Savitri MacCuish
Director WPF Foundation
At the inauguration of the World Peace Flame Pathway, The Hague
April 27th 2004
This is such a special occasion that I want to dispel with all formalities and say: “Dear Friends! Thank-you.”
Yesterday a message came through to us from Kofi Annan in New York, “You all have an important part to play”, he said, “by making your voices heard; by raising awareness; by showing the will to overcome differences. We can build a better world for succeeding generations, if we only summon the will. You are all, in your own way, nurturing the culture of peace for the sake of our children and grandchildren.”
What a fitting way to mark the magnitude of what we have all just witnessed. To you all - I would like to thank you, most sincerely, for making this day possible.
We are sitting here today because peace and unity have arisen between us. Somehow, even though individually we may feel unable to achieve such a task, together we have achieved something that history will describe as momentous. Here, in front of the Peace Palace in the Hague on the 27th April 2004, one hundred and ninety seven countries and regions have come together in an unprecedented demonstration of global co-operation to make a statement - and that statement is: Through our mutual cooperation, peace is possible.
When the Taj Mahal was being built in India, one workman was heard to say, ‘I am building a wall with cement and stones’ while another said, ‘I am building a monument to the greatness of the human spirit.’ You could look at the World Peace Flame and say it is just a small flame. Or you could look at it and see a light that can set the world on fire. Not the fire of anger, hatred or violence, but the passionate fire of friendship, unity and peace.
Ladies and gentlemen, in this World Peace Pathway, where stones have been brought together from every country of the earth, we have started to build. It may be a small beginning, but the mighty oak tree began as a tiny acorn. And I know that contained within the seed of this small pathway lies the potential for global peace.
We must want this peace. We must sincerely desire this peace. The power of our humanity lies in understanding fully that peace cannot be delegated. Peace begins and ends with you and I, and the decisions we make on a day to day basis.
So we should not leave a gathering such as this without pausing for a moment and making a commitment to take at least one new action, every day, that will add to peace, either in our family life, our work place or in the greater world around us.
In conclusion, I appeal to each and every one of us to use some of the greatest gifts we as human beings have been given, those of compassion and kindness. Unlike the stock market, these commodities can only increase in value the more we spend them!
Thank you for participating in building the future, for our children and our children’s children. Thank you for being the world’s ambassadors for peace, for through our combined efforts we can stride forward with courage and determination to make peace a reality. When we dream alone it is only a dream; but when we dream together we create that new reality.