Address by Mr Carmona on the occasion of May 8, 2014
"Today, we are celebrating the end of the Second World War in Europe. In Asia, this war continued for several months, along with deaths and suffering, and was followed for decades with the decolonization wars and the Cold War, which remains to be definitely ended. I would have loved to celebrate on this 8th May the end of all wars, but we are not there yet.
What meaning should we give to May 8, 1945 ? First of all, it is the victory of freedom over tyranny, of democracy over dictatorship, of Human rights over genocide, of international law over unilateral use of force.
This victory accompanied the birth of the United Nations, enlarged from 51 members in 1945 to 193 nowadays, resulting from decolonization and breakup of Soviet Union and other states. As this week sees the commemoration of a painful step of the decolonization, let us honour the memory of those who have fallen.
This year, we are also celebrating the centennial of the First World War that veterans and survivors used to call “la der des ders” (“the very last one”). It was not, and it partly caused the equally murderous Second World War.
Peace must never be taken for granted. Peace can only be lasting if rooted in reason against brutality, compromise against act of force, right of peoples against blindness of leaders, and international law against territorial ambitions.
Tomorrow we will celebrate Europe Day. It is from the chaos of both World Wars that emerged the determination of European Union’s precursors. The symbolic rapprochement of 8th and 9th May clearly emphasizes it, because European construction is the best insurance for peace in the old continent.
From the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951 till the Lisbon Treaty in 2007, which strengthened political and monetary union, how tenacious our wise leaders had to be ! The “economic detour” promoted by Jean Monnet paved the way to political construction that continues to bring us closer, despite criticisms and denigrations. At the end of the month, all European citizens will elect their representatives by direct universal suffrage. From their will, a new democratic executive will emerge.
And it is precisely towards democracy that many European Union’s neighbors are looking, willing to join the EU or to strengthen their partnership.
I am particularly speaking to the young people here with us today : do not forget those who sacrificed their lives, during the Second World War and so many other occasions, for peace, independence, rights and freedom.
Thanks to all of you who accepted my invitation to commemorate together these universal values."