I.P.O. ANNUAL REPORT 2002


Vienna, 3 January 2003/P/RE/18039c
 

NEW PUBLICATIONS


-- The Lockerbie Trial. Documents Related to the I.P.O. Observer Mission. Studies in International Relations, XXXVII. ISBN 3-900704-21-X, 2002.

--
The Dialogue of Civilizations: Philosophical Basis, Political Dimensions and the Relevance of International Sporting Events. Occasional Papers Series, No. 5, 2002.

-- Manila Lectures 2002. Terrorism and the Quest for a Just World Order. Manila: Foundation for Social Justice, 2002, ISBN 0-9710791-2-9 (with special permission of the International Progress Organization).


INTERNATIONAL TERRORISM

In 2002, the International Progress Organization continued its efforts towards the analysis of the causes of terrorism and a comprehensive legal definition of the term "terrorism." The I.P.O. presented research papers at major conferences on terrorism in Manila (Philippines) and Shanghai (China).

On 12 March 2002, the President of the I.P.O. delivered the 14th Centenary Lecture at the Supreme Court of the Philippines in Manila on "The United Nations, the International Rule of Law and Terrorism." The lecture was co-sponsored by the Philippine Judicial Academy, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the National Security Council, the National Defense College of the Philippines, and the Foundation for Social Justice. The Vice-President and Foreign Secretary of the Philippines, Teofisto T. Guingona, Jr., sent a special message to the meeting. The lecture initiated a series of international debates on the definition of terrorism and on the need to reforming the United Nations Organization.

On the same day, the President of the I.P.O. delivered a lecture on "International Terrorism: Causes and Remedies" at the headquarters of the National Police Commission of the Philippines (NAPOLCOM). The meeting was presided by General Rogelio A. Pureza, Executive Officer of NAPOLCOM. The lectures delivered in March 2002 in Manila have been published by the Foundation for Social Justice.

On 25 September 2002 the President of the I.P.O. gave a lecture on "The War on Terror, its Impact on the Sovereignty of States and its Implications for Human Rights and Civil Liberties" at the International Ecumenical Conference on "Terrorism in a Globalized World -- Prospects for Peace and Security in Asia" in Manila. The meeting was jointly organized by the by the National Council of Churches in the Philippines, the World Council of Churches and the Christian Conference of Asia. In connection with the conference, Prof. Koechler gave a special interview for the Philippine television station ANC-ABS-CBN, Manila.

On 15 November 2002, the President of the I.P.O. delivered a lecture on "The United Nations and International Terrorism: Challenges to Collective Security" at the International Conference on Terrorism and Anti-terrorism Cooperation in Shanghai/China. The conference was jointly organized by the Shanghai Municipal Center for International Studies, the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences and the Shanghai International Culture Association. It was attended by state officials, diplomats and leading scholars from China, Russia, the United States, Korea and Japan.
 

DIALOGUE AMONG CIVILIZATIONS

At the invitation of the University of the Philippines/Asian Center, Prof. Hans Koechler delivered a lecture at a public lecture forum on "After September 11, 2001: Clash of Civilizations or Dialogue?" (Manila, 11 March 2002). The meeting was presided by Dr. Armando Malay, Jr., Dean of the Asian Center.

On 1 June 2002, the President of the I.P.O. delivered a paper at the World Cup Roundtable on Promoting Understanding among Cultures and Peoples organized in Seoul (Korea) by the Korean National Commission for UNESCO and the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) on the topic "The Dialogue of Civilizations: Philosophical Basis, Political Dimensions and the Relevance of International Sporting Events." The paper has been published by the I.P.O. The roundtable was attended, among others, by the former President of Switzerland, Mr. Adolf Ogi, and the Foreign Minister of East Timor, Nobel Laureate Ramos Horta.

On 22 September 2002, the President of the I.P.O. delivered a lecture on "The 'Clash of Civilizations,' the Problem of Terrorism and Strategies towards Peaceful Co-existence among Nations" at the International Conference "A World Without Borders? Asia-Europe Responses to Globalization." The meeting was held in Copenhagen in connection with the Asia-Europe (ASEM) Summit and was jointly organized by the Asia-Europe Foundation and the Danish Youth Council.

ACTIVITIES IN THE FIELD OF INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL LAW

In July 2001 the I.P.O. launched a research project with the title "International Criminal Justice - Law versus Politics?" The project was related to the I.P.O. observer mission at the Lockerbie trial in the Netherlands. The research has been completed by the end of 2002. The results will be published in a book authored by Hans Koechler on "Global Justice or Global Revenge? International Criminal Justice at the Crossroads." (Date of appearance: second half of 2003.) The publication will be issued to mark the 30th anniversary of the foundation of the International Progress Organization.

On 2 February 2002 the President of the I.P.O. gave an interview to Deutschlandfunk (German Radio) on basic issues of international criminal law, in particular as regards the ad hoc tribunals of the Security Council.
 

INTERNATIONAL PEACE

On 3 May 2002 the International Progress Organization has endorsed the Appeal of the Citizens' Initiative against the Threat of Nuclear War. The Appeal addresses the implications of the unilateral renouncement of the ABM treaty and the threat of a nuclear first strike. The Appeal was endorsed by international NGOs from all continents.

 

INTERNATIONAL OBSERVER MISSION AT THE SCOTTISH COURT IN THE NETHERLANDS

Dr. Hans Koechler, President of the I.P.O., and Mr. Robert Thabit, Permanent Representative of the I.P.O. to the United Nations, continued to observe the proceedings of the Scottish Court in the Netherlands (Lockerbie Trial). During the year 2002, they attended the appeal proceedings at Kamp van Zeist and witnessed the reading of the appeal decision on 14 March 2002. Together with the other international observers appointed by the United Nations, they visited the convicted Libyan national after the announcement of the decision at HM Prison Zeist.

In his capacity as international observer appointed by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dr. Hans Koechler on 26 March 2002 issued  a comprehensive report on and evaluation of the appeal proceedings. The I.P.O. submitted the report to the United Nations Security Council and to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. Dr. Koechler's two Lockerbie reports (on the trial and appeal proceedings) were repeatedly discussed in the British Parliament (House of Commons) in connection with issues of international criminal justice and the need for a public inquiry.

Dr. Koechler gave exclusive interviews to the BBC (14 March 2002) and to Dutch Television (19 January and 14 March 2002) on the appeal proceedings. His legal analyses of the Lockerbie proceedings were reported and commented on in over 250 newspapers and media programmes worldwide.

In connection with the international observer mission, Dr. Koechler held consultations with the Father of the House of Commons (London), Mr. Tam Dalyell, on 25 April and 22 July 2002. On 25 April he also met with Mr. Ross Cranston, MP, former Solicitor-General of the United Kingdom.

In conformity with the recommendations made in Prof. Koechler's report on the Lockerbie appeal, the matter has now been presented to the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg. Prof. Koechler's recommendation was also endorsed by the former President of South Africa, Mr. Nelson Mandela, upon his visit with the convicted Libyan national at Barlinnie prison in Glasgow (Scotland) in June 2002. Prof. Koechler's evaluation of the Lockerbie trial was also referred to in the report presented to the Heads of State and Government at the final Summit Conference of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in Durban/South Africa (8-10 July 2002). The newly established African Union (AU) has endorsed the OAU policies on the Lockerbie issue.

The International Progress Organization has published the documents related to the I.P.O. observer mission (Studies in International Relations, XXVII).


UNITED NATIONS
POLICY VIS-À-VIS IRAQ

On 18 February 2002 the International Progress Organization addressed a Memorandum to the President of the Security Council and to the Secretary-General of the United Nations concerning the humanitarian situation in Iraq and the unilateral threat of force against Iraq (Memorandum on the humanitarian emergency and threat to peace resulting from the Security Council's sanctions policy vis-à-vis Iraq, on the efforts to establish a régime of so-called "smart sanctions," on the continued violation of Iraqi sovereignty by permanent members of the Security Council, on the unilateral threat of the use of force against Iraq, and on the special responsibility of the international community to uphold the principles of the United Nations Charter and to avert armed aggression against Iraq). The Memorandum was published in the Arab, German and Spanish media.

On 19 February 2002, the President of the International Progress Organization met with the former United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Iraq, Mr. Hans von Sponeck, at the head office of the I.P.O. in Vienna. Mr. Sponeck briefed Dr. Koechler on the obstacles to the humanitarian work in Iraq which caused his resignation in the year 2000, and he discussed ways and means of alerting international public opinion concerning the suffering of the people of Iraq caused by the comprehensive sanctions imposed on the country since 12 years.

On 24 October 2002 the NGO Committee on Peace, a group of international NGOs accredited at the United Nations Office in Vienna, sent an urgent message to the permanent representatives of the member states of the Security Council, calling upon them to undertake all measures for the immediate resumption of arms inspections in Iraq. The International Progress Organization was among the signatories of this appeal.


On 17 November 2002, the President of the I.P.O. delivered a lecture on "The Conflict between Iraq and the United Nations -- The Situation a Decade after the Gulf War" at the International Meeting against the War organized by the Arab Cause Solidarity Committee and the Spanish Campaign for Lifting the Sanctions on Iraq. The meeting was attended by over 500 participants. Among the speakers were two former United Nations humanitarian co-ordinators for Iraq, Mr. Dennis Halliday (Ireland) and Mr. Hans von Sponeck (Germany), the British Labour MP George Galloway, Dr. Phyllis Bennis of the Institute for Policy Studies (Washington, DC), and Mr. Ignacio Ramonet, Director of Le Monde Diplomatique (Paris).
 

HUMANITARIAN EMERGENCY IN PALESTINE

In a message of 14 January 2002, addressed to the President of the Security Council, the International Progress Organization condemned Israel's policy of collective punishment vis-à-vis the population in occupied Palestine. The I.P.O. stated that - apart from the illegality of the Israeli occupation as such - the demolitions of large numbers of Palestinian houses in the Gaza area constitute a serious breach of Art. 53 of the Geneva Convention Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of August 12, 1949. The International Progress Organization reiterated its call for the immediate dispatch of a United Nations protection force to the occupied Palestinian territories.

On 2 April 2002 the International Progress Organization issued a memorandum on violations of international humanitarian law in the occupied Palestinian territories. On 15 April 2002 the I.P.O. sent an urgent message concerning the situation in the occupied Palestinian cities Jenin, Nablus and Ramallah to the United Nations.

The President of the I.P.O. presented the proposals of the organization concerning the situation in occupied Palestine at the International Conference on War Victims and International Law (Abu Dhabi, 15-17 July 2002) and at the United Nations meeting in commemoration of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (United Nations Office at Vienna, 29 November 2002).


NGO COMMITTEE ON DEVELOPMENT

The Committee held the following meetings at the United Nations Center in Vienna:

-- Seminar on the draft document for the International Conference on Financing for Development (24 January 2002);

-- Seminar for Economic and Social Development -- Against War and Terrorism (14 February 2002);

-- Panel discussion "Processes of Autonomy in Latin America: An Alternative to the Nation-State and Globalization?" (in co-operation with Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Contemporary Research on Latin America and Society for Threatened Peoples) (6 March 2002).


SPECIAL MEETINGS OF THE PRESIDENT

On 4 July 2002 Prof. Koechler met in Vienna with the Director of the Shanghai Municipal Center for International Studies, Prof. Pan Guang.

On 22 October 2002. Prof. Koechler held a meeting in Innsbruck (Austria) with Prof. Okonkwo (Nigeria), about the possibilities of co-operation with Nigerian universities and research institutions in the field of civilizational dialogue.

On 12 March 2002 Prof. Koechler held consultation meetings in Manila with Dr. Remedios C. Balbin, Founder-President of the Foundation for Social Justice and Commissioner at the National Amnesty Commission of the Philippines.
 

SPECIAL LECTURES BY THE PRESIDENT

On 11 March 2002 Prof. Koechler delivered the inaugural lecture on "The Peace Process Agenda in the Philippines" in connection with the launching of the Continuing Education for Peace Program of the Office of the Presidential Advisor for the Peace Process (OPAPP). The lecture meeting took place at the headquarters of OPAPP in Manila and was attended, among others, by the Executive Director of OPAPP, Severo S. Catura, and by the Under Secretary at the Ministry of National Defense of the Philippines, Major General Antonio C. Santos Jr., AFP.

On 15 July 2002 Prof. Koechler delivered a keynote address on "The United Nations' Failure to Enforce International Law in Palestine and the Need of Effective Mechanisms of International Criminal Justice: The Case of Jenin" at the international conference on "War Victims and International Law" organized by the Zayed Centre for Co-ordination & Follow-up in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates). Among the speakers at the conference was Mr. Rony Brauman, founder of Médecins sans frontières. A special message was delivered on behalf of the Secretary-General of the Arab League, Mr. Amr Mousa.

On 29 November 2002 Prof. Koechler delivered the keynote speech representing the non-governmental organizations on the question of Palestine at the solemn meeting convened by the United Nations Committee for the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. The meeting was held at the United Nations Office in Vienna on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. The meeting was attended by the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dr. Kurt Waldheim. Special messages were delivered on behalf of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Kofi Annan, the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Mr. Yasser Arafat, and the Chairman of the UN General Assembly's Committee for the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

On 7 December 2002, Prof. Koechler delivered the inaugural speech at the international roundtable on "Regional Groupings and their Impact on International Relations," organized by the Jamahir Society for Culture and Philosophy in Vienna.


INFORMATION VISITS BY THE PRESIDENT

At the invitation of FIFA President, Mr. Sepp Blatter, and of the Korean Organizing Committee, Prof. Koechler attended on 31 May 2002 the opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup 2002 in Seoul (Korea).

Within the framework of the I.P.O.'s activities in the field of civilizational dialogue, Prof. Hans Koechler undertook information visits to Ashkhabad/Turkmenistan (21-22 March 2002) and to Mauritius (18-20 April 2002).


CO-OPERATION WITH OTHER INSTITUTIONS AND NGOs

Together with other international NGOs, the International Progress Organization endorsed the candidacy of Ambassador Anwarul Karim Chowdhury (Bangladesh) for a position within the United Nations Secretariat to serve as permanent liaison with countries of the developing world . In March 2002 Ambassador Chowdhury was appointed by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to the position of High Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for the Least Developed Countries.

The International Progress Organization established informal co-operation in fields of mutual interest with the following institutions and NGOs:
 

-- Shanghai Municipal Center for International Studies (China);
-- Foundation for Social Justice, Manila (Philippines);
-- Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) (Singapore).

The I.P.O. continued its co-operation with the Population Institute, Washington DC, and co-sponsored the World Population Awareness Week 2002 under the theme "Population and the Next Generation: Youth and Adolescents."