“Dear Chairman Mr. Man Hee Lee,
Dear Chairwoman Ms. Nam Hee Kim,
Ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to thank the Chairman of the Heavenly Culture World Peace Restoration of Light, and the Chairwoman of the International Women’s Peace Group for their kind invitation to address the second summit of the World Alliance of Religion’s Peace, a remarkable initiative with a very noble cause. There is always a strive for peace because there always seems to be some ongoing kind of war or battle. Whereas humanity has experienced the most vicious wars it has also, always, managed to institute peace.
One of the most iconic figures of the 20th century, canonized as a saint in Vatican during the past few days by Pope Francis, Mother Teresa, dedicated her life to this noble mission: Peace.
Few know her real name, GonxheBojaxhi; yet everyone knows her as Mother Teresa. She was no mother of any child by lineage, for she was a nun; yet she became mother of too many children throughout the world by love, compassion and care. It was due to this unlimited and wholehearted love that the world “baptized” her by the name of Mother Teresa.
Her mission in life was giving to the needy and preaching for love and peace in the world. Her message was simple and yet so powerful, and I am certain will continue to echo for a long time to generations to come.
She was proud of her Albanian origin, and, in turn, Albania is proud to have presented the world with a simple and humble woman of an extraordinary dimension, and owes to her deed to do everything possible to bring her work forward on. So I want to bring today to you this shining example, as a remarkable footprint and inspiration to the noble cause of this conference, and hope it may better guide us all in our endeavor to bring love and peace, at our homes, at our countries and throughout the world.
Albania does not find itself in safe heavens, and has its own challenges to overcome, including consolidation of peace and stability in its neighborhood. We have known wars; we have lived through too many indeed, including very recent ones. We are still suffering the wounds in our region, but we have begun to seize the new opportunities that, yet a fragile peace, has offered to us.
There have been numerous political initiatives to establish a permanent and open dialogue amongst our political elites, but also amongst our peoples. It is the responsibility of our countries’ leaders to educate and lead people towards this direction, for a better understanding, sharing and accepting each-other, including our differences and particularities.
Albanians have a very shining model to build and replicate on. In our country, we share a very unique feature and value, that of inter-religious harmony and coexistence; or what Pope Francis called “an inter-faith brotherhood” after he visited Albania. Nowadays this is a very precious pillar upon which we can build our future, in the country, in our neighborhood, and in relation to the world. This model can nourish and spread further, not as a means of living in ignorance of the other, but as an opportunity to know the other and love the other for that.
This is easier said than done of course, however if we are not alone and enjoy the support of our partners and friends, it can be achieved. Albania is blessed with many partners and allies, who have been there for us, and still stand our side to overcome our individual and shared challenges. It is in this view that I also see this important network of distinguished personalities, which not only offers an opportunity to share experience but also to strengthen our ties, and stand together in times of need.
During this year our hearts have been injured all too many times by sad news coming from different corners of the world, including in the heart of Europe. Innocent people have lost their lives for no reason, and have become victims to ferocious terrorist attacks. We need to send a strong message to the families that have been struck and are still suffering the repercussions of such horrific acts, that they do not sit alone in that corner; that there are people thinking of them and share their pain; that want to aid in some way those that are hurt, but also to bring some peace in their lives.
We need to send a strong signal to those still alive and in pain, that those who lost their lives were not just statistics, but people who are missed and remembered. We need to raise those hopes by spreading these messages to that every corner, because in the end those of us who want peace outnumber by far those who think that peace may be just a linguistic expression.
We need to offer new opportunities, particularly in education, to those girls, young women and mothers, for in turn, they will better teach their children with love and caring, and they will have the means to do it right.
So I hope, that during this conference, the working groups will have a chance to explore and find ways to realize this, maybe small, but significant step towards a better future. Thus let me congratulate you all again for being here today, for dedicating your time and efforts to such an important mission, with the confidence that this summit will be a success and that our network will continue to expand.
Thank you for your kind attention”.