The Quest for Peace

Peace Brings True Security

Without peace and without the overwhelming majority of people that believe in peace defending it, working for it, believing in it, security can never really be a reality.

Press Conference with Swiss President Flavio Cotti
May 16, 1998


But it is not enough to tackle the mechanics of terror organizations. We must also tackle the situations that create terrorists. We desperately need to address the frustration, the loss and the despair that drive some to these actions.

Peace is not an empty slogan. It is a way of life that seeks to develop humanity’s resources, and to open the door to avenues or real hope. Peace is the path to human freedom. It allows peoples and states to live in prosperity. Conversely, frustration and desperation, coupled with poverty, impede the course of human life.

But terrorism is neither the proper nor the legitimate way to fulfill the aspirations of peoples, and to ensure their rights. We in this part of the world must shoulder our responsibilities. It is not enough to denounce terrorism. We must work together to protect the dignity of human beings, whoever and wherever they may be. This is our ultimate aim and our overriding interest.

To protect human beings and their dignity is to lay siege to the sources of frustration and desperation. Experience proves that human beings in the Middle East want to live in a stable region. They yearn for tranquillity. They want to live in dignity, and to practice their right of free expression with commensurate responsibility.

Address to the “Summit of the Peacemakers”
Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt
March 13, 1996


We are fully aware that regional cooperation between all countries should be based on complementarity and justice, so that the region may enjoy greater harmony, and fewer disparities in the levels of development among its countries. This harmony would only reinforce social and our ability to eliminate the root causes of future insecurity.

Address to the Middle East and North Africa Economic Summit
October 29, 1995


The link between peace and stability on the one hand, and social and economic growth on the other, is dialectic. Peace, poverty, and backwardness cannot mix in one region.

Address to the United Nations General Assembly on the Occasion of the
50th Anniversary of the United Nations
New York
October 22, 1995


Peace and security are integral parts of a whole. Stability cannot be rooted unless poverty, backwardness, and tyranny are eliminated. This can be achieved through cooperation between members of the whole international community, making a united stand, in order to face these challenges that carry the greatest opportunities, and, at the same time, gravest dangers.

Address to the United Nations General Assembly on the Occasion of the
50th Anniversary of the United Nations
New York
October 22, 1995


What is the real purpose of peace? In our view, it is to promote the security and the prosperity of peoples. Without security, there can be no assured prosperity. And without prosperity, there can be no assured security. In the modern history of the Middle East, there have been many attempts to erect security systems and arrangements, either between external powers and regional states, or between regional states themselves. None of these arrangements were effective in preventing wars and conflicts in the Middle East.

Address to the Parliamentary Assemby of the Council of Europe
Strasbourg, France
September 25, 1995


It should never be forgotten that peace resides ultimately not in the hands of governments, but in the hands of the people. For unless peace can be made real to the men, women and children of the Middle East, the best efforts of negotiators will come to naught.

Address to the Joint Session of the US Congress
Washington, DC
July 26, 1994


The absence and suppression of justice can only open the way for extremists to exploit such a condition to perpetrate acts of violence against innocents.

Address to the Fortieth Session of the United Nations General Assembly
New York
September 27, 1985