The special guest of the Conference was Mr Sébastien Balibar, a member of the French Academy of Sciences and author of the book: Climate: a closer look to take action.
Speech of Prince Nicolas Petrovitch Njegosh, president of the Foundation launched at the Conference
to each of you I offer a cordial greeting.
Please excuse me if I’m not following protocol, but in the face of the issues we are raising today there is neither Prince nor President, neither deans nor students, neither the rich nor the poor, neither the young nor the old…. There are only human beings faced with the threat of their extinction for the first time in the history of the world.
I dare say that we are all in the same ark.
That is why I am really pleased that we have managed to organize this climate forum, in the days the final session of COP21, the twenty first Conference on Climate, is taking place. The Conference is commonly referred to as ” the Conference of the last chance”, but I prefer the term ” Conference of the first chance” instead.
Namely, never before have we been more aware of the urgent need for a great reorganization of our societies. That is why I consider it the first chance, and those who ignore this opportunity are, strictly speaking, inhuman beings.
Therefore, all of us attending this event today have the same concerns, even the same images, the same discussion topics, as those individuals who govern the planet, and are now gathered in Paris with the same motive.
Paris/Podgorica the same struggle.
Let me, first of all, pay a tribute to the innocent victims, one hundred and thirty of them, who have been slain by young people poisoned with irrational hatred. Hatred towards themselves, hatred towards life, hatred towards the God they call upon, but they also show abhorrence for through such destruction of His creation.
This issue is closely related to the topic we have gathered around.
For the only possible response to such hatred is love, love towards life, towards the love-bearing planet and its inhabitants.
Love is commonly portrayed as an armed angel. Armed with a bow and arrows. The bow is supposed to awaken those who are indifferent, but is also used in a struggle we are sometimes provoked into by hatred and barbaric acts.
This particular question arises again: have people become so deranged to destroy themselves with hatred and greed?
This is the issue which bothers us today and also questions our human qualities, it requires the talent for love: passion, generosity, unselfishness, creativity and solidarity.
Namely, the fight against global warming and its possible consequences will be a tough fight during which we will all be required to make sacrifices. We should distance ourselves from individualism and anthropocentrism. We should overcome the euphoria of consumerism which wears us out. As love usually requires from us, we are supposed to change our habits and our lifestyle if we do not want the future generations to curse us or to find humankind immersed in the ocean of hatred.
That is why I suggested that these young men and women, being members of the generation which is about to inherit the world, pose questions about the effects of global warming, and in the hope that we will be able to resolve their dilemma, I suggest our answers be concise and clear. Questions imposed on them versus the answers required from us.
That is why I wanted Mr Sébastien Balibar, a researcher at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, a head of the Physics Department of the French Academy of Sciences and an associate of the United Nations Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change (IPCC), who has recently written and published a meticulously documented book on climate change, to join us today.
Dear Sebastian, I am deeply thankful that you managed to come and attend the event despite your numerous professional obligations; I am really delighted to have you here in Montenegro for the second time. Namely, being a member of the Executive Board of Nikola Tesla Award, established by the Foundation, Sebastien visited Montenegro last year on the occasion of the award ceremony.
But before I call upon Mr Balibar to speak, let me express my deep sense of gratitude to all of you who helped with the organization of the Conference.
Thanks to dear Veronique who is currently away, thanks to Jean Jacque Forté and the French Institute for their support and participation. Thanks go to dear rector, Mr. Vuković and the staff of the University Mediterranean, for they are going to animate the Conference. A special thanks to the students and their eco-coach Milena Bulatović. Thanks to all of you who are willing to participate and thus stimulate the discussion.
Thanks to Ms Svetlana Vuković, director of the Human Resources Management Authority, for providing the hall.
Thanks to the technical support team and interpreters.
Thank you all for attending the Conference, and let us hope that the forum will raise our awareness of the issues, that we will go into the battle ourselves and show more solidarity in respect of the efforts already exerted, as well as those that are yet to be made in the aim of avoiding the disaster that may occur as a consequence of climate changes.
These two reproductions you have probably noticed at the sides of the conference table are reproductions of an extraordinary work Anka Burić is currently carrying out in cooperation with the Montenegrin Academy of Sciences and Arts, and is entitled ”Standing Tomb-Stones in Montenegro”. These are prints of primitive tomb-stones found in the yard of Biljarda building. A man carved in stone between sky and ground, holding a vertical bar (wood or hoist) irresistibly reminds me of human fate, and the frottage/a drawing created by coal rubbing Anka is performing at the moment associates me of our existence, and I end up wondering what kind of trace we will leave on the planet Earth, which is the issue we should all reflect upon.
I must congratulate Anka on this original graphic work which, I dare say, has a metaphysical character.
The short films you will see today were made in production of NGO ”Wild Touch”, Claude Lorius, a glaciologist and Luc Jacquet, a director, the author of movies ”March of the Penguins” and ”Ice and the Sky”. I want to congratulate them on their success.
These films are not copyrighted and can therefore be downloaded, we provided subtitles for some of them, with the support of the French Institute, and intend to use them as pedagogical material and distrubute them to various schools in Montenegro and neighbouring countries.
I have been immersed into environmental issues for a long time. I am now conviced more than ever that the Ecological State is the only long-term prospect for Montenegro that may gather us around the worthwhile project, and can attract attention of others and ensure the global support.
Faced with this considerable challenge, we now hear the words of St.Peter II echoing in our mountains – they never had such a powerful sound: ”Let it be what men considered impossible”.
Thank you for your attention.