In just a few days’ time, the Colombian government and the FARC will sign a peace agreement in Cartagena – after fifty years of war. Half a century. It means Colombian people my age have never seen their country in peace.
There are conflicts that seem never-ending – look at Syria, or Israel and Palestine.
On this International Day of Peace, let us keep in mind that all wars can come to an end. Peace is possible – if we don’t lose hope, and we never stop working for it.
Colombia gives us hope. The ceasefire agreement in Myanmar gives us hope. Our new relations with Iran, or Cuba, tell us that diplomacy can succeed, even after years of misunderstandings.
In all these success stories, the European Union has played and is playing its part. Our Union itself is the most successful peace project in human history. It has brought seventy years of peace, to a continent that had been at war for ever.
Our European Union has peace-making deep down in its DNA. Wherever there’s an attempt to promote mediation or reconciliation, Europe has a role to play – in the talks, on the field or on the international arena, including here at the UN.
And I believe the European Union can become an even stronger global peace provider. With our new Global Strategy, we are re-thinking the way we work. In line with the Sustainable Development Goals, we are putting all our tools at the service of peace – working on security and on development, empowering women and human rights defenders, investing in our youth.
It might take years, but peace is always possible – if we work to make it real.
The European Union has proven it. And this is why we will continue to work for peace, all around the world.