Vienna, 2 January 1997
On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the foundation of the InternationalProgress Organization, the I.P.O. will publish a comprehensive proposalfor the reform of the United Nations under the title "The United Nationsand International Democracy: The Quest for UN Reform." (Studies inInternational Relations, XXII) The paper is the result of I.P.O.'s participationin the European Union's research network on Transnational Democracy. Thepaper was first published in honour of Professor Milan Sahović, a longtimemember of the Executive Board of I.P.O., in the Yugoslav Review of InternationalAffairs. The full text of the new publication is available on the internethomepage of the I.P.O. (see below).
The statements presented at an international roundtable meeting co-sponsoredby the I.P.O. will be published under the title "Economic Sanctionsand Development" (Studies in International Relations, XXIII).
The United Nations Association of Austria published the reform proposalsby the President of the I.P.O. in its special jubilee issue n. 300 underthe title "Die Zukunft der Vereinten Nationen. Zur Notwendigkeiteiner UNO-Reform."
NEW PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE
Dr. Gudrun Grabher (Ms), Professor and Chairperson of the Dept. of AmericanStudies at the University of Innsbruck, was appointed as Permanent Representativeto the United Nations Office at Vienna as from 1 January 1997.
RESEARCH PROJECT ON TRANSNATIONAL DEMOCRACY
The second working session has taken place at the University of Cambridge(UK) (29-30 March 1996). The I.P.O. presented the working paper on "TheUnited Nations and Transnational Democracy: The Quest for UN Reform."The project was implemented through an international research network withinthe framework of the Human Capital and Mobility Programme of the EuropeanUnion. The project was concluded with the presentation of the researchpapers at the Cambridge meeting.
ISLAM AND THE WEST
The I.P.O. participated in the Second International Seminar on CivilizationalDialogue on the topic "Japan, Islam and the West: Peaceful Coexistenceor Conflict?" The seminar was jointly organized by the Universityof Malaya and the Japan Foundation in Kuala Lumpur/Malaysia (2-4 August1996). Among the speakers were Professor Samuel Huntington (Harvard University)and Professor Kinhide Mushakoji, former Vice-Rector of the United NationsUniversity (Tokyo). The President of the I.P.O. presented a paper on "Muslim-ChristianTies in Europe: Past, Present and Future." The full text of the paperis available on the internet homepage of the I.P.O. (see below).
Within the framework of the NGO Committee on Development, the I.P.O.organized an international roundtable on "Economic Sanctions and theirImpact on Development" at the Vienna headquarters of the United Nations(28 November 1996). Among the speakers were Dr. Hans Koechler, Presidentof the I.P.O., co-ordinator of the meeting, Dr. Türkkaya Ataöv,Professor of International Relations at the University of Ankara, AmbassadorNeama Faris, Permanent Representative of Iraq to the United Nations Officeat Vienna, Mr. Ali Farfer, Secretary-General of the Jamahir Society forCulture and Philosophy, and Mr. Alfredo Puig, Counselor at the PermanentMission of Cuba to the United Nations. The meeting was also attended byMr. Hans Einhaus, former Asst. Secretary-General of the United Nationsfor Humanitarian Affairs. The proceedings of the roundtable will be publishedby the I.P.O.
UNITED NATIONS SANCTIONS POLICY
The International Progress Organization continued its efforts, in co-operationwith other international non-governmental organizations, to raise greaterawareness of the humanitarian and legal aspects of the Security Council'ssanctions policy.
On 19 February 1996 the I.P.O. launched a joint Appeal with the InternationalOrganization for Muslim Women on the issue of the UN sanctions againstIraq. The Appeal was addressed to the General Secretaries of the UnitedNations and of the League of Arab States.
The I.P.O. participated in the international conference on "InternationalSanctions: The Hunger Weapon" held in Rome (10-11 May 1996). The Presidentof the I.P.O. gave a lecture on sanctions and international law.
On 16 August 1996 the I.P.O. launched a joint Appeal with the InternationalInstitute for Non-aligned Studies, the Afro-Asian People's Solidarity Organizationand the Union of Arab Jurists. The Appeal was addressed to the United NationsCommission on Human Rights and was presented by Prof. Genei Shimoji, memberof the delegation of the I.P.O., to the Sub-Commission on Racial Discriminationand Protection of Minorities at its session in Geneva in August 1996.
On 11 September 1996 the President of the I.P.O. made a statement on thelegality of economic sanctions at a special meeting on sanctions convenedin connection with the Annual NGO Conference organized by the United NationsDepartment of Public Information (UNDPI) at UN Headquarters in New York.
The I.P.O. participated in the International Tribunal on Economic Sanctionsin Madrid (16-17 November 1996).
NGO COMMITTEE ON DEVELOPMENT
Since 1996 the I.P.O. has undertaken to provide the Secretariat forthe NGO Committee on Development, a group of NGOs accredited at the UnitedNations Office at Vienna. The committee has organized the following seminarsduring 1996: "Coming to Grips with Poverty" (19-20 March 1996),"The Reduction of Unemployment" (10 May 1996), "EconomicSanctions and their Impact on Development" (28 November 1996).
UNITED NATIONS / INTERNATIONAL LAW ISSUES
Dr. Francis Boyle, Professor of International Law at the Universityof Illinois (USA), worked out several memoranda on disputes related toresolutions of the Security Council. The I.P.O. submitted the memorandato the concerned authorities.
On 1 March 1996 and 8 July 1996 the President of the I.P.O. sent messagesto the President of the Security Council concerning legal issues betweenSudan and Ethiopia and the Security Council resolutions related to them.
HUMAN RIGHTS PROJECTS
The I.P.O. was invited to join the International Initiative to DevelopHuman Rights Strategies for the Final Status Negotiations which is co-ordinatedby Mr. Raji Sourani, Director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights(Gaza). The I.P.O. will deal with the right of self-determination and withthe question of Jerusalem.
PARTICIPATION IN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCES
Among numerous other meetings, the I.P.O. participated in the followingmajor international events:
International Conversazione on "Democracy and Terrorism," organizedby the International Institute for Non-aligned Studies at Parliament Housein New Delhi (25-26 July 1996). The meeting was opened by Indian PrimeMinister H. D. Deve Gowda. Statements were made by the Indian Home Minister,Indrajeet Gupta, and by the Speaker of the Parliament, P. A. Sangma. ThePresident of the I.P.O. acted as co-ordinator of the Drafting Committee.In connection with the conference Dr. Koechler had a meeting with IndianForeign Minister J. K. Gujral.
"World Peace Assembly" organized by the World Peace Council inMexico City (23-25 October 1996). The conference was addressed by MexicanPresident Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de León and by Foreign MinisterAngel Gurría. The President of the I.P.O. gave a speech on the stateof peace in the new international order at the opening session.
PARTICIPATION IN UNITED NATIONS MEETINGS
A delegation of the I.P.O. participated in the forty-eighth sessionof the Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection ofMinorities (UN Commission on Human Rights) in Geneva (5-30 August 1996).The delegation consisted of Prof. Hans Koechler (Austria), Ms. Fauzia Kabir(India), Mr. Shahid Syed (Pakistan), Ms. Sibylle Rupprecht (Germany), Ms.Bharti Silwal Giri (Nepal), and Prof. Genei Shimoji (Japan).
A delegation of the I.P.O. headed by the President participated in theannual conference of the United Nations Department of Public Information(UNDPI) at United Nations Headquarters in New York (11-12 September 1996).
The following special lectures were given by the President of the I.P.O.:
"The Security Council Sanctions against Libya and the Role of theUnited Nations in the New World Order" (University of Vienna, 25 April1996);
"The Principle of Democracy: Reality and Possibilities" (InternationalSymposion on Direct Democracy organized by the Initiative for Democracy,Bozen/Bolzano [Italy], 17 May 1996;
"The United Nations and International Democracy" (Foreign AffairsClub of India and Institute of Diplomatic Studies, New Delhi, 27 July 1996);
"The United Nations and International Democracy" (Afro-AsianPeoples' Solidarity Organization, London, 9 November 1996).
In connection with the above meeting in London, the President of I.P.O.presented the "South Asian Literary and Community Award" to Pakistaniwriter Saiyid Muin-Ud-Din-Shah.
CONSULTATION MEETINGS OF THE PRESIDENT
On 2 January 1996 Prof. Koechler met in Khartoum with the Presidentof the Republic of the Sudan, General Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, and with theSecretary-General of the Arab-Islamic Popular Conference, Dr. Hassan Al-Turabi.He also met with members of the Government and of the Transitional NationalAssembly. He visited the Sudan to attend the promulgation of the new constitutionand the session of the National Congress of the Sudan.
On 10 July 1996 Prof. Koechler met with former UN-Secretary-General Dr.Kurt Waldheim in Vienna to discuss issues of United Nations reform. On25 July 1996 Prof. Koechler met in New Delhi with Dr. Murad Ghaleb, Secretary-Generalof the Afro-Asian Peoples' Solidarity Organization, former Foreign Ministerof Egypt.
On 8 August 1996 Prof. Koechler met in Geneva with Dr. Govind Narain Srivastava,Secretary-General of the International Institute of Non-aligned Studies,and with other representatives of international NGOs to discuss co-operationon human rights and international law issues.
On 4 September 1996 Prof. Koechler met in Kuala Lumpur with Prof. KinhideMushakoji, Secretary-General of the International Movement against allForms of Discrimination and Racism and former Vice-Rector of the UnitedNations University, to discuss co-operation between the two organizations.
In connection with his visit to United Nations headquarters, Prof. Koechlermet on 12 September 1996 in New York with Prof. Ibrahim A. Gambari, PermanentRepresentative of Nigeria to the United Nations.
The President also held consultations with I.P.O. Vice-Presidents Dr. ArturoMuñoz Ledo (Mexico City, 24 October 1996) and Dr. S. S. Mohapatra(New Delhi, 27 July 1996), and with I.P.O. Board Member Ramsey Clark (NewYork, 13 September 1996).
The I.P.O. has established a homepage on the Internet (Worldwide Web).The address (URL) is as follows:
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/ipo. The new e-mail address is:email@example.com.
I.P.O. documents, news releases, research papers and general informationare available on the homepage. Comments of members are welcome.