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Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to be able to straightforwardly express what I feel on a day like today, here in Oviedo, after having taken the oath to serve Spain before our flag just two weeks ago. And after having started my military training, which is allowing me to share a period of on-going learning with people who have chosen a truly demanding life of service full of personal sacrifices. Furthermore, I will turn 18 on the 31st and will have the honour of swearing an oath of allegiance to the Constitution, with all that means for me both personally and institutionally. What I can tell you is that I understand very well and am aware of what my duty is and what my responsibilities entail.
As Honorary President of this Foundation, one such responsibility is to understand and appreciate what our Laureates contribute to a society in which many generations live together, with the idea of both ensuring that those who need it most have the opportunity to improve their lives, education and health, and of ensuring that science, culture and protecting the environment are a priority. We can only achieve this with shared goals and individual and group efforts.
On becoming acquainted with the immense legacy of Nuccio Ordine, how he managed to humanize humanity and his defence of scholars, I understand why education is the foundation of any society that aims to better itself. While via Meryl Streep’s films, I see how a great artist can strip her own self away to make room for her characters and submerge herself in their emotions. And to do so, furthermore, throughout an impeccable career imbued with freedom, courage and sensitivity to the challenges of our time.
Hélène Carrère’s contribution to the analysis of contemporary history and the efforts of the organization Mary's Meal to feed children in their schools are also examples of those who understand that it is necessary to get involved to help improve things.
I admire the fact that Murakami has built his own universe with words for decades now; a universe in which East and West are portrayed in urban settings that are often challenging. And I also enthusiastically perceive the eagerness of the Kenyan athlete Kipchoge to go beyond his own limits and always continue working to achieve his goal accompanied by a sense of solidarity. The biologists Gordon, Greenberg and Bassler astound me with their studies on the bacteria that live in our body and how crucial these are for
health and life. While the work of the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative is reflected in these words from its executive director: there are diseases that affect a quarter of the world’s population but represent only one percent of research.
Today, there are people present here on this stage with whom I aspire to feel identified, despite their being some decades older than I am. Because I feel that via their actions and through their work, they transmit the hope that guides and inspires us young people.
I wish to thank all our Laureates, including those who have left us. To thank them for the light they cast on the challenges and complexity of the world in which we live, and for making the Awards that bear my name encourage us to responsibly tread a shared, hopeful path, without eluding the task at hand.
Thank you very much.
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