Farewell Address Competition – Rima Beridze – Lord Ismay


On April 5th, 2015 YATA-Georgia with the support of Embassy of Romania and the International Black Sea University held the final round of the “Farewell Address Competition”. 6 Participants, that were selected through the application process, presented their Farewell Addresses of those NATO Secretary Generals they have picked beforehand, in front of the audience and judges.
First three-place winners were selected by the judges and were given the special prizes provided by the Embassy of Romania.

Below you can find address of one of the participants:

Rima Beridze – Lord Ismay

Good afternoon Mr. and Ms.

It’s a huge honor for me to stand and speak in front of you one more time as a secretary-general of NATO.
Exactly Five years ago I was asked by Antony Eden to accept this position but my answer was an immediate and emphatic negative. You might ask why? Well, because I saw the NATO as an overly bureaucratic and inefficient organization. I had characterized NATO as “too much harness and too little horse.”

Then Mr. Churchill personally asked me to accept the position. I still remember his words. He told me: “NATO provides the best, if not the only, hope of peace in our time.”  This was very touching. I start realizing that during that time NATO definitely was the only hope for my nation and I accepted the challenge.

Well, when you are young everything is possible. If you want to climb the tree you simply do it without not knowing that you might fell. Knowing that you are going to fell is not very important. When you have an idea you have to believe in it and you will just make it happen.

As the first Secretary-General I tried bringing whole free world under one Umbrella, which was called NATO. It was not an easy idea but I believed in it! To be honest sometimes I had doubts that I had lack diplomatic experience But I always knew that this was the only way of peace in the world.

And since it’s a well-known fact that vision without action is merely a dream, I decided to put my idea into reality. My belief was and still is to contribute peace and secure on the international stage. I believed that military authorities should be the subordinate to the political authorities. One of my proudest achievement at NATO was getting all members to commit to a long-term military build-up, to hold the soviets as far east as possible. During my career I can highlight the completion of 133 airfields, joint production programs, and the building of a petroleum pipeline, along with other related NATO infrastructure programs, essential to Western European defense.

Also it was huge please to work with the Three Wise Men’ (Lester Pearson, Halvard Lange and Gaetano Martino) to improve consultations within the alliance.

Today I’ve gathered you here to inform you that I am giving up the position of Secretary-general of NATO but this is not for personal reasons, it is because I feel that NATO needs a fresh hand and a fresh brain with new ideas to change the world better. Dear future general, I want you to remember what I have fought for during these years. Please remember that our only mission is make hope of peace possible. Please, keep the Russians out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”

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