David Stafford, in his interesting article published on the 35th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (The Message In The Nobel Prize--Dec. 9), has missed the real "message" in the awarding of the prize this year to Lech Walesa.
The interdependence of peace and human rights,* expressed in that declaration as well as in the Charter of the United Nations on which it was based, has been embodied in other international treaties and agreements since that time, notably in the United Nations Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. John Humphrey, the Canadian who contributed so much to the drafting of the Universal Declaration and to its adoption in 1948, was reported in the very next issue of The Globe and Mail (Dec. 10) as stating that "there can be no peace unless human rights and freedoms are respected, just as there can be no human rights or dignity unless war and the threat of war are abolished."**
This idea was restated in the Helsinki Final Act in 1975, and endorsed again by the second review conference which just concluded in Madrid. The Helsinki agreement placed "respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms" among the 10 principles, "all of primary significance," which the signatory states were to observe in their relations with each other, and described it as "an essential factor for peace."
It surely does not tax the imagination, as it seems to do for Prof. Stafford, to believe that the concept of "fraternity between peoples" embraces Lech Walesa and the Solidarity movement for which he still stands. Is it not clear to all that the denial of human rights in Poland, in violation of the Helsinki Final Act and the other documents cited above, represents a grave threat to European and world peace?
H. Gordon Skilling
Department of Political Science
University of Toronto
(letter text accompanied by photograph of Lech Walesa and Henryk Jankowski, captioned:
Walesa celebrates Nobel Prize with friend Henryk Jankowski: concern for oppressed)
Dec. 13 was the second anniversary of the imposition of martial law in Poland on Dec. 10. Danuta Walesa accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of her husband. Dec. 10 was also the anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
These events should provide all of us, and the peace movement in particular, with an opportunity to reflect on the real threats to peace.
Weapons are not the primary threat to peace. They are a symptom of its fragility. They can even help to preserve it. The basic threat to peace is the violation of human rights, in the many ways it manifests itself. Soviet imperialism in Eastern Europe and Asia, social injustice in Latin America, racism in South Africa and religious persecution in Iran are all different aspects of the same human malaise--the subservience of human dignity to the belief of some group that it has been especially anointed by history, fate or God.
Oppressors will use violence to deepen their privileged positions, and even go to war to increase their privilege or to protect it by diverting the attention of the oppressed. The oppressed, when finally driven to despair and when all else has failed, invariably also turn to violence.
The key to peace is not unilateral disarmament, or the banning of new U.S. missiles from Europe. It is compassion and concern for universal human rights, and willingness to propagate and defend them wherever they are endangered or suppressed.
Canadian Polish Congress
*-ALSO ON THE SUBJECT OF "INTERDEPENDENCE," I URGE VISITORS TO THIS AWARD-WINNING WEBSITE TO CONSIDER WHAT IS FOUND IF YOU TAKE A BRIEF SIDESTEP HERE.
SUGGEST YOU TAKE A BRIEF SIDESTEP HERE
SO YOU CAN COMPARE THIS STATEMENT TO WHAT YOU FIND THERE AND SEE
IF YOU AGREE WHERE THIS STATEMENT'S PHILOSOPHY
REGRETTABLY, AS IN THE CASE OF OUR LATE FELLOW CANADIAN: DR. IGNATIEFF, MR. HUMPHREY PASSED AWAY IN MARCH, 1995.
TO CONSIDER AN OBITUARY ON OUR DISTINGUISHED FELLOW CANADIAN AND A FOOTNOTE OF RELEVANCE TO THE CENTRAL THEMES OF THIS AWARD-WINNING WEBSITE, TAKE A BRIEF SIDESTEP HERE.
AND SIMILARLY, WHY NOT TAKE A BRIEF SIDESTEP HERE AND DECIDE IF THIS DOESN'T INDICATE THE SOURCE OF PHILOSOPHY FOR THE SECOND LETTER HERE FROM THE CANADIAN POLISH CONGRESS?
The lead paragraph in your story Need For Jobs Puts FIRA's Role In Doubt (Dec. 10) states that "the federal Government's foreign investment watchdog has become increasingly irrelevant for the eighties."
This is a strange conclusion to reach from the statistics accompanying the article, which show that since 1970 total foreign investment in Canada has increased by 268 per cent to $168-billion, direct foreign investment by 153 per cent to $67-billion and foreign portfolio investment by 515 per cent to $91-billion.
With foreign investment in key sectors of the Canadian economy goes foreign ownership and, in the case of majority ownership, control of the decision-making process from outside the country. This is one of the great weaknesses of Canada's 50-per-cent foreign-owned manufacturing sector, the branch plants of which have been the source of a significant part of the increase in this nation's unemployment levels during the eighties.
In the face of continuing large increases in foreign investment in the Canadian economy, and an 11-per-cent unemployment rate, it would be a mistake to dismiss FIRA's role as irrelevant. Clearly what is needed is an industrial policy and strategy that will expand Canadian ownership and control of those industries and businesses that are basic to the solution of our grave economic problems.
Bruce F. Willson
YOU'RE LIKE ME, MANY ARE THE TIMES WHEN YOU JUST ABOUT GET SICK
LISTENING TO ONE POLITICIAN OR ANOTHER GIVING YOU "SPIN" ABOUT
THE "TRADITION", THE "CONTINUITY," THE "HISTORY" OF
HIMSELF/HERSELF OR THEIR PARTY AND HOW IT HAS BEEN MAINTAINED
VIRTUALLY WITHOUT MISTAKES FOR SUCH AND SUCH A LONG, LONG PERIOD
OF TIME, BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.
OR, OF COURSE, THE REVERSE (SOUNDING THE SAME AFTER THE FIRST MINUTE OF 'LOSS LEADER LOGIC-GUIDED RHETORIC'), IS HOW HIS/HER POLITICAL OPPONENT HAS NOT MAINTAINED THE TRADITION, HAS NO CONTINUITY WITHOUT "POLITICS," AND HAS FORGOTTEN THE "LESSONS OF HISTORY."
JUST TO MAKE THE POINT BRIEFLY HERE, TAKE A BRIEF SIDESTEP HERE TO DETERMINE WHICH COUNTRY WAS THE UNITED STATES' "BIGGEST MILITARY CLIENT" AT THE START OF THE 1991 PERSIAN GULF WAR (LESS THAN SIX YEARS AFTER THESE OPINIONS IN THIS TERM OF REFERENCE WERE EXPRESSED).
THEN REFRESH YOUR MEMORY ABOUT HOW PRESIDENT BUSH CHOSE TO RESPOND TO THAT IF YOU TAKE A BRIEF SIDESTEP HERE.
THEN REFRESH YOUR MEMORY OR LEARN HOW THEN-BRITISH PRIME MINISTER JOHN MAJOR CHOSE TO RESPOND TO IT IF YOU TAKE A BRIEF SIDESTEP HERE.
AND HEY. I'M CANADIAN. IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT CANADA DID TO HELP PREVENT THIS TYRANT IN BAGHDAD FROM BEING ONLY THE FIRST IN LINE OF A MULTITUDE OF MEGALOMANIACS, TAKE A BRIEF SIDESTEP HERE.
Many people share Toronto's Emmett Cardinal Carter's fears (Cardinal Fearful Of Global Revolution-Dec. 9) but suggest the likely cause to be conditions more fundamental than the starvation and unemployment he cited.
Starvation and unemployment are just two factors in the equation of uncontrolled population growth in a world of finite resources. Global revolution may be too mild a term for the inevitable war for survival that must occur as an explosively expanding world population claws for a diminishing supply of living space, food and fresh water. Uncontrolled population growth is as likely to turn this planet into a wasteland as is any threat of a nuclear exchange.
World political and religious leaders must face up to this reality. Tradition and dogma are no longer good enough substitutes for facts.
-BEAR IN MIND WHAT YOU HAVE READ HERE OF GERALD EMMETT CARDINAL CARTER'S "VIEWS" ON THIS SUBJECT.
THEN TAKE A BRIEF SIDESTEP HERE TO SEE WHAT HE HAD SAID EARLIER ON THIS SUBJECT.
THEN TAKE A BRIEF SIDESTEP HERE TO CONSIDER A TERM OF REFERENCE TO MY FEBRUARY, 1986 SUBMISSION TO "THE ISLAMIC CONFERENCE ORGANIZATION" ON THE SUBJECTS OF HOW TO ADDRESS SUCH CONCERNS (AS CARDINAL CARTER RAISES HERE) AND THE ISSUE (AS NOTED ABOVE) OF "UNCONTROLLED POPULATION GROWTH."
WHY DO I RAISE THIS MATTER NOW?
WELL, IT'S WHAT "ALL OF US" HAVE NOT READ EXCEPT PERHAPS HERE AT MY AWARD-WINNING WEBSITE.
CONSIDER THESE TERMS OF REFERENCE FROM SEEMINGLY LONG AGO (IF NOT NOW IRRELEVANT) SUBMISSIONS THAT I DRAW ATTENTION TO NOW AND THEN TAKE A BRIEF SIDESTEP HERE.
TO CONSIDER THE TEXT OF TERM OF REFERENCE 1) i) TO THE JUNE 27, 1985 STATEMENT TO BERNARD WOOD OF THE "NORTH-SOUTH INSTITUTE", TAKE YOUR NEXT FOOTSTEP HERE.