Visite de S.A.S. le Prince Albert II aux États‑Unis d'Amérique (9-11 mai 2018)
Cérémonie de remise du doctorat honoris causa à S.A.S. le Prince à Philadelphie
(9 mai 2018)
Au terme de Sa visite officielle au Canada, S.A.S. le Prince poursuit Son déplacement aux États-Unis d'Amérique, à Philadelphie, ville dans laquelle grandit S.A.S. la Princesse Grace.
Le 9 mai 2018, le Souverain est l'hôte de la Thomas Jefferson University. Fondée en 1824, cette université est spécialisée dans les sciences de la médecine et les différents domaines de la santé.
Il est accompagné de S.E. M. Bernard Fautrier, ministre plénipotentiaire, vice-président et administrateur délégué de la Fondation Albert II, de S.E. Mme Maguy Maccario-Doyle, ambassadeur de Monaco aux États-Unis d'Amérique, du colonel Bruno Philipponnat, Son chargé de mission, du lieutenant-colonel Philippe Rebaudengo, Son aide de camp et de Mme Christine Sprile, Sa secrétaire particulière.
S.A.S. le Prince reçoit le titre de docteur Honoris Causa en lettres, en reconnaissance de Son engagement pour la défense de l'environnement et pour Son soutien à la fondation Princess Grace Foundation-U.S.A..
Après cette remise, Il prononce un discours devant 650 nouveaux diplômés de l'université et leurs familles, soulignant l'importance des comportements à adopter pour mieux défendre notre planète :
« Chancellor Spinelli, Distinguished Professors, Your Excellencies, Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, Students, Dear friends and family,
I would like to express my sincere gratitude for the great honour you have conferred on me today.
This honour is of course that of being awarded the highly prestigious Honorary Doctorate from your University, and of thus to a certain extent being accepted as one of your own.
But this honour, in this city that is so close to my heart, clearly has a special significance, which goes beyond academic prestige.
To me it brings to mind an observation made by Alexis de Tocqueville, one of the first Europeans to feel passionate about this country, the United States of America, which was still in its infancy when he visited Philadelphia in 1831\. He quite rightly stated that, « invisible but almost all-powerful ties link the ideas of one century to those of the preceding century, link parents' tastes to their children's tendencies… ».
Today, in this city that was my mother's birthplace, receiving this award that recognises the age-old commitment made by the Principality of Monaco and my ancestors, as well as my work, I really feel the strength of these ties.
These are emotional ties, of course. These are ties that link me to your wonderful country, where I had the opportunity to study ; a country I visit as often as I can, where I still have not only a large number of very dear cousins, but also loyal friends - and where, increasingly, I have valuable allies in my fight to save our planet.
And these are also philosophical ties. These are the ties that my great-great-grandfather, prince Albert I, mentioned when he addressed the National Academy of Sciences in Washington 97 years ago, « your people whose prestige has always enlightened my mind with the great hope it offers humanity »…
Almost a century later, your nation continues to enlighten our minds, and mine in particular. Not only because of this American blood that runs through my veins, but above all because of the hope that the United States of America has so often brought to the whole of humanity.
Hope of progress, intelligence and freedom, justice and peace, which were reflected in the 20th century in all the great battles across the globe that the United States participated in and won.
Today, the fights for progress, intelligence and freedom, for justice and peace, have a new battlefront. Indeed, another danger has been added to those we faced over the last few decades. A danger we had not expected. A danger that faces the entire planet, as well as its inhabitants and their descendants.
This danger is that of the degradation of our environment.
This is of course a significant danger, because it involves our actual living conditions.
With our planet already being overexploited to a very large extent, with so many of our contemporaries are still living in destitution, and given that there will soon be nine billion human beings on Earth, how can we ignore the fact that our future depends more than ever before on the way we manage our planet's resources?
And now we must face a grave danger caused by those who only want to see immediate gratification, even if it is misleading ; those who are unwilling to accept the long-term responsibilities we all must share, those who refuse to understand the warnings issued by scientists. And by a handful of wise men from local communities around the worldwise knowledge women of their local environment enable them to read.
So, this danger we are confronted with today has a face: our own face.
Today, we ourselves are, so to speak, the very enemy we have to fight.
Environmental degradation is caused by humans. We are responsible for the decline in biodiversity. The main cause of global warming is our excessive use of hydrocarbons. The oceans have been plundered for our consumption of its natural resources. And pollution is caused by human activities…
This is why the enemy that we now need to join forces and fight will no doubt be hard to defeat. But these are also the reasons why we are not powerless. Because we can change.
And it is about this change that I would like to speak to you today. About the ways of making it possible and the conditions required for its success.
And central to this outlook, I would in particular like to speak to you about the vital role played by science. Because this is where our victory may lie.
I am not going to try to explain mechanisms to scientists like you who devote a large part of your life to the wonderful challenge of knowledge. You know these mechanisms far better than I do.
However, I would just like to tell you how great an impact your work has on society and how much it influences the world. And I would also like to tell you how hard I try, with the tools at my disposal, to transform your work into specific, effective action in order to protect the environment.
Because action is always based on science.
Without science, how could we understand that our planet, with its immense continents and its infinite seas, could be threatened by a two-legged creature, with a huge cerebral cortex and opposable thumbs?
Without science, how could we contemplate that an increase in temperature of a few degrees, or even a few tenths of a degree, that no one can even feel, could upset the balance of this entire planet, lead to the disappearance or migration of numerous species and threaten the sustainability of our civilisations?
And, without science, how could we imagine that biodiversity could be declining at an unprecedented pace, whilst so many species, in particular marine species, have yet to be discovered?
All these findings that force us to act today, we owe to science. That is why its role is so essential in the battle I am fighting, as it is in the battles fought by all environmentalists.
And that is why support for science, and cooperation with scientists, is one of the pillars of my action.
This choice is in line with a great tradition in my country. A tradition notably initiated by my great-great-grandfather, prince Albert I, who was one of the founders of modern oceanography. A tradition continued without respite since then, and which makes Monaco a country that welcomes the scientific community, especially – but not only – with regard to environmental issues.
The Oceanographic Institute was created one hundred years ago. Today, My Foundation has established many relationships with prestigious scientific institutions across the globe. We have also welcomed the work by the IPCC on the consequences of global warming for the oceans and the cryosphere. We supported their project on this issue and are looking forward to receiving its conclusions in autumn 2019\.
And whilst we are on this subject, I would just like to dwell for a moment on the IPCC, an institution that is as exemplary as it is essential. Indeed, it offers a particularly enlightening image of this essential contribution made by scientific knowledge to environmental conservation, and the cooperation required between research and political action.
The IPCC uses scientific knowledge to define the precise context for political action. The IPCC warns us about global warming and informs us about the human-induced causes. The IPCC prevents us from falling prey to doubt or the too easy relativism of those who are disturbed by this « inconvenient truth » – to quote the title of film by the former US Vice-President Al Gore. Who stated « The IPCC proves that a catastrophe is looming and, if we do nothing, we will be to blame ».
But the IPCC does not try to tell us what we should do.
Science asks questions, makes observations and outlines possible answers, without hiding its uncertainties. But science knows that solutions, whatever they may be, are the responsibility of other actors.
Naturally, these actors include politicians who, through their decisions and the incentives they propose, can make large-scale changes. Their action must first of all be carried out globally, to address the challenges that concern the whole planet.
Firstly, I am of course thinking about climate change. And we have made great progress in this area over the last few decades. Since participating in the Rio Conference in 1992, I have attended a large number of international meetings on the climate, and I can attest to the importance of the changes that have taken place in just 25 years. Politicians have undoubtedly heard the scientists' messages.
Of course, some still refuse to listen, pretend to ignore the facts, and minimise the efforts that are required. However, despite the fact that these attitudes can be harmful, they are becoming increasingly marginal and will I am sure soon disappear.
Indeed, I have no doubt that the United States will regain the leading role it should have in this issue that is of vital importance to all humanity.
Because the whole world has really changed, and taken into account the demands made by science.
This evolution has allowed for the signing of a universal agreement, which remains today the most relevant and most effective framework for joint action by all countries in the world, striving to achieve a common goal: the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and the fight against climate change.
Of course, I know that this Paris agreement is controversial, and that its merits are questioned as a result of the withdrawal envisaged by your country. However, it does constitute a decisive move towards global, resolute action. Today, it is our main hope in our quest to save the climate.
Similarly, significant progress has been made to protect the oceans, another global issue of vital importance. Of course, here too we had to wait until 2015 and COP 21 in Paris, to see the issue of the oceans included in climate negotiations. However, the pace has quickened since then. The oceans now form part of global climate awareness and international negotiations.
In 2016, the United Nations stated that the Sustainable Development Goal No. 14 was to « Conserve and Sustainably Use Oceans, Seas and Marine Resources for Sustainable Development ».
Last year, the decision was made to call an international conference to adapt the international law of the sea and to take marine biodiversity into account in areas beyond national jurisdiction.
All this work and all this progress, are also based on the indispensable contributions made by science, in particular in one area – that of the seas – where there are still many gaps in our knowledge.
Despite the numerous initiatives undertaken, our understanding of the seas remains an area in which a great deal of work still needs to be done. Bear in mind that human beings have descended into the Mariana Trench less often than they have walked on the Moon, and that we know more about the surface of Mars than the ocean floor…
Whilst we are relatively familiar with the surface of the oceans, we know very little about most of the ocean floor and lack important information about intermediary zones too. It is estimated that barely 10% of the fauna they contain has been recorded, whilst this biodiversity is today critically endangered, and numerous species are dying out before we have even had to chance to discover them...
Because of this, numerous slow, complex or emerging phenomena remain very largely unknown. Once again, the role played by science is decisive. And its alliance with politicians, who should support, encourage and finance it, is of key importance for our future. A future that necessarily involves the oceans, since they cover over 70% of the Earth's surface, constitute 97% of the biosphere and contain natural resources that are becoming increasingly indispensable.
In this respect, the responsible, sustainable exploitation of these resources and their long-term conservation are another challenge faced by politicians, which science helps overcome.
Firstly, this challenge needs to be addressed at local and national levels, because our responsibility is of course above all to manage our own country before engaging in international negotiations.
From this point of view, the actions that need to be carried out clearly constitute measures to fight pollution and encourage sustainable practices, or incentives for energy transition. This is what we are doing in Monaco, for example through a specific policy to combat plastic pollution, significant investments to optimise waste treatment, or the ambitious commitment to energy transition, with the goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
Other aspects of our policies are even more closely linked to scientific activities. For example support for research, which I have just mentioned. I am also thinking about the creation of conservation zones – known as marine protected areas in our country – which allow for the conservation and understanding of our natural heritage. And I am referring to the development of innovative solutions, notably in the field of renewable energies.
All these measures aim to create a new development model, the only one capable of ensuring the sustainable conservation of our planet. And I use the word ‘create', because this development, naturally, cannot stem from political decisions alone. It must be based on civil society's initiatives, wishes and commitment.
Here is where our greatest responsibility lies regarding scientists: that of disseminating their work as widely as possible, in order to allow it to make a real impact on society.
Faced with this global challenge, which is disrupting all our means of production, consumption, work, travel and our food supply, we known that nothing will be possible if we do not join forces and act together. And what is true at a state level in international negotiations is even more relevant for the inhabitants of these countries, who must work together and to achieve this common goal.
Therefore, my Foundation regularly organises awareness-raising events, so as to encourage commitment, to mobilise goodwill, because we know that today there are lots of people who often just want to help and be of use.
However, the best way to involve people is to do this through their everyday life. And in order to do this, we should build on initiatives carried out by companies, which more than others listen to their customers' needs and wishes.
I am really convinced that, whatever legitimate criticism might have been made about certain companies, it is the latter, their mobilisation, their commitment and their capacity for innovation that will produce the most decisive progress.
This progress will come, because consumers are demanding it and because it will meet people's needs. It will help make specific improvements to people's lives, by proving to them that environmental concerns are not a punishment, nor a hindrance, but rather a wonderful lever for progress – for more sustainable, more responsible and, I believe, more gratifying progress.
It is, therefore, this desire by citizens for another development that science can encourage, by disseminating its knowledge, and by generating the necessary awareness. The same awareness that will mobilise citizens, and encourage them to demand more responsible policies from their leaders too.
With the dissemination of science, we should establish a virtuous circle. A virtuous circle that involves the commitment of the public authorities, the involvement of businesses and the mobilisation of public opinion – which, in turn, will help ensure the commitment of the public authorities and the involvement of businesses.
That is therefore the greatest challenge, for me, as a leader, the challenge of this necessary alliance with scientists such as you: to disseminate your knowledge in order to raise awareness, to harness energies, and to change the world, with you and thanks to you.
Commander Cousteau was one of the first people to show the world how fragile the oceans are, and he was also a wonderful director of the Oceanographic Museum of Monaco. He once said that, « to succeed in the great adventure of humanity (…), we need to call on our global awareness to make best use of the fruits of science. »
This is the task I set myself, and it is an expression of my gratitude to you.
A gratitude I feel today, more than usual, upon accepting this great honour you are conferring on me. And today, more than ever, I hope I can live up to the responsibility this honour entails, in this prestigious university, in this city that means to much to me, and in this country I owe so much to - that the world owes so much to.
Thank you very much. »
À l'issue de cette cérémonie, S.A.S. le Prince poursuit Son voyage à Philadelphie avant de rejoindre, quelques jours plus tard, la ville de New York.
Visite du musée de l'immigration américaine de New York
(11 mai 2018)
Le 11 mai 2018, S.A.S. le Prince Albert II se rend au musée de l'immigration américaine de Ellis Island à New York.
La délégation qui L'accompagne est composée de, S.E. M. Bernard Fautrier, ministre plénipotentiaire, vice-président administrateur délégué de la Fondation Albert II, S.E. Mme Isabelle Picco, ambassadeur et représentant permanent de la Principauté de Monaco près l'organisation des Nations-Unies à New York, du colonel Bruno Philipponnat, Son chargé de mission, de Mme Christine Sprile, Sa secrétaire particulière, de Mme Karla Modolo, attachée principale au consulat général de Monaco à New York, et de M. Nicolas Saussier, chef du bureau de presse.
S.A.S. le Prince est reçu à l'embarcadère de Battery Park, par M. Nasser Kazeminy, directeur de l'association Ellis Island Honors Society (EIHS) ainsi que par quelques membres de son conseil d'administration. Le groupe embarque sur un ferry privatisé pour le transfert vers Ellis Island.
À Son arrivée sur l'île, S.A.S. le Prince est accueilli par un Park Ranger chargé de mener la visite guidée du musée de l'immigration. Lors de la visite, qui dure environ une heure, S.A.S. le Prince découvre les différentes étapes par lesquelles devaient passer les immigrants arrivant à Ellis Island, ainsi que de nombreuses photos, documents et autres objets offerts au musée par leurs descendants.
à l'issue de la visite, une cérémonie se déroule dans la Registry Room du Great Hall qui fut le lieu de passage obligatoire pour les immigrants. S.A.S. le Prince reçoit une copie des registres d'immigration ayant trait à Sa famille, notamment l'arrivée aux états-Unis du Prince Rainier III en 1955 et le départ de Mlle Grace Kelly en 1956 pour son mariage, fruits d'une recherche par la Statue of Liberty Ellis Island Foundation.
Ensuite, le Souverain reçoit la médaille d'honneur Global Humanitarian Award de l'association EIHS, des mains de M. Nasser Kazeminy.
Après la remise de Sa distinction, S.A.S. le Prince prononce un discours :
“Mister Chairman, Members of the Board, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends of the Ellis Island Honors' Society,
First of all I would like to thank you most sincerely for your kind words which touch me deeply.
They touch me deeply because they reinforce my belief that my actions over the years have been useful, those I support as Head of State of the Principality of Monaco ; initiatives that I have launched through my Foundation or my individual and personal actions in favour of the environment and humanity.
However, your words also touch me deeply because they originate from those in the Ellis Island Honors' Society who have awarded me this Medal of Honor.
I know that this medal has been officially recognised by both Houses of Congress as one of the most prestigious awards in the United States and I am therefore extremely proud to receive it from you today.
I am also very proud because of the family ties which, as you know, I have with the United States of America through my ancestors. For me, receiving it is also a tribute to them.
Although my Irish ancestors Kelly and Costello arrived on American soil before the opening of Ellis Island and Carl Majer and Margaretha Berg also arrived in the United States before 1892, I cannot help but remember the story of all these immigrants braving the risks of a crossing and their passage through Ellis Island, in search of a better life and a land of freedom, even as today the world is still faced with a number of population displacements.
This is the reason why there is one absolute imperative that I wish never to abandon and that is to act according to values of otherness and solidarity.
This Medal is a measure of the importance of the actions which are being undertaken in a spirit of tolerance, fraternity and respectful of differences.
Also, you should know that as a recipient of this Medal, I intend to continue my actions in this spirit in order to remain worthy of the confidence you have shown in me.
I will be unable to be present at the Gala evening that you have organised for the ceremony and presentation of the medals but my thoughts and congratulations will be with those recipients that you are honouring.
Again my gratitude for this Award and my congratulations for all that you are doing to honor Ellis Island Honor Society's legacy.
La cérémonie se poursuit par des interviews et photographies avec les invités, autour de rafraîchissements.
Puis, S.A.S. le Prince fait une courte visite de l'extérieur du musée pour profiter de sa vue imprenable sur le sud de Manhattan. Enfin, Il embarque sur le ferry pour retourner à Battery Park et poursuivre Son déplacement.
Inauguration de la Maison Kelly à Philadelphie
(11 mai 2018)
Vendredi 11 mai, de retour en soirée à Philadelphie après son séjour new-yorkais, S.A.S. le Prince Albert II inaugure officiellement la maison de sa mère, la Princesse Grace, entouré de ses cousins américains et de deux cents invités.
En septembre 2016, le Prince Souverain faisait l'acquisition de la maison qui avait été construite en 1935 par John B. Kelly Sr, Son grand-père maternel. La famille Kelly avait vécu dans cette maison jusqu'au milieu des années 70\. C'est depuis cette même demeure que le Prince Rainier III et l'actrice Grace Kelly avaient annoncé leurs fiançailles le 5 janvier 1956\.
Vendue à plusieurs reprises, la maison avait souffert des outrages du temps. Sa rénovation fut entreprise en 2017 sous la direction de Mme Suzan Von Medicus, de son fils William ainsi que de M. John B. Kelly III, tous cousins de S.A.S. le Prince Albert II.
La maison, rénovée dans le style des années 40, abritera le siège de la branche américaine de la Fondation Prince Albert II, dont M. John B. Kelly III est le président. Des événements à caractère culturels y seront aussi organisés en collaboration avec la Princess Grace Foundation-USA.