Fatemah Remedios C. Balbin, PhD
President of the Foundation for Social Justice, Philippines
Senior Commissioner, National Amnesty Commission of the Philippines
TO THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY
PRESIDENT JAN KAVAN
SECRETARY-GENERAL KOFI ANNAN
DECLARATION OF SUPPORT AND COHESION FOR
GLOBAL JUSTICE AND PEACE, AND AGAINST WAR ON IRAQ
We, the undersigned, affix our signatures, individually and collectively, representing our respective organizations, declaring and affirming our deepest sentiments, and voicing our protests and condemnation in the strongest possible terms against the invasion of Iraq led by Pres. Bush of the United States of America and Prime Minister Blair of the United Kingdom.
We submit, in all earnestness, thus:
· It is the right of every individual to contribute to efforts for peace, including refusal to participate in the military effort, and it is the collective right of every state to benefit from the full respect by other states of the principles of non-use of force, on non-aggression, of legitimate self-defense, and of peaceful settlement of disputes in international relations.
· It is the right of the people, acting as a collective, and when threatened with humanitarian catastrophe, to impose its sovereign will upon the temporary political leadership who are simply the people’s representatives, for the time, whenever their policies and decision-making ignore or defy the people’s will voiced out in persuasive mass actions and demonstrations in the manner of direct democracy, with a view to redirecting policies and decisions to conform with the Constitution and pre-existing international covenants;
· It is the right of the people of the world to demand that their governments and their leaders honor and respect, in utmost good faith, their commitments under the Charter of the United Nations which is the sacred document which defines the rules and standard of behavior of all civilized nations, big and small, and which prescribes the procedures to be observed whenever any one nation violates its provisions, together with the sanctions and penalties to be imposed;
· It is irrefutable that Pres. Bush of the United States of America, Prime Minister Blair of the United Kingdom, together with the leaders of the “coalition of the willing”, including its ever-willing allies – Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo of the Philippines, among them, have deliberately, willfully, and wantonly, disregarded all the civilized and humanitarian rules, national and international. It has violated the rights of Iraq as a member of the community of nations, and the human rights of Iraqi nationals and the nationals of the countries of the “coalition of the willing” as well, by alleging that Iraq refused to yield its “weapons of mass destruction”;
· We respectfully share the views and declarations of the President of the International Progress Organization and past UN international observer, Prof. Dr. Hans Koechler from Vienna, Austria, who has issued several calls and declarations specifically on March 15, 24, 27, and 28, 2003, condemning the aggression against, and invasion of Iraq. We share his concern over the inaction of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, for failing to take appropriate urgent action as contemplated under Article 99 of the UN Charter, by communicating the imminence of the threat to international peace and security to the Security Council when Pres. Bush declared war on Iraq which action could have at least tempered coalition war plans. (Attachments)
· We fully join Dr. Koechler in his observations embodied in the IPO Memorandum of 18 February 2003, on the basic legal aspects of the present crisis, i.e., that the war seriously violated the rules of the United Nations Charter.
· We respectfully submit that a “crime of aggression” as this offense is defined by generally accepted national jurisprudence was and is being committed by US Pres. Bush, by UK Prime Minister Blair, and the presidents and political leaders of the countries comprising the “coalition of the willing”.
· We therefore earnestly urge the United Nations to take initiatives and to even now, commence preparations for the prosecution of those responsible for these war crimes committed in Iraq, particularly the crime of invasion and aggression against Iraq.
· Finally, we call on the people of the world to take appropriate action and immediately institute impeachment proceedings against the aggressors, particularly Pres. Bush and Prime Minister Blair. We likewise call on our fellow Filipinos to institute impeachment proceedings against Pres. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for wantonly and deliberately, or through sheer gross ignorance, violated and continue to violate, the clear provisions of the Philippine Constitution and the Charter of the United Nations which have been expressly adopted to be part of our Constitution.
Those who claim to be leaders of their people have an obligation to listen to the people whom they claim to represent, and to God to whom they will ultimately be held accountable.
March 31, 2003, Quezon City, Philippines
Fatemah Remedios C. Balbin, PhD
President, University of the Philippines, Asian Center Alumni Association
National Amnesty Commission
Chairperson-President, Foundation for Social Justice
Co-President, Alliance of Shariah Advocates for Peace
We request any individual and/or organization to
reproduce the above declaration of Support and Cohesion, affix their
signatures and/or organization, and to forward it to the United Nations
General Assembly thru Sec. General Kofi Annan and President of General
Assembly, Mr. Jan Kavan.