The UN is in Crisis over Africa
In recent months it has been said many times that because of the war in Iraq that the UN is in crisis. That may be true, but the most important reason why the UN is in crisis is because over 4 million people have died in Africa in the last 4 years due to the conflicts and the effects of conventional arms. 4 millions dead in the last 4 years. That's like the whole of the population of black people in England, Jamaica and some of the Caribbean Islands dead in the last 4 years. Thats like the whole of South London, or Yorkshire, or Yokohama, or Los Angles, or Sydney, or Ireland, or Central African Republic or Uruguay dead in the last 4 years. That is more than those killed in the First World War dead in Africa in the last 4 years.
In the last 4 years over 4 million people have died due to the wars and arms in Africa. Over 3 million in the Democratic Republic of the Congo alone. 4 million dead in the last 4 years; Thats more people died per month than in the whole of the Iraq war. 4 million dead in the last 4 years; Thats more Africans dying than at the highest rate during slavery. That's almost twice the number of deaths during the Middle passage during slavery over a 200 years period. 4 million dead in the last 4 years; imagine the heartache, pain, suffering, despair and injuries. 4 million dead in the last 4 years and yet Africa does not produce many weapons. 4 million dead, yet incredibly, not one person has been prosecuted for supplying the weapons of their destruction and death of the 4 million in the last 4 years. It's like legalised aiding, abetting and facilitating mass slaughter.
In Prime ministers Question time Wednesday 6 Feb 2002
"Mr. Alex Salmond (Banff and Buchan) asked: Is the Prime Minister aware that on the day of the Twin Towers disaster, there took place in this city an arms trade fair sponsored by the Ministry of Defence? Among the customers at that fair for state-of-the-art weaponry were both sides in the civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Would it not be a useful start to the Prime Minister's mission to Africa if he announced that henceforth this country will not sell arms to both sides in African civil wars?"
Part of The Prime Minister (Tony Blair's) reply was: "Our arms sales to Africa run at about 1 per cent. of total arms sales, so it is important to put that in context. There are also, incidentally, jobs and industry in this country to consider. Of course it is important to take care who we sell arms to, and we do." Parliament - UK web site: www.parliament.uk/
I listened to a live web cast of Prime Minister Blair's speech at the UN Millennium summit in 2000, and his later speech to the Labour Party Conference, and was hopeful as he had spent much of those speeches pleading for something to be done about Africa. It would appear he did not get the support or encouragement of other leaders both at home and abroad. Instead of helping save lives in Africa he was hoodwinked and obligated to prosecute the illegal war on Iraq.
4 million dead in 4 years and weapons made by the Veto 5 are being supplied to both sides. It's like the police giving you and your family and friends guns whenever you have a conflict.
His-story will focus on the recent Iraq war. But Human-story will remember the 4 million dead in Africa in the last 4 years. It will remember those who fate has put in positions of power and leadership, who instead of helping the African peoples have overseen and even facilitated the mass carnage. Some bury their heads in the sand, some dismiss it as not their problem, some spout near empty rhetoric, some throw their hands up in exasperation, some exploit the situation to amass wealth, some focus on other more politically advantageous issues. While the blood of the African Peoples run and run and the cries of their sufferings go unheeded by some impotent and or intransigent leaders. The UN is indeed in crisis over Africa. A crisis of leadership, morality and integrity.
What can be done
The UN has tried to help Africa. God knows it has tried and is trying. But it has had a catastrophic failure in the last 4 years. Below are some suggestions of things to consider doing (some already being done) that may help to stem the carnage in Africa.
1 Give Up Armies
Historically in many countries in Africa armies have been a main cause of conflicts; through military coups. The rationale for armies has now changed. Few conflicts are between states; most are within states. In Kofi Annans Millenniums report "We the peoples the Role of the United Nations in the 21st Century.." report we read that most wars are within states and most people killed or injured are civilians. 90% of all war casualties are civilians.
Africa is now the dumping ground for obsolete technology weapons. Much of the debt owed by developing countries was brought about through the purchase of arms. At a recent Jubilee 2000, Drop the debt meeting we were informed that some 30% of the loans made to the highly indebted nations is spent on arms. In some parts of Africa armed gangs are wreaking havoc, terrorising and robbing people, raping women and spreading HIV/Aids. The arms trade not only provides the veto 5 with economic wealth but also provides the finance to enable them to develop even more weapons. People in indebted countries will be paying interest and loans for many years to come, some of which will be used to develop more weapons. (Think of the suffering that this will cause many mothers and their children.) The result is that millions have been and will be killed, wounded, maimed, suffered and impoverished. Some responsibility for the wrecking and termination of these lives must be born by the arms makers. "Like slaves of haughty rulers and tyrants', who, heedless of their own liberty, make armaments to overthrow the liberty of others". They make some of their living from making and selling weapons to people to kill other people.
OK this is very risky. Countries suggesting giving up their armies are likely to have their leaders assassinated, or overthrown in military coups, or aid withheld, or be flooded with arms, or have external forces inciting groups into conflict. Its not going to be popular with the $800 bn a year arms industry, or with countries that make and sell arms such as the Veto 5 or their armies. But lets face it. What good or benefits have the armies and the resources spent on arms bought to many African or developing countries? What can small armies equipped with redundant technology do? We all watched with shock and awe the waste of resources and terrible use of technology in the bombardment of Baghdad during the war on Iraq. Can your army provide real security in such an environment? Are you going to condemn your peoples to a life of poverty by using essential resources to acquire such technology?
Table a resolution at the UN:
2 Stem The Tide - End the Conflicts Now
That is easier said than done. The UN is constantly trying to end all conflicts. Yet one feels that more could be done. The political will of many powerful leaders is not committed to a culture of peace; but rather to profit from the chaos of war. In civil law most countries have developed effective mechanisms to end conflicts but this has not yet been achieved at the highest levels; that of international law. I suspect its even more complex, the mechanisms are in place, but political bickering and loyalties, old cold war mentalities, greed, lack of resources and power crazes contribute to their lack of implementation.
The International community, through the UN, must exercise its "Responsibility to Protect". ".. if humanitarian intervention is, indeed, and unacceptable assault on sovereignty, how should we respond to a Rwanda, to a Srebrenia - to gross and systematic violations of human rights that affect every precept of our common humanity" (Kofi Annan 1999/2000). The responsibility, principles, criteria, rules and thresholds that define military intervention must be documented and agreed. Too many times the actions of the Security Council are ineffectual and seemingly cosmetic; like lipstick on a pig. A mechanism is required whereby cases can be refereed to the UN General Assembly, when the UN Security Council fails to act appropriately and effectively or remains seized by inactivity while many lives are being or about to be lost.
Make it a numeric Goal of the UN to reduce the number of lives lost in conflicts. The UN has a good record of achieving its numerical goals. Regularly collect, collate, update and publish statistics on a single web site on the internet on Africa and other regions so that progress can be easily measured.
Publish statistics such as:
|Last 10 years||Last 5 Years||Last Year 2002||Next Year 2003||Next 5 Years||Next 10 Years|
|Countries in Conflict||10|
|Arms supply Prosecutions||0|
|Internally displaced persons||13.5 m|
|HIV/AIDS Infections||29m||14.4 m|
|HIV/AIDS Infections Prevented|
|Famine / Hunger Deaths|
|At risk of starvation||14.3m|
|Famine / Hunger Affected||40 m|
|Measles vaccinating||64 m||200 m|
|Measles deaths prevented||0.1m||1.2m|
"Many more will have to suffer, many more will have to die, don't ask me why" (Bob Marley).
3 Prosecute the Guilty
Prosecute those guilty of causing these deaths. Suggestions include:
The anarchy and deaths in Africa are due to the non prosecution and profiting of those guilty of crimes against humanity over the last 40 years. In many cases this occurs at the very top, with support from powerful external nations. "We cannot allow bad rulers and their supporters to profit. Otherwise there will be no end to it; others will not be discouraged. As in civil law if there will be no deterrent or motivation to do good anarchy reigns." (Karl Miller) Measures to stop corruption should include:
The fact that no one has been prosecuted for supplying arms to Africa can be interpreted as either incompetence or collusion. It will be interesting to know the public's view.
"The events of the recent months are a severe setback to those who believe that morality and adherence to the rules of law should be our guiding principles. For the time being, the rule seems to be: might is right," (Sir Joseph Rotblat - "The Nuclear Issue: Pugwash and the Bush Policies" - 53rd Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs - Advancing Human Security: The Role of Technology and Politics - Halifax and Pugwash, Nova Scotia, Canada, 17-21 July 2003)
Is this the right example for Governments to set.
|Defining appropriate measurable criteria as to when leaders should vacate office
Crisis such as those in Iraq and Zimbabwe could be avoided if the United Nations (UN) defined and agreed appropriate measurable criteria as to when leaders should vacate office. As some leaders ignore or ride rough shod over their constitutions that define such criteria it will be useful for us to have a UN standard. Such criteria could include their agreement to abide by such UN criteria, constitutional provisions, human rights, the human development index, economic factors, environmental factors, popular and political support, maximum length of time, and of course the number of lives lost due to the Leaders policies.
It should not include arbitrary criteria; such as when any of the Permanent Members of the UN security council say they should go, or when a group of army officers decide it is time to break their oaths to protect their country, seize power and loot the Treasury; as has so often been the case during the life of the UN. Such criteria should be appropriate to the different political systems in different countries. For example modern democracies may require more stringent criteria than fledging democracies or other forms of government. Major problems such as some current leaders would not agree to any criteria that indicate they should go can be solved by delaying the coming into effect of such criteria and other strategies. The good legacy it will give future generations should make leaders feel proud to have their name associated positively with defining such criteria.
The people always seems to know when leaders should go (ok some people are biased) so it must be possible to define such measurable criteria. If the water coming from the top of the mountain is dirty or contaminated, it can't be clean in the valley below. (Karl Miller email during lead up too Iraq War)
4 Collect and Destroy the Weapons
In some parts of Africa it is cheaper to buy a gun than chicken. Yet Africa makes few arms.
"The first challenge, the author argues, is to assist countries emerging from
the devastation of warfare in their efforts to rebuild and fashion viable civil societies
and economies less susceptible to breakdown and strife. The second is to slash the
enormous arsenals of weapons accumulated over decades; to adopt meaningful restrictions on
arms production, possession, and trade; and to convert war-making capacities to civilian
use. Finally, and this is likely to be the greatest challenge, there is a need to create
institutions that are capable of robust peacekeeping, nonviolent dispute resolution, and
From Peace Pledge Union www.ppu.org.uk/indexa.html BUDGETING FOR DISARMAMENT
5 Effectively Implement Sanctions - Supplies to and Resources from Conflict Areas.
The arms moratorium in West Africa was not effective. It amazes me how, no matter where the conflict is, no matter how prominent the sanctions imposed by the international community, the weapons and suppliers to fuel the conflicts always gets through, and few if anyone is ever caught and prosecuted. The fact that some countries involved in the war in the DRC were still receiving aid from developed countries; seems like a reward in contrast to the public rhetoric of condemnation. Myself and many people I have talked to do not understand how weapons can be supplied to kill people; but food cannot be to feed the starving children.
The plundering of resources in areas of conflict in Africa (such as coltan; short for colombo tantalite, a strategic mineral needed for the manufacture of mobile phones and computer chips) implies the recipients of those resources are funding or facilitating the conflicts. There always seems to be a readily available markets for such resources. "In mid-October, the UN Security Council was presented with a report detailing how Rwandan, Ugandan and Zimbabwean officers, as well as Congolese authorities, manipulated internal conflicts to facilitate the looting of natural resources. The report also stated that the withdrawal of foreign troops would not end this exploitation. At this writing, there had been no indication that the Security Council intended to take further steps to end the plundering of the DRC's resources."
Pray that your country does not discover resources such as oil and diamonds coveted by the veto 5. Because if they do your people will suffer, they will have little peace because outsiders will facilitate and orchestrate wars so they can get those resources cheaply; in exchange for scrap metal and weapons of death and destruction of your people and country. For example Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Sudan, Sao Tome and Principe, South America, Iraq to name a few. I note that over $80 Bn dollars was spent on the war on Iraq killing over 20,000 people (??) to secure their oil resources; yet Africa paid for 4 million to die in Africa due to conflicts in the last 4 years and for outside interests to plunder and secure their resources.
6 Reduce resources spent on arms
"Every gun, every warship, every tank and every military aircraft built is, in
the final analysis, a theft from those who are hungry and are not fed, from those who are
naked and are not clothed."
Dwight D Eisenhower, General Commander Allied Forces, World War 2 and US President 1952-1960 (from Peace New's Nonviolent Action Issue 22 June 2001
In Angola over 22% of its GDP was spent on the military during 2001.
Professor Peter Willetts of City University reports that the IMF concluded that many developing countries can only satisfy the needs of their populations by diverting funds from their military budgets.
"How will any form of equity be established unless more resources are aimed at
developing people who are at the bottom of the economic ladder? Years after the end of the
cold war, the worlds governments continue to spend more than $800 billion a
year on arms and the arms trade is once again expanding. Though the bulk of
military spending is on conventional arms, the possession of nuclear weapons by the
powerful is driving militarism around the globe. Grotesque imbalances result:
"The Western nuclear powers are primarily responsible for keeping the relationship between disarmament and development off the political agenda.
There is a dynamic, triangular relationship between disarmament, development,
and security. The more disarmament and development are advanced, the more
security is enhanced and strengthened. But most nations havent yet made the mental
leap that security today requires the development of the human being, not the preparation
DEVELOPMENT AND EQUALITY by Douglas Roche A former Canadian Member of Parliament and Ambassador for Disarmament, Douglas Roche is author of The Ultimate Evil: The Fight to Ban Nuclear Weapons and other books, and served for 6 years as GEA's Chairperson.
Implement Article 26 of the UN Charter "to promote the establishment and maintenance of international peace and security with the least diversion for armaments of the worlds human and economic resources". Implement an unannounced year on year reduction on the resources spent on arms of between 5 and 10 Percent. Your people could use those resources more effectively. If you must spend aid money on arms buy thing that can be used to develop your country rather than to kill people. Buy things such as transportation vehicles, medicines, infrastructure (bridges) and building equipment. It would increase jobs, reduce poverty and speed up the development of your country.
Weapons dont bring peace or security, they kill people.
"But we have also seen in our goals a basic purpose: survival. Any use of nuclear weapons would carry the danger of escalation and a threat to our continued existence." (Sir Joseph Rotblat)
As Kofi Annan puts it "We the Peoples"
238 "The death toll from small arms dwarfs that of all other weapons systems and in recent years greatly exceeds the toll of the atomic bombs that devastated Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In terms of the carnage they cause, small arms, indeed, could well be described as "weapons of mass Destruction". Yet there is still no global non-proliferation regime to limit their spread, as there is for chemical, biological and nuclear weapons."
And Douglas Mattern "At the same time, UN Secretary General Koffi Annan reminds us that half of humanity lives in poverty, existing on an average of $2 a day. The Arias Foundation reports that world military spending increased from $798 billion in 2000 to $839 billion in 2001. Half of the world's governments spend more on the military than for health care. This expenditure is a monumental waste of our wealth, resources, and intellectual talent for the means of destruction and astonishing profits for the armament companies. The war business is the world's ultimate criminal activity. "
It also amazes me how some very religious and moral people fight against contraception yet support and even invest in the arms industry. It is as if the investment in arms is so profitable that it overrides their beliefs, and the extra people are needed as cannon fodder or test subjects for the arms to be used to kill them.
African Improvement Ideas
I believe we can make a positive difference for humanity and hope (despite the cynics, politicking, bad experiences of the past) we will progress to a better future.
1 Peace, security and Disarmament
6.7 I urge all governments to take seriously and act in good faith to try to avoid / prevent / curtail the threats to mankind and our beloved mother earth detailed in the secretary general's report " we the peoples: the role of the United Nations in the twenty first century (2000)"
By Karl Miller at The Millennium Forum 23 may 2000
7 Implement UN Resolutions
I welcome the Resolution "57/337. Prevention of armed conflict" adopted by
the General Assembly this year (2003). I hope it can be implemented efficiently,
effectively and quickly. At the end of the day it will be measured by casualties; such as
whether another 4 million people die in Africa due to armed conflicts in the next 4 years.
The UN should focus on getting treaties, conventions and resolutions passed to date implemented effectively. Some nations may need help, not just to agree to them, but also to effectively and efficiently implement them. Much of what is needed is there in writing, but it is just not done.
"The other basic principle is adherence to international law. It is a sine qua non of a civilized society that nations fulfil their legal obligations and respect international law. World peace cannot be achieved without adherence to international treaties." (Sir Joseph Rotblat) If the countries involved in "Africa's First World War" in the Democratic Republic of the Congo had adhered to UN treaties and international law then 3 million people would not have died their in the last 4 years. They could have reduced the slaughter and suffering. By adhering to UN resolutions, treaties and international law they can avoid any repeat of such carnage. Perhaps, at the very least, the UN General Assembly should pass a resolution condemning their behaviour.
The behaviour of the Nuclear States is not much better. Article VI of The Non-Proliferation Treaty states:
"Each of the Parties to the Treaty undertakes to pursue negotiations in good faith on effective measures relating to cessation of the nuclear arms race at an early date and to nuclear disarmament, and on a treaty on general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control"
By signing and ratifying the NPT, the nuclear member states are legally
committed to nuclear disarmament.
The elimination of nuclear weapons has been the declared aim of the United Nations from the beginning, and resolutions to this effect are passed, year after year, by large majorities of the General Assembly. These resolutions are ignored by the nuclear weapon states, as are all attempts to discuss the issue by the organ set up for this purpose, the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva.
There is a need to keep hammering home the point that America's stand on the NPT issue is iniquitous. It has signed and ratified an international treaty which commits it to get rid of nuclear weapons, yet it is pursuing a policy which demands the indefinite retention of these weapons." (Sir Joseph Rotblat) When governments (all Nuclear States) behave like this; with so little integrity; how can businesses and the public be expected to respect them. Its a good job business and the public does not follow their examples.
The UN has passed many treaties, conventions and resolutions to date; but few have been implemented effectively. Much of what is needed is there in writing, but it is just not done. No resources, yet precious resources are wasted on weapons.
Establish a voluntary Mentoring scheme, whereby developed countries mentor and coach less developed countries in good governance. Actual help in putting effective systems in place and providing the environments in which people can flourish and achieve much of their potential. Especially for achieving the Millennium Development goals, peaceful transition of power, economic development, implementing UN treaties and conventions. Implementation notes: A) Mentors cannot be G8 or ex-colonial countries (special roles for them). B) Must change partners after 10 years.
8 Reform the UN Conference on Disarmament
The UN should reform itsdisarmament mechanisms in order to make progress; both The Disarmament Commission and The Conference of Disarmament.
"The Disarmament Commission this evening concluded its 2003 session without concrete proposals to advance either nuclear disarmament or confidence-building in the field of conventional arms,
highlighted the need for political will, without which the disarmament debates would remain mere academic gatherings, and United Nations resolutions would remain a "dead letter". Empty talk would enshrine a global strategic imbalance and foster nuclear proliferation. Delaying tactics, if continued, would lead many countries to believe that nuclear proliferation was the way forward. Perhaps, only that threat of proliferation - sadly - will ever prompt the nuclear Powers to advance total nuclear disarmament. "
"speakers called for a new democratic world order based on security for all through effective arms control and disarmament and rejection of the unilateral use of military force, which they said undermined international security and encouraged possession by States of weapons of mass destruction.
some of the features that characterized the current disarmament situation included the growth of military expenditures, the vague future of the CTBT, an absence of progress in nuclear disarmament, stagnation within the Conference of Disarmament, and problems regarding the development of the fissile material cut-off treaty.. The relative ease of access and portability of conventional weapons had posed security dilemmas for many States"
" the forum was the only comprehensive negotiating body on disarmament at the disposal of the international community; and every possible effort should be made to keep the Conference alive and to be aware of the fact that shortcomings or long pauses in its pursuit of success should never discourage diplomacy.
a major question mark should be put on what was going on in the Conference. Efforts should be made to go back to the true issue, which was security, particularly against the threat of nuclear weapons. Today, however, the world was changing. And for the last ten years, the Conference had failed to advance on the matter of disarmament in nuclear weapons in accordance with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). One should question the level of compliance with commitments set out by that Treaty.
His four-year term had been a waste because of lack of progress within the Conference. No substantive work had been accomplished during his term. The Conference had been inactive for many years. It could not adopt a programme of work in order to proceed in carrying out its functions. There was a glimmer hope that one day the Conference would come out of its stalemate and start once again to perform its important work. "
"Citing "todays dramatically changed security environment," the US said that it was imperative for the Commission to focus its efforts on the "realities" of today and those of the future. "It serves no ones interests to advocate approaches that no longer track with the current international situation and the new directions in which it might be heading," the US said." From UN Disarmament Commission Session Concludes Without Agreement, April 17 (2003) http://www.acronym.org.uk/docs/0304/doc10.htm and UN CONFERENCE ON DISARMAMENT - press releases http://disarmament2.un.org:8080/cd/cd-press.html and http://www.unsystem.org/ngls/documents/text/go.between/gb96a.htm
It would seem that some are not acting in good faith, and have their own secret agenda to the detriment of all others.
I was disappointed that the small arms conference in July 2001 achieved so little. Its main aim was according to the UN Millennium Declaration 2000 "To take concerted action to end the illicit traffic in small arms and light weapons, especially by making arms transfers more transparent." They could not even achieve such limited aims.
"The U.S. should be ashamed of themselves," said South African delegate Jean Du Preez. "We are very disappointed." A united Africa had fought for language that would bar weapons supplies to non-governments. "If you send arms to non-state actors, you are sending them to rebels who are trying to overthrow governments," Nigerian delegate Sola Ogunbanwu argued. The United States had said it could not support any measure that would bar governments from supplying small arms to rebel groups, noting that it would not forego foreign policy options such as helping to overthrow a threatening regime." (Small Arms conference 2001 - press report)
The lack of progress over such an important issue is more than lamentable, it is a danger to us all. Humans have dominion over the earth and are now managing it. Where is the good in having weapons that can destroy the earth and all its peoples many times over? Mankind has all it takes to eliminate wars, poverty and underdevelopment permanently. But mankind also has all it takes to wipe human life off the face of the earth once and for all. During the cold war I read Isaiah 24 in my bible. It says the earth is going to be devastated and left desolate, lie shattered and ruined. I was aware of the CND movement. I became concerned about Nuclear weapons and the prevailing strategy of MAD; Mutually Assured Destruction. This meant that if USSR and the US started to fight they would destroy everyone. Every man, Every woman, Every child, Every animal, Every bird; Everything. From then until now I cannot think of a more evil thought. Yet it was the actually policy of those charged with defending us. To quote George W. Bush "But I also made it clear to [Vladimir Putin] that it's important to think beyond the old days of when we had the concept that if we blew each other up, the world would be safe." George W. Bush, US President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, preaching on the US position on Health and safety (from CAAT news June-July 2000 / Issue 166 - www.caat.org.uk ). Could someone please make it clear to President Bush that a new world order of World military domination / Full Spectrum Dominance / Pre-emptive (Nuclear) Strikes will condemn mankind to a future of conflict, wars, death and the constant threat of annihilation; is a waste of resources and a theft from everyone. Some of the distinctions between tyrants and leaders include the ability to tolerate criticism, ruling by permission rather than might is right, and acting in good faith for the good of all. " In this scenario the US may be seen as Darth Vader's master in Star Wars films; with their star wars system targeting earth; while the rest of the world hopes for a Luke Skywalker who can use the force of good to defeat the empire. I love the American people; I always seem to meet nice ones, but some of their government's policies sucks." (Karl Miller)
Our only hope is the American People. I personally hope that a non-partisan peace candidate (adopting policies from all sides) will stand at the next election.
"Any attempt to achieve our goals by persuading the Bush Administration to change its policies through logical persuasion, or by appealing to moral instincts, would be hopeless and a complete waste of time. But it may not be a waste of time if such an appeal is made to the general public. As I said earlier, hope lies in a change of public opinion, particularly in the United States, to rise in opposition to the current policies, and throw them out in the process usually employed in democratic countries, namely, in free elections." (Sir Joseph Rotblat) This may give the world and the American peoples some hope. Peoples from all over the world most of whose ancestors crossed the waters to the brave new world that now has greatest military power that ever existed. "The military strength of the USA is truly awesome. Since the end of the Cold War, the Americans have built up an enormous military potential. Making use of the latest advances in science and the achievements in technology - and supported by budgets of astronomical dimensions - the United States has become the greatest military power that ever existed; nearly exceeding in sophistication all other nations combined." (Sir Joseph Rotblat). The hope of the world lies with the actions of the American Peoples; a collection of all races from all corners of the globe.
9 Get More Women Leaders
" Last September the few women Heads of State (5 out of 150) who attended the Millennium Summit met with the women heads of UN agencies for the first time at the UN Millennium Women's Summit. The women leaders clearly called for the United Nations to fulfill the 50/50 quota of men and women among its staff by the year 2000 or as soon as possible thereafter. They requested Governments to support this effort by appointing female permanent representatives to UN missions and female heads of delegations dealing with major economic, social and security issues. They asked the UN to strengthen the participation of women in peace-keeping operations, including the appointment of women Special Representatives of the Secretary-General. The Group on Equal Rights for Women in the UN has been fighting for these principles for 30 years, and we feel that the pace of change has been far too slow over the past five years. " (Marcia Brewster 8 March 2001)
The progress on giving women a greater leadership role has been slow. One of my main hopes is that we will have less wars and conflicts with more women leaders; because; unlike the macho men who argue, fuss, fight and spend resources on arms and toys for the boys they will focus feelings, consensus, non-violence and spend more resources on the environment, poverty reduction and necessities to raise the children. "Evidence suggests that were it not for women's participation at decision-making levels, issues such as childcare, violence against women, social protection, food security and unpaid labour would not have received the attention they have from policy-makers." (Angela E. V. King 8 March 2001). The slow progress has meant that in Africa such positive influences are missing. The power mad men have argued, fussed and fought; resulting in 4 millions dead in the last 4 years; mostly civilians; women and children.
Security Council resolution '1325 Women and peace and security' was passed in October 2000. Now almost 3 years later, with over 3 million dead many of its provisions have not been implemented in Africa. Yet another example of the solutions being known, some of the mechanisms being in place; but the powers that be (especially those with interests in or links to the Industrial Military Complex) failing to exercise the power, will or action needed for their effective implementation; resulting in the death of millions and the untold sufferings of tens of millions of women and children.
OK its really frustrating for all those working on these issues, to have some twit like me criticise the effectiveness of your work. My criticisms are due to the frustrations and sadness I fell when I think of these issues and the lives lost and the hope and belief that better results can be achieved. I offer these suggestions so that if some lives can be saved by a review of some polices or more effective implementation of others, they will be of some benefit. I do not envy your very very difficult task of trying to change human behaviour or attitudes. I do not envy the UN in negotiating with tyrants, despots and leaders who, like Sadam Hussain, for the sake of power ensure the deaths of thousands, even millions. Yet I believe more can be done to save lives.
"I believe in the inherent goodness of Man. What would be the point of keeping the human species if this were not true! But then our task must be to ensure that this belief gains general acceptance.
We still conduct world affairs on the outdated principle that our survival demands being militarily strong. This is a remnant of our early history, when Man had to resort to violence in order to survive or to ensure continuation of the species. It completely ignores the radical changes that have occurred as a result of the advances in science and technology, changes which make such a stand no longer necessary. If equitably distributed, our resources could be sufficient to meet the basic needs of the world population, despite its huge increase." (Sir Joseph Rotblat)
"It will be very sad for humanity; if in future historians look back on this period and conclude that the UN failed in its fundamental / primary tasks because the founders and reformers of the UN were naive or mistaken in the belief and hopes that such tasks were achievable due to the intrinsic shortcomings of the members of the Security Council (e.g. self interests, ideological differences, politics, they being the makers of most of the weapons in the world, their need to maintain power and control).
The UN is charged with the very difficult task of making the Impossible possible (like Doctors tending the sick) that of saving succeeding generations from the scourge of war. The well being of all is dependent on their success. I believe that despite the inherent difficulties, cynics, politicking and bad experiences of the past; the UN can be more successful in achieving peace in the future." (Karl Miller)
4 million dead in Africa due to conflicts in the last 4 years is a catastrophic failure. That is the crisis for the UN. I plead "Blood run done, CEASE, NOW PEACE".
Karl Miller9 Sep 03 Copyright 2003
Some links (mostly for my benefit)
Arms Reduction Coalition
Action For UN Renewal
Democratic Republic of Congo - Permanent Mission - United Nations
UN AFRICA INITIATIVE : DOCUMENTS
BBC - DR Congo awash with rebels
Southern Africa: Mid-Term Review 2003
Fifty-Eighth session Agenda item 48 Follow-up to the outcome of the twenty-sixth
implementation of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS
Report of the Secretary-General on progress towards implementation of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS
NGLS Go Between - NO 96 FEBRUARY MARCH 2003
Millions Already Gone: Who Hears Cries for The Congo? by Morpheus Reloaded
The forgotten famine By John Vidal, Wednesday April 30, 2003 The Guardian
Human Rights Watch - World Report 2003 - Africa Overview
The Causes Of Conflict And The Promotion Of Durable Peace And Sustainable Development In Africa. Report of the United Nations Secretary-General to the Security Council by Kofi Annan
UN General Assembly 2002 Resolutions on Disarmament
Christian Monitor Africa Day of Prayer
FINAL DOCUMENT OF THE XIII CONFERENCE OF HEADS OF STATE OR GOVERNMENT OF THE NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT KUALA LUMPUR, 24 25 FEBRUARY 2003
Disarmament And International Security
UN Disarmament Commission Session Concludes Without Agreement, April 17
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57/337. Prevention of armed conflict
UN Documentation Centre
Ten basic points for a successful disarmament, demobilization and reintegration
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Disarmament in Conflict Prevention
A Disarmament Agenda for the 21st Century
Arms Control and Disarmament: A New Conceptual Approach
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Disarmament: A Basic Guide
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Volume 7, No. 2, April-May 2003
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