813 E. 4th Place
Los Angeles, CA 90013-1882
Mr. Pat Cox, President
Herr Poettering, Hans-Gert (PPE-DE)
Sr. Baron Crespo, Enrique (PSE)
Mr. Watson Graham (ELDR)
Mr. Wurtz Francis (GUE/NGL)
Herr Cohn-Bendit Daniel Marc (Verts/Ale)
Sr. Luis Queiro (UEN)
Mr. Bonde Jens-Peter (EDD)
Mr. George Berthu (N.I.)
Los Angeles, November 26, 2003
Object: Letter sent to US ‘political Leaders’ and university Presidents on November 10 2003, misinformation, the attribution of the Sakharov Price to Mr. Annan and to the UN Secretariat.
I take the liberty of writing you to forward you a letter I recently sent to US ‘political Leaders’ and university Presidents (att. 1), and to make few comments concerning the attribution of the Sakharov price to Mr. Annan and to the UN Secretariat.
You have been misinformed on the real work that Mr. Annan and the UN Secretariat have done to prevent the Iraqi conflict. And therefore your attribution of the 2003 Sakharov Price is, I think, inappropriate. It is clear (even if you may not be aware of it) that Mr. Annan, his close collaborators and his advisors (Mr. Sachs,) made very little effort to prevent the war! In January 14 2003 I wrote a letter to several US (and others) personalities including Mrs. Frechette and Mr. Stern (att. 3) to present again my proposal to establish a 65 year age limit for Country Leaders and I.O. Chiefs, and to ask older leaders like Mr. Annan (65), Mr. Wolfensohn, Mr.Greenspan to resign to show the good example and to encourage Mr. Saddam Hussein (65) to step down.
The UN public inquiries unit sent a response on behalf of Mr. Annan ‘thanking me for sharing my thoughts’ and directing me toward the US mission to the United Nations! Given the responsibility of the Secretary General and the emergency due to the imminence and almost certainty of a conflict, this response was totally inappropriate. In a letter addressed to UN General Assembly and Security Council on April 7 2002 (att. 2), I criticized this response and explained why Mr. Annan did not assume his important responsibilities properly. Moreover Mr. Annan and his colleagues were certainly aware that the Kenyan Parliament was discussing the possibility to add an age limit for the President in its new constitution, so they cannot pretend that this proposal is outrageous or disrespectful.
I must also say that in my letter of December 2001 addressed to G8 Leaders and I.O chiefs I had explained the importance of this proposal in our effort to maintain peace and the consequences if ‘international organizations’ were to continue to ignore it, when I wrote: 'Every time there is a conflict somewhere in the world, the International Community, particularly International Organizations, helps both sides to solve their dispute. To do that, they use logical and good sense arguments, and scientific studies exactly as I have done to justify the respect of this rule. So why should any Leader or country part in a conflict listen to your arguments or good sense, if, yourself, you don’t even accept the most basic arguments justifying a very simple rule that would improve the situation of the world.' This is exactly what happened, Mr. Annan and his colleagues were unable to prevent the US from going to war with Iraq despite the fact that three permanent members of the Security Council and many other countries were opposed to a conflict (at least ‘so soon’).
In May 29 2002, I had also written to 8 US university Presidents (att. 4) and asked them for their intellectual support to defend my proposals and my legal case (political asylum application,). I had explained in this letter that the 65 age limit proposal for ‘Leaders’ could perhaps prevent a, then, possible conflict with Iraq. At the time, end of May 2002, no one had started talking about a possible war with Iraq, but my remark should still have stricken intellectuals like MM. Bollinger, Summers, and their colleagues (Mr. Sachs, for example, who is also an adviser of Mr. Annan and the Director of the Millennium Project). I received only a short email of encouragement from the President of Tulane University. There is no obvious argument that makes this proposal inappropriate.
The proposal was turned down in Kenya, because politicians thought that ‘a popular leader should be free to run at 70 if he wants’ (att. 5)! This argument is very weak in comparison to the ones I presented, especially when you know that popularity can be easily artificially created or not related to the job it helps to obtain like in Mr. Schwarzenegger case! I had talked about the importance of paying careful attention to the time factor and to this retirement limit (to defeat poverty) in a letter addressed to G8 Leaders and I.O. Chiefs in April 2000, then I brought more logical, ethical, scientific and good sense arguments in subsequent letters, so Mr. Annan and his colleagues cannot say that they had not enough time to think about the proposal, and the fact that it could be applied to him (Mr. Annan is 65).
I had also pointed out the existence of similar limits: the judges of the European Court of Human Right cannot stay in office after 70, for example, and the US limits its presidential mandate to two 4 years terms, which is in some way a much stricter limit since Mr. Clinton, who is in his mid 50, can not be president again! And I had mentioned examples of Leaders who had applied this limit to themselves or ‘use it’ as a reason to keep a lower profile after 65 like Dr. Brundtland, and who had, therefore, implicitly or indirectly supported the proposal. The UN Secretariat and the World Bank have deliberately ignored the proposal, so that Mr. Annan (65) and others like Mr. Wolfensohn can stay at the highest positions after 65!
This is outrageous when you know that, at the beginning of the year, the life of many people was in line, the destruction of a country and a tremendous spending (100s billions of dollars) was at stake, and the proposal had become a ‘tool’ to prevent the immediate death of many people and an unnecessary enormous spending! Mr. Annan had said that everything should be done to avoid the war, but he would not have given up one day as Secretary General to obtain the peace or even simply talk about the proposal! And the President of the World Bank that ‘dreams of a world free of poverty’ would not have given up one day as President to spare the world of a spending that will handicap ‘us’ to reach our global objectives for decades! Mr. Annan and the UN Secretariat do not deserve to receive the Sakharov Price.
And this even more true after you read the report on the attack of August against the UN Iraq office that killed Mr. Vieira De Mello and several of his colleagues. This report, as you may know, points out the total lack of professionalism of the UN management on security issues. Mr. Vieira de Mello himself had refused to follow a recommendation to move his office in a less ‘exposed’ area! What is very grave is that the top managers at the UN don’t even understand why they have been attacked as we can read in Mrs. Frechette remarks at the funeral of Mr. De Mello: ‘All were in the prime of their lives. All were committed to work for the cause of peace/ All were killed in a nihilistic act of violence which we struggle to comprehend!’.
Rewarding the UN Secretariat when it obviously does not do its job properly, it does not understand what is going on, and it hides a possible solution to an imminent conflict, is very dangerous for the world, and very dangerous for the UN employees also, because they think that everything is ‘ok’, that they are doing a good job, when it is not all the case. They have no idea of the suffering they are causing! The war with Iraq is a great tragedy for the world, many people have died and will continue to die for a long time, a country was destroyed, 100s of billions of dollars were spent and won’t be available to tackle our important global objectives, poverty, environment,, and finally the international community was totally divided! The UN Secretariat and World Bank ‘Chiefs’ must be fired for their important responsibility in this tragedy, not rewarded!
In a recent letter to the Nobel Institute, Foundation and Committees, I have denounced the dishonest behavior of US universities that did not assume their responsibility properly when they refused to comment my proposals, and indirectly encouraged an ‘unauthorized and not fully justified war’. I am now writing you to ask you to please change your decision on the 2003 Sakharov price based on the information I have just gave you, information that were unfairly hidden by the UN Secretariat (and by the press and media), and to please ask for Mr. Annan’s, Mr. Wolfensohn’s and Mr. Sachs’ resignation. Any new UN Secretary General and World Bank President must know that, if such a tragedy takes place again, particularly when they hide possible solutions to the crisis to hold on to their job unfairly, they will loose their job automatically.
I also would like to ask you to discuss publicly the proposal to limit at 65 the age of country Leaders and I.O. Chiefs, as a part of your work on the draft of the new European Constitution, and to demand a vote of the UN General Assembly on this matter as well. Finally, I would like to remind you that in 1997 I submitted to the European Commission and then to the international community a project proposal to improve the transfer and integration of statistical data at the world wide level. This proposal was supported in writing by the European experts and by many other experts around the world, but nothing was really done. It seems now that Mr. Franchet and his close collaborators were more interested in stealing the Commission’s money than promoting a project good for everyone (and hiring the unemployed who had done all the work), so please correct their error on this matter too. I remain
Att. 1: Letter sent to US political leaders and University Presidents on November 10 2003.
Att. 2: Letter sent to the UN (General Assembly and Security Council) on April 7th 2003.
Att. 3: Letter sent to US political leaders, Mrs. Frechette, Mr. Stern, Mr. Lubbers on January 14 2003.
Att. 4: Letter sent to several US university Presidents on May 29 2003.
PS: I will send this letter by email because I do not have enough money to send it by post, if you need any additional documents (project description, letters, ) please contact me by email at email@example.com or Pierre_genevier@hotmail.com. I also would be grateful to you if you could forward a copy of this letter to your colleagues, members of the European parliament, thank you.