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July 23 2013

Haile_Selassie, Speech to UN October 6 1963 - YouTube

#Haile_Selassie, Speech to #UN October 6 1963 - YouTube

H.I.M. Haile Selassie address to the #Unted_Nations Oct 6, 1963

Mr. President, Distinguished Delegates:
Twenty-seven years ago, as Emperor of #Ethiopia, I mounted the rostrum in Geneva, Switzerland, to address the League of Nations and to appeal for relief from the destruction which had been unleashed against my defenseless nation, by the Fascist invader.I spoke then both to and for the conscience of the world. My words went unheeded, but history testifies to the accuracy of the warning that I gave in 1936.

Today, I stand before the world organization which has succeeded to the mantle discarded by its discredited predecessor. In this body is enshrined the principle of collective security which I unsuccessfully invoked at Geneva. Here, in this Assembly, reposes the best - perhaps the last - hope for the peaceful survival of mankind.

In 1936, I declared that it was not the Covenant of the League that was at stake, but #international_morality. Undertakings, I said then, are of little worth if the will to keep them is lacking. The Charter of the United Nations expresses the noblest aspirations of man: abjuration of force in the settlement of disputes between states; the assurance of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion; the safeguarding of international peace and security.

But these, too, as were the phrases of the Covenant, are only words; their value depends wholly on our will to observe and honor them and give them content and meaning. The preservation of peace and the guaranteeing of man’s basic freedoms and rights require courage and eternal vigilance: courage to speak and act - and if necessary, to suffer and die - for truth and justice; eternal vigilance, that the least transgression of international morality shall not go undetected and unremedied. These lessons must be learned anew by each succeeding generation, and that generation is fortunate indeed which learns from other than its own bitter experience. This Organization and each of its members bear a crushing and awesome responsibility: to absorb the wisdom of history and to apply it to the problems of the present, in order that future generations may be born, and live, and die, in peace.

The record of the United Nations during the few short years of its life affords mankind a solid basis for encouragement and hope for the future. The United Nations has dared to act, when the League dared not in Palestine, in Korea, in Suez, in the Congo. There is not one among us today who does not conjecture upon the reaction of this body when motives and actions are called into question. The opinion of this Organization today acts as a powerful influence upon the decisions of its members. The spotlight of world opinion, focused by the United Nations upon the transgressions of the renegades of human society, has thus far proved an effective safeguard against unchecked aggression and unrestricted violation of human rights.

The United Nations continues to sense as the forum where nations whose interests clash may lay their cases before world opinion. It still provides the essential escape valve without which the slow build-up of pressures would have long since resulted in catastrophic explosion. Its actions and decisions have speeded the achievement of freedom by many peoples on the continents of Africa and Asia. Its efforts have contributed to the advancement of the standard of living of peoples in all corners of the world.

For this, all men must give thanks. As I stand here today, how faint, how remote are the memories of 1936.How different in 1963 are the attitudes of men. We then existed in an atmosphere of suffocating pessimism. Today, cautious yet buoyant optimism is the prevailing spirit. But each one of us here knows that what has been accomplished is not enough.

The United Nations judgments have been and continue to be subject to frustration, as individual member-states have ignored its pronouncements and disregarded its recommendations. The Organization’s sinews have been weakened, as member-states have shirked their obligations to it. The authority of the Organization has been mocked, as individual member-states have proceeded, in violation of its commands, to pursue their own aims and ends. The troubles which continue to plague us virtually all arise among member states of the Organization, but the Organization remains impotent to enforce acceptable solutions. As the maker and enforcer of the international law, what the United Nations has achieved still falls regrettably short of our goal of an international community of nations.

This does not mean that the United Nations has failed. I have lived too long to cherish many illusions about the essential highmindedness of men when brought into stark confrontation with the issue of control over their security, and their property interests. Not even now, when so much is at hazard would many nations willingly entrust their destinies to other hands.

Yet, this is the ultimatum presented to us: secure the conditions whereby men will entrust their security to a larger entity, or risk annihilation; persuade men that their salvation rests in the subordination of national and local interests to the interests of humanity, or endanger man’s future. These are the objectives, yesterday unobtainable, today essential, which we must labor to achieve.

Until this is accomplished, mankind’s future remains hazardous and permanent peace a matter for speculation. There is no single magic formula, no one simple step, no words, whether written into the Organization’s Charter or into a treaty between states, which can automatically guarantee to us what we seek. Peace is a day-to-day problem, the product of a multitude of events and judgments. #Peace is not an “is”, it is a “becoming.” We cannot escape the dreadful possibility of catastrophe by miscalculation. But we can reach the right decisions on the myriad subordinate problems which each new day poses, and we can thereby make our contribution and perhaps the most that can be reasonably expected of us in 1963 to the preservation of peace. It is here that the United Nations has served us - not perfectly, but well. And in enhancing the possibilities that the Organization may serve us better, we serve and bring closer our most cherished goals.

I would mention briefly today two particular issues which are of deep concern to all men: disarmament and the establishment of true equality among men. Disarmament has become the urgent imperative of our time. I do not say this because I equate the absence of arms to peace, or because I believe that bringing an end to the nuclear arms race automatically guarantees the peace, or because the elimination of nuclear warheads from the arsenals of the world will bring in its wake that change in attitude requisite to the peaceful settlement of disputes between nations. Disarmament is vital today, quite simply, because of the immense destructive capacity of which men dispose.

Ethiopia supports the atmospheric nuclear test ban treaty as a step towards this goal, even though only a partial step. Nations can still perfect weapons of mass destruction by underground testing. There is no guarantee against the sudden, unannounced resumption of testing in the atmosphere.

The real significance of the treaty is that it admits of a tacit stalemate between the nations which negotiated it, a stalemate which recognizes the blunt, unavoidable fact that none would emerge from the total destruction which would be the lot of all in a nuclear war, a stalemate which affords us and the United Nations a breathing space in which to act.

Here is our opportunity and our challenge. If the nuclear powers are prepared to declare a truce, let us seize the moment to strengthen the institutions and procedures which will serve as the means for the pacific settlement of disputes among men. Conflicts between nations will continue to arise. The real issue is whether they are to be resolved by force, or by resort to peaceful methods and procedures, administered by impartial institutions. This very Organization itself is the greatest such institution, and it is in a more powerful United Nations that we seek, and it is here that we shall find, the assurance of a peaceful future.

Were a real and effective disarmament achieved and the funds now spent in the arms race devoted to the amelioration of man’s state; were we to concentrate only on the peaceful uses of nuclear knowledge, how vastly and in how short a time might we change the conditions of mankind. This should be our goal.

When we talk of the #equality of #man, we find, also, a challenge and an opportunity; a challenge to breathe new life into the ideals enshrined in the Charter, an opportunity to bring men closer to freedom and true equality. and thus, closer to a #love of #peace.

The goal of the equality of man which we seek is the antithesis of the exploitation of one people by another with which the pages of history and in particular those written of the African and Asian continents, speak at such length. Exploitation, thus viewed, has many faces. But whatever guise it assumes, this evil is to be shunned where it does not exist and crushed where it does. It is the sacred duty of this Organization to ensure that the dream of equality is finally realized for all men to whom it is still denied, to guarantee that exploitation is not reincarnated in other forms in places whence it has already been banished.

As a free Africa has emerged during the past decade, a fresh attack has been launched against exploitation, wherever it still exists. And in that interaction so common to history, this in turn, has stimulated and encouraged the remaining dependent peoples to renewed efforts to throw off the yoke which has oppressed them and its claim as their birthright the twin ideals of liberty and equality. This very struggle is a struggle to establish peace, and until victory is assured, that brotherhood and understanding which nourish and give life to peace can be but partial and incomplete.

In the United States of America, the administration of President Kennedy is leading a vigorous attack to eradicate the remaining vestige of racial discrimination from this country. We know that this conflict will be won and that right will triumph. In this time of trial, these efforts should be encouraged and assisted, and we should lend our sympathy and support to the American Government today.

Last May, in Addis Ababa, I convened a meeting of Heads of African States and Governments. In three days, the thirty-two nations represented at that Conference demonstrated to the world that when the will and the determination exist, nations and peoples of diverse backgrounds can and will work together. in unity, to the achievement of common goals and the assurance of that equality and brotherhood which we desire.

On the question of racial discrimination, the Addis Ababa Conference taught, to those who will learn, this further lesson: That until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned: That until there are no longer first-class and second class citizens of any nation; That until the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes; That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race; That until that day, the dream of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained; And until the ignoble and unhappy regimes that hold our brothers in Angola, in Mozambique and in South Africa in subhuman bondage have been toppled and destroyed; Until bigotry and prejudice and malicious and inhuman self-interest have been replaced by understanding and tolerance and good-will; Until all #Africans stand and speak as free beings, equal in the eyes of all men, as they are in the eyes of Heaven; Until that day, the African continent will not know peace. We Africans will fight, if necessary, and we know that we shall win, as we are confident in the victory of good over evil.

The United Nations has done much, both directly and indirectly to speed the disappearance of discrimination and oppression from the earth. Without the opportunity to focus world opinion on Africa and Asia which this Organization provides, the goal, for many, might still lie ahead, and the struggle would have taken far longer. For this, we are truly grateful.

But more can be done. The basis of racial discrimination and colonialism has been economic, and it is with economic weapons that these evils have been and can be overcome. In pursuance of resolutions adopted at the Addis Ababa Summit Conference, African States have undertaken certain measures in the economic field which, if adopted by all member states of the United Nations, would soon reduce intransigence to reason. I ask, today, for adherence to these measures by every nation represented here which is truly devoted to the principles enunciated in the Charter.

I do not believe that Portugal and South Africa are prepared to commit economic or physical suicide if honorable and reasonable alternatives exist. I believe that such alternatives can be found. But I also know that unless peaceful solutions are devised, counsels of moderation and temperance will avail for naught; and another blow will have been dealt to this Organization which will hamper and weaken still further its usefulness in the struggle to ensure the victory of peace and liberty over the forces of strife and oppression. Here, then, is the opportunity presented to us. We must act while we can, while the occasion exists to exert those legitimate pressures available to us, lest time run out and resort be had to less happy means.

Does this Organization today possess the authority and the will to act? And if it does not, are we prepared to clothe it with the power to create and enforce the rule of law? Or is the Charter a mere collection of words, without content and substance, because the essential spirit is lacking? The time in which to ponder these questions is all too short. The pages of history are full of instances in which the unwanted and the shunned nonetheless occurred because men waited to act until too late. We can brook no such delay.

If we are to survive, this Organization must survive. To survive, it must be strengthened. Its executive must be vested with great authority. The means for the enforcement of its decisions must be fortified, and, if they do not exist, they must be devised. Procedures must be established to protect the small and the weak when threatened by the strong and the mighty. All nations which fulfill the conditions of membership must be admitted and allowed to sit in this assemblage.

Equality of representation must be assured in each of its organs. The possibilities which exist in the United Nations to provide the medium whereby the hungry may be fed, the naked clothed, the ignorant instructed, must be seized on and exploited for the flower of peace is not sustained by poverty and want. To achieve this requires courage and confidence. The courage, I believe, we possess. The confidence must be created, and to create confidence we must act courageously.

The great nations of the world would do well to remember that in the modern age even their own fates are not wholly in their hands. Peace demands the united efforts of us all. Who can foresee what spark might ignite the fuse? It is not only the small and the weak who must scrupulously observe their obligations to the United Nations and to each other. Unless the smaller nations are accorded their proper voice in the settlement of the world’s problems, unless the equality which Africa and Asia have struggled to attain is reflected in expanded membership in the institutions which make up the United Nations, confidence will come just that much harder. Unless the rights of the least of men are as assiduously protected as those of the greatest, the seeds of confidence will fall on barren soil.

The stake of each one of us is identical - life or death. We all wish to live. We all seek a world in which men are freed of the burdens of ignorance, poverty, hunger and disease. And we shall all be hard-pressed to escape the deadly rain of nuclear fall-out should catastrophe overtake us.

When I spoke at Geneva in 1936, there was no precedent for a head of state addressing the League of Nations. I am neither the first, nor will I be the last head of state to address the United Nations, but only I have addressed both the League and this Organization in this capacity. The problems which confront us today are, equally, unprecedented. They have no counterparts in human experience. Men search the pages of history for solutions, for precedents, but there are none. This, then, is the ultimate challenge. Where are we to look for our survival, for the answers to the questions which have never before been posed? We must look, first, to Almighty God, Who has raised man above the animals and endowed him with intelligence and reason. We must put our faith in Him, that He will not desert us or permit us to destroy humanity which He created in His image. And we must look into ourselves, into the depth of our souls. We must become something we have never been and for which our education and experience and environment have ill-prepared us. We must become bigger than we have been: more courageous, greater in spirit, larger in outlook. We must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudice, owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations but to our fellow men within the human community.

#The_Lion_of_Judah #rastafari #war
#bob_marley #musique

September 06 2012

Kenya: Murder of Muslim Cleric in Mombasa Sparks Riots

The killing of Aboud Rogo, a controversial Muslim cleric, on August 27, 2012, caused riots and unrest in Mombasa, a coastal city and a main tourist destination in Kenya.

These riots, which started on August 27, 2012 and continued until August 30, 2012, saw more than ten casualties. Following the killing of Rogo and the subsequent riots, netizens took to their blogs and Twitter to discuss issues such as extra judicial killings, human rights, religious tensions and lack of employment opportunities fueling anger among the Kenyan youth in Mombasa.

Riots broke out in Mombasa over the killing of Sheikh Aboud Rogo. Churches, passing vehicles were burned and grenades thrown, causing extensive property damage, injuring people and killing two. Mombasa, Kenya. Photo by lawimwaura, copyright © Demotix (27/8/2012)

More images from Mombasa can be found here.

Eberinyama, a Kenyan blogger, wondered if Rogo's alleged linkages with al-Shabab (a militant Islamist group that has been making inroads into Kenya) resulted in his killing. He pointed out that:

Aboud Rogo Mohammed was suspected of being a key recruiter for Kenyan Muslims fighting in Somalia. It is not known who shot him, but he was on a United Nations sanctions list for allegedly financing the militant Somali group al-Shabab.

According to The Canuck FireBrand, Rogo's killing had all the elements of extrajudicial killings that the Kenyan police have earned a reputation for. The blogger reported:

The killing on Monday of Aboud Rogo fits into a pattern of extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances of suspected terrorists that is allegedly being orchestrated by Kenyan police, say Kenyan human rights groups… He is the fifth alleged Muslim extremist who has been killed or who disappeared in the last four months, according to human rights campaigners. One corpse was found mutilated and the other four men vanished.

Hassan Omar Hassan, a former deputy head of the government-funded, Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, said police had used the strategy of eliminating suspects before.

In a 2008 report, the commission said Kenyan police were to blame for the executions and disappearances of more than 500 people who were suspected of being members of a notorious gang during a crackdown on the gang from June-October 2007.

The police on their part denied any role in the killing and have hinted at the possibility of Rogo having been assassinated either by his rivals or by the members of al-Shabab, the latter possibly having done it to gain sympathy and “galvanise support” among the Muslim youth in Mombasa.

Some netizens on Twitter cautioned that the violence was a ploy to escalate unrest within the country:

Sharon Langat (@MeMyKenya): I am almost certain that the assassination of Sheikh Aboud Rogo is an attempt to put Kenya on the map as chaotic again. Lets not follow suit

Others linked the rioting and unrest to grievances over land ownership and growing frustration and anger among the youth in Mombasa,  given the lack of employment opportunities.

Richard Lough warned that long-standing local grievances in Mombasa could worsen the situation:

The violence could worsen if it taps into long-standing local grievances over land ownership and unemployment, as well as calls by the Mombasa Republican Council (MRC) for the coastal strip to secede. The MRC said it was not involved in the unrest.

In this context, Tweets mentioned issues such as youth unemployment and poverty:

Sunny Bindra (@sunnysunwords): Sad to see the young and the stupid ruining #Mombasa for all. Especially themselves. Endless poverty looms

Maria (@MariaOC): “#Rogo #MombasaRiots GOK had you given idle youth some employment then they wouldn't be masquerading and threatening innocent people aaargh!

Terryanne chebet (@TerryanneChebet):Youth causing Mayhem in Mombasa have nothing to loose, if young people are economically empowered, then perhaps this wouldnt have happened.

Netizens also called for a stop to the religious violence being unleashed on the Christian community as a fallout of Rogo's killing:

mmnjug (@mmnjug): Threat of religious violence in #Mombasa must be nipped in the bud by @wagaodongo cc @ClanSewe@GSquare94

The YouTube video below, recorded by Kenya's Citizen Television, shows religious leaders from both Christian and Muslim sides and local politicians condemning Rogo's killing and call for calm:

This move was appreciated by netizens who tweeted their approval of this act of interfaith unity and hoped that this would usher in a better and peaceful coexistence of the two religious communities in Mombasa.

Percy Thairu (@inspiredbizblog): @HassanAliJoho is my favorite politician right now. Going out of his way to ensure peace & reconciliation process in #Mombasa happens ASAP

Paul Kinoty (@arapknoty): Good move #Sheikh Ngao, our society could use more leaders like you. #Mombasa Peace initiative

In this context, the following conversation between two Kenyans on Twitter is worth noting:

Kalunde Kilonzo (@Eunicekkilonzo): #Muslims in #Church way to go #VivaMombasa

Daniel Ongera Nyairo  (@Danbelte): It was a good gesture from the Muslim clerics in #Mombasa @eunicekkilonzo

@Eunicekkilonzo: @danbelte yes true…hope it goes beyond the #leaders and to the people as well

@Danbelte: It will.The majority of Muslims and Christians at the coast are peace loving @eunicekkilonzo

@Eunicekkilonzo: @danbelte I come from #Msa and the recent #riots were unexpected…so at this point nothing is #predictable

@Danbelte: All the same,we pray and hope for peace and harmony @eunicekkilonzo

Rogo is the fifth alleged Islamic radical killed in Kenya in 2012. Apart from religious tensions between Muslims and the government in Mombasa, a Mombasa-based separatist group called the Mombasa Republican Council is calling for cessation from Kenya claiming that the Kenyan central government has not done enough to develop the coast.

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November 12 2009

A Quest to Unite Religious Communities: The Charter for Compassion

In a world of fragmentation and religious division, a unique and much anticipated document will be released to the world on November 12, after months of collaborative work online and offline by diverse religious leaders and great thinkers.

In February 2008, Karen Armstrong, a former Roman Catholic nun who refers to herself as a “freelance monotheist”, won the TED prize, which is awarded annually to three exceptional individuals who each receive $100,000, and more importantly, the granting of “One Wish to Change the World”.

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design and started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become even broader.

logoKaren Armstrong who is considered as one of the most provocative, original thinkers on the role of religion in the modern world, said her wish was to create a Charter for Compassion, a document about the core shared value of every world religion and moral code: the “Golden Rule”. This is how she described it to the TED community:

“I wish that you would help with the creation, launch and propagation of a Charter for Compassion, crafted by a group of leading inspirational thinkers from the three Abrahamic traditions of Judaism, Christianity and Islam and based on the fundamental principles of universal justice and respect.”

A collaborative process

Global participation in an open writing process was the critical starting point for the creation of the Charter for Compassion. The submissions shared began a conversation that continues as the Charter is finalized and launched at People from all over the world have contributed to this Charter; it transcends religious, ideological and national difference; it has been composed by leading thinkers from many traditions with passion, insight, intellectual conviction and hope.

The Council of Sages for the Charter for Compassion includes notable thinkers and faith representatives such as Sheikh Ali Gomaa (the Grand Mufti of Egypt), Rabbi David Saperstein (Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism), Sadhvi Chaitanya (spiritual leader of the Arsh Vijnaya Mandiram ashram), and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (retired Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa).

Charter for Compassion Trailer from TED Prize on Vimeo.

Among the Charter’s partners around the world include TED, Tanenbaum Center, World Council of Religious Leaders, the Al-Ghazzali Center, The Institute of Religion, Culture and Peace among others.

Across the world more than 170 events are planned to help launch the Charter for Compassion (You can host your own too). The unveiling of Charter has already sparked lots of enthusiastic support followed by conversations across the global blogosphere.

Perspectives on the Charter for Compassion

Malaysian Journalist Niki Cheong wrote in his blog, “Malaysians were invited to stop by a studio to record what compassion means to them to create a viral video to promote Nov 12 – today – when The Charter of Compassion will be unveiled.”

Aizat Faiz blogged about his experience of participating in the filming of the Malaysian Chapter of the Charter for Compassion. Rantings by MMs reported that in Malaysia ‘the launching of the charter will be officiated by YAB Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. In the afternoon there will be a youth panel followed by an interfaith panel.'

Jewish and interfaith Tikkun Daily in the United States urged, “all should take the opportunity to remind those around you of the power of compassion and to think of ways to use compassion to transform and heal the world.”

Sujato's blog about Buddhism wrote: ‘We all need to do our bit to use religion to respond creatively and constructively to our environment, making it a force for helping rather than hurting, fostering love and inclusiveness, not alienation and ignorance.'

360 Digital Influence, a blog of the Ogilvy Public Relations firm, explores the question, ‘if Compassion is “viral”?'

Brian Carnell in the United States wrote some counter arguments about the Golden Rule at the center of the Charter, calling it “wishy washy feel good nonsense” that doesn't help solve “real moral dilemmas”.

March 26 2009

March 22 2009

March 04 2009

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Geopolitics of Iraq withdrawal

January 27 2009

Alarabiya via CNN: Obama reaches out to Muslims

Obama reaches out to Muslims 17:28 / The whole interview! / U.S. President Barack Obama talks to Al-Arabiya about his desire to improve ties with Muslim world.
Reposted byfilme filme

January 24 2009

CNN Video & article: George Mitchell (Middle East) and Richard Holbrook (Afghanistan) named envoy - their short speeches in the State Department

Embedded video from <a href="">CNN Video</a> The move could signal that Obama plans to get involved in the Mideast peace process early in his term. It was announced just before 3 p.m. at an event with President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Also Thursday, former U.N. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke was named special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced. Read full article

George Mitchell: The Role of the U.S. in a Changing World - 2008-10-22 -

On 22nd of January 2009 the special envoy for the Middle East George Mitchell was named in the State Department - This speech on the role of the US under changing international and national conditions was held in October 2008 - The Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco, CA, Oct 22nd, 2008, George Mitchell shares his thoughts on the direction our nation should be taking. Mitchell's mission is to ensure the U.S. remains a leader in brokering peace and ensuring the safety and viability of populations. As congressman, Mitchell was named most respected member six times. He helped broker peace in Northern Ireland and worked to discover a path to peace in the Middle East. Most recently, he led an investigation into the illegal use of performance-enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball.

January 12 2009

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Who killed the peace process?

December 22 2008

December 21 2008

July 05 2008

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Iraq Occupation: Raed Jarrar decodes the misinformation

December 12 2007

July 17 2007

May 26 2007

February 11 2007

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