Time to Take Responsibility

Time to Take Responsibility

Nobel Lecture | Center for Civil Liberties | The Nobel Foundation | Oleksandra Matviichuk | Oslo, Norway, 10 December 2022

Nobel Lecture given by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate 2022 Center for Civil Liberties, delivered by Oleksandra Matviichuk, Oslo, 10 December 2022.

Your Majesty, Your Royal Highnesses, dear members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, citizens of Ukraine and citizens of the world.

This year, the entire Ukrainian nation was waiting for the announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize laureates. We see this Prize as a recognition of the efforts of the Ukrainian people, who have bravely stood up to the attempts to destroy peaceful development of Europe, as well as a celebration of the work being done by human rights activists in order to prevent military threat for the entire world. We are proud of having Ukrainian language heard during the official ceremony for the first time in history.

We are receiving the Nobel Peace Prize during the war started by Russia. This war has been going on for eight years, 9 months and 21 days. For millions of people, such words as shelling, torture, deportation, filtration camps have become commonplace. But there are no words which can express the pain of a mother who lost her newborn son in a shelling of the maternity ward. A moment ago, she was caressing her baby, calling him by his name, breastfeeding him, inhaling his smell – and the next moment a Russian missile destroyed her entire universe. And now her beloved and longed-for baby lies in the smallest coffin in the world.

There are no available solutions for the challenges we and the whole world are facing now. People from different countries are also fighting for their rights and freedoms in extremely difficult circumstances. So, today I will at least try to ask the right questions so that we could start looking for these solutions.

First. How can we make human rights meaningful again?

Second. How to start calling a spade a spade?

Third. How to ensure peace for people around the world?

Fourth. How to ensure justice for those affected by the war?

Fifth. How can global solidarity become our passion?

It’s time to assume the responsibility. We don’t know how much of the time we still have.

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Copyright © The Nobel Foundation, Stockholm, 2022.

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