H.E. Ambassador Panayotis Economou
Former General Secretary
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece
B.I.O. Advisor on International Relations
At the Earth Summit on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro last May, under the auspices of the United Nations, one of the speakers called for action in the War of Waste and environmental pollution and raised the following question: Some people see things as they are and simply ask: Why? I dream of things that have never been and ask: Why not?
This question implies a dramatic appeal for more imagination and more determination in introducing world-wide policies aimed at preserving the bio-environment by encouraging the adoption of new, drastic measures. I think that everybody, and not only those who are dedicated to this noble task, should share the concern of all humanity for effective protection of the bio-environment. It is most encouraging and refreshing that world leaders, governments, governmental agencies and scientific and cultural institutions are becoming increasingly conscious of the urgent need to combine economic development with respect for the bio-environmental ethics. Policies to this effect entail, of course, heavy financial cost but in the scale of human values and priorities nothing deserves more economic sacrifice than the safeguard of a healthy and decent life for all human beings in an environment free of pollution.
The already critical situation prevailing in our planet becomes more and more dramatic every day. It is, therefore, up to us to provide a positive answer to the question raised in Rio de Janeiro by mobilising all our mental and physical resources, so that in the years to come there will be no need to ask “why” again. In this respect, bio-diplomacy has certainly a substantial role to play by enhancing and accelerating the use of well-established channels in the field of international relations. Personally, I feel privileged that I have been asked to offer my modest contribution to the implementation of the goals set forth by the Biopolitics International Organisation and I think that all of us should pay tribute to the President of B.I.O., Dr. Agni Vlavianos-Arvanitis, for her undiminished and successful efforts in rendering governments and world public opinion more conscious of the urgent need for effective protection of the bio-environment in every field of human activity.
Ambassador Panayotis Economou, former Secretary General of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is Advisor on International and Public Relations for the Biopolitics International Organisation. He has served as Consul of Greece in Istanbul and Consul General of Greece in Munich (1970-1973); Ambassador of Greece in Teheran (1975-1979), The Hague (1981-1987), Madrid (1987-1990). He is recipient of the Grand Star and Grand Decoration of Honour (Austria); Grand Commander of the Order of the Lion (Senegal); Grand Cross of the Order of Orange-Nassau (Holland); Officer of the Order of the Phoenix; Officer of the Order of King George I and Commander of the Order of the Phoenix.