Year 2000 No. 147, September 8, 2000
Workers' Daily Internet Edition : Article Index :
Security Council Resolution Out of Key with Thrust of Millennium Summit
The Threat to Scotlands Water
The Frankfurt Incident: The American Airlines Caught Lying
The 52nd Anniversary of the Founding of the DPRK
News In Brief
Thousands of Workers Denied Paid Holidays
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In the midst of the Millennium Summit of the United Nations, the 15-member Security Council met on Thursday.
Out of the meeting came a resolution, but in the form of a proclamation rather than as a binding resolution. It called for the strengthening of the "central role of the United Nations in peacekeeping" and emphasised the importance of such a role as a rapid deployment force.
The British government, one of the permanent members of the Security Council, in the persons of Tony Blair and Robin Cook, has been doing much propaganda for such a "peace-keeping" force, even proposing that Britain should institute a military academy to train such a force.
This proclamation is out of key with the sentiment of the majority of member states of the United Nations and with the thrust of the Millennium Summit itself. Rather than have the intervention of an outside "peace-keeping force", the majority of nations facing internal conflict would benefit from all interference in their internal affairs being ended. At the same time, the rich countries should pay the former colonial countries full reparations for all the devastation and human misery and degradation that they have caused through their colonial and imperialist domination.
The demand of the peoples of the developing countries is that they be allowed to make their own history as the 21st century gets under way. They know that the present economic and political world order has nothing to offer them. The threats to world peace come not from fratricidal conflict whose flames are invariably fanned by the big powers, but from the old world order which under the signboard of the highest ideals engages in the most sordid conspiracies, plots and interference against the poor and developing nations.
The Security Council, particularly Britain and the United States, would do well to heed the mood of the times. It is unbelievable that Britain should arrogantly pose on the world stage as both the greatest defender of "human rights" and as the champion of the most gross interference in other countries affairs. The Millennium Summit has underlined, if nothing else, just how despicable is the blind chauvinism that the English bourgeoisie exhibits to the world.
UNISON Scotland on September 4 launched its response to the Scottish Executive Consultation Paper: "Managing Change in the Water Industry".
UNISON the largest trade union in the water industry is challenging whether the Scottish Executive is committed to the water industry remaining a public service. The union claims that the introduction of PFI is privatising the industry "drip by drip", and that the promotion of competition will complete the privatisation of Scotlands water and sewerage services.
In its report, UNISON calls upon the Scottish Executive to:
· Reject the policy objective of competition, recognising the damage that this regime did in England and Wales;
· Introduce a strict licensing regime to protect the integrity of water supplies and the sewerage system;
· Legislate to ensure the full cost of introducing competition falls on those companies who wish to compete, not on the Scottish taxpayer;
· Provide protection for disadvantaged and low income consumers;
· Strengthen statutory powers for drinking water inspection;
· Devolve the powers of the Director General of Fair Trading to the Scottish Executive;
· Cancel the debt of Scotlands Water Authorities as happened to water companies in England and Wales at privatisation.
WDIE fully supports the campaign against the privatisation of the water industry. A modern society must at least ensure that such public services are not made a source of profit for the rich, and the campaign must have the perspective that society is duty bound to provide such public services for the people.
Madame President, Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Allow me first of all to extend to you our warmest congratulations on your assumption as the Co-Chairpersons of the Millennium Summit. I am fully confident that under your able guidance the Millennium Summit will be able to fulfil the expectations of the world community.
The world we live today is a different world from that of the founders of the United Nations Organisation. In the intervening half century the world has witnessed momentous changes some for the better, some for the worse. We have made huge strides in the field of technology. The world population has surpassed the six billion mark. The world has the ability to feed the teeming billions. However, people living in dire poverty, millions dying of hunger are a common phenomena.
As we enter the new millennium we must strengthen our Organisation so that it will be able to cope with new challenges and new realities.
Member countries of the United Nations, each in their own way are trying to bring development to their respective countries. In order to succeed they must choose the path that most suits their needs. They must choose the path that is compatible with the present day realities, taking into consideration their history, their culture and their national ethos. There is no single formula that could be applied to all countries. It would be wrong for powerful countries to impose their systems on others. It would be wrong for the powerful to mould the developing countries in their own image.
In this context, let me once again reiterate that Myanmar is building a genuine and durable democratic system in our own way. While armed conflicts anywhere in the world, once started are difficult to find peaceful solutions, in our country, the flames of conflicts have been extinguished; the guns have been silenced. And yet, there are some who would like to stir up the tranquil waters. Then we have to take preventive measures. We have to respect the will of the 50 million people who would like to preserve the hard-won peace, who do not want to see any moves which would lead the nation back to total anarchy and disintegrate into pieces.
While taking preventive measures, the Government handles the situation in a most humane manner. We do no harm to anyone. We do not commit any atrocities.
The Government is taking a constructive path while opposing forces are embarking on a path of destruction. Confrontational and destructive actions could only impede the process of democratisation of our country, let alone achieving one.
When we look back to the last century, we see tremendous technological progress brought about by the industrial revolution. This progress had spurred the search for raw materials and new markets resulting in colonialism and imperialism. We see various justifications being given to justify these acts of aggression and hegemonism.
The world is now experiencing another technological revolution the information technology revolution. The industrial revolution has resulted in the colonisation of the peoples of the developing countries. We must make doubly sure that IT revolution does not bring along with it a new form of colonialism. IT revolution has the potential to benefit all mankind. We must make doubly sure that the fruits of the new revolution are available worldwide. We must work together so that advancement in technology does not result in a digital divide. We must make sure that the new technology is used to bring goodwill and understanding to all mankind.
With the advent of globalisation, many new opportunities are opened to us. At the same time there is a very real possibility that the globalisation will result in the rich becoming richer and the poor becoming even more impoverished. At the dawn of the new century it is imperative that we make every effort to eliminate these disparities. In this, we rightfully look to the United Nations to play a leading role.
In all this the role of the United Nations Organisation is of paramount importance. We must reform the Organisation so that it will be equal to the task. While new changes should be introduced to the Organisation there are cardinal principles of the Organisation and its Charter which are sacrosanct. Regrettably there are those who would like to weaken these principles which are the cornerstone of our international system to meet their own ambitions and designs. The principles of sovereignty, territorial integrity, sovereign equality and non-interference in internal affairs are cardinal principles which have enabled the world community to live in peace with one another. Therefore, I totally disagree with those who contend that these principles are outdated and that we do not need them in the new century. These are valid in the new century as they were in the old.
It is our hope that this Summit would once again reaffirm the cardinal principles of international conduct. These principles have served us well in the old millennium. They will serve us equally well in the new millennium.
The Frankfurt Incident:
The following report on the rude and insulting treatment of the delegation of the government of the DPRK at Frankfurt Airport has been received by WDIE by e-mail.
The Frankfurt Algemeine Daily has disclosed that the German government had informed the American Airlines of the North Korean delegation well in advance. The German government requested the American Airlines for special consideration for the North Korean bigwigs. This contradicts the American Airlines' blatant lie that it was not aware of the North Koreans' diplomatic status.
The paper states that the German government told the American Airlines that the delegation included the titular head of North Korea and his importance in the international relations. The paper accuses that the American Airlines went out its way to insult the North Korean leader by demanding to strip-search him and his delegation. The American Airlines knew exactly who they were. The American Airlines was out to create an international incidence.
The daily also states that the US government's claim that it was not aware of the North Korean delegation's travel plan is a lie, too. North Korea gave the German government an advance notice of the delegation's travel plan and the German government forwarded this information to the Americans.
If the German daily's allegations are proven true, the American Airlines' political terrorism calls for counter actions by all good men of the world. Political terrorism must be met with political terrorism - tit for tat. The American Airlines should be boycotted by all people of conscience.
It is assumed that the US, German and South Korean investigators are currently looking into this ugly action by the American Airlines. It is not clear if these governments will ever get to the truth and it is feared that they are merely going through the motion for the appearance's sake and whitewash it.
An American Airlines official is reported to have said: "The North Korean gooks deserve nothing but absolute contempt by anyone with any human decency...May they all go to hell!"
On September 9, the Korean people celebrate the 52nd anniversary of the founding of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea. This was an event of great historical significance for the Korean people. It enabled them to become a dignified, independent nation, carving out their own destiny as genuine masters of the state and of society for the first time in their 5,000-year-long national history. It furthermore furnished them with a powerful weapon to successfully carry out the task of building a new society.
For more than half a century since its founding, the DPRK has had an arduous road to travel, but at the same time a road that has been marked by glorious victories. The DPRK has been able to overcome the severe trials which history has presented it with under the direction of the Workers Party of Korea, led first by President Kim Il Sung and now by General Secretary Kim Jong Il.. One of the most severe tests was the war it had to endure, forced on it by US imperialism, from 1950 to 1953, when the new state was in its infancy. Nevertheless, the DPRK emerged victorious, successful defending the independence of the country and the sovereignty of the nation.
After the war, too, the DPRK had to carry out the revolution and socialist construction through many stages, under the very difficult conditions of military threats and economic blockades imposed by the big powers led by US imperialism. However, the Korean people successfully overcame all these difficulties and adversities too, convinced of the justness of their cause, and following their chosen socialist path centred on the broad masses of the people.
Now the whole Korean people, celebrating the 52nd anniversary of their own democratic republic, are proudly following the path of building a socialist system of independence in politics, self-support in the economy and self-reliance in national defence.
In recent years, the DPRK has had to undergo unprecedented difficulties, especially in its economic life, mainly because of the further tightened economic blockade and military threat against Korea imposed by US imperialism and its allies. The situation has in recent years been further aggravated by the disappearance of the socialist market, as well as the recent successive natural disasters.
But all the Korean people are convinced that the economic difficulties caused by external factors are only temporary, and that final victory lies with them.
A bright prospect is also being opened up by the protracted struggle of the Korean people to achieve national reconciliation and reunification of the country since the historic north-south summit meeting held in Pyongyang in June.
On the occasion of the 52nd anniversary of the DPRK, progressive people throughout the world who aspire to a new society extend all support and solidarity to the Korean people for the just cause of Koreas reunification, and for the Korean peoples struggle to preserve its independence and national sovereignty, while living in peace and friendship with all countries.
On this occasion too, WDIE sends it warmest congratulations and heartfelt good wishes to the Korean people and their leader, Comrade Kim Jong Il. We regard the Korean peoples victories as our victories, as we fight shoulder to shoulder in the cause of the defeat of imperialism and the victory of socialism, the future of all humankind.
Thousands of workers are being refused their statutory entitlement to four weeks paid holiday a year. This evidence was gathered from Citizens Advice Bureaux offices across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Many workers are having to face the choice between accepting illegal conditions or losing their jobs, the evidence shows.
Richard Dunstan of the CAB said, "Our best estimate is that in the past 12 months CABs have seen over 75,000 workers arent receiving their right to four weeks paid holiday."
The blame for this situation cannot primarily be laid at the feet of individual employers or the blame placed on a few "bad apples".
It underlines that concrete conditions must be fought for in which the paper rights of workers are able to be guaranteed. If the government is unable or uninterested to ensure that legal rights are enforceable, the fight for a political system in which the people are involved in political affairs and can make and carry out the decisions which affect their lives must become the order of the day.
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