Nobel Peace prize-winner blesses the Esperanza

'Thank you for your work for peace and for a nuclear free world, it is wonderful and we thank you'

Feature story - August 23, 2002
Archbishop Desmond Tutu joined the call for a clean, nuclear free future from the deck of the Greenpeace vessel Esperanza today as the ship and crew continued their work in the run up to the Earth Summit next week.The Noble Peace Prize winner told the crew "Thank you for your work for peace and for a nuclear free world, it is wonderful and we thank you."

Archbishop Desmond Tutu blessed the Esperanza and the crew and then joined them in wishing for a clean, peaceful and nuclear free world.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu joined the call for a clean, nuclear free future from the deck of the Greenpeace vessel Esperanza today as the ship and crew continued their work in the run up to the Earth Summit next week.

The Archbishop made a private tour of the Esperanza, which has recently returned from a four-day voyage into the Southernocean to protest the passage of a deadly cargo of plutonium off South Africa.

The Nobel Peace prizewinner told the crew "Thank you for your work for peace and for a nuclear free world, it is wonderful and we thank you."

One of the key demands that Greenpeace will put to all Heads of State attending the Earth Summit in Johannesburg, is a requirement that they should reject climate changing and dirty energy policies - the fossil fuel and nuclear industries, and to address the energy inequity suffered by the world's poor at the same time.

Governments at the Summit must make a commitment to divert the annual $250 million subsidies from dirty power and invest in sustainable energy systems such as solar, wind and wave technology, which could bring electricity to the 2 billion people - one third of the planet - who currently have access to none.

"One day, down the line people will say, why did it happen?" said the Archbishop on the deck of the Esperanza. "It will be because of the contribution of you and you," he added pointing to the crewmembers. He then thanked them "for the people of today and the people of tomorrow who are not yet born, but who, because of what you are doing, will be able to live in a world that is clean."

The blessing from Archbishop Tutu was the first for the Esperanza, the newest ship in the Greenpeace fleet. His visit echoed a visit made to her sister ship, the Rainbow Warrior, by the Dalai Lama during the first Earth Summit in Rio ten years ago.

The Archbishop spent nearly an hour on board and was presented with a Greenpeace book documenting the 30-year history of the international environmental group's protest in photos, and two Greenpeace T-shirts bearing the logo "Choose Positive Energy" and "Stop Plutonium Terror".