Dr. Heinz Fischer
The Former Federal President of the Republic Austria
Dear Young Friends,
Our world is getting increasingly smaller, owing to modern traffic means and communication technologies. We are, as it were, living in global village with different cultures, traditions, and ways of life. Yet, we do have one common language: music. Music not only represents the distinctive, colorful cultures of nations but is, first and foremost, an indispensable part of our lives.
Austria has a rich music tradition. Aside from the Vienna Boys Choir and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, there are numerous other choirs, orchestras, dancing groups and applied arts formations that tremendously enrich social life in Austria.
But Austria not only stands for music but also for peace. Bertha von Suttner, for instance, was a pioneer in the international peace movement, who lived and worked in Austria. In 1905, she received the Nobel Peace Prize for her contributions to world peace. The spirit of this remarkable lady is still very much alive in Vienna, today. In addition, Vienna hosts one of the four headquarters of the United Nations and the OSCE, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, thus serving as a turntable where many activities that enhance world peace flow together.
We only have one world and, therefore, should also have one common future - a future filled with understanding, harmony and peace for all people, regardless of ethnicity, skin color, race and religion.
I wish all of you who are participating in the festival ONE FUTURE, here in Vienna, great success in contributing to world peace and an unforgettable stay in our beautiful capital.