Last Monday we all woke up to the sad news that former Prime Minister Tadeusz Mazowiecki had passed away. The first non-communist Prime Minister after World War II, leading Poland from dictatorship to democracy.
I attended the State Funeral this Sunday morning.
My Dutch colleague described it as a moving and dignified ceremony, and I cannot find any better words than that. It will stay in my mind indefinitely first of all because of the loving farewell expressed by his grandchildren. Secondly because of the way he was described by President Komorowski – like a man showing that you can be decent and effective at the same time in politics. And like a man not seeking enemies but those who want to work together.
That is certainly the way democracy is being built, protected and strengthened.
I think I caught a similar message in the speech of the Bishop of Warsaw – of Prime Minister Mazowiecki as a man uncompromisingly looking for compromise. As Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt wrote in his condolence letter: We remain all in debt for his contribution to the building of democracy in Central and Eastern Europe.
Our Embassy is slowly moving out of one intensive period, the one that ended last week with the visit from the organisation “Society and Defence” – a large delegation studying Polish security- and defence policy more in depth. As always an excellent learning opportunity also for myself since I can benefit from the comprehensive presentations prepared by prominent Polish officials and other experts.
At the same time we are slowly approaching the huge Climate Conference COP-19, starting in Warsaw at Independece Day, Monday November 11th. And continuing for two weeks when we i.a. will be hosting our Minister of Environment Lena Ek during the high level segment concluding this meeting, obviously representing a very important stage in the process hopefully resulting in an agreement in Paris 2015. Climate change is taking place and there is definitely an urgent need for the global community to act sooner rather than later.
In the meantime I have been happy to participate in a couple of inspiring events - like the Congress here in Warsaw of Swedish Medical Students studying abroad (last year they were around 1000 only in Poland). And the Inauguration yesterday of the exhibition “The Ambassadors of Art” where two Swedish artists take part (Göran T Karlsson and Krzysztof Jegliński). http://www.zpap.org.pl/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1158%3Aambasadorowie-sztuki&catid=41%3Awystawy&Itemid=112&lang=pl I was especially pleased to hear about the intentions from the Swedish Association of Artists (SKF) where Göran T Karlsson is chairman to establish a more long term cooperation with their Polish counterparts.
That is music in the ears of an Embassy staff member. I look forward to hear more further on.