change language
you are in: home - ecumenis...dialogue - internat...or peace - antwerp ...e future contact usnewsletterlink

Support the Community

  

Central African Republic: an agreement for immediate cease-fire and a road map to peace was signed at Sant'Egidio


 
printable version
September 7 2014 17:00 | Stadsschouwburg

Long-lasting peace is possible.


Kris Peeters


Co-Formateur of the Federal Government of Belgium

 
TOESPRAAK DOOR KRIS PEETERS
KONINKLIJK CO-FORMATEUR

CONFERENTIE “VREDE IS DE TOEKOMST”
SANT’EGIDIO
7 september 2014

Monseigneur Bonny,
Mr. President of the European Council,
Mr. Mayor,
Mr. Riccardi – Founder of the Sant’Egidio Community,
Madam Chairwoman,
Honorable ministers and religious leaders,
Ladies and gentlemen,

To some people, the title of this conference may seem out of tune with the world we live in. A world that sees too many conflicts. Too many victims and refugees. But that is the wrong conclusion. Because especially at times like these, we have to continue to believe that ‘peace is the future’.

At times like these, more than ever, people who strive for peace, have to join forces. Across religions, across cultures, across borders.

Long-lasting peace is possible. It is a feeling we all share. And it is a point that has been proven right here, in Belgium. Today, we are the capital of the European Union, arguably the most impressive peace project man has ever seen. But this has not always been the case. Once, we were known as Europe’s battleground.

Indeed, Ladies and Gentlemen, our country is the example that long-lasting peace need not be an idle hope.  But we are also proof that “peace” is a verb. We must remain ever vigilant for latent conflicts. For groups who want to misuse ethnic, religious or other differences in order to set people against each other. We need to continue to explore how our past experiences can continue to offer lessons for peace today.

Therefore, civil authorities and many organizations in our country are devoting considerable attention to the commemoration of the outbreak of World War I, exactly a century ago. We must not forget that a hundred years ago religion played a role in our conflict. On both sides of the trenches, "Gott mit uns," "Dieu le veut," "God with us" or "de Heer staat ons bij" was chanted. All too often such slogans drown out the voices of religious leaders who repeatedly call for peace.

Emmanuel Levinas once wrote how much "true, deep peace" has to do with the "mutual proximity" of people. To use the words of Levinas, we must “keep before our eyes and shoulder the vulnerability of the Other."

This international interreligious dialogue and prayer meeting is a wonderful addition to the wide range of peace initiatives undertaken to commemorate the centenary of the Great War.

I also would like to warmly congratulate Sant'Egidio, and I wish each of you a fruitful, productive, and peaceful conference.

Thank you very much.

PROGRAMMA
PDF

LIVE STREAMING



RELATED NEWS
June 20 2017
ROME, ITALY

Central African Republic: an agreement for immediate cease-fire and a road map to peace was signed at Sant'Egidio

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | CA | NL | RU | HU
June 3 2017
ROME, ITALY

South Sudan humanitarian crisis in the meeting between Sant'Egidio and an international delegation of special envoys

IT | EN
October 24 2011

The Spirit of Assisi: 25 Years of Prayer for Peace

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | CA | NL | RU
March 21 2011

Jos (Nigeria): a Conference on peace, the service to the poor and the intereligious dialogue

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | CA | NL
all related news

NEWS HIGHLIGHTS
June 20 2017 | ROME, ITALY

Central African Republic: an agreement for immediate cease-fire and a road map to peace was signed at Sant'Egidio

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | CA | NL | RU | HU
June 20 2017

World Refugee Day: a story that shows the road of hope #WithRefugees #FaithOverFear


Watch the video
IT | EN | ES | FR
June 19 2017

World Refugee Day 2017. Ecumenical statement: to go beyond the fear of foreigners

IT | EN | ES | DE

ASSOCIATED PRESS
June 22 2017
Corriere della Sera
Sant'Egidio tesse un accordo per la pace in Centrafrica
June 20 2017
Jeune Afrique
Centrafrique : un accord conclu à Sant’Egidio
June 20 2017
Xinhua - chinese press agency
Central African Republic gov't, rebels sign peace deal in Rome
June 20 2017
Vatican Insider
Sant’Egidio, firmato accordo a Roma per la pace in Centrafrica
June 20 2017
Reuters
Central African Republic foes sign Church-mediated peace accord
all press-related