drs. Hans C. ten Cate, chairman De Club Rotterdam
Honourable Guests, Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
After we heard about “virtues and vices”, could it have been more appropriate for the organisation to invite a banker to present the Mandeville award? Indeed, as bankers, we know a thing or two about men’s greediness and selfishness…
We are gathered here from many walks of life: politicians, businessmen, scientists, students. All of us, in our own way, try to make a contribution to advance society. Mandeville’s theory for achieving economic growth is “laisser-faire”, but we have to take into account Mrs Del Ponte’s statement: “striving for higher profits should not benefit some to the detriment of many others”.
We therefore need a properly managed society to ensure that vices remain beneficial.
To make this work, we know that persistence and courage are needed. There are many interests to be considered, risks to be managed and difficulties to overcome.
However, for those working in the public eye, this holds even more true. And it would appear that particularly now, as media catch our every move, it takes extraordinary persistence and courage to stand up against terrorism, racism, corporate scandals, war, epidemics, and so on and so on. Clearly, this is where the laureates of the Mandeville award stand out in a very special way, going beyond where most of us will ever dare to go.
It is therefore that I can hardly imagine how anybody could earn the Mandeville award more than Mrs Del Ponte. Her endless pursuit of law and order, which she almost paid for with her own life, has made an enormous contribution to justice around the world.
Mrs Del Ponte, you made serving justice your goal in life. In doing so, you faced tremendous challenges, confronted some of the worst criminals of our time and got often publicly disputed. But most importantly, you were able to do something for the victims. For them, you embody justice itself and I believe we should all be very grateful to you for this.
The establishment of the International Tribunal was a great success, and we hope that this will prevent a recurrence of these terrible crimes. As you just said: “providing justice now – is securing peace in the future”.
Your persistence and courage are an example for all of us.
Mrs Del Ponte, I’m very honoured to present to you, on behalf of the Mandeville Foundation, this award and certificate.