U Thant Peace Award 1991 (f) Response Mr. de Marco – Recipient

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Main post is: U Thant Peace Award, 28 September 1991 – Overview

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Award Recipient Response:

Professor de Marco: Sri Chinmoy and dear, dear friends, little would I have thought when just a year ago or so I took over the Presidency of the General Assembly, that this year would be such an interesting year, a year of such changes, a year also of such difficulties. But another thing happened this year. I got to know you, and this was simply not in my programme. It was not in my programme because I had no knowledge of this Peace Meditation Group within the United Nations, which at the inspiration of Sri Chinmoy has been working so hard for many years.

Your mission is the power of the spirit. No matter the changes in society, no matter the changes in the international scenario, no matter all the things which make yesterday not like today and today nothing like tomorrow, yet there is something which Is permanent. And this is the power of the spirit, the power of the Inner self.  (more) I think that Sri Chinmoy and all of you here are trying to bring out a sense of permanence in humanity, the humanity which, In spite of all the apparent changes, can only realise itself due to the inner power, the power of the spirit. This I think is the essence of what humanity, after all, is all about; Mention was made of my visits abroad as President. I did them with a purpose. The purpose was to give to our United Nations its proper dimension. It is primarily the United Nations function of bringing together politicians, bringing together statesmen and bringing together ambassadors which is very Important. But what is the real purpose of this bringing together? Just for the sake of meeting? It is always nice. Just for the sake of exchanging views, the cross fertilisation of ideas? That is very excellent. But I think that the very purpose of all this meeting should be something different. A different approach to my view is: where is humanity going, what is leading us, what is leading us to what? And here I believe that your Peace Meditation meetings are so very important, because when we speak of peace, it is not merely the absence of war. It is bringing peace to those who are poor in spirit. That, I think, is fundamental if we really want to understand what peace is all about.

We think so much about the material things in life, and quite rightly so, because matter is also part of the essence of our existence. It would be a mistake to ignore this. You realise this even more when you see persons suffering. Suffering humanity is one of those great contradictions. We cannot understand why there should be a suffering humanity. And yet the suffering humanity involves more than the majority of all beings on this planet. Sometimes I refer to my visits to Ethiopia where you see hunger everywhere. And you think, “How can it he?” We speak in Europe about the melting of mountains of butler. We speak in the United States of the dumping or vegetables, cereals and all those sorts or items, just to stabilise prices. Then we see that there is a humanity which not only faces hunger but also is dying of hunger. This Is what we cannot understand — this contradiction in humanity. While most people are very kind and very good, most people follow what we in criminal law refer to as willfully shutting one’s eyes. And many willfully shut their eyes to these stark realities of life on our planet. This is where the power or the spirit is needed. I want to thank you for this prize inspired by that great Secretary-General U Thant, who realised and who taught us the great power or the spirit in our day-to-day affairs. I think, Sri Chinmoy, you’ve been trying during these years in your own style, through your own perception, to bring a sense or peace to a metropolis which has such contradictions In poverty and in riches, in generosity and in cruelty, in oneness and in separateness. It is this sense or mission which you, Sri Chinmoy, have inspired in this group of United Nations workers.

And I’m using the word ‘workers’ for a purpose. There is nothing socialist behind it, but I do not like to use the word ’employees’. It’s not your employment which matters so much as the fact that you are working together to make the United Nations more effective, more efficient and more relevant. To this subject I have also given emphasis during my presidency. We have to be more relevant, not only more efficient. There is nothing worse than being efficiently irrelevant. Better at least to be inefficient and relevant rather than to be efficiently irrelevant. We are all working at the United Nations to make it a relevant United Nations which looks at the forgotten part of humanity and makes it its own; a United Nations which believes that peace is not just the absence of war; a United Nations, finally, which believes in the power of the spirit.

Sri Chinmoy, may I thank you so much for giving me this great opportunity to get to know you and also to know those who are working with you, trying through their meditation and their meetings to bring the power of the spirit to our dear United Nations. Thank you so much.

Sri Chinmoy: Most soulfully and most devotedly we are receiving your blessingful message, which is flooded with light. We shall always treasure your blessingful presence and your illumining message. we shall always carry your heart of sleepless self-giving in the very depths of our own gratitude-hearts.

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For Complete award ceremony see also:

U Thant Peace Award 1991 (a) Sept 28 – Overview

and more details:

U Thant Peace Award 1991 (b) Professor de Marco’s life and contributions

U Thant Peace Award 1991 (c) Professor de Marco previous statements

U Thant Peace Award 1991 (d) Background – Previous Recipients

U Thant Peace Award 1991 (e) Songs: Mr. de Marco, Malta and Recipients quotations

U Thant Peace Award 1991 (f) Response Mr. de Marco – Recipient

U Thant Peace Award 1991 (g) Informal Remarks

U Thant Peace Award 1991 (h) Media Coverage: Malta & USA