Governance, Change and Values
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13th October, 1995
It is my privilege to take part in this international dialogue, here in the United States and attended by scholars representing almost every part of the globe. I am fully aware of the reasons why I am here. I come from Lebanon, a small country that has paid dearly for a dream that was almost realized. In Lebanon we were desperately trying to transform a diversified society into a unified nation and a unified destiny; for we have always believed that true harmony is in the reconciliation of opposites.
And as I stand here before you with representatives of countries so far from each other, I am reminded of how Lebanon was a bridge between easts and west and how hard we worked to make it a symbol of tolerance and democracy, a society where differences represented strength and where equality held the entity together. We were hoping that some form of global solidarity would assist us in its fulfillment, but alas in the seventies and eighties the world was not ready for such a noble dream to come true.
The war in Lebanon was a cruel and savage war, the influences of which had far transcended the borders of Lebanon to threaten other areas of the world. But however tragic the past has been, and regardless of who was responsible for it, the time has come to forget our suffering and our pain and look forward with hope to recapture the dream. And this time we are not alone but we share this noble endeavor with all humanity. My presence here among you is perhaps the result of an awareness on the part of myself and many other Lebanese, both Muslims and Christians, that the time has come for us to heed the painful lessons of the war which was imposed on us, and to restore the mission of Lebanon which has always been freedom, tolerance, and harmonious coexistence.
Our future will not doubt be determined by the crucial decisions to be taken in these remaining few years of the twentieth century. Much has been said about the advent of a new world order. But despite all the explanations we have heard, the meaning of this term "a new worlds order" remains a subject of controversy. For example, we wonder how under "new world order", the international policy took action too liberate Kuwait while in the same time they are keeping Lebanon under the crucial Syrian occupation. For one thing this "new world order" seems deficient and inadequate to meet the exigencies of our contemporary world and global community. Our understanding of it seems to be expressed in exclusively political terms; it does not include for example the moral and..........