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The Princess of Asturias Foundation

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Speech by HRH the Prince of Asturias during the ceremony at the 1990 Prince of Asturias Awards

All of the Award recipients convey a message of generosity and honesty that transcends frontiers, which makes me feel honoured in their company and inspired by their example.

If indeed there are important days in the life of every human being, then today is one of mine. Because if this heartfelt presentation ceremony of the Awards that bear my name always has a special meaning, I feel that now I am experiencing a very memorable moment as I preside over this ceremony in which the representation of a community takes on a special significance. A community that rooted itself in Hispanic soil and made values like friendship, tolerance, loyalty, and the love for the cultivation of sciences and letters flourish in it.

The greatness of the Hispanic world is inseparable from the cultural diversity of its components, and the Sephardim constitute, without question, an essential part of this great family. Even when they had to abandon their land in dramatic circumstances, they knew how to be loyal to it, perhaps waiting for the day that Spain would once again serve them as a meeting place.

Out of the spirit of concord of today´s Spain, and as heir of those who signed the expulsion decree five hundred years ago, I receive you with open arms and great emotion.

Since man has existed on the Earth, change and convulsions have been inseparable parts of his very being. Yet the development of new technologies and the impulse behind the advancements of human knowledge have accelerated, sometimes to dizzying proportions, the rhythm of change. We have here today an exceptional and leading figure of the process of renovation that collapses boundaries, unites communities, and transforms ideas and structures that, up to a few months ago, seemed like they were going to last for a long time.

We welcome Dr. Genscher, express our gratitude for his efforts and unflagging dedication in this historic process, and we ask him to convey our joy to the German people for the unity attained.

For me the example and personal testimony of the other Award-winners also constitute a stimulus to excel. My congratulations to Alfonso "Sito" Pons who has made his effort to situate Spain among the world leaders in motorcycle racing compatible with the promotion of the noblest values of sport in the younger generations.

My recognition goes out to Arturo Uslar Pietri, authority in letters, communications, and journalism, whose extensive and profound work contains many of the keys for understanding the meaning and identity of the Ibero-American world.

Santiago Grisolía and Salvador Moncada represent the tireless work of the researcher, always silent and discreet, but whose achievements open the way to the greatest advances of humanity.

My admiration goes out to Rodrigo Uría for the transcendency of his work in the classroom and his indispensable doctrinal legacy in the field of law.

I also extend my congratulations to Antoni Tàpies, representative of the Catalonia which is open to the world, innovator of aesthetic spaces and creator of messages via the plastic arts that move us with their beauty.

Lastly, I wanted to dedicate an emotional remembrance to those, under the most difficult conditions, struggle against ignorance and injustice: Ignacio Ellacuría, Ignacio Martín Baró, Segundo Montes, José Ramón Moreno, Amando López, Joaquín López y López, Alba Ramos and Cristina Ramos surrendered their lives for such a noble objective.

Miguel Francisco Estrada, new Rector of the José Simeón Cañas University in El Salvador, is with us today and I want to pledge my support on this solemn occasion so that he may continue the work of those that preceded him in such a difficult responsibility.

All of the Award recipients convey a message of generosity and honesty that transcends frontiers, which makes me feel honoured in their company and inspired by their example.

It is precisely now, as I think of all those who receive these Awards today, that I would like to reflect on the concerns that I have and on the mission that I want to dedicate myself to as a person and as heir to the Spanish Crown.

Because I believe that all of us must contribute to the perfection of a Spain based on liberty and justice, respect for the plurality of truths, the struggle against poverty, sickness, and ignorance, the protection of the environment, and the creation of the necessary conditions so that, as my father, the King, said on one occasion, our homeland may be a "prodigious Spain in its creative capacity" in the Arts, Sciences, and Letters.

On reaching the tenth year of existence of the Foundation and the, for me, unforgettable moment when I gave, on this very stage, that which was to be my first public address, I want to send out a call for general collaboration so that the enterprise which is already underway with such excellent results- leading to the international diffusion of the Awards bearing my name- may be a goal that becomes more attainable with the help of the effort and solidarity of Spanish society.

Thank you very much to all those who have helped to smooth the road travelled by this Foundation to which I feel so closely tied.

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