Former Polish President Urges Solidarity in Abu Dhabi Lecture

  • 10 March 2014

Countries around the world should seek to resolve political conflicts by using technology and increased communication, said Poland’s former president. Lech Walesa, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, said solidarity was key in solving today’s conflicts, such as the current situation in Ukraine and Russia.

“Solidarity is a very simple philosophy,” he said during his lecture entitled “The Challenges of Globalisation and the Need for Solidarity” at the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. “There are many countries in Europe but the communication is very tight and people are in close communication. It is very important today to adjust technology to the needs of modern-day communication and it’s important to focus our minds on a technology that will allow us to develop our countries, to be better and more efficient.”

He suggested using the model of solidarity to resolve the current conflict between Ukraine and Russia. “We should have dialogue with Russia and Russia should understand what is possible and what is not,” he said. “It’s possible, my revolution has proven it. We have to work step by step.”

He said countries around the world should ensure an equal level of development. “We should start working on ideas for the future because there are different issues that cause revolutions,” Mr Walesa said. “The next cause of a crisis could be oil or water so how can we deal with them? Today, we should understand that the whole world belongs to us, no one should harm anyone, whether it’s religious or political. We should forget the past because then, religions will fall into place and we will respect each other and our cultures.”

He said solutions must be reached through communication and discussion. “I am afraid there will be plenty of revolutions around the world and the elites from this country and others should start to think about how to resolve them,” he said. “They destroy more than they actually build.”

Countries could use the example of the UAE, in that respect, he added. “Today, when I look at how you treat values in the UAE, it’s not based on money, it’s based on spirit and values,” Mr Walesa said. “You know how to behave and the whole world should look at this region, at how you built your prosperity on spirit. The UAE still keeps some values of monarchy, God and social order but, in Europe, we sometimes have too many freedoms and because of them, we lose our way sometimes.”

Future global crises will have to be dealt with using increased communication, he said. “We should look at global issues and how they can be used to profit all of us,” he said. “That’s why it’s important now to make a list of potential crises and research different ideas for the future on how to deal with them. We don’t have a real globalisation yet but we’re on the way. This is a different era and we should globalise the structures of the world because if we all cooperate, there will be no conflict.”

He said structures that were in place until the 20th century were no longer applicable in the 21st century. “In this generation, we need to use technology and have different ways of communicating,” he said. “We, in Europe, notice that all countries have different values, religions, taxes, rules and laws. Despite that, we have opened up borders and we still manage to understand those differences and we can communicate.”

He said peaceful negotiations were crucial. “It’s important that we know what we want to do and we should exchange our views and knowledge,” he said. “I hope in the future, we’ll be similar in building the world, even in different parts of the world. In the UAE, you built in the middle of desert a beautiful country and beautiful cities and I believe this is because of the country’s spirit.”