IPO Annual Report 1993

Vienna, 3 January 1994/P/K/14179c


The General Assembly of the International Progress Organization on 15 December 1993 has elected the new members of the Executive Board for a term of office of four years. Dr. Hans Koechler (Austria) has been re-elected as President.


The Executive Board has appointed Mr. Joseph Chenthadiyil as Permanent Representative and Ms. Eva Maria Jansen as Alternate Representative to the United Nations Office at Vienna as from 1 January 1994. The terms of office of other representatives have been renewed.


The Executive Board has admitted new members from Bangladesh, Germany, Greece, Iraq, Pakistan, Senegal and South Africa.


As a follow-up to the discussions on the new international system and on U.N. reform the I.P.O. published the brochure "Democracy and the New World Order" (Studies in International Relations, vol. XIX, Vienna 1993, ISBN 3-900704-13-9).


The Parliamentary Center for Peace and the Foreign Affairs Club of India conferred upon the President of the I.P.O. the award «Apostle of International Understanding» . The award was presented on behalf of H.E. Gyani Zail Singh, former President of India, at a ceremony in Vienna on 25 November 1993 by Dr. S. S. Mohapatra, Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Club.


On 25 November 1993, the I.P.O. convened an international round table in Vienna on "Islam and the West - The Conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina and its Implications for a New World Order." Among the panelists were Mr. Mohammed Bagher Ansari (Iran), Mr. Mohammed Arif, Secretary General of the British Afro-Asian Solidarity Organization (UK), Dr. Türkkaya Ataöv, Professor of International Relations at the University of Ankara (Turkey), Mr. Nenad Filipović, M.A. (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Dr. S. S. Mohapatra (India), Prof. Dr. Zvonimir Separov, former Foreign Minister (Croatia). The moderator of the meeting was Dr. Wilhelm Vossenkuhl, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Munich (Germany).


The I.P.O. sent special delegations to the 49th session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva (February 1993) and to the 45th session of the Sub-Commission on Discrimination and Protection of Minorities (August 1993). On 10 February 1993 the I.P.O.-delegate presented a report on the situation of human rights in the territory of former Yugoslavia. On 12 August 1993 the President of the I.P.O. presented a report under agenda item 6 (violations of human rights with particular reference to colonial and other dependent countries and territories) on the situation of the Palestinian deportees in Lebanon. On 16 August the I.P.O.-delegate presented a report under items 10 and 11 (the administration of justice and the human rights of detainees).


As a consultative organization of the United Nations, the I.P.O. participated actively in the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna (14-25 June 1993). The President of the I.P.O., Prof. Dr. Hans Koechler, was heading the I.P.O.-delegation. Other delegation members were Mr. Joseph Chenthadiyil, Ms. Eva-Maria Jansen, Dr. Mokhdum Alam and Mr. John Curtis. The I.P.O. presented a Declaration of Principles which was circulated among all participating delegations. On 18 June the I.P.O. launched an Appeal in Support of the People in Bosnia-Herzegovina to the World Conference. The members of the I.P.O.-delegation met with a number of representatives of non-governmental organizations and with governmental delegations. On 18 June a special meeting took place with Ms. Suha Arafat, wife of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, concerning the human rights situation in Palestine. The President of the I.P.O. also held consultations with a delegation of the Tunisian League for Human Rights (LTDH), led by its President Dr. Moncef Marzouki.


The I.P.O. continued its efforts in the past year towards democratic reform of the United Nations Organization. President Koechler held consultations at U.N. headquarters in New York (27-29 October 1993) and held several meetings in Vienna with Dr. Kurt Waldheim, former Secretary-General of the United Nations. On 21 September Dr. Koechler gave a special interview on the subject to the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation. On 22 October he also gave an exclusive interview to the Mexican radio station Radio Formula. On 15 November the President of the I.P.O. received a supportive letter from the Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany, Dr. Klaus Kinkel, concerning the I.P.O.'s proposals for the reform of the Security Council. In his letter the German Foreign Minister stated that the publications of the I.P.O. have provided numerous important ideas for the ongoing discussion.


The I.P.O. is participating in a research project under the auspices of the European Community on "The Political Theory of Transnational Democracy. Citizens, Peoples and Minorities in Europe." The co-ordinator of the project is Dr. Daniele Archibugi (Rome) on behalf of the Lelio Basso International Foundation for the Rights and Liberation of Peoples.


On 19 May 1993 Professor Koechler met in Vienna with the President of Palestine and Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization, Mr. Yasser Arafat.

To discuss the recent peace initiative for the Middle East the President of the I.P.O. met at U.N. headquarters in New York on 28 September with the Permanent Representative of Palestine, Dr. Nasser al-Kidwa, and with envoys of several other countries.

On 13 September the President of the I.P.O. held consultations about the Bosnian conflict with the agent of the Republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Prof. Dr. Francis Boyle. Prof. Koechler attended on the same day the session of the International Court of Justice concerning the conflict in Bosnia-Herzegovina.


Prom 31 January to 4 February 1993 Professor Koechler paid an information visit to Iraq in order to make an assessment of the humanitarian situation in connection with the ongoing sanctions. He met, among others, with Vice Prime Minister Tareq Aziz and with the Ministers of Information and of Justice. On 29 September the President of the I.P.O. met in New York with Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed Said el-Sahaf concerning the same matter. In a statement on 5 October in New York the President of the I.P.O. declared that "a peaceful settlement in the Arab Gulf region must be based on the respect for the rights of all parties and must include the lifting of the sanctions."

The I.P.O. received a report on Kuwaiti prisoners of war in Iraq from the Government of Kuwait and from the Kuwaiti Association to Defend the War Victims. The President of the I.P.O. held a meeting with former Austrian President Dr. Kurt Waldheim in that regard. The President of the I.P.O. also contacted the International Committee of the Red Cross. In a statement on 8 October the I.P.O. called for the release of all POWs.


On 15 January 1993 the President of the I.P.O. gave the opening speech at the international conference on «Peace, Democracy and Co-operation in the Mediterranean» in Malta.

President Koechler participated in the International Academic Forum on "The University and Academic Freedom: What Do They Mean?" organized by the University of Bophuthatswana (Mmabatho, South Africa, 6-7 May 1993).

He further participated, on behalf of the I.P.O., in the international symposion on "Bosnia and Human Rights" (Tripoli, 26-27 June 1993) and in the International Conference on the Sanctions Policy of the Security Council (Athens, 6-7 November 1993).


On 6 February 1993 President Koechler held consultations in Amman/Jordan with Jordanian members of the I.P.O. and Jordanian experts. He gave an exclusive interview to the newspaper Al-Destour.

From 5 to 8 May 1993 the President of the I.P.O. held consultations in South Africa about the future constitutional process. He met, among others, with Prof. Dr. Themba Sono, Director of the Institute of African Studies, Mmabatho, Member of the Executive Board of the I.P.O., and with Mr. M. Martens, Director of the Center for Development Analysis, Pretoria.

From 22 to 25 November 1993 Prof. Dr. S. S. Mohapatra, Vice-President of the I.P.O., made an information visit to I.P.O. headquarters in Vienna. He met, among others, with former Austrian President Dr. Kurt Waldheim, and with Austrian members of Parliament.