Dear speech-fans and friends,

This summer has been everything but quiet, which means a rich harvest of speeches.

Here is a short selection of empowering stories, varied quotes, rhythmic tricolons, and memorable antimetaboles delivered in July and August.

Welcome back !

Isabelle


Speeches to call for action

 Ladies and gentlemen, never underestimate the power of how you are, and will, transform people's lives. 

It's no small thing to show the world that what's always been done, can be done better.
So, spread your story far, wide and fast! Even the smallest of patient innovations can bring hope and happiness!

Commissioner Moedas, 13 July 2015, Sharing Solutions, Improving Life through Citizen Innovation

 

Change is happening before our eyes at an alarming pace. It is up to us to take action before it is too late.

But addressing climate change is not only about saving our planet. It is also about saving ourselves from poverty, unemployment, war, and oppression.
Why?
Because the rise in temperatures creates an entire range of effects;
from floods to heatwaves and wildfires;
from new diseases and health hazards to draughts and food shortage,
from extinction of animals to entire populations fleeing their territories in search of liveable conditions.
We cannot simply watch this happen. 

Vice-President Šefčovič, 1 July 2015, World Summit of Climate and Territories


L’enjeu [de la conférence de Paris COP 21], c’est de conclure un accord qui puisse être global, contraignant, différencié, qui s’applique partout et qui puisse être respecté. (…)

Nous avons besoin de tous pour parvenir à ces accords.

Nous avons besoin des chefs d’Etat et de gouvernement qui représentent la légitimité,

besoin des acteurs locaux qui s’engagent,

besoin des entreprises ;

mais nous avons aussi besoin des citoyens du monde.

Nul ne peut prétendre les représenter. Ils sont eux-mêmes uniques et multiples : des milliards d’individus qui s’interrogent sur ce qu’est la destinée humaine.

D’une certaine façon, c’est vous qui les représentez. Ils se reconnaissent dans les convictions que vous portez, dans les cultes que vous pratiquez, dans les philosophies que vous partagez, dans les cultures que vous incarnez.

Président Hollande, 21 July 2015, Ouverture du Sommet des consciences pour le climat

 

What we were able to do on the continent should be repeated here.

I have to tell you, coming from this small Grand Duchy I am coming from: Germany invaded Luxembourg twice in a century. I lost members of my family in concentration camps so I never knew them because they had passed away. My father, one of 12 children, was incorporated by force, together with three of his brothers into the German Wehrmacht. They had to fight, in a hatred uniform, against those who were trying to liberate my country.

If it was possible on this European continent to make peace,

after all these family tragedies,

after all these countries and nation tragedies,

why should not it be possible to do the same here?

President Juncker, 17 July 2015, House of Representatives of Cyprus

 

How credible the European Union is in human rights issues depends in the current situation on how we in Europe treat those who seek refuge with us.
We should not forget that countless Irish and Germans once set off across the Atlantic to escape hardship and a lack of freedom in their own countries or to embark on a new life.
The history of our countries is in fact such that we ought to have understanding for those who flee.

Bundespräsident Gauck, 15 July 2015, Honorary doctorate by the National University of Ireland

 

As Africa changes, I’ve called on the world to change its approach to Africa.  (Applause.)  So many Africans have told me,
we don’t want just aid, we want trade that fuels progress.  W
e don’t want patrons, we want partners who help us build our own capacity to grow.  (Applause.)  
We don’t want the indignity of dependence, we want to make our own choices and determine our own future.

President Obama, 28 July 2015, Remarks to the people of Africa

 

Speeches to win heards and minds

 

This week, the United States and our international partners finally achieved something that decades of animosity has not – a deal that will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.

This deal will make America and the world safer and more secure.  Still, you’re going to hear a lot of overheated and often dishonest arguments about it in the weeks ahead. 
So today, I want to take a moment to take those on one by one, and explain what this deal does and what it means.

First, you’ll hear some critics argue that this deal somehow makes it easier for Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon. 
Now, if you think it sounds strange that the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China, and some of the world’s best nuclear scientists would agree to something like that, you’re right. (…)

President Obama, 18 July 2015, A comprehensive, long-term deal with Iran

 

Who will you quote to win the audience?

 

There will be negotiations (for the COP 21) and they will be tough, but there will not be winners and losers. Either we all win or we all lose.
As Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker recently said, "this is not a discussion between the global North and South. It is a discussion between this generation and the generations to come".
And as Secretary General Ban Ki-moon pointed out "there is no plan B because there is not planet B".
Other world opinion shapers, from the Pope to pop icons, have taken up their responsibility in using their voice and influence to keep climate change visibly on the table.

Vice-President Šefčovič, 1 July 2015, World Summit of Climate and Territories

 

It’s now more than 50 years since President Kennedy stood before the American people and said, “Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate.”

President Obama, 14 July 2015, Statement on Iran

 

So I can understand the suspicion of those who see climate action as some sort of cover for anti-growth, anti-capitalist, proto-socialism.

But it was Margaret Thatcher who first put climate change on the international agenda.

She told the World Climate Conference in 1990 that “The danger of global warming is real enough for us to make changes and sacrifices, so that we do not live at the expense of future generations.”

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change A. Rudd, 24 July 2015, Climate Change: The Financial Implications

 

Humour to make your point

 

There is a certain perception among foreigners about French people.

You love arts, music, food, wine – and holidays.

In New York, I looked for Ambassador Delattre. He was not there.

I thought he must be enjoying his summer holidays.

Now that I am joining you for this “Semaine des ambassadeurs”, I realize that I have to change my perception of French people.

You work even during the summer without taking vacations!

(…) of course, the climate conference in Paris later this year is at the very top of the international agenda.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, 26 August 2015, Remarks to the Annual meeting of French Ambassadors

 

I have to also say that Africa’s democratic progress is also at risk when leaders refuse to step aside when their terms end.
Now, let me be honest with you -- I do not understand this. I am in my second term.  It has been an extraordinary privilege for me to serve as President of the United States.  I cannot imagine a greater honor or a more interesting job.  I love my work.  
But under our Constitution, I cannot run again.
I can't run again.  I actually think I'm a pretty good President -- I think if I ran I could win.
But I can't.

President Obama, 28 July 2015, Remarks to the people of Africa

 

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