Βουλή των Αντιπροσώπων
Address by H.E. The President of the House of Representatives Ms Annita Demetriou, at the opening of the graduation ceremony of the University of Central Lancashire - Monday, 11 July 2022, UCLan Cyprus Larnaka
Αξιότιμε κύριε Πρύτανη του Πανεπιστημίου UCLan Κύπρου,
Αξιότιμα μέλη του ακαδημαϊκής κοινότητας,
Αγαπητοί απόφοιτοι και απόφοιτες
Κυρίες και κύριοι
Πριν μιλήσω για τα επιτεύγματα των νέων μας -και απολογούμαι που θα το κάνω στα αγγλικά- πριν πω οτιδήποτε θα ήθελα πρώτα από όλα να απευθυνθώ σε εσάς. Όσο μεγάλη και συγκινητική στιγμή είναι η αποψινή για τους απόφοιτους και απόφοιτες μας, άλλο τόσο είναι και για τον κάθε γονιό ξεχωριστά. Να βλέπει τους κόπους και τις θυσίες του να μετουσιώνονται σε όνειρα και στόχους, που γίνονται πραγματικότητα.
Να χαίρεστε και να καμαρώνετε τη νέα γενιά, γεμάτοι και γεμάτες περηφάνια, γιατί έχετε το δικό σας πολύ μεγάλο μερίδιο σε αυτό το αποτέλεσμα καθώς και στη δύσκολη αποστολή της παιδείας, στο τι εφόδια κουβαλάει κάθε παιδί απ’ την οικογένεια και απ’ το σπίτι του.
Και εσείς όμως, αγαπητοί και αγαπητές να μην ξεχνάτε να είστε πάντα ευγνώμονες απέναντι στους γονείς σας. Η αναγνώριση κι η εκτίμηση στα όσα σας έχουν προσφέρει, μας έχουν προσφέρει, ας μην θεωρείται αυτονόητη. Χρειάζεται κάποιες φορές να λέμε τα πράγματα για να μεταποιούνται σε πηγή δύναμης προκειμένου ν’ αντιμετωπίσουμε τις μεγάλες δυσκολίες και τις προκλήσεις που μας περιβάλλουν.
Dear rector of UCLan Cyprus,
Dear members of the academic community,
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is a great honor for me to address the graduation ceremony of UCLan Cyprus at the completion of ten years of presence and contribution to the intellectual life of Cyprus. My ties with UCLan are lively and strong, so I am very glad to be here with you tonight.
I extend to each and every one of you my warm congratulations for the successful completion of your studies and your excellent academic records and at the same time I wish to congratulate your parents and your professors, your fellow travelers on the way to knowledge.
Tonight’s ceremony marks the beginning of a new journey, which is not just about your professional establishment. It is equally about your social accomplishment and contribution, but also your further intellectual culture. The knowledge you acquired and the experiences of student life in your first steps as independent and self-willed young people, many times far from the family home, I am sure have freed your spirit from prejudices and ready truths. You learned to be creative, use your imagination and think of original and without restraints solutions. You learned to respect the opposite point of view and what is different. These, combined with the boldness and the optimism that characterize youth, are capable tools to change our world for the better. On the basis of your own perceptions and strengths, on the basis of your own virtue, as these were cultivated during your studies, you are invited with self-confidence and assurance to cope with today’s competitive and fragile reality and as pioneers to reform it and to upgrade it, both for your personal success and for the collective good and interest.
The clouds of crisis over our planet are thickening. Pandemic and humanitarian crisis, global recession and economic instability. On the one hand the conflicts and the reckless display of power and on the other hand the undeclared war of climate change. All these portends a worrying scenario and present us with a series of multiple challenges.
In times of crisis, when immediate action is required, a very good opportunity unfolds before you to implement ideas and actions and, as scientists and active citizens, to put into practice the knowledge you have acquired for the good of society as a whole by transcending yourself and tearing down the walls that rise before you. Global destabilization, with all the dangers it poses for humanity, offers you the opportunity to get involved into socio-political events, each in his own field, to contribute to society, to your country, to our world. Your university, UCLan Cyprus, has given you the resources to do so. Proof of this is the recent inclusion of the university in the UNESCO chair programme, which is an acknowledgement of the level of education, but also of the contribution of UCLan Cyprus.
From my position as President of the House of Representatives, I assure you for my keen interest in the issues of youth and education. On the occasion of tonight’s ceremony, I wish to express the commitment of the House to strengthen the voice of our young people and to institutionally support the important work of our academic institutions. The biggest stake is to persuade you to stay in Cyprus as the best investment for the future of our country.
The House of Representatives, listening to the concerns and problems of our young people, supports the institution of the House of the Youth Representatives, which aims to activate them and consequently their participation in the decision-making centers. The inclusion of the results of the work of the House of the Youth Representatives in the National Youth Strategy allows young people to actively participate in the formulation of policies in our country, so that they meet their needs and aspirations.
Furthermore, in June this year the House has launched a new action, which allows our students to familiarize themselves with the procedures and work of the legislative body, to expand their knowledge about the parliamentary process and the values of democracy. This is the Traineeship Programme in the House of Representatives, a two-month programme, with which we practically seek, on the one hand, the involvement of young people in the commons and, on the other hand, the strengthening of their skills.
I know that due to the timing of the coronavirus pandemic, your academic journey has been long and possibly exhausting and not so carefree and fun. However, it has certainly been a productive journey, one which you have successfully completed and which will reward your efforts and dedication.
Congratulations to every one of you!
I sincerely wish you good luck in your career and every professional and personal success! Don’t forget that without a dream, opportunities and a vision for a better world are not created.