OSAGYEFO’S PEACE AWARD CEREMONY OF THE AWARD OF LENIN PEACE PRIZE
State House, July 2, 1962
I am touched by the honour that has been conferred upon me by the award of the Lenin Peace Prize for 1961 and I accept it in all humility. I regard this award not only as an honour to me and the people of Ghana, but also as recognition of our modest contribution towards the promotion of world peace.
The man after whom the Peace Prize is named and commemorate —Vladimir Llych Lenin — is one of the most outstanding personalities of this century. Indeed, his like is rare among men. He grew up with the conviction that revolution and ethics, theory and practice, are inter-related. Revolution was always for him a moral issue for the realization of social justice. He believed that a society founded on the exploitation of man by man was immoral and must be changed. Lenin was a man who devoted himself to the cause not only of the Russian people, but indeed of humanity. In this pursuit, he succeeded in establishing a new social system that has made a remarkable impact on the course of world history.
Throughout his life, Lenin strongly believed that the surest way of securing enduring peace was by the abolition of all injustice and social inequalities. Lenin was deeply loved by the Russian people and today, thousands from all over the world file past his embalmed body in the Mausoleum at the Red Square in affection and reverence to this great man who made Socialism a reality. To him "man’s dearest possession is life, and since it is given him to live but once, he must so live as not to be besmeared with the shame of a cowardly existence and trivial past, so live that dying he might say, all my life and my strength were given to the finest cause in the world —the liberation of mankind."
Today, the preservation of peace should be the concern of us all. Here in Africa, we see the problem of peace in two main dimensions. First, we see it in terms of its international repercussions. In this light, the problem of peace centres mainly on the removal of the threat of war. Secondly, we see the problem of peace in tennis of the liberation, reconstruction and unity of Africa. As l have often stated, there can be no peace in the world until imperialism and colonialism are abandoned and not tolerated as instruments of policy in international relations.
I believe that the spirit of man can triumph over physical might. I also believe that there is a moral order in the universe and this moral force, this power of right over might, will ultimately overcome the evils of oppression, exploitation and man’s inhumanity to man. Fear and hatred will be removed from the hearts of men and the frontiers of peace will be greatly extended. Mankind must make conscious efforts to break the crisis of civilization in which man’s essential humanity is in danger of being overwhelmed by the power and influence of man’s inventions. The scientific and technological achievements of our time have raised man to a new plan of existence in which the fruit of man’s labour can create a better and happier life for man. The same achievements have, so to speak, contracted the world into such a small span that we have become each other’s next door neighbour. We must therefore learn to live together in peaceful co-existence. I am confident that the nations can co-exist irrespective of different social, economic and political systems. Co-existence can be realized and buttressed by a selfless policy of disengagement, and the practice of secular democracy which ensure the complete separation of all forms of religions from the State, and the pursuit of man’s cultural and spiritual development.
This medal which has just been pinned to my breast represents a moral force generated by the burning desire of people of all nations for peace.
Mr. Chairman, l am grateful to the International Lenin Peace Prize Committee for this honour. I accept the award on behalf of myself and the nation which l have the privilege to represent as President.