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Year 2001 No. 165, October 2, 2001 ARCHIVE HOME SEARCH SUBSCRIBE

Labour Party Conference Opens:

Pleading Solidarity and Social Justice while Preparing for War and State Terror

Workers' Daily Internet Edition : Article Index :

Labour Party Conference Opens:
Pleading Solidarity and Social Justice while Preparing for War and State Terror

West Midlands:
Rover to Build Luxury Car at the Expense of Italian Workers

Rally Against War and Vigil for Peace in Newcastle

Birmingham Stop the War Coalition and Birmingham Trades Union Council:
Public Meeting - NO WAR !

British NGOs in Joint Call for Restraint

A Joint Civil Society Statement on the Tragedy in the United States

We Must Stand Up For Human Rights

CYU of Vietnam: Urgent Appeal

The United States and their South Korean Accomplices Increase Efforts to Block the North-South Reconciliation Process in Order to Stop the Process of the Peaceful Reunification of Korea

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Labour Party Conference Opens:

Pleading Solidarity and Social Justice while Preparing for War and State Terror

The Labour Party Conference opened in Brighton in sombre mood on Sunday afternoon. The events of September 11 and their aftermath were casting a shadow on all the proceedings.

The conference seemed to present a strange contradiction.

In a sense it represented the sentiment of what some call the labour movement for a society in which justice, democracy, peace and humanity prevailed. Bill Morris, the TUC fraternal speaker, for instance, expressed the outrage at the terrorist attack felt in the trade union movement. He said that the fight now is a fight against terrorism, and not a fight against Islam. He said, it is a fight for justice – it is not a fight for revenge. He said, it is a fight in which humanity must and will triumph over barbarity. He said that the fight for justice cannot be confined to a military response but must be tempered with our duty to humanity. He said that in pursuing a just response against the terrorists, we must also strike a blow against the causes of hunger, the causes of poverty and all other social evils.

At the same time, the government of the Party at whose conference Bill Morris was speaking so eloquently, is preparing a crusade against an unidentified enemy, a crusade which is to be marked by a war and state terror against peoples who are suffering hunger, poverty and social evils. And this government shows no sign of recognising that its policies are blocking the solution to the problems these peoples face, and are defending a system which has caused and is intensifying these problems today world-wide. And it is calling this praising the aims and values of this system as being ones of democracy, solidarity and social justice.

This was encapsulated in the speech by the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott. He declared: "Above all, we need a political response, one that recognises our humanitarian responsibility to each other. The new century has led to ever greater demands for solidarity and social justice. Those were the values that gave birth to our labour movement and have governed our policies and our actions, nationally and internationally, ever since. They are as relevant today as they were one hundred and fifty years ago when British mill workers refused to handle cotton picked by slaves." But immediately before that, he paid a special tribute to Tony Blair "whose tireless efforts have helped unite the world in its fight against terrorism".

To resolve the contradiction, workers today too have to take a stand. They have to refuse to participate in a war which is carried out in the interests of the modern slave-owners, the financial oligarchy. They have to recognise that to attain their aspirations, they have to put paid to the old consciousness emanating from these British "democratic institutions", and realise their vision of a new society in which the rights of all are recognised by planting and nurturing the alternative – in which they themselves and their collectives are the politicians.

Article Index

West Midlands:

Rover to Build Luxury Car at the Expense of Italian Workers

The Phoenix consortium headed by John Towers, who took over from BMW, is inevitably pursuing the well-trodden path of capitalist profitability at the expense of the working class. The consortium is going down the same road as proposed by the displaced "Alchemy" venture capitalist company, who all along intended to close down on volume production and concentrate on the MG brand name. This course will only lead to exacerbating the crisis in the situation of the present global recession.

The company is continuing to operate along the lines of global competition where productivity of the workers is made the issue in order to pit worker against worker in the international market. Already the company is faced with the problem of shrinking markets and capitalist overproduction. The proposed answer for the workers and the "solution" to the problem is more of the same medicine, which has seen car companies floundering over many years.

Part of the answer for Phoenix was seen in the buying out of a well known Italian car plant, Qvale Moderna, which it bought last year. Originally Rover promised Italian workers that the £100m contract would go to them and that jobs would not be at risk but would indeed be enhanced. Instead Rover is going to transfer manufacturing of the MGX80 to Longbridge. Transferring the production is a purely commercial decision edging up profitability at the expense of Italian workers because no new jobs will be created at Longbridge either.

The problem for Longbridge workers is their marginalisation as indeed it is of the Italian workers. The on-going production of cars in the capitalist way, which causes lay-off under crisis conditions in particular, must be addressed by the workers who need to decide in what direction production should go as well as contributing to the discussion and decisions of the entire economy. This is particularly crucial in the present call of the Labour government for a "war against terrorism", with its war hysteria, a militarisation of the economy, and an exhortation for the workers to unite behind the government in the name of "social justice".

The extent of the problem is highlighted by the way the Italian workers are being made to pay for the crisis when the new luxury car will be made to rival workers at Porsche and Maserati, putting them at risk through competition too. Rover plans to launch the 4.6litre coupe version of its sports car, costing £50,000 each, next summer. As many as 2,000 cars could be built each year. Rover is looking at generating about £100m a year from this model alone.

Workers must not only be involved in setting the agenda for economic decisions, but in discussing the agenda for the direction of society, taking a stand against the war preparations, and upholding the defence of the rights of all. It is their future and their families’ future that is at stake. They cannot sit on the sidelines but must become involved, taking an active part. Serious decisions regarding the alternative to the status quo must be taken.

Article Index

Rally Against War and Vigil for Peace in Newcastle

On Saturday, September 29, a rally against war and a vigil for peace took place in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. Over a hundred people took part in the actions. Banners and placards were displayed "Stop the War!", "Justice Through law Not War!", "Justice Not Vengeance!", "An Eye for an Eye=Blindness!" .

A statement issued by the local Stop the War Coalition pointed out that people were deeply shaken by the horrific attacks in the USA but went on to say that talk of war is dangerous and that a military response could magnify the violence. The leaflet concluded: "The causes of violence have to be addressed. We need to look for ways of making our global society more just and responsive to the needs of all its people."

During the rally at the Monument in the centre of Newcastle, which lasted for three hours, a speaker explained the need for the people to reject the imminent attack on Afghanistan by the Anglo-American alliance and called for people to join the campaign against the war. After the rally a vigil was held for an hour in the Haymarket at St Thomas' church.

Participants engaged people in discussion throughout the protests and there was wide support for the actions. Hundreds of signatures were collected on petitions.

Members of RCPB(ML)'s Northern Regional Forum took part in the action vigorously engaging people in discussion and distributing leaflets getting people to sign petitions. A number of the Party's newspaper Workers' Weekly were sold and a number of the Party statement "Oppose the Stepping Up Of State Terrorism and War Preparations against the People - Defend the Rights of All - Persist in Developing the Workers' and People's Movements towards their Goals!" were distributed.

The actions are continuing every Saturday with campaign meetings being held every Wednesday. Next meeting is Wednesday, October 3, 7pm, Friends Meeting House, Archbold Terrace (Opposite Jesmond Metro), Newcastle.

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Birmingham Stop the War Coalition and Birmingham Trades Union Council

Public Meeting


Date: Thursday 4th October
Time: 7.30pm
Venue: Adrian Boult Hall,
Paradise Place off Chamberlain Square,
City Centre.

Speakers: Jeremy Corbyn MP, Carol Naughton (Chair CND), Salman Yaqoob (Muslim Women's Helpline), John Rees, National Anti-War Coalition.

More info: 079490 28362

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British NGOs in Joint Call for Restraint

Fourteen leading British charities and aid organisations issued the following statement on September 19, 2001.

As a group of international development, human rights and refugee non-governmental organisations (NGOs) we are shocked and appalled by last week's terrorist attacks in the United States. Our thoughts go out to the victims, their families and the different communities from across the United States and the world who will have to rebuild their lives from the rubble of such a tragedy.

While the United States and its friends across the world come to terms with the enormity of their loss, colossal efforts are now being directed to finding out who perpetrated the violence. Pressure is now building not merely for justice, but also for retaliation. The perpetrators must be brought to justice. But in seeking justice for the victims of this terrible crime, the world must respect the rights of all individuals.

In this situation, only measured thought and statesmanship can avoid the descent into a spiral of violence. The experience of NGOs working across the world shows that - as in the USA - it is often innocent people who are the victims of violence. We urge the United States and its allies to assess carefully the potential impact any proposed military action might have on the poor, the innocent and the voiceless.

Secondly, in a world still struggling to understand last week’s appalling events, it is dangerously easy to demonise particular groups and peoples. Already there have been threats and attacks against muslim communities and individuals, in this country and beyond. At this time, everyone with influence must do their utmost to combat extremism, to renounce inflammatory statements, protect the vulnerable and avoid any action that would create new enmities or destroy relations between communities or nations.

It is imperative that hatred does not become the order of the day; that fear does not become an excuse for the violation of rights and that we all remember our common humanity. We must be compassionate in our support for the victims, determined in our search for justice and vigilant about the rights of all people.

We urge everyone involved to show restraint in responding to an act of barbarism. In this respect any response must be conducted within the framework of international law. Thousands of innocent people have died in the United States. We must now make sure that even more innocent lives are not lost.

Signed by:

ActionAid - Amnesty International UK - Christian Aid - CAFOD - Catholic Institute of International Relations - Oxfam GB - Refugee Council - Saferworld - Save the Children UK - World Development Movement - Voluntary Service Overseas - Children's Aid Direct - Concern - Tearfund

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A Joint Civil Society Statement on the Tragedy in the United States

21 September 2001

In the wake of the tragic events that took place in the United States of America on 11th September 2001, we wish to extend our deepest condolences to all who have lost loved ones and to the millions more whose lives have been affected. The horrific scenes we have witnessed remind us that all too often, in many places around the world, innocent people are the victims of conflict and aggression beyond their control.

During this time of shared grief, we pay tribute to citizens, non-profit organisations and rescue workers whose acts of bravery and volunteerism sum up the best of our common humanity. We urge continued support for the important work being done by a range of civil society organisations to help people affected by this current crisis as well as by the increasing political violence around the world.

At the global level, we want to raise our voices for peace, justice, human rights and the rule of law. Those who have planned, carried out or abetted these appalling crimes must be brought to justice. This tragedy makes plain the need for a system of international justice, relying on rules of evidence, proof of guilt, respect for rights and due judicial process.

We should resist efforts to target people because of their race, religion, ethnic background or appearance, including immigrants in general and people of the Islamic faith and Arab community in particular. We note with great concern the attacks against people believed to be Muslims or from the Arab community and the desecration of mosques and Sikh Temples.

Great care must be taken in the use of language and images. Neither justice nor peace will be served by the demonisation of particular communities. As leaders in civil society, we have an obligation to ensure that every part of the community is respected, that its voice can be heard, and that human rights and public safety for all are upheld. We appeal to the media to act responsibly in their use of imagery or inflammatory language. We also wish to stress the vital role of information and communications to promote informed debate and decision-making.

While emotions are running high, we urge restraint on the part of political leaders. To react with wisdom and long-term effect, leaders must not act in haste, unilaterally, or indiscriminately. We call for a strong commitment to human rights, international law and humanitarian concern in any actions that are taken. We should be motivated by the demand for justice, not revenge, and by the pursuit of peace, exhausting all peaceful measures so that many more innocent victims do not suffer. We feel strongly that there is no purely military solution to the kinds of acts that we saw last week. Indeed, the blunt instrument of war may further intensify a cycle of violence and attract new recruits to terror.

We do not underestimate the difficulty or the urgency of the task facing political leaders. But we are convinced that a safer world for all can only be achieved by the extension of human rights and the rule of law. As they act to prevent such attacks in the future, we urge governments to uphold the fundamental civil liberties that underpin democratic participation. We believe that in a world afflicted by vast inequality, governments and citizens alike have a responsibility to work for sustainable development and social inclusion. Across the whole range of non-profit activities for the public good, we encourage civil society organisations to redouble their efforts to weave anew the torn fabric of our lives.

We appeal to world leaders to protect and strengthen the institutions of civil society. We believe firmly that robust local and national communities - linked internationally and inspired by an ethos of compassion and tolerance - are our best defence against those who would sow hate and destruction.

A key strength of civil society is its diversity. We, as a group of concerned organisations, encourage our colleagues in civil society across the world to give practical expression to the objectives of this statement in ways they deem most appropriate. In addition, we invite other organisations to add their endorsement to this statement.

Finally, we hope that from the pain and sorrow of recent events hope may yet rise again for the establishment of a more peaceful, just and sustainable world order.

CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation
Amnesty International
Oxfam International
World Alliance of YMCAs
World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts
OneWorld International
Association for Progressive Communications
World Organisation of Scout Movements
Association for Women's Rights in Development (AWID)
International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE)
United Way International
Worldwide Initiative for Grantmaker Support (WINGS)
War Resisters International
Womankind Worldwide
International Association of Educators for World Peace
Institute of Cultural Affairs International
Counterpart International
Women's World Summit Foundation
International Society for Third Sector Research
Big Brothers Big Sisters International
International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL)
Physicians for Social Responsibility and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War
The Council on Foundations (USA)
Common Cause (USA)
State of the World Forum (USA)
PACT International (USA)
Cultural Restoration Tourism Project (USA)
Cross-Cultural Solutions (USA)
National Conference for Community and Justice (USA)
Parents Forum (USA)
Pathways to Peace (USA)
Alliance for Nonprofit Management (USA)
Physicians for Social Responsibility (USA)
World Pulse (USA)
eActivist.org (USA)
Institute for Sustainable Communities (USA)
Armenian Assembly of America: NGO Training and Resource Center (USA)
Tahoe-Baikal Institute (USA/Russia)
Oxfam - Great Britain
ActionAid (UK)
Save the Children (UK)
Catholic Institute for International Relations (UK)
National Council for Voluntary Organisations (UK)
Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations
NICVA - the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action (UK)
British Overseas NGOs for Development (UK)
International Service - UNAIS (UK)
Panos Institute - London
International Childcare Trust (UK)
Social Action for Health (UK)
Susila Dharma (UK)
Pattaya Orphanage Trust (UK)
Sense International (UK)
Servite Sisters' Charitable Trust Fund (UK)
International Records Management Trust (UK)
Benson - Waterhouse Public Sector Consultancy (UK)
Christian Outreach Relief (UK)
Women's Information Center (Finland)
NGO Publishing House (Finland)
North-South Institute (Spain)
Anadola University - IIBF, Eskisehir (Turkey)
The Academy for the Development of a Democratic Environment (Malta)
United Nations Association (New Zealand)
Save the Children Fund (New Zealand)
IPS Programme on Civil Society (New Zeland)
Latin America Solidarity Committee, Aotearoa (New Zealand)
Volunteering SA (Australia)
National Centre for Citizenship (Australia)
Volunteering New South Wales (Australia)
Philanthropy Australia
School of Volunteer Management (Australia)
The Smith Family (Australia)
Positive Outcomes (Australia)
University Support Foundation (Columbia)
FES Foundation (Colombia)
GADIS - Grupo de Analisis y Desarollo Institucional y Social (Argentina)
Instituto Venezolano de Estudios Sociales y Políticos (Venezuelan Institute for Social and Political Studies)
Comision Nacional de Seguimiento (Uruguay)
Instituto de Comunicacion y Desarrollo (Uruguay)
International Islamic Charitable Organisation (Kuwait)
Hope Village (Egypt)
Arab Program for Human Rights Activists (Egypt)
Egyptian Center for Women's Rights
Resource Council for Iran
Bureau on Human Rights and Rule of Law (Kyrgyzstan)
The Research Institute of Environmental Law, Wuhan University (China)
NGO Research Center, Tsinghua University (China)
Development for the Poor (Bangladesh)
Uttaron Samaj Kallyan Samity - USKS (Bangladesh)
Star Kampuchea (Cambodia)
Volunteer 21 (Korea)
Network for Community Empowerment (Pakistan)
Institute of Overseas Pakistanis - IOP
Pakistan Association for Continuing/Adult Education (PACADE)
Indus Resource Centre (Pakistan)
Centre for Community Development and Environmental Research (Nepal)
ActionAid (India)
UNESCO Club (India)
City Clean (India)
Welfare Club (India)
Child Relief and You (India)
Centre for Alternative Development Initiatives (Philippines)
Asia Pacific Public Affairs Forum (Taiwan)
Chinese Youth Peace Corps (Taiwan)
National Youth Commission (Taiwan)
North-South Institute/Institut Nord-Sud (Canada)
Canadian Food for the Hungry International
CoDevelopment Canada
Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society (Canada)
Farm Folk/City Folk Society (Canada)
Harry Singer Foundation (Canada)
Mills Garthson & Associates (Canada)
Global Village Nanaimo (Canada)
Canadian Consortium for International Social Development
Hungarian Business Leaders Forum
Hungarian Peace Association
Association of Non-Profit Human Services of Hungary
European House (Hungary)
Centre for Development Research (Bulgaria)
Alternatives for Education and Culture (Bulgaria)
Research Triangle Institute (Romania)
The Open Estonia Foundation
Estonian Journalists Union
Mittetulundusühingute ja Sihtasutuste Liit (Estonia)
Estonian Anti-AIDS Association
People to People (Estonia)
Estonian Association
Network of Estonian Nonprofit Organisations (Estonia)
Renaissance (Poland)
Association for the Forum on Non-Governmental Initiatives (Poland)
Fundacja Dla Niepenosprawnych (Poland)
Macedonian Business Lawyer Association
Civil Society Development Foundation (Czech Republic)
Dr FP Haaz Social Assistance Foundation (Ukraine)
Helsinki Citizens' Assembly National Committee of Georgia
Women's Informational Center (Georgia)
Non-Governmental Publishing House, 'Mika - Peaceful Caucasus' (Georgia)
International Youth Network - Eurasian Dialogue (Georgia)
MWENGO (East and Southern Africa)
Tororo District NGO Forum (Uganda)
Partnership (Cameroon)
Inter-Africa Group (Ethiopia)
Democracy Development Programme of South Africa
NICRO - National Institute for Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation of Offenders (South Africa)
Planact (South Africa)
Themba Lesizwe - South African Network of Trauma Service Providers
Centre for International Political Studies (South Africa)
Centre for Alcohol/Drug-Related Research (South Africa)
Sibambene Development Communications (South Africa)
Project Literacy (South Africa)
Youth Empowerment Network (South Africa)
Nature Friends' Foundation - Fondation Naturama (Burkina Faso)
Learning and Development Kenya

Individual Endorsements:

Josep Xercavins i Valls, Ad Hoc Secretariat, Ubuntu - World Forum of Networks
Joyce Kazembe, SAPES Trust (Uganda)
Sarah Melendez, CEO, Independent Sector (USA)
Fergus Watt, World Federalists of Canada
Barbara Williamson (Canada)
Michael Kew (Canada)
Sibongile Mauye, National Association of NGOs (Zimbabwe)
Rana Riaz Saeed, Development Advocates and Lobbyist (Pakistan)
G Poyya Moli, School of Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Pondicherry University (India)
Ron Burkard, World Neighbours (USA)
Jenny Lyman, George Washington University Law School (USA)
Dr. Mohammed AlMbaid, Independent Scholar and Researcher (Palestine)
Vicente Garcia-Delgado, Individual Associate, CIVICUS (Spain/USA)
Suzanne Smith Hamilton (New Zealand)
Colin Heyman (UK)
Dr. Peter AC Moore (UK)
Melissa Eystad, World Spirit Consulting (UK)
Chris Dammers (UK)
Claire Kruger (South Africa)
Chris Holloway

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We Must Stand Up For Human Rights

Statement of Irene Khan, Amnesty International Secretary General

26 September 2001

The attacks in the USA on 11 September 2001 amounted to an international tragedy. The victims included US citizens as well as Asians, Latin Americans and Europeans, Muslims as well as Christians and Jews. The identity of the perpetrators has yet to be fully determined but there is evidence to suggest that they come from several different countries. Grief and outrage at the atrocity have affected people all over the world. This global tragedy demands a global response - based on global values of human rights and justice.

As the world braces itself for a ''robust reaction'', world leaders are speaking the language of war. It is at times like these that we must be alert to the risks posed to human rights. The voice of the defenders of human rights must not be drowned out by the clarion call to arms. We insist that states respect human rights and international humanitarian law at all times, under all circumstances.

Already we have seen a wave of racist attacks directed at people because of their appearance or religion. The threat perception is encouraging an environment of racism and xenophobia. In north America, Europe and elsewhere, Muslims, Arabs and Sikhs have been shot, stabbed and beaten. Mosques have been firebombed. Shops have been looted. Schools have been forced to close because of intimidation and harassment.

Governments must take strong action against racist attacks directed at the Muslim, Asian and Middle Eastern populations in their countries, whether they are citizens or foreigners. You cannot claim to speak in the name of freedom if all those on your territory do not feel equally protected.

Governments are using the ''war on terrorism'' to introduce draconian measures to limit civil liberties. The US and EU governments are considering provisions that would allow them to detain immigrants indefinitely, even if they have not been charged with any offence. Such measures are unlikely to deter attacks but they are likely to stifle dissent and curtail basic freedoms. For this reason, they must be resisted.

In reaching a balance between security and individual freedom, the internationally recognised safeguards to protect human rights must not be sacrificed. Even in the most extreme crisis, Governments do not have a completely free hand. Even if they are at war, they must abide by the basic rules that protect civilians' lives.

The human toll of this crisis must not fall on those who are the most vulnerable - refugees and asylum seekers who are themselves fleeing repression and terror. Some governments are exploiting the climate of public fear to tighten up asylum laws and policies. Australia and the European Union are rushing through measures that will undermine the rights of refugees and cause more human misery.

A humanitarian crisis of epic proportions is developing on the borders of Afghanistan as Iran and Pakistan turn away famine-stricken Afghan women, children and men fleeing in fear of military attacks. We need to act now to prevent a repeat of the calamity we saw at Blace as refugees fled Kosovo. The international community must insist that Afghan refugees are allowed to enter neighbouring countries. The international community must also share the cost and responsibility of hosting them.

The victims of the 11 September attacks, like all victims, deserve justice, not revenge. But how should that justice be delivered? Governments are fast defining their options in terms of force. Our concern as human rights activists must be to insist that justice is rendered according to the rule of law. Both the pursuit and any subsequent trial of the suspects must be in accordance with internationally recognised standards governing the use of force and fair trial procedures. The death penalty should not be imposed.

The 11 September attacks highlight once again the need for a system of international justice. Some atrocities demand international accountability. In some circumstances, international co-operation to bring suspected perpetrators to justice can be more easily forthcoming through an international tribunal. Unfortunately, many governments including the USA have not ratified the International Criminal Court and resisted, during the drafting of the Rome Statute, broadening its jurisdiction. As the need for international co-operation to address transnational crimes become evident, the US Government should consider supporting the establishment of the court.

All victims, whether they are killed under the eyes of the world's media or perish in a remote conflict, have the right to justice. The response to the 11 September tragedy must not create new victims or be used as a pretext for an attack on human rights. Instead, it should lead governments to build an effective system of international justice that could end impunity for all perpetrators of gross human rights abuses, whether committed in the USA or the Middle East, in Chechnya or Sierra Leone.

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CYU of Vietnam: Urgent Appeal

The Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union of Vietnam in issuing the following appeal, have said that the recent events in the US and developments from them are an issue of great importance and concern of everyone. We all need to do our best for peace and justice, they say. At the same time, they call attention to an additional issue which is also very important for Vietnam. The US House of Representatives passed on September 6 the so-called "Vietnam Human Right Act". This act has legal power for the US and also obliges all international financial institutions to act against Vietnam. In fact, this Act imposes sanctions on Vietnam, denying access to all multilateral financial aid for development, and legalises and strengthens provocative and propaganda activities against Vietnam. The CYU points out that the only reason for the Act is that the US does not like and cannot tolerate the Vietnamese political system, nothing else.

Statement by the Standing Bureau of the Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, The Presidium of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Youth Federation, The Secretariat of the Vietnam Association of Students, and The Central Committee of the Ho Chi Minh Young Pioneers Organisation

The Ho Chi Minh Communist Youth Union, the Vietnam Youth Federation, the Vietnam Association of Students and the Ho Chi Minh Young Pioneers Organisation – organisations of youth and children of Vietnam with more than 20 million members and representing all young people throughout Vietnam – strongly denounce the hearing and approval by the United States House of Representatives’ of the so-called "Vietnam Human Rights Act" on 6th September 2001.

The content of the Act arrogantly slanders and distorts the situation in Vietnam, and deeply insults the feeling and dignity of the Vietnamese people. In today’s trend of economic globalisation and integration, the imposition of political conditions on economic and trade relations despite all international norms is an interference in the internal affairs of other states for black political objectives, creating dangerous precedents in international relations. Those who imposed this Act are still not able to realise that the self-authorisation of some people to decide upon the destiny of other nations has been one among the main causes of many tragedies in the history of humankind, from slavery, colonialism to fascism and numerous other crimes against humanities and people of different countries. During past decades, many American politicians failed to understand or intentionally ignored the real will and aspirations of Vietnamese people, assumed themselves the right to bring "freedom" to Vietnam, waged a criminal war against the Vietnamese people, caused great pain and losses for both Vietnamese and American people, and left behind an unwashable blot in the history of the United States. And today, they once again claim the right to unilaterally judge and decide upon the rights of the Vietnamese people. In fact, these people who are advertising for democracy and human rights are still incapable of respecting the most fundamental right of other nations – the right to choose their own path for development.

The Vietnamese people know their rights and interests better than anyone else. The young generation of Vietnam believes in and fully supports the leadership of the Communist Party of Vietnam for its great contributions to the nation and for its clear-sighted objectives and policies serving the interest of the people. The society, which is being built in Vietnam today, is the society of the people, by the people and for the people. The achievements of renewal policies ensured and improved political, economic and social rights of all people regardless of their ethnic and religious background. The Vietnamese youth and children are strongly determined to overcome all challenges and, together with all Vietnamese people, to build Vietnam into an independent, united and strong country of prosperous people, with an equitable, democratic and civilised society, and will not allow anyone to violate our inalienable rights.

The youth and people of Vietnam wish to promote friendship and co-operation with people of all countries, including the American youth and people, based on respect for independence, sovereignty, non-interference into internal affairs, equity and mutual benefits. We call upon the youth and people of all countries, especially the youth and people of the United States, to raise your voice of conscience to strongly condemn and prevent the approval of this criminal Act.

Hanoi, 13th September 2001

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The United States and their South Korean Accomplices Increase Efforts to Block the North-South Reconciliation Process in Order to Stop the Process of the Peaceful Reunification of Korea

The September 2001 Bulletin of CILRECO (International Liaison Committee for Reunification and Peace in Korea), "For a reunified and independent Korea", carried these commentaries:


With the arrival of G.W. Bush in office and the application of his "policy of intransigence towards the DPRK", the South Korean reactionary forces, who long for the return of the previous military dictatorial regimes, and who are totally dependent on the United States, multiply their attacks against the process of reconciliation in order to block the proper application of the joint North-South Accord of June 15, 2000.

These most conservative South Korean forces, the Grand National Party (GNP) being the most prominent one of them, managed, through their parliamentary opposition groups, to deal yet another blow to the process under way, by provoking, on September 3, a resignation of a member of Kim Dae Jung’s government.

Using as a pretext the approval given by the South Korean minister of reunification to several hundreds of representatives of social and religious groups from South Korea to participate in the "Great Reunification Festival", the parliamentary opposition did not give its vote of confidence to this minister close to Kim Dae Jung.

What a coincidence! This vote closely followed the proposition made by the DPRK to South Korea "to organise, as soon as possible, an inter-governmental meeting to apply the joint Accord of June 15, 2000".

Let us mention that ever since the signing of this joint Accord of historic importance for the Korean nation, reached as a result of an audacious initiative of the DPRK’s leader, Kim Jong Il, the South Korean reactionary forces have not stopped trying to block its application, namely by openly fighting against the policy of reconciliation, the so called "sunshine policy" of the South Korean President, Kim Dae Jung.

The "hardening" of the American policy towards the DPRK encourages these forces hostile to the peaceful and independent reunification that would call into question their power and enormous privileges, and we are afraid that, instructed by their American masters, they might increase their efforts to destroy the process under way.

Once again, it can clearly be seen that the conservative and warmongering forces from the United States and South Korea work hand-in-hand to block the peaceful and independent reunification of Korea.


These negotiations, that started with the 1994 Agreed Framework, aimed at normalising the relations between the two countries and working in favour of détente and long-lasting peace in the Korean peninsula, continued, certainly with ups and downs, until G.W. Bush came into office.

Immediately after his appointment, he voiced his intention to apply "a policy of intransigence towards the DPRK" and accompanied these words by threats and hostile measures against the DPRK, and stopped negotiations.

The international community was quite worried and even critical of this aggressive behaviour, which led the American President to temper his words and declare that his administration would "examine the policy towards the North" before, eventually, resuming negotiations.

Two months ago, President Bush announced that the "examination" period was over and that the talks would resume under certain conditions. But, it is obvious that his administration keeps on creating obstacles to prevent it from happening.

Actually, this attitude, which might seem to be inconsistent, is in accordance with the American imperialistic strategy in the Korean peninsula; they want to maintain their domination in South Korea at any cost, and, if possible, to spread it throughout Korea by eliminating the DPRK, and this policy fits within the framework of their policy of global hegemony.

Bush’s manoeuvres cannot fool anyone. By blocking the talks with the DPRK, he wants to reactivate tension in the Korean peninsula, put pressure on South Korea and block the North-South process that would lead to the independent and peaceful reunification of Korea.

Everyone knows that the solution to the "Korean problem" depends a lot on the development of the relations between the DPRK and the United States, as the United States is responsible for a half a century long division of Korea and their troops still occupy the South.

The progressive and peace-loving forces, who have been rejoicing over important progress made in terms of national unity of the Korean nation, that would enable it to make a sovereign decision on its future and to promote détente and peace in the Korean peninsula, cannot fail to respond to this insolent challenge of American imperialism and thwart their plans.

As far as CILRECO is concerned, it is going to work even harder to get wide popular support to the proper application of the joint North-South Accord of June 15, 2000. This matter is of an extreme importance for the Korean nation, as well as for international security and peace.

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