Discurso en el acto de entrega de los Premios Goldman 2003
Del Premio Goldman para Europa, el Profesor de la Universidad de Zaragoza
D.Pedro Arrojo Agudo- Teatro de la Ópera de San Francisco- 14 de Abril 2003
Mr. Goldman, honored guests, ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to thank the Goldman Foundation for honoring me with this prize. In receiving it, I take this opportunity of dedicating it publicly first to the memory of my mother, who left this world just two short months ago but who is surely weeping with joy wherever she is now, and who is still very much present in my heart. I also dedicate it to three other very special people who are with us this evening: to my father, to Carmen, my partner and the love of my life, and to this son of ours, Sergio, who is already playing his part in the fight for a better world.
But above all, I accept this prize with gratitude as a tribute to the thousands of people who work every day at grass roots level in defense of life and human dignity. As you have seen, one of my great commitments is to preserve our precious water resources, with water, as I have often said, being the blue soul of this planet. To fight for the health of our rivers and seas is to fight for the dignity of both present and future generations.
During the last hundred years we have destroyed and poisoned this blue soul, inflicting a hydrological catastrophe in our rivers and wetlands; one thousand five hundred million people have no access to decent drinking water; millions of individuals have been forced to abandon their homes and to watch them being flooded as a consequence of enormous dam projects; many of our great rivers have been so degraded that they no longer run to the sea.
As you have just seen from the video, my country features amongst those that have constructed more dams per inhabitant and per square kilometer in the world. And despite all this, even today, at the beginning of the twenty first century, our Government is trying to impose a National Water Plan based on the profligate use of cement and in the hope of receiving public finance from the European Union. This is the road to the unsustainable, to the brutal and to the corrupt: it is what you yourselves have so accurately described as the "Pork Barrel" of "perverse subsidies".
I have just come from Barcelona where, last Sunday, hundreds of thousands of people demonstrated in favor of a New Water Culture. From both the academic world of our great universities, as well as from a range of social movements we are proposing solutions and alternatives that give priority to good management, the conservation of our eco-systems and the use of new technologies, all under the perspective of sustainable development.
In my view, now is the time to finish with the barbarity and arrogance of this so-called progress that justifies destruction in the name of development. Neither water, nor oil, nor our ambition for any other resource that mother nature so generously offers us can ever justify war. The New Water Culture that we defend is a culture of peace. Those who think that the world order, or grandiose water projects, can be imposed on us by an avalanche of cement or by precision weapons that kill "intelligently" are wrong and we must not allow them to govern this planet.
Citizens of the World, feeling in our hearts the horror suffered by millions of innocent Iraqis, the madness of the death of men, women and children, as well as of the American and British soldiers sent to the absurdity of war, I propose that we transform our indignation and pain into a permanent commitment to fight with collective intelligence for the cause of PEACE. For PEACE between men, and also for PEACE between mankind and this wondrous natural world that gives us life.