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03/05/2017 20:45:15

Speech delivered by Minister of Defence Panos Kammenos at the International Military Sports Council (CISM)

     

    “ Welcome to our country, Greece, the birthplace of Olympism and Democracy.

    Allow me to begin by quoting Franklin Roosevelt.

    “More than just an end to war, we want an end to the beginnings of all wars”.

    I am certain that your  72nd  Congress will be fruitful, it will further consolidate this institution and it will honour the high ideals of  “fair play” .
     
    Today we are all here with a common objective, to send a resounding message to all peoples, all leaders. Mankind needs peace. Peace should come first and it should dominate in our commonsense and hearts.  

    Let us not merely stick to just wishful thinking and to mere words, especially you, the athletes of the Armed Forces. We should all be alert and this effort should be tireless, because peace is achieved only through constant and daily struggle. It is our obligation to make peoples believe that that they should impose justice with peaceful demonstrations and exercise this right of theirs each time someone tries to abolish the institution of Democracy, a right included in the Greek Constitution.

    Unfortunately, there will always be leaders of peoples whose violent domineering over other peoples, other religions and other civilizations,  is their main objective.  

    It is not easy to control them, it is not easy to stop them and unfortunately today people are obliged to defend themselves in a violent manner to save their families and free their country,  because, let’s not forget that freedom is the ultimate good.

    However, before all hell breaks loose, before a war breaks out, before a violent revolution, there is always time to reverse the flow of events and transform it into a just and peaceful solution.  However, this is not achieved solely by itself, and it does not suffice to trust in peace, unity, friendship, solidarity and justice, we all need to take action independently. All you athletes, serve these principles from the very first moment, from your childhood, when you decided to passionately and courageously dedicate yourselves to your sport and honour your country and your families,

    These principles are your daily experience and an inextricable part of the daily routine of all athletes and each soldier who serves his country and you ought to honour them, disseminate them and remind us all of them, without making any exceptions through your work and through athletics. War is not the solution, the solution lies within peaceful “revolutions” of the people , and the backbone of the institution of Democracy.

    Your strength is great and your bravery is even greater. Allow me to mention at this point that recently in Greece, the Armed Forces, the Coast Guard ,  as well as droves of citizens have been giving an everyday struggle with self sacrifice and bravery in the Aegean sea and our islands to save human lives, mothers and children who fled their countries, where peace has violently been  diminished. All these people, all these defenders of peace convey to the whole world, to all peoples, all leaders a great, powerful message: peace cannot be taught through violence , it is taught through solidarity, unity and friendship.

    I congratulate them all, now that I find myself among their fellow athletes and colleagues for not hesitating at all to do the same, with bravery, self sacrifice, being soldiers at heart and mind where “peace comes first”.



         

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