Friday, March 5, 2010
The Center for Peace and Environment had it's annual awards ceremony in the name of the late Dr.Taghi Ebtekar, my father who passed away 9 years ago. The Center for Peace and Environment (www.pengo.ir) has now convened this Award for five rounds, acknowledging each time, the efforts and achievements of scientists and scholars in the field of environmental research. At least six months ahead, the Center announces its conditions and invites qualified scholars to take part through ads in major newspapers. Once candidates send their credentials and the deadline is over, the Board of Referees begins the nomination process. In addition to the main prize, journalists in the field of the environment are also acknowledged for the difficult work they perform. This year two scientists,one specializing in biodiversity and the other in air pollution were selected. Three journalists and a newspaper Etellat were chosen for their role in reporting on environmental challenges and issues that the country faces.
Seyyed Mohammad Khatami , the former President of the Islamic Republic of Iran was our guest of honor. After presenting the prizes, he spoke on the importance of peace as the prerequisite for development and human advancement. "If we perceive human nature as inherently aggressive and in pursuit of war then peace becomes an entity that must be enforced and will face instability. On the other hand if we view human nature inherently peace seeking, then peace becomes a natural entity that can be safeguarded to promote stability ." Khatami continued "We need to realize that Peace is the essential requirement of humanity both at national and international levels. At national levels intolerance and violence are on the rise and at the international levels war, occupation and aggression at the hands of powerful governments are widespread." We need to condemn the violent attitudes that intend to promote tensions and conflicts, particularly when this attitude is presented under the guise of religion and sacred objectives, Khatami stressed. Finally, he stressed, peace with nature and the environment is an integral aspect of peace and the global conditions we face in today's world are the result of an ongoing war against the ecosystem.
After the speech most of the guests wanted to take photographs with Khatami. It seems that after all the pressures, smearing campaigns and threats against him , his popularity has mysteriously risen!