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Ambassador of Poland stresses the importance of E Pluribus UnumAt the National Day reception of Poland in Seoul on May 8

By Publish Lee Kyung-sik with Vice Chairperson Cho Kyung-hee, Reporters Son Da-som, Hwang Jung-ha

Ambassador Piotr Ostaszwski of Poland in Seoul said, "E Pluribis Unumd.”

Speaking at a reception he hosted at the Lotte Hotel in Seoul on May 8, 2019 in celebration of the National Day of Poland, he said, "In the year 2019 standing here in front of all of our friends I am proud to have an opportunity to say--no matter how big is the geographical distance between us we fully understand each other, we fully support each other and … we have one big responsibility in front of the future generations namely to save the world because contemporary problems are global ones.”

Ambassador Piotr Ostaszwski of Poland in Seoul (9th from left, front row) poses with Korean government leaders, ambassadors, defense attaches other Korean and international guests the reception.

Then he added, "Therefore I am taking the liberty to say: in diversity unanimous (a pluribus unum as the maxim says).
According to The Spruce Crafts and other reference materials, E Pluribus Unum appears on U.S. coins, currency, and in other places. What does E Pluribus Unum mean, and what is the story behind this important U.S. motto? E Pluribus Unum is Latin for "out of many, one." Sometimes it is translated more loosely as "one from many." E Pluribus Unum refers to the fact that the United States was formed as a cohesive single nation as the result of the thirteen smaller colonies joining together.
It was a very well attended party with many disinguished guests from the Korean society and the international community, the Seoul Diplomatic Corps in particular.

Ambassador Ostaszwski of Poland (third from left) cuts celebration cake with the representatives of the Korean government and society.

Off hand, there were Vice Minister Lee Taeho of Foreign Affairs, President Chang Byoung-wan of the Korean-Poland Parliamentarians' Friendship Association, Major General Shin Sang Bum (UNCMAC Senior Member), Honorary Consul General Synn Ilhi concurrently president of Keimyung University in Daegu.
Then there were Chairman Chung Mong-won of Halla Busienss Group and President Synn Ilhi of Keimyung University who was concurrently the honorary consul for Poland.
There also were representatives from the media in Seoul, who included Publisher-Chairman Lee Kyung-sik and Vice Chairperson Cho Kyung-ha with their reportorial/editorial team from their five media outlets, 3 in English and 2 in Korean, including www.koreapost.com (English) and www.koreapost.co.kr (Korean).
There were warm congratulatory remarks by the Koreangs and among them stood out one by Vice Minister Lee Tae-ho of Foreign Affairs of Korea.
He said in part: "Korea and Poland share a similar history of overcoming the hardship of losing national sovereignty. In fact, not only sharing a history of suffering, Korea and Poland also share a history of hope.”

Ambassador Ostaszwski of Poland speaks to the guests introducing the National Day of Poland.

Them he said: "When the Solidarity Movement was unfolding in Poland in the 1980s, Korea was witnessing a pro-democracy movement. As the popularly elected Polish President took office in 1990 following democratic transition in 1989, a civilian government was established in Korea in 1993. After achieving economic prosperity, both countries joined the OECD together in 1996.” (See exerpts from the speech of Vice Minister Lee at the end of this report)

Excerpts from the speech of Ambassador Ostaszwski:
A couple of thousands years ago Marcus Tulius Cicero wrote: Convenit dimicare pro legibus, pro libertate, pro patria – (Tusculanae Disputationes, Disputes from Tusculum) which means To defend laws, liberty and fatherland does really befit. After 1945 a Polish poet added - First we fought for the Eagle, then for his crown.
Today Poland is proud to hoist its flag, to have its crowned eagle and to celebrate its presence among all the free nations. How important are these words in the place like Korea whose historical experiences are so similar to Polish ones. Both countries, both nations are the best example that hope and determination might lead to success and prosperity. It is 30th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations between Poland and Korea. Official point of view requires to look at it as on the diplomatic act but there is something more behind what should be called: understanding, affection, support, sympathy, cooperation and brotherhood. And when looking through the Polish period of transition from communism to a market economy I must emphasise that the universal demand was to set up relations with Republic of Korea – that meant normalization and sovereignty since there was contrary to our national interest a non-recognition formula with our friend Republic of Korea.

President Synn Ilhi of Keimyung University (left) with Mrs. Synn

Poland is like Korea – Phoenix who rose from the ashes. On May 3, 1791 Poland enacted the Constitution (second in the world after the American one) which paved the way toward revitalization of the state and the nation. It helped the nation to preserve its own character and spirit through almost 13 decades until it reappeared on the map. It was one of the most vital incentives which helped the nation to survive even after unfortunate Yalta Conference when Poland once again became an dependent country and when the 3 May could not be celebrated. It reappeared again in 1990 becoming the symbol of our independence.
Today Poland celebrates its 20th anniversary of accession to North Atlantic Treaty Organization and 15th anniversary of European Union membership. Its political system is stable and based on strong foundations, its economy is one of the fastest developing in the modern world, its society is open, free and always ready to face new challenges. Together with our allies and friends Poland would like to build a peaceful world where is enough space for everyone who shares the most precious values like human rights, democracy and liberty. Polish presence on the Korean Peninsula within the framework of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Committee is the best example of its contribution for peace building in this part of the world.
Celebration of National Day cannot be limited to one day a year only. It is responsibility we bear every day fulfilling our duties and to serve wholeheartedly our countries since freedom and independence is not granted once and forever. National Day is the day we can make some reflections in our hearts and minds what we have done for our countries and our nations. Here President Kennedy’s words seem to be very precious: Do not ask what the country can do for you but what you can do for your country.
In the year 2019 standing here in front of all of our friends I am proud to have an opportunity to say – no matter how big is geographical distance between us we fully understand each other, we fully support each other and … we have one big responsibility in front of the future generations namely to save the world because contemporary problems are global ones. Therefore I am taking a liberty to say: in diversity unanimous (a pluribus unum as the maxim says).

President Kim Htyung-dae of The Korea Post media poses with a Korean Buddhist nun.

At the end let me quote my favourite heavy metal group – Judas Priest and their song United:
United, united, united we stand,
United we never shall fall,
United, united, united we stand,
United we stand one and all.
Thank you very much!

Excerpts from the speech of Vice Minister Lee:
I am delighted to be here with you this evening on this auspicious occasion of celebrating the May 3rd Constitution Day of the Republic of Poland.
It is my pleasure to extend my heart-felt congratulations to you, Ambassador and through you to the people of Poland, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Korea.
The Constitution of Poland, the first ever in Europe, has helped preserve the national identity of Poland for the past 228 years. It has indeed been a solid foundation for anchoring Poland to the hope to achieve the peace and prosperity it enjoys today.
This year is all the more special in the sense that it marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Korea and Poland.
This year is meaningful for Korea as well.
As you all are aware, it marks the 100th anniversary of Korea‘s Declaration of Independence on March 1st and the establishment of the Korean Provisional Government in 1919.
Korea and Poland share a similar history of overcoming the hardship of losing national sovereignty. In fact, not only sharing a history of suffering, Korea and Poland also share a history of hope.
When the Solidarity Movement was unfolding in Poland in the 1980s, Korea was witnessing a pro-democracy movement.

Ambassador Ostaszwski of Poland (right) poses with Editor Youn Kyung-sook of the Korean-language Internet Edition of The Korea Post media.

As the popularly elected Polish President took office in 1990 following democratic transition in 1989, a civilian government was established in Korea in 1993. After achieving economic prosperity, both countries joined the OECD together in 1996.
During the past 30 years, our relations have continued to grow stronger in a whole spectrum of fields.
The summit meeting held in Seoul in February last year between President Moon Jae-in and President Duda was momentous in exploring ways to further enhance the friendship and cooperation between our two countries.
Our two countries also held a Foreign Ministerial Meeting in Warsaw in February this year, further boosting our Strategic Partnership established in 2013.
As we stand today, Poland is one of Korea's biggest trade and investment partners in Central Europe. Our bilateral trade and investment have recently been expanding to such future-oriented areas as the high-tech industry and research and development. The defense industry, energy and infrastructure are emerging as new opportunities for our cooperation.
Personally, I had an opportunity to visit Poland in 2017 for the Korea-Poland Joint Economic Commission. The vitality of people in downtown Warsaw weathering the chilly temperature of February made a very deep impression on me. I was especially impressed by the history of ’Warsaw Uprising’, which cost the lives of countless Polish civilian soldiers near the end of the Second World War, and I assumed that today’s prosperity of Poland is founded on those noble sacrifices.
Of course, as a country of rich cultural history, home to a host of artists, including world famous composer Frederic Chopin, Poland would indeed be very attractive to many Koreans.

Guests attentively listen to the speech of the host and guests of honor.

In fact since the launch of direct flights between Seoul and Warsaw in 2016, it is now estimated that about 40,000 Koreans are visiting Poland each year. And with the momentum generated by the 30th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between our two countries and various events celebrating this milestone, I am confident that even more people from Korea and Poland will come and go, leading to a deeper mutual understanding and the strengthening friendship between our peoples.
Poland, a key member of the Visegrad Group(V4), a major consultation mechanism in Central Europe, has steadfastly rendered its strong support for the Korean Government’s efforts to establish peace on the Korean Peninsula. As a member of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission of the Armistice Agreement of 1953 and a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, Poland has continued to pay much attention to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.
Recently, a movie called ‘The Children Gone to Poland’ introduced to Koreans a true story of Polish teachers who warmheartedly took care of Korean orphans of the Korean War. I believe the Polish people’s love for humanity, transcending ideology, is in fact the very source of their unwavering support for peace-building on the Korean Peninsula.
The Korean government will continue to make its own part for the further development of the friendship and cooperation between Korea and Poland.
With all this, I would like, once again, to extend my congratulations to you, Ambassador, on the Constitution Day of Poland.
The true friendship our two countries have developed will become even stronger as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of our diplomatic relations.

Lee Kyung-sik  edt@koeapost.com

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