William Soto: "Articulating efforts to achieve a better world"
Mensaje William Soto

William Soto: "Articulating efforts to achieve a better world"


Welcome to Panama. It is a privilege to address the members of the session with this greeting, in which we also inaugurate the 2017 Peace Integration Summit.

This Third Summit begins with great expectations, which are added areas of discussion, analysis, and proposals, through the incorporation of new working tables; thus expanding the possibility of linking other sectors of society to the fundamental purpose of the Embassy: To work for the benefit of the human family.

Articulating efforts, generating synergies, combining efforts, we will achieve a better world.

I send my best wishes for your success in your journeys.

I want to start this session by citing a phrase that caught my attention, for which I open quotation marks:

“Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”

Albert Einstein

Recalling this sentence from the great scientist of the twentieth century and confronting it with our present reality, it seems necessary to conclude that we have left aside one of the most important feelings of human beings: Compassion. This empathy is elevated with actions to help, care for and protect others, but on the basis of Love. Although this feeling survives in the hearts of men, it seems to only come afloat and manifest itself amid catastrophes and serious damage. I think we must aim to work to maintain it present always, especially in every action that affects our fellow neighbor.

In the name of freedom, civilization, and the progress of mankind, we have caused core damage to our Mother Earth; and with it we are destroying ourselves and all other living things in an accelerated and disproportionate way.

Five years ago, at the Rio +20 Summit, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, the Heads of State and Government and the high-level representatives present issued a statement called "Our Common Future," where they expressed and I quote:

"We renew our commitment to sustainable development and the promotion of an economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable future for our planet and for present and future generations."

We as civil society have welcomed these resolutions and other high-level decisions with great hope, in order to comply with all these agreements, whose global need and urgency is evident.

We see that most of the nations of the world express that they make true effort to fulfill the objectives of the Paris Agreement; but we also witness with deep concern that other voices and opinions, that are also very valid as being essential, based on alternative knowledge and ancestral wisdom, are ignored, such as the Indigenous Peoples of the world, that can also be transform into effective and easily applicable actions.

It is urgent to continue to be aware of the unenthusiastic reality that we are living, but at the same time we have to act to stop the damage that we are causing Mother Earth and ourselves. It is necessary to reconcile developmental needs with actions to protect Mother Earth. It is necessary to listen to the scientific proposals and indigenous ancestral knowledge. Expanding the range of voices, we will expand the range of action, and, perhaps, in joint effort, we may be able to stop what today seems inevitable.

With these words, I declare the 2017 Peace Integration Summit inaugurated. Thank you very much.