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Dieser Leserbrief wurde von der YOMIURI, die meine Kommentare sonst fast immer abdruckt, nicht veröffentlicht. Offenbar– verständlicherweise – werden Reaktionen, wie die meine auf die in der YOMIURI abgedruckte Erklärung des deutschen Botschafters zum Tag der deutschen Einheit, nicht abgedruckt…

 

 

LETTER TO THE EDITOR 

 (not published)

 

German reunification day 3 October  2007  doesn’t make me happy

 

As a German I should be happy that my country was reunited in 1990. This provided the opportunity for my country to follow up on the internationalism stipulated in its Constitution (Article 24, 25 etc.), and take steps to bring about an effective system of collective security that would allow nations to disarm, for which the United Nations Charter is the blueprint. Unfortunately this did not happen. Instead, we saw a new military assertiveness and the global war on terror emerge. After some initial successess in the 1990s toward disarmament, world military expenditures are back to what they were at the height of the Cold War. In this light the German Ambassador’s letter on October 3rd in the Yomiuri is like so many bubbles bursting in the air, bright and colourful but shortlived and without substance. Germany is now the world’s No. 3 arms exporter, after the United States and Russia. According to the recent report by the Swedish Peace Research Institute SIPRI, German exports of conventional weapons have gone up from $ 1,5 billion in 2005 to $ 3,8 billion in 2006, many of which are going to crisis areas as well. The Ambassador does not even mention disarmament, which is one of Japan’s main concerns, especially nuclear disarmament.

 

That is very strange, because if one is at all thinking of Germany and Japan taking on a more responsible role in the UN, then general and complete disarmament, including nuclear disarmament, would have to be top of the agenda. If Germany wants to work together with Japan for world peace, it should follow up on Japan’s Article 9. Most people will agree that, having held fast to its war-abolishing constitution for more than sixty years, Japan certainly deserves to be expunged from Article 107 of the UN Charter (which names Japan and Germany as “enemy states”). I am not so sure about Germany! Unless of course Germany now takes action under its Constitution, to empower the UN and – together with its partners in the EU and in accordance with Article 26 of the UN Charter – achieve a global disarmament treaty, to abolish the institution of war.

 

Klaus Schlichtmann

Hidaka, Saitama Prefecture