2 January 2004/P/RE/18472c



In 2003, 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 President of the I.P.O. conducted a research seminar at the University of Innsbruck (Austria) on "The Problem of Terrorism. Ethical, Legal and Social Aspects." In the framework of this seminar, Dr. Fatemah Remedios C. Balbin, President of the Foundation for Social Justice (Philippines), made a presentation on the problem of terrorism in the Philippines (18 November 2003).


The International Progress Organization has decided to join the Committee for a Democratic United Nations (CDUN) which was established in 2003 in Germany. Among the founding members of CDUN are the Gesellschaft für bedrohte Völker (Society for Threatened Peoples) and the Terra One World Network. The President of the I.P.O., Professor Hans Koechler, serves as member of the International Advisory Board. The work of the newly formed Committee is based on the principles of the World Federalist Movement. One of the central aims of the Committee is to promote the idea of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA).


The International Progress Organization participated in this year's Model United Nations organized by students of Rutgers University (New Jersey) in New Brunswick, NJ, USA (20-23 November 2003) (RUMUN 2003). The meeting was attended by over 1,000 students and focused on the contribution of international NGOs to the work of the United Nations Organization. The President of the I.P.O. delivered the keynote address on "The Dialectic of Power and Law -- The United Nations in the 'New World Order'" and made seven special presentations in the committees dealing with the Security Council, the International Court of Justice, the General Assembly, the Palestinian Authority, and the Israeli Knesset. He particularly dealt with the legal and political aspects of the Palestine problem, with issues of international criminal justice, with the handling of the Lockerbie bombing case by the Security Council, with legal problems related to the detainees at Guantanamo Bay (Cuba), and with the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice. In his presentations which were followed by intense discussions, Dr. Koechler made the participants familiar with the work of the International Progress Organization and explained its specific input  into the United Nations program.


The research project with the title "International Criminal Justice -- Law versus Politics?" was concluded in November 2003 with the publication of the book "Global Justice or Global Revenge? International Criminal Justice at the Crossroads." A book launching ceremony was held at Innsbruck (Austria) in the presence of Prof. Hans R. Klecatsky, former Minister of Justice of Austria, Dr. Fatemah Remedios C. Balbin, Senior Commissioner, National Amnesty Commission of the Philippines, and members of the editorial team. A follow-up project was discussed on 25 August 2003 with Mr. Elias Davidsson, Director of  PRICE (International Fund to Promote Remedies for Injuries Caused by Economic sanctions).

After consultations with NGO representatives in Cairo (Egypt), the President of the I.P.O. issued a statement on the prosecution of international crimes in Iraq (19 December 2003).


The international observers of the I.P.O. at the Scottish Court in the Netherlands have published their final analysis of the proceedings:

On 23 August 2003 Dr. Hans Koechler issued a statement on the agreement between the United States, the United Kingdom and Libya, calling for an independent public inquiry. On 22 August 2003 he gave an interview to Deutsche Welle (German International Radio) on the settlement of the Lockerbie issue. He further continued consultations with Dr. Jim Swire of UK Families-Flight 103 about a public inquiry. On 22 November 2003 he made a presentation at the Model United Nations conference of Rutgers University (USA) on the Lockerbie case and the United Nations.


In connection with his fact-finding mission to the Republic of Kyrgyzstan (12-14 September 2003) the President of the I.P.O. called upon the Kyrgyz Republic to sign and ratify, together with the Central Asian Republics of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan,  the 1997 Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Antipersonnel Mines and on their Destruction (Mine Ban Treaty). The President of the I.P.O. referred to the Landmine Report 2003 of the International Campaign to Ban Land Mines and recalled the statement by the observer delegation of the I.P.O. to the Review Conference of the States Parties to the Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects (28 September 1995).


A delegation of the International Progress Organization participated in the Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty in Vienna (3-5 September 2003). The I.P.O. was one of the co-sponsors of a joint NGO Statement which called for the entry into force of the Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty without delay. The NGOs appealed to the remaining 12 "hold-out states" to ratify the treaty without conditions or reservations. The delegation of the I.P.O.  consisted of Dr. Hans Koechler, President; Mr. Markus Simbeni, and Mr. Christoph Wurnitsch.


In a message sent in July 2003 to regional and world leaders among them President Bush of the United States, President Hu Jintao of China, President Putin of Russia, Prime Minister Koizumi of Japan, Prime Minister Howard of Australia, and the Presidents of North and South Korea, Kim Jong Il and Roh Moo-Hyun , the International Progress Organization (I.P.O.), together with other international, regional and national NGOs from all continents expressed its serious concern about the threat of nuclear war on the Korean peninsula and called for the adoption of urgent measures to preserve world peace in conformity with the principles of the United Nations Charter. The message was signed, among others, by the Mayor of Hiroshima, Tadatoshi Akiba, on behalf of "Mayors for Peace," representing 547 cities in 107 countries.


The International Progress Organization issued several declarations and legal memoranda in connection with the conflict in Iraq which were submitted to the United Nations Security Council:

In response to an initiative launched by the International Progress Organization on 15 March 2003, international non-governmental organizations from all continents have endorsed an appeal to the member states of the United Nations General Assembly for invoking the Uniting for Peace Resolution.

The I.P.O. further supported several appeals of national and international NGOs in Europe and Asia against the war in the Gulf.


At the invitation of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, a delegation of the International Progress Organization headed by I.P.O. President Dr. Hans Koechler attended the solemn meeting on the occasion of the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People at United Nations headquarters in New York (1 December 2003). The delegation of the I.P.O. also observed the Palestine debate in the General Assembly of the United Nations on 1 and 2 December 2003.


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


From 26 February to 28 February 2003 the President of the International Progress Organization, Prof. Hans Koechler, held consultations with SM Mohamed Idris, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Citizens International, in Penang/Malaysia about the establishment of Lawyers for International Justice, a network of legal experts devoted to the  advancement of international law on the basis of equity, justice and human rights.


On 19 August 2003 Prof. Koechler delivered a public lecture at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik on "The Dialectic of Power and Law. The United Nations and the 'New World Order'". He also gave an interview to Icelandic Radio on the topic of the lecture.

On 30 August 2003 Prof. Koechler delivered a special lecture at the First Nordic Youth Conference in Stavanger/Norway on "The United Nations and International Democracy."

On 18 November 2003 Dr. Fatemah Remedios C. Balbin delivered a lecture on "The Philippines in the Context of International Power Politics." The lecture was organized in co-operation with the Department of Philosophy at the University of Innsbruck (Austria).


Within the framework of the I.P.O.'s activities in the fields of civilizational dialogue and global peace, Prof. Hans Koechler undertook information visits to Panama (14-15 February 2003), Malta (18-19 June 2003), Iceland (19-23 August 2003), Kyrgyzstan (12-14 September 2003), and Egypt (18-21 December 2003).


On 20 March 2003 Prof. Koechler met in London with Mr. Tariq Ali, member of the editorial board of VERSO, to discuss a publication project related to the United Nations.

From 26 to 28 March 2003 Prof. Koechler held consultations in Penang/Malaysia with Mr. Mohamed Idris, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Citizens International.

On 19 and 23 August 2003 respectively Prof. Koechler held consultations in Reykjavik/Iceland with Mr. Elias Davidsson of PRICE (International Fund to Promote Remedies for Injuries Caused by Economic sanctions); Mr. J. Sigfusson Steingrimur, Chairman of the Green Party of Iceland; Ms. Đórunn Sveinbjarnardóttir, Mr. Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, Ms. Kolbrún Hallórsdottir, members of Parliament; and Mr. Ögmundur Jónasson, Chairman of the Federation of State Employees of Iceland.

On 24 November 2003 Prof. Koechler met in Washington DC with Ambassador Andrew I. Killgore, publisher of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs (WRMEA).

On 1 December 2003 Prof. Koechler met in New York with Mr. Ramsey Clark, former Attorney-General of the United States and member of the Executive Board of the I.P.O., to discuss the activities of the I.P.O. in the field of international law.


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

-- University of Iceland (Reykjavik, Iceland);
-- Committee for a Democratic United Nations, CDUN (Germany).

The I.P.O. continued its co-operation with the Population Institute, Washington DC, and co-sponsored the World Population Awareness Week 2003 under the theme "Water: The 21st Century Crisis."


From January to June 2003 Ms. Jessamyn Harris (University of Iowa, USA) served as intern at the head office of the I.P.O. in Vienna.