I visited SafeLives for the first time in 2016 and, as I have said on numerous occasions, that memorable day fired my interest in domestic abuse. I did know of people who had suffered from it, but I was both shocked, and horrified by just how many thousands of people across the world live with it.
During my recent visit to India in November, I had the great good fortune to meet some of the children who have benefitted from the $11 million Quality India Education Development Impact Bond. It was a great treat to meet these charming children on my birthday and wonderful to hear about the beneficial effects from the improved quality of education as a result of this initiative.
As we stand at the milestone of seventy-five years since the end of the Holocaust, it is natural to reflect on how far we have come and what society might have learned since those dreadful events.
Throughout my life, I have tried, in whatever very small way I can, to foster greater understanding between people of different faiths, to heal divisions and to remind people of so much that we share in common as opposed to what divides us. Indeed, as it says in Psalm 133 “behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!”.
The Holocaust must never be allowed to become simply a fact of history: we must never cease to be appalled, nor moved by the testimony of those who lived through it. Their experience must always educate, and guide, and warn us.
We must be fearless in confronting falsehoods and resolute in resisting words and acts of violence
Do we want to go down in history as the people who did nothing to bring the world back from the brink in time to restore the balance when we could have done? I don’t want to. And just think for a moment – what good is all the extra wealth in the world, gained from “business as usual”, if you can do nothing with it except watch it burn in catastrophic conditions?
With 2020 being seen as the “super year”, kick-starting a decade of action for people and planet…I intend to do my utmost to ensure that the message of urgency, systemic change, collaboration and integration is heard.
Your history has been remarkable. Your future is set to be very exciting. I am much looking forward to seeing all your new developments as they come to fruition in the next few years.
The men and women of HMS Prince of Wales breathe life into her; without them, she is just a steel hull. They represent the very best of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories, and the wider Commonwealth.