Mar 14, 2003 02:19 AM
by Zack Lansdowne
The following remarks by Dr. Robert Muller are being circulated around the
Internet. I don't know who the original author is.
>Dr. Robert Muller, former assistant secretary general of the United
>Nations, now Chancellor emeritus of the University of Peace in Costa Rica
was one of
>the people who witnessed the founding of the U.N. and has worked in support
>of or inside the U.N. ever since. Recently he was in San Francisco to be
>honored for his service to the world through the U.N. and through his
>writings and teachings for peace. At age eighty, Dr. Muller surprised, even
>stunned, many in the audience that day with his most positive assessment of
>where the world stands now regarding war and peace.
>I was there at the gathering and I myself was stunned by his remarks. What
>he said turned my head around and offered me a new way to see what is going
>on in the world. My synopsis of his remarks is below:
>"I'm so honored to be here," he said. "I'm so honored to be alive at such
>a miraculous time in history. I'm so moved by what's going on in our world
>( I was shocked. I thought -- Where has he been? What has he been reading?
>Has he seen the newspapers? Is he senile? Has he lost it? What is he
>Dr. Muller proceeded to say, "Never before in the history of the world has
>there been a global, visible, public, viable, open dialogue and
>conversation about the very legitimacy of war".
>The whole world is in now having this critical and historic
>dialogue--listening to all kinds of points of view and positions about
>going to war or not going to war. In a huge global public conversation the
>is asking-"Is war legitimate? Is it illegitimate? Is there enough evidence
>to warrant an attack? Is there not enough evidence to warrant an attack?
>What will be the consequences? The costs? What will happen after a war? How
>will this set off other conflicts? What might be peaceful alternatives?
>What kind of negotiations are we not thinking of? What are the real
>for declaring war?"
>All of this, he noted, is taking place in the context of the United Nations
>Security Council, the body that was established in 1949 for exactly this
>purpose. He pointed out that it has taken us more than fifty years to
>realize that function, the real function of the U.N. And at this moment in
>history-- the United Nations is at the center of the stage. It is the place
>where these conversations are happening, and it has become in these last
>months and weeks, the most powerful governing body on earth, the most
>powerful container for the world's effort to wage peace rather than war.
>Dr. Muller was almost in tears in recognition of the fulfillment of this
>"We are not at war," he kept saying. We, the world community, are WAGING
>peace. It is difficult, hard work. It is constant and we must not let up.
>It is working and it is an historic milestone of immense proportions. It
>has never happened before-never in human history-and it is happening
>day every hour-waging peace through a global conversation. He pointed out
>that the conversation questioning the validity of going to war has gone on
>for hours, days, weeks, months and now more than a year, and it may go on
>and on. "We're in peacetime," he kept saying. "Yes, troops are being moved.
>Yes, warheads are being lined up. Yes, the aggressor is angry and upset and
>spending a billion dollars a day preparing to attack. But not one shot has
>been fired. Not one life has been lost. There is no war. It's all a
>It is tense, it is tough, it is challenging, AND we are in the most
>significant and potent global conversation and public dialogue in the
>history of the world. This has not happened before on this scale ever
>before-not before WWI or WWII, not before Vietnam or Korea, this is new and
>it is a stunning new era of Global listening, speaking, and responsibility.
>In the process, he pointed out, new alliances are being formed. Russia and
>China on the same side of an issue is an unprecedented outcome. France and
>Germany working together to wake up the world to a new way of seeing the
>situation. The largest peace demonstrations in the history of the world are
>taking place--and we are not at war! Most peace demonstrations in recent
>history took place when a war was already waging, sometimes for years, as
>in the case of Vietnam.
>"So this," he said, "is a miracle. This is what "waging peace " looks
>No matter what happens, history will record that this is a new era, and
>that the 21st century has been initiated with the world in a global
>looking deeply, profoundly and responsibly as a global community at the
>legitimacy of the actions of a nation that is desperate to go to war.
>Through these global peace-waging efforts, the leaders of that nation are
>being engaged in further dialogue, forcing them to rethink, and allowing
>all nations to participate in the serious and horrific decision to go to
>Dr. Muller also made reference to a recent New York Times article that
>pointed out that up until now there has been just one superpower-the United
>States, and that that has created a kind of blindness in the vision of the
>U.S. But now, Dr. Muller asserts, there are two superpowers: the United
>States and the merging, surging voice of the people of the world.
>All around the world, people are waging peace. To Robert Muller, one of the
>great advocates of the United Nations, it is nothing short of a miracle and
>it is working.
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