Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Togolese Abroad - Togo
Chief Negotiator of ACP Group for Post-Cotonou 2020 agreement - Professor of Political Philosophy

Prof. Robert Dussey

Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Integration and Togolese Abroad - Togo
Chief Negotiator of ACP Group for Post-Cotonou 2020 agreement - Professor of Political Philosophy

Legion of honor

Robert Dussey, the diplomatic adviser to the head of State, received Thursday in Lome from the hands of the Ambassador of France in Togo, Nicolas Warnery, insignia of Knight of the Legion of honor.

In his speech, Mr. Warnery introduced Robert Dussey «as a long time friend of France, (…)» a diplomat, a philosopher, a prolific writer and one of the experts of the African continent".


Here is the intervention of the Ambassador of France in Togo

Dear Robert,

It is with joy that we meet tonight in this Residence of France. Because it is a friend that I decorate tonight. A long time friend of this Embassy, a long time friend of the France. Joy because beyond the diplomat, the France honors a philosopher, a prolific writer and one of the experts of the African continent. Dear Robert, as is the tradition, I need now retrace your path. From your birth in Bangui in 1972 to the publication of your last book ("a comedy in the tropics"). Pan-African convinced, I also see several in the audience tonight, you were born in the heart of the continent, in Central Africa, the well named, where you follow courses at the Saint Paul Seminary.

Your religious fervor will not leave you and it is, without doubt, a "red thread" in your course. Is it a family culture, is a call? You open we certainly a few doors within minutes coming. So you can continue your theological studies in Congo-Brazzaville with the community of the Beatitudes and the Franciscans. After brilliant studies, you decide yet to begin a secular existence by becoming a political philosopher. Your talents are quickly recognized. You will join the prestigious circle of African intellectuals. You are browsing the Africa and the big wide world. You do not forget as long your Catholic roots, roots placed in the service of peace, here or elsewhere. In 2004 you become a special Ombudsman of the community of Sant'Egidio in Togo. Your program, your vision for your country are also clear: in 2003 you 'think reconciliation in Togo. "

You become a true mediator, a fine negotiator. The head of State you trust and you called the Presidence.mais diplomatic Advisor, as you know, the France wanted to decorate, not only function, but also human. Robert Dussey man. The man who does not hesitate to be critical. The man, who does not give the lessons, but that strives to be purveyor of good ideas. You, on the Togolese political scene, one who takes his pen as soon as his phone to remind us of the good practices. Your critical sense is, I believe, your trademark.

Maybe it's this quality that makes you so valuable to the office of the President. As of 2003 it has escaped anyone in a brief and powerful book you ask in these terms: "Togolese! What have we done to our freedom? "As early as 2003, precursor, you call your greeting of the reforms that will see the day, in another context, a few years later. : establishment of a coalition Government, establishment of a truth and reconciliation commission and establishing forums for dialogue likely to provide an avenue to the different political aspirations. You then developed the Pan-African themes that are dear to you. Africa is ill tell you, "Africa is sick of its politicians. You make a record severe but hopeful, then you believe that "half of the African political leaders are unable to govern their States '… It is particularly daring. Yet a few pages earlier you describe this African ruler that you call your wishes: a man closes in command but who demonstrated humility in the face of reality. A worker hard but lucid. With a high ethic, guarantee of disinterestedness.

Here, Dear Professor, set out the reasons that have motivated your appointment. These, I might add, of course, your human qualities: your sympathy and your availability, that make you a particularly endearing person, one of those that you always see with pleasure. In these troubled times in the world and in the region, at a time of intense diplomatic activity for the world and for Togo, let me also congratulate through you those accompanying with professionalism the tempo imposed by a presence in the Security Council. They know that we are and will remain by their side to help them in their task needed!

The response from Robert Dussey

It is with real pleasure that I take the floor first to thank the President of the French Republic, his Excellency Mr Nicolas SARKOZY, who agreed to appoint me to the rank of Knight in the order of the Legion of honor and also to thank the President of the Republic, his Excellency Mr. Faure GNANSSINGBE who welcomed the French distinction. My thanks go to the kidney Dominique place (your predecessor), Roland BRÉJON and all the staff of the Embassy of France in Togo.

Dear Nicolas, thank you very much for your friendly welcome in this beautiful residence.

In preparing this ceremony, I asked Roland, if I should make a speech. He replied Yes and I thought why a speech; because the goal of the speech about a topic (a topic) to support a thesis (a point of view, an opinion that meets a problem. He must convince an opponent, either to change its opinion or judgement, or to induce him to act or downright argue. But argue it is trying to convince, persuade or deliberate. If arguing is to support or challenge an opinion, this attempt also aims at the same time to act on the addressee by seeking to convince him or persuade him. But here, it is not to persuade, rather to present his wishlist, its recognition in the place of a benefactor.  Yes, the word is out: recognition.


The polysemy of the notion of recognition certainly hides a common essence justifying the use of the same word. The object of my brief reflection will be to find this common denominator that justifies the use of an identical Word for realities that seem to belong to different conceptual registers. The Latin Etymology of the word knowledge, illuminates the meaning of recognition by ricochet. Knowledge comes from conascere which means "born with". NIETZSCHE came back with this etymology of knowledge relevance to critique the Rationalist conception of knowledge. For him, you know, is not enslave the known object but enter into harmony with him. From this point of view Nietzschean, recognition would be the Act which is to recognize the dignity of the perceived object. With NIETZSCHE it would be in the moral register of the notion of recognition in the sense of gratitude. Rationalism seeking to capture the object would basically be an ingrate.

In the wake of the Nietzschean inspiration we can draw a parallel between the recognition and the renaissance. So, we come to the Platonic theory of ideas-related topic of reminiscence. As shown in Plato through the slave of the Meno, who finds himself without a geometry theorem of Thales, knowing it is always recognize. Socrates says to his stratagems interlocutors that the slave has done that remembering a geometric gasoline that he had seen previously in the sky of ideas. For Plato, knowledge is possible because there is recognition, which is recalling that our soul has already seen but forgotten in a previous life.

However, such reminiscent constitutes an act of rebirth for our fallen soul that is is bogged down in the matter after his fall from the sky of ideas. Recognition is literally an act of salvation which allows our soul to be reborn through his conversation to the spiritual principle in Plato… In addition to the moral sense of gratitude and the spiritual meaning of reminiscence, recognition also includes a phenomenological sense used largely by Hegel in the phenomenology of mind. Indeed, in the famous dialectic of the master and the slave, it is the question of the recognition of the other which is central. In a first moment, the master only becomes such as a through the recognition of his superior courage by his future slave, the master being one who was not afraid to face death.

In a second moment, the slave who became such because of his lack of courage in the face of death becomes aware of his scorned human dignity and revolts against the master at the risk of his life. Finally, in a third time, the slave and the master recognize that they need from the other where the abolition of slavery and the advent of a free and rational State which recognizes the equal rights of all human beings human. For Hegel, every human conscience needs recognition by another consciousness to exist as such.

The common point between the different meanings of the word recognition is therefore found: he is simply love. Whether it's gratitude, reminiscence or reconciliation, recognition is based on an act of love.

What hides especially such a choice and that may not be justified, that's what we thought having found: love and honor. What did the honor for Napoleon BONAPARTE in makes a distinction called "the legion of honour '?

Plato pointed out that Thumos (one of the parts of the soul) "is actually the seat of courage, a sense of dignity, pride, honor."

Honor can be defined as a relationship between a person and a social group which gives it something. Honor is earned by admired by Community acts. We suffer the shame of despised acts accordingly. In this sense, the honor is a collective attribute as virtue is an individual attribute.

States give decorations, which in France is the legion of honor, which I am the beneficiary tonight. This prestigious distinction, I was made Knight. But that is – this being Knight?

"Who are you? ask Perceval. "I am a Knight. »

"I've never known Knight" said the young man

"I saw no, never I haven't heard. "The tale of the Holy Grail, Christian of Lavra, to 168-169.

Excellency Mr. Ambassador, ladies and gentlemen,

The Knight, is a man who is part of a set of codes, values involved in the adventure of the heroic quest, punctuated with trials, successful. He embodies love, wandering, the wonderful, madness, the blood and the battles. It is an archetype of the hero, a hero of legend who continues to make dream.

Excellency Mr. Ambassador, thank you very much to make me dream tonight.

Excellency the Ambassador,

Ladies and gentlemen, after this long detour through thinking thinking who lets himself think, I concluded by this thought of Marcel PROUST who said: "we are grateful to those who give us happiness; they are the charming gardeners who our souls are flowering.