Monday, September 14, 2009

3rd Geneva Lecture--Prince Albert II Foundation Official Sponsor of UN Geneva Lecture Series


The United Nations Office at Geneva is the sponsor of the annual Geneva Lecture Series. One of the objectives pursued by the Geneva Lecture Series initiative is to raise public awareness on global challenges. In addition to the opportunity to listen to and to engage in a debate with prominent speakers during the lecture, the initiative provides the interested audience with the occasion to access key background documents with respect to the Lecture topic.

Experts from Geneva with different professional backgrounds ranging from academic researchers to UN officials and civil society practitioners are invited by the Geneva Lecture Series team to share background references and papers on this occasion. A selected list of recommended readings is made available for each lecture. Please note that the opinions expressed in those documents are solely of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of the United Nations Institute for Training and Research neither of the organizers or sponsors of the Geneva Lecture Series. The purpose of the selection is to introduce the interested persons to a variety of existing intellectual positions and an academic debate on the topic of each lecture.

The UN Geneva's inaugural lecture was held on 29 April 2008, followed by the second lecture on the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights on Human Rights Day, 10 December 2008, titled, "Are Human Rights Universal?" The final remarks of the second lecture in December 2008 (see unofficial text of remarks below) were made by H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, which Foundation is an official sponsor of the Geneva Lecture Series. His Highness reiterated the main statement of the speakers by calling for “new forms of solidarity” in the age of globalization and a “scrupulous and universal insistence on human rights” in all countries around the world.

THIRD LECTURE: The third lecture will be delivered by Mr. Mikhail Gorbachev, Former President of the Soviet Union and Founding President of Green Cross International, on the topic “Resetting the Nuclear Disarmament Agenda”, will take place on 5 October 2009 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:20 p.m. at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

United Nations Secretary-General BAN Ki-moon will deliver an introductory statement, to be followed by Mr. Gorbachev. After the lecture, the public will be invited to participate in a debate moderated by a well-known journalist. Simultaneous interpretation in English and French will be available for the duration of the whole event.

Information extracted from the UN Geneva Website. See:

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Remarks by H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco
on the occasion of the second edition of the Geneva Lecture Series
Geneva, 10 December 2008
Monsieur le Directeur Général

Monsieur le Secrétaire général adjoint,
Chère Shirin Ebadi,
Cher Wole Soyinka,
Mesdames et Messieurs,

Les interventions que nous venons d’entendre et le débat ont posé les
questions essentielles. Et il est évidemment difficile, en quelques minutes, de
parler d’un sujet aussi vaste.
Mais, puisque j’ai le privilège de proposer une conclusion à ces échanges
passionnants, je voudrais faire quelques remarques.
Ce soixantième anniversaire est, à l’échelle planétaire, un temps de doute
pour les droits de l’Homme. Après l’euphorie des années 1990, ces dernières
années ont vu surgir un nouveau débat, un nouvel ennemi : le relativisme.
Dans toutes les enceintes, y compris celle de l’ONU, fleurissent désormais
des conceptions culturelles, religieuses ou ethniques des droits de l’Homme, qui
vont à l’encontre de leur universalité.
Cette universalité n’est pourtant pas une qualité parmi d’autres des droits
de l’Homme ; c’est leur principe même.
Prétendre que les droits de l’Homme ne seraient pas universels, c’est en
effet nier ce qui fait leur grandeur, cet idéal éternellement inachevé : « tous les
êtres humains naissent libres et égaux en dignité et en droits. »
Mais c’est aussi insinuer que la barbarie, le viol, la torture ou la tyrannie
seraient plus supportables sous certaines latitudes. C’est renoncer à l’unité du
genre humain.
Comment l’accepterions-nous ?
Nous sommes nous-mêmes, je l’ai dit, dans une période de doute.
Personne n’est irréprochable et nos propres manquements, passés ou présents,
sont exploités par les tenants du relativisme et de la confusion morale.
Not an official record 2
Ces doutes, Mesdames et Messieurs, ne doivent pas nous arrêter. Au
C’est parce qu’il nous revient de faire la preuve des droits de l’Homme que
notre responsabilité est plus grande que jamais.
Car notre monde de doute est aussi un monde de fraternités réinventées,
un monde où les cris des victimes se font entendre de plus en plus fort. D’un
pays, d’un continent à l’autre, des voix nous disent que les maux sont les
mêmes, comme sont identiques les dangers nés d’une gestion irresponsable de la
nature ou les malheurs causés par une économie oublieuse des hommes et des
Il nous faut y répondre avec la même application, en sachant que toutes
ces menaces nous concernent. Quand les droits de l’Homme sont attaqués, c’est
l’humanité tout entière qui souffre. Quand nous laissons commettre des crimes
contre les droits de l’Homme, c’est notre propre avenir que nous fragilisons.
Mesdames et Messieurs,
Notre époque mondialisée appelle des solidarités nouvelles. La seule
manière de faire face aux risques de ce monde, c’est de ne chercher à distinguer
ni entre les victimes, ni entre les malheurs. C’est d’être mus par une même
exigence scrupuleuse et universelle au nom des droits de l’Homme, dans chacun
de nos pays.
C’est ainsi, soixante ans après la Déclaration de 1948, que nous
continuerons à faire la preuve concrète de l’universalité des droits de l’Homme.
Je vous remercie.

Prince Albert II at September 2007 Inauguration of Monaco Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Address of Prince Albert II at September 2007 Inauguration of Embassy of Monaco in Washington, D.C.

Address by H.S.H. Prince Albert II at The Inauguration of the Residencein Washington on September 26, 2007

Mr. Ambassador, Madame, Your Excellencies, Madame Consul General, , distinguished Consuls of Monaco in the United States, Ladies and Gentlemen,
dear friends and dear family members, thank you all for being here. It’s wonderful to see, by your presence, the links between Monaco and the United States.

I’m particularly thrilled to be inaugurating Monaco’s Ambassador’s Residence here in Washington today with you. I’m delighted that Monegasque Diplomacy and Diplomatic Representation are now at an Ambassadorial Level. And I think this is only to highlight my personal commitment and that of the Principality to provide the necessary resources for deeper cooperation between Monaco and the United States.
I’m also moved today because my thoughts are obviously with my parents.
Especially with my Mother, since she was both of our countries’ most outstanding Ambassador and bound both of our countries in a very unique way.

As you know, I’m very fond of this country and harbor many happy memories of my early childhood and years after that. Summers with family members, summers at camp. There are a couple of people whom I went to camp with who are in this Embassy today. And of course, studying in Amherst College, then trying to learn some sort of insight and to make some sort of sense of what it means to be in Corporate America. And every time I spend time in this country, it brings back a whole lot of these fond memories. I think America instilled in me an appreciation for entrepreneurship and a deep respect for work as the only way to win. Also, it revealed to me the value of competition, not in order to dominate the other person but to surpass one’s self and find fulfillment. Returning to this land as I do fairly often, I embrace the immensity of its wide open spaces and the richness of a society founded on so many different ethnic origins. The inauguration of this Embassy marks a fresh impetus that I wish to bring to the relations - a long lasting and friendly relation between the Principality of Monaco and the United States of America.

These relations, as you know, were consolidated on December 8 of last year when His Excellency, Ambassador Gilles Noghès, presented his Letters of credence to President Bush. And, five days later, His Excellency Craig Stapleton, the United States Non-Resident Ambassador, handed his Letters of Accreditation to me in the Principality. I had the pleasure of welcoming Ambassador Stapleton back to the Palace just a few days ago and used that opportunity to take another look at issues of common interests to both our Countries. Our mutual Ambassadors constitute a very visible expression of the close links that bind us.

I would also like to take this opportunity to salute the valuable work carried out by Mrs. Maguy Maccario-Doyle, who is our Consul General in New York City, and the equally indispensable efforts of the Principality’s six Honorary Consuls. Most of them are here today. It’s a real pleasure for me to see them again and to be able to keep up with their great work and I salute them and urge them to keep on going on that track.

Monaco shares the ideals and concerns of the United States, this I think you are all well aware of. Joining with the international community and the American government we will do everything possible to bring our efforts to the fight against terrorism in all its forms. A joint agreement pertaining to the proceeds of crime and the confiscation of goods signed by the Government of Monaco and the US government on the twenty fourth of March of this year bears witness to this.
Our American friends know that they will always receive a particularly warm welcome in the Principality and the image I would like you all and like our American friends to take away from Monaco is that of a Country that may be small in size but is driven by an unsuspected capacity to rise to challenge. It is inspired by the same values of freedom.

And we also remain open as our American friends do, to the great issues of our time. At the forefront of these issues, I think you know my commitment to the environment. And, as you know, not only has Monaco over the past ten years done tremendous efforts in terms of cooperation with other countries on environmental projects, but I felt it was time for me to do more. And so that’s why I set up in June of last year my own Foundation solely devoted to the environment.

We have three main areas that we have concentrated on, that is: the protection of biodiversity, the studies on climate change and on new energies, and also on the excruciatingly serious concerns about water and about water management. And so, with this new Foundation, we are working currently on 30 different projects that have been approved by our Scientific Board and by the Board of Trustees. We have decided to expand and to have satellite committees in different countries.

I am delighted to say that there will be a Prince of Albert II Monaco Foundation arm in the United States. I am very grateful and pleased that my cousin, John Kelly, has accepted to chair this group. And so, this arm of the Foundation will be happy to work with different entities in this country.

Thanks to Monaco’s Embassy in Washington, our two countries will now become still greater friends, building on the close links that we have already nurtured together. I think Isaac Newton said many years ago that, “man builds more walls than he does bridges.” I believe that both of our countries have been fortunate to build many bridges of friendship over the years. Let’s hope by working together that we will not only keep these bridges strong, that we’ll keep them open for ever.
Thank you very much.