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Postulat Eppenberger 89.689, "Gute Dienste zur Informationskultur" ¦ Declaration against genocide
18 Oct 07 Library
of Congress Advances 2 Digital Projects Abroad, NYT, DOREEN CARVAJAL
22 Nov 05 World Digital Library Planned - Library of Congress To Bridge Cultures, WP, David A. Vise
14 Feb 96 Oil-for-Food-independent budgetary relief
23 Aug 95 INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' ARCHIVE AND WATCH LIST
25 April 95 CORUM/GOGEL/ICESC - UN
27 Feb 95 Internet to Improve Work of the UN Commission on Human Rights
28.Aug 90 Begleitbrief zum Bericht über das Postulat Eppenberger 89.689
21 août 90 VERS UNE MEMOIRE CULTURELLE UNIVERSELLE, CORUM, J.A.Keller
of Nations went
and where an unreformed United Nations apparently is heading inexorably,
and details, in French, of a plan of Swiss parliamentarians to do something about it
(Postulat Eppenberger no. 89.689 "Accès à l'information. Bons Offices de la Suisse")
Vers une mémoire culturelle universelle, CORUM paper - 21 août 1990
letter to signatories of Postulat Eppenberger - 28 August 1990
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' DECLARATION AGAINST GENOCIDE - 29 July 1993
ICESC statement on effectiveness of UN Human Rights Commission - 27 February 1995
CORUM-UNOG letter on past and current UN-related works - 25 April 1995
ICESC statement on indigenous peoples treaties and watch list - 23 August 1995
ICESC-UN Secretary-General letter on budgetary relief - 14 February 1996
NGO Habeas Corpus list (RED LIST; in the planning stage)
The Written Statement to the United Nations Economic and Social Council of 17 July 1995 said it all in the title:
Whatever the future holds for the venerable Palais des Nations in Geneva,its Archives and Library have all become an important factor of their ownfor conflict prevention, analysis and resolution, for diplomacy and for international arbitration. The UN's growing budget problems constitute a serious menace to the maintenance of the related services. And the on-going efforts to computerize the catalogues of both the Archives and the Library and to provide for prompt world-wide access to this unique stock of informationhave been severely hampered the more so as they continue to lack a solid basis independent of the vaguaries of the UN buget cutters.
Thus the Swiss Parliamentarians were right on target when, on 8 February 1990, they unanimously adopted a request to the Swiss Government to examinewhich good offices in line with its traditions Switzerland could provide to the family of nations. This was to be in lieu of joining the UN, as a message of traditional genuine solidarity. Indeed, instead of supporting the UN budget with its eventual share of some US$ 15 million, they preferred to help secure the maintenance of all related servicesboth in times of war and peace.Those with a memory, with a vision and an agenda reaching beyond the next electionhave regretted the Swiss administration's initial dismal handling of this initiative. And they have not given up hope to live the realization of this relatively modest, yet universally acclaimed Swiss good offices project.
In 1998, modern Switzerland will celebrate its 150th anniversary. Perhaps by that time the Swiss leadership, too will have not merely recognizedthe illusions and dangers associated with ill-considered pipe-dreams - such as the uncoordinated and opportunistic revaluation of Switzerland's gold reserves as a means to finance the foreseeably dead-on-arrival seven-billion Swiss franc Solidarity Foundation. Circumstances may thus bring about an early change of mind and encourage the Swiss Government to take advantage of that occasion to go ahead in earnest with this economically - and politically - far more rational and realizable project.
(1) A mere window-dressing won't wash. Commenting this further surprise announcement of the Swiss Government, the Tribune de Genève of 14 August 1997 said it bluntly in its title: "Le palais Wilson ne suffit pas à fair une capitale des droits de l'homme" (the Palais Wilson is not enough for making a human rights capital). Indeed, moving the UN Center for Human Rights to Geneva's most prestigious and at great cost renovated plush Palais Wilson - which initially housed the League of Nations -will present an opportunity for the overdue house-cleaning at the UN in Geneva (UNOG) - as would moving a bit further, say to Bonn, Paris or elsewhere, as one discontent observer suggested. At any rate, it will be no substitute, not for effectively reigning in apparently out-of-control UN officials and even less for the host government's prompt and reliable return to visa and other practicesnot reminiscent of WW2 but fully in line with its obligations and more noble humanitarian traditions. Indeed, if it wants to be taken seriously, the UN must strictly heed and enforce first of all in-housethe human rights it preaches on the public square. And it must under no circumstance be seen to violate its own Charter, principles and rules inside its own walls,as happened repeatedly and intolerably, e.g., in the case of Mohammed Sidik Mahmoud. If it did and continues to do so on its own, it may be bad enough for its confidence-inspiring and hope-generating new Secretary-General to personally and radically root out this cancer at the UNOG. But should it turn out that its officials there were allowed to do so at the request of the host or third governments, it may already be too late for corresponding surgery and reforms. And the surgeon may be left to record the UN's thus accelerated pace to where the League of Nations eventually wound up - in the dustbin of history.
Whatever the outcome there, the Swiss Government has its own independent responsibilities in this matter. Ignoring alarm bells rung by Swiss lawmakers wont make the problems go away. It would thus be well advised if it were to stop stone-walling and to promptly clean up its own act with more than
Federal Councillors who are worth both their salt and continued public
trust will never forget who is the real sovereign of this country.
Moreover, they will carefully observe and attend to the often obscured
undercurrents of history, also in such fields as ethnicity,
indigenous peoples and regionalism. They can and will thus not even be
tempted to place Switzerland's eggs all into one basket - not on the NATO
front, not on the EU front and not on the UN front. Staying outside
the largely discredited and perhaps also irreparably damaged political
parts of the United Nations system, they will instead develop
an infrastructure and supporting rôle for collecting and maintaining
the cultural and legal records particularly of the indigenous peoples
as a coming focal point of related activities - beginning with the vast
and essentially under-used orphaned treaty material commendably put together
by professor Alfonso Martinez. Which would be perfectly in line with
generally appreciable and appreciated traditions, as even its most
vocal foreign critics seem to admit. Indeed,
very much attentive to "vox populi vox Dei",Senator
Helms, for one, seems to have been favorably impressedby the "Sonderfall
Schweiz", i.e. some of the more honorable things typically Swiss,like
the world-wide unique votes of a truly independent-minded people on
(a)membership in the UN,
(b) membership in the European Economic Space,
(c) prohibition to acquire nuclear weapons, and
(d) abolition of the national army.
Reflecting over 700 years of democratic traditions and a deeply-rooted keen sense for what it takes to stay lastingly out of other people's quarrels - all these proposals were resoundingly rejected by the Swiss voters in the past few decades.
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