Ladies and Gentlemen,
As Louis Pasteur once said, and I quote, “Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity and is the torch which illuminates the world”. End quote.
As Chairman of the Second Committee of the United Nations General Assembly, I accepted with great honor the invitation to address today’s event marking CERN’s 60th anniversary and its invaluable contribution to peace and development.
In the Second Committee, we are at a critical juncture. On the one hand, we have the last chance to make a final push to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); on the other, we must seize the opportunity for a significant contribution to the formulation of the new agenda. Maintaining and accelerating development progress in the face of new and continuing threats, and, setting the course for a successful transition to a transformative, universal post-2015 agenda is our top priority.
The Second Committee is well placed to do that. Its broad agenda covers most of the key issues that are central to the development of societies. It is about the future of humanity and our planet.
In doing so, science and technology play a crucial role. From climate change to disaster preparedness, from public health to food security, from the eradication of poverty to data revolution, science and scientists offer us solutions to global and common challenges and pave the way towards a more sustainable and innovative society. We live in a knowledge based society and we must make full use of the possibilities science and scientific research offer us.
CERN and its history are the best example of how science and scientific cooperation are a key instrument for dialogue and collaboration among people. Acting as a bridge and facilitator, CERN brings together scientists and people regardless of their background or nationality, while at the same time advancing scientific research and providing tangible advancement in scientific, economic and social development.
Allow me to point out tow main messages that stem from today’s event and from the overall programme that CERN organized worldwide to celebrate its 60th anniversary. There are many, but let me focus on two.
The first message is raising awareness of policy makers and diplomacy. Science offers many answers to common challenges and can play an important role in the definition of the post 2015 agenda and, more broadly, in the advancement towards a more peaceful and sustainable society.
The second message is towards the public opinion. “Pure physics research concentrated on understanding the inside of the atom” does not sound too catchy or sexy! However, the attractive program CERN has put together to celebrate its 60th anniversary – with exhibitions, public lectures, practical demonstrations, guided tours all inspired by science – has sent out a clear and loud message to the general public that our everyday life is surrounded by science.
In preparing for today’s event, I was going through CERN’s website – by the way, the World Wide Web is one CERN’s great contribution to our everyday life – and I found a sentence which particularly struck me: “CERN: seeking and finding answers to questions about Universe”.
It encapsulates all the fascination, the mystery and the importance of the work CERN and its scientists carry out on a daily basis. I wish you all many more years and anniversaries of discoveries ad success.