Secretary General's speech at the Young Leaders Forum "Building Bridges for the Next Generation"
Photo: Ojars Jansons
Tuesday, 28 November 2006
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me start by saying how much I appreciate the opportunity to appear before this Young Leaders Forum. I want to thank you for taking an interest in NATO and joining the Alliance's political leaders here at their Summit in Riga.
There are many reasons why I am always eager to come to Riga. One of them is the fact that Riga was the birthplace and childhood home of someone whom I admire very much - Isaiah Berlin, one of the major philosophers of the last century.
The central message of Isaiah Berlin's work was that no single idea or utopian vision of society should be allowed to dominate - because when it does, people suffer. Isaiah Berlin believed that people are happiest when their own natural contradictions are allowed to flourish, and where individuals and states act freely.