Month: <span>August 2022</span>

Edward Carpenter Portraits of World Citizens.

Edward Carpenter and the Healing of Nations.

 Featured Image: Edward Carpenter (1844–1929), by Fred Holland Day (1864–1933). By F. Holland Day, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Edward Carpenter (1844-1929) whose birth anniversary we note on 29 August, was an English writer, educator and pacifist, socialist reformer. Carpenter came from a middle class intellectual family and studied at Cambridge University. As with some of his fellow students who were interested in philosophy and ideas, he was ordained in the Church of England hoping that its outlook and theology could be widened from the inside.  However, once inside, he realized that the broadening goal would take a long time.  Thus by 1874 he left the church for a new field − university extension courses − a program of night school education for the “working classes”.

Days with Walt Whitman.

Just as he was about to become a Church of England cleric in 1869, he discovered the poems of Walt Whitman which became the inspiration for his own poems as well as for an opening to a cosmic consciousness that Whitman manifested. As Carpenter wrote in Angels’ Wings “Whitman’s verse in its most successful passages, so magnificent in its effects, so democratic in feeling, so democratic in form, is more absolute in expression, more real in its content, burns brighter in the nearness of sunrise, and yet lies so near along to Nature and the innocent naivety of speech of a child, that some people are inclined to deny to it the quality of Art at all!” Whitman was his life-long model, and Carpenter spent time in the USA to be with Whitman, an experience which he recorded in a book Days with Walt Whitman.

Walt Whitman

The Laughing Philosopher: American poet Walt Whitman (1819–92). By George C. Cox (1851–1902)[1], Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Rabindranath Tagore.

Like Whitman, Carpenter was attracted to Indian philosophy and travelled to India. He became a friend of Rabindranath Tagore. His Indian travels and attraction to Indian thought he recorded in Adam’s Peak to Elephanta: Sketches in Ceylon and IndiaCarpenter kept up his interest in Indian thought through friendships in the then recently-created Theosophical Society.

Rabindranath Tagore

Rabindranath Tagore before 1941. By Unknown authorUnknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

George Russell.

As others influenced by the Theosophical Society such as the Irish poet and agricultural reformer George Russell (best known by his pen name AE), Carpenter saw the need to improve rural life and to bring intellectual and cultural enlightenment to the rural areas. Thus he gave up formal university extension work and bought a farm which became a meeting place for discussions among many in the area − an early “back to the land movement”. He stressed using hand-made clothes, the non-killing and non-eating of animals, and the use of herbs for health.

George Russell

George William Russell. By by Cornelius Weygandt ==Used on== *w:en:George William Russell ==Licence== {{PD-Gutenberg}}.

The Intermediate Sex and Intermediate Types Among Primitive Folk.

He lived in a homosexual relationship with a farmer at a time when homosexuality was considered a criminal offense.  Carpenter wrote two books on homosexuality. For a long time these were the only books on the subject published by a major publisher: The Intermediate Sex and Intermediate Types Among Primitive Folk.

A New Spiritual Consciousness.

The Healing of Nations is his most important political book − a collection of essays for the most part published in newspapers and small journals written in late 1914 and early 1915 as World War I started. Carpenter had long held that a new age of fellowship was dawning in which social relations would be transformed by a new spiritual consciousness. His thinking on the outbreak of the war was close to that of Romain Roland and P. Kropotkin, both of whom he quotes at length.

Carpenter was close − though never a member − to the Independent Labour Party who’s 1914 Manifesto he quotes as its proposals were similar to his own:

” We hail our working-class comrades of every land. Across the roar of guns we send greetings to the German Socialists. They have laboured unceasingly to promote good relations with Britain, as we with Germany.  They are no enemies of ours, but faithful friends. In forcing this appalling crime upon the nations, it is the rulers, the diplomats, the militarists who have sealed their doom. In tears and blood and bitterness the greater Democracy will be born. With steadfast faith we greet the future; our cause is holy and imperishable, and the labour of our hands has not been in vain.”

Carpenter went on with his own call to action:

“Thus we have to push on with discernment. Always we have to remember that the wide, free sense of equality and kinship which lies at the root of Internationalism is the real goal. Always we have to press on towards that great and final liberation − the realization of our common humanity, the recognition of the same great soul of man slumbering under all forms in the heart of all races − the one guarantee and assurance of the advent of world peace.”

At a time when in England and France there are commemorations of the anniversaries of the 1914-1918 War, it is useful to recall that there were voices in opposition and persons like Carpenter who saw that an awareness of the spiritual dimension of each person was the basis for the healing of the nations.

Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

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Korean Peace Appeals

Korean Peace Treaty Awaits: NGO Efforts Needed.

Featured Image: Korean Peace Memorial By John Murphy, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons. 

27 July marked the anniversary of the 1953 Armistice ending the fighting in Korea.  A peace treaty was to follow, but such a formal peace agreement has never been signed.  Since 1953; there have been ups and downs of the degree of tensions on the Korean Peninsula.  Currently, tensions are toward the high end of the scale.

On 14 March 2013; the Association of World Citizens had sent a message to the then United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; urging a U.N.-sponsored Korean Peace Settlement Conference; now that all the States which had  participated in the 1950-1953 Korean War were members of the United Nations.  The 60th anniversary of the 1953 Armistice would be an appropriate occasion.

Such a Korean Peace Settlement Conference could build a framework for a broader, comprehensive approach to  Northeast Asian security. The Association of World Citizens stressed the need for strong diplomatic measures by concerned States such as China, Russia, the U.S.A. and Japan. The World Citizens highlighted that in the past, there had been a series of dangerous but ultimately resolvable crisis concerning the two Korean States.  However; there are always dangers of miscalculations and unnecessary escalation of threats.

Ban Ki moon

Ban ki-moon, 5 February 2016. By Chatham House, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons.

Test The Waters.

The 60th anniversary went by without a Peace Conference.  Today, we are still at about the same point of trying to develop confidence-building measures between the two Korean States.  Small steps that do not overly worry the U.S.A. and China who watch events closely are needed.  It is unlikely that any progress will be made in the foreseeable future concerning demilitarization of the Korean Peninsula or unification.  Small steps are probably the order of the day.  The Association of World Citizens has proposed increased family contacts, cultural exchanges, and increased food aid to the Democratic People’s Republic, a lessening of economic sanctions, and an increase in trade.  There is a need to halt the automatic reaction to every provocation. There is a a need to “test the waters” for a reduction of tensions and building confidence-building measures.

In striving to build trust and political negotiations between two adversaries, confidence- building measures attempt to replace conflict with cooperation.  With the purpose to diffuse tensions; confidence-building measures try to initiate a process of dialogue by promoting better communications involving governments and non-governmental representatives in building bridges of trust; thus breaking walls of suspicion and mistrust.

Korean War

Montage for the Korean War Main Page in Wikipedia. By Madmax32, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

“Hawks” who are against confidence-building measures.

There is always  need to build support for confidence-building measures as in all countries there are “hawks”  who are against confidence-building measures while those favourable to confidence-building efforts fail to broaden their support base at the popular level.  Thus, there is an important role to be played by the media, by non-governmental organizations and by academics.

Such efforts are particularly needed today when tensions, in part related to nuclear programs, are growing.  Positive efforts need to be made.


René Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

The Uprooted.

Increasing numbers of people in countries around the world, have been forced from their homes, by armed conflicts and systematic violations of human rights. Those who cross internationally recognized borders…

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Nuclear weapons Appeals

The NPT and Broader Human Security.

Featured Image: Castle Romeo nuclear test (yield 11 Mt) on Bikini Atoll. It was the first nuclear test conducted on a barge. The barge was located in the Castle Bravo crater. By United States Department of Energy, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

“Nuclear weapons are unique in their destructive power, in the unspeakable human suffering they cause, in the impossibility of controlling their effects in space and time, in the risks of escalation they create, and in the threat they pose to the environment, to future generations, and indeed to the survival of humanity.”

Jakob Kellenberger, then President of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

The Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons; (known as the NPT Review to its friends); began on 1 August 2022 at the United Nations in New York.  The Secretary- General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres opened the Review by stressing that :

“From the Middle East and the Korean Peninsula. To Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.  The clouds that parted following the end of the Cold War are gathering once more.”

Jakob Kellenberger

 Jakob Kellenberger (born 1944), President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) since 2000 at Dies academicus 2003 of the University of Fribourg. By Charly Rappo, Attribution, via Wikimedia Commons.

Antonio Guterres

Antonio Guterres By, Attribution, via Wikimedia Commons.

As I chaired the representatives of the non-governmental organizations (NGO) at the 1975 and the 1980 Reviews, then held in Geneva, I have a feeling of repeating myself, especially as I participated in the 1985 and 1990 Reviews, after which the Reviews moved to New York.

As the Reviews were not U.N. meetings but were held in U.N. buildings, we were able to negotiate a greater role for NGOs at the review conferences than at the U.N. disarmament meetings.  Yes, there was a time when the U.N. had a Conference on Disarmament which held regular meetings. In addition, there were three U.N. General Assembly Special Sessions of Disarmament, 1978, 1982, 1988.  Disarmament has largely disappeared from the U.N. Agenda, and NGOs are forced to hand out arms control proposals to government U.N. missions, one step away from distributing pornography.

General Asembly

Image by Basil D Soufi, CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons.

U.N. General Assembly: Can It Provide the Needed Global Leadership?

Military Spending Remains Constant.

The month-long NPT Review aims at having a final resolution highlighting the discussions.  This final resolution must be agreed upon by consensus making bold proposals difficult.  These proposals might be agreed upon if there were majority-minority voting but impossible by consensus.  Another major difficulty is that there are crucial States outside the NPT framework: India, Pakistan, Israel, North Korea.

The world’s nuclear arms race arose as a classic case of the security dynamic – a situation in which one State tries to make itself more secure by building weapons and military forces which it says are defensive.  NGOs have constantly stressed that money spent on the nuclear weapons industry would be better spent on public health, climate stabilization and ecologically-sound development.  However, military spending remains constant.  NGOs have also stressed during the Reviews the need for developing confidence-building measures.  But confidence remains in short supply.

The debates and the results of the NPT Review merit being watched closely.

Ending the nuclear weapons era will require dedication, sustained effort and increased cooperation among NGOs. NGO action and cooperation led to the treaties on chemical weapons, land mines and cluster weapons.  Developing the framework for a broadly defined human security is the next major step.  The debates and the results of the NPT Review merit being watched closely.


René Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

The Uprooted.

Increasing numbers of people in countries around the world, have been forced from their homes, by armed conflicts and systematic violations of human rights. Those who cross internationally recognized borders…

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Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann Appeals

Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann. Stewards of this world and its…

Featured Image: Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and President of the UN General Assembly Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann in New York (2009). Estonian Foreign Ministry, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons.

In October 2008; the then President of the United Nations General Assembly; Father Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann urged:

“Let us become stewards of the world and its precious life.  The United Nations is an ongoing experiment in partnership.  Let’s inspire these partnerships with solidarity and compassion.  The trigger for this solidarity does not lie with world leaders.  Nor government bureaucracies.  Nor the corporations.  It comes from people, from civil society, from ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things.”

This call for the development of political will for cooperation and solidarity remains valid today.  The question we must ask ourselves is why has there been so little progress toward compassion as a motive for action.  The United Nations has the structures for mediation, good offices, arbitration, and judicial settlement of disputes.  Thus; an important question is why States so seldom resort to these dispute settlement mechanisms.  There is a crucial role that non-governmental organizations (NGOs) can play.  Although the term “world public opinion” has been overused; there is a certain reality to the term.  NGOs can provide some pressure to resolve international conflicts peacefully.

Currently we see the rise of strong, transnational currents of world public opinion around three related themes: the impact of climate change, the protection of biodiversity, and the dangers of world-wide hunger.  Youths are taking an increasing role in these efforts.  We will have to see if these efforts continue.  My analysis is that there are no quick solutions nor great short-term changes.  Thus these three issues will continue and grow in importance.  Compassion and respect for Nature are at the heart of these efforts.  Father d’Escoto Brockmann’s call may become the symbol of these efforts.

Miguel d´Escoto Brockmann


Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and President of the UN General Assembly Miguel d´Escoto Brockmann (2019). Estonian Foreign Ministry, CC BY 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons.

René Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

The Uprooted.

Increasing numbers of people in countries around the world, have been forced from their homes, by armed conflicts and systematic violations of human rights. Those who cross internationally recognized borders…

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Alfred de Zayas Book Reviews

Alfred de Zayas. Building A Just World Order.

Featured Image: Prof. Dr. Alfred de Zayas. By Anonym (ein Gefälligkeitsfoto für Prof. Alfred de Zayas), CC BY-SA 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons.
Alfred de Zayas, a long-time member of the U.N. human rights secretariat having started in 1980; was elected by the U.N. Human Rights Council as an Independent Expert on the Promotion  of a Democratic and Equitable International Order in September 2011.  This book brings together elements of his 14 thematic reports during his six years as as a Special Rapporteur. (Clarity Press, Atlanta GA: 2021, 466pp.)
    Special Rapporteurs are elected by the Human Rights Council as human rights specialists. They can undertake country visits and engage in discussions with a wide range of groups and U.N. secretariat members to raise sensitive issues. Some  Special Rapporteurs are country specific; usually named after long debates in the Council on these countries.  Other Special Rapporteurs deal with broad themes such as the Right to Food, the Right to Housing, the Right to Water and Sanitation, Indigenous Peoples.
Alfred de Zayas draws on the work of other Special Rapporteurs to underline that developing a world order is a holistic process linking armed conflict resolution, human rights promotion, political participation and peacebuilding.
    Special Rapporteurs are not U.N. staff and do not receive a salary for their work; but their work is facilitated by secretaries of the U.N. human rights staff.  As de Zayas writes:

“I am  convinced that the function of a rapporteur is to give impulses and concrete recommendations to governments and civil society, speak clear language, tear down pretences and double standards.  One thing the rapporteur must not be: a guardian for the status quo, a fig leaf for the international community, so that everybody can pretend to have a good conscience and continue business as usual.”

   As de Zayas stresses: 

“A democratic and equitable international order necessarily functions on the basis of multilateralism and international solidarity.  It aims at promoting a culture of peace and dialogue among nations and peoples, fully respecting the sovereignty of States and ensuring that members of civil society in all countries have ample space to express themselves and to enjoy their individual and collective rights and to pursue their traditions, culture and identity.”

    Obviously; as we look at the current world society; there are many obsticles to a culture of peace and dialogue.  De Zayas sets out some of the ways to deal with these obsticles. 

“Honest dealing and the pursuit of peaceful relations is a better strategy if humanity is to reap cooperation and progress in human rights terms.  What is most needed today is mature diplomacy, result-oriented negotiations, a culture of dialogue and mediation.”

    Many of the specific recommendations made have also been made by the Association of World Citizens.  However; de Zayas gives much more background and references to U.N. documents and discussions.  He highlights the important role that non-governmental organizations; (increasingly called civil society) can play.  However; he warns of the backlash against NGOs by governments and business corporations.

    “Greater efforts are needed to limit current attempts to shrink the space of civil society at the international and domestic levels. Arbitrary and undue restrictions on the effective enjoyment of fundamental freedoms, including the freedoms of association, peaceful assembly and expression, seriously obstruct the realization of a more democratic international order.”

    This is an important book for those working on the development of world law; a rules-based order in the spirit of the U.N. Charter.
Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

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Carl G. Jung Portraits of World Citizens.

Carl G. Jung: The Integration of Opposites.

Carl.G. Jung (26 July 1875 – 6 June 1961) was born in Kesswil on the Lake of Constance; where the three countries that most influenced him met: Switzerland, Austria, and Germany. German-speaking Switzerland was his roots; his grandfather having been the Rector of the University of Basle and a well-known medical doctor; Austria, Vienna in particular; the home of Sigmund Freud whose thought and psycological practice he championed before taking his distance; Germany whose Nazi ideology he tried to understand through his psychoanalytical tools.

Moreover; family lore stated that the grandfather was the illegitimate grandson of Goethe; making Jung’s ties to German philosophy, especially an early interest in the Zarathustra of Nietzsche, all the stronger.

Sigmund Freud

Colorized painting of Sigmund Freud. By Photocolorization, CC BY-SA 4.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons.

Erich Fromm: Meeting the Challenges of the Century.


Also sprach Zarathustra. Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen. In drei Theilen. By Unknown authorUnknown author, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Alexandre Marc: Con-federalism, Cultural Renewal and Trans-frontier Cooperation.

Book Aion.

Jung combined an interest in German thought; especially the writings of early German alchemists with a deep interest in Chinese Taoist philosophy; the two currents are brought together in his 1951 book Aion. In Aion, he deals directly with the passage of the Piscean Period to the Age of Aquarius.  He analyses astrological imagery embodied in Zodiacal ages in order to deal with the psychological problems of this period of transition.

The astrological sign of Pisces is often represented as two fish − one light, the other dark in color − swimming in opposite directions.  The Age of Pisces; which started roughly at the same time as the birth of Jesus is the period in which Christianity developed and became the normative spiritual influence for much of the world.

The Piscean Period; true to its image of the fish going in opposite directions, has been one in which the dominant ideologies have been of opposing dualism: the kingdom of the saved and the world of the damned in Christianity, the dar al-Islam and the dar al-harb (the house of Islam and the house of war) in Islam, the antagonist socialist and capitalist worlds in Marxist thought.


The chief psychological as well as political problem of the Piscean Period was how to prevent one of the dualities from destroying the other − how to keep a balance of power.

None of the dominant ideologies contained the key to a creative balance between opposites; although in the late Cold War period (1970s-1980s); the idea of “co-existence” was developed by thinkers on the edges of political power in East and West.  Co-existence implied a relationship among groups in which none of the parties is trying to destroy another.  Co-existence provided a starting point for succeeding generations to reframe their understanding of the enemy without necessarily abandoning other political or cultural principles.

However; co-existence is much less than the Taoist concept of equilibrium; of a balance between forces which would create greater harmony and wealth of being.  Thus; Jung looked to Chinese Taoism for that integration of the principles and energies of yin;

(the receptive and feminine) and yang (the active and masculine).  The Tao is the ground of being; the void from which all arises. As Lao Tzu in the Tao Te Ching notes:

           “The Tao is like a well,

              Used but never used up.

              It is like the eternal void

              Filled with infinite possibilities.”

In another verse  Lao Tzu writes:

                “The Tao is called the Great Mother:

           Empty yet inexhaustible,

                  It gives birth to infinite worlds.”

In the infinite world of created things; the Tao is most often represented as the harmonious balance between yin and  yang. Lao Tzu noted :

“Of the energies of the universe, none is greater than harmony.  Harmony means the regulation of yin and yang.”

Jung became interested in Taoism by meeting in 1922 Richard Wilhelm; a German missionary to China; who had become very interested in Taoism.  Jung viewed Wilhelm and his work as creating a bridge between East and West.  Wilhelm was the messenger from China who was able to express profound things in plain language which disclose something of the simplicity of great truth and deep meaning.  Richard Wilhelm had translated a Taoist healing text;  The Secret of the Golden Flower to which Jung wrote a psychological commentary published in 1929.  Wilhelm had also produced a translation of Lao Tzu’s Tao Te Ching; as well as the I Ching (The Book of Changes) − a widely used book of Chinese divination, some of which predates the rise of Taoism in the 6th century BC.

The Chinese Taoists were directly concerned with mental health and healing, and there were contemporary healers which Wilhelm had met.  The Taoist balance between what could be considered at one level as opposites was close to Jung’s psychoanalytical efforts where he contrasted the introvert and the extrovert, thought and feeling, the person and the shadow, the conscious and the unconscious. The essential task of Jung’s psychology is to help in the process of “individuation” − a process toward wholeness, which like Taoism, is characterized by accepting and transcending opposites.

As Jung noted, Taoist thought would play an increasingly powerful role in the transition between the Piscean Period and the Age of Aquarius.

“The spirit of the East is really at our gates.  Therefore it seems to me that the search for Tao, for a meaning in life, has already become a collective phenomenon among us, and to a far greater extent than is generally realized.”

As Lao Tzu wrote:

                                              “Let the Tao be present in your life

                                                 And you will become genuine.

                                                 Whoever is planted in the Tao

                                                  Will not be rooted up.”

Rene Wadlow, President and a representative to the United Nations, Geneva, Association of World Citizens.

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

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Dag Hammarskjold Rapprochement of Cultures.

Dag Hammarskjold. Crisis Manager and Longer-Range World Community Builder…

Featured Image: Photograph of Dag Hammarskjöld(1953). By Caj Bremer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Dag Hammarskjold (29 July 1905 -18 September 1961).

You wake from dreams of doom and −for a moment− you know: beyond  all the noise and the gestures, the only real thing; love’s calm unwavering flame in the half-light of an early dawn. Dag Hammarskjold  Markings.

United Nations Command.

Dag Hammarskjold became Secretary-General of the United Nations at a moment of crisis related to the 1950-1953 war in Korea; and he died in his plane crash in 1961; on a mission dealing with the war in the Congo.

The first Secretary-General of the UN, Trygve Lie; had resigned in November 1952 due to  the strong opposition of the Soviet Union; and its allies to the way the United Nations Command operated in Korea. Even though it was called the “United Nations Command”; the main fighting forces and the logistic support were provided by the United States.

Trygve Halvdan Lie. By atelier Benkow, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Svenska: Dag Hammarskjöld. (1950s). By Unknown authorUnknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

A Person from a Nordic Country.

Among UN Security Council members and other important delegations; it was felt that, given the way Trygve Lie was pushed out before a second term; he should be replaced by a person from a Nordic country; and the name of Dag Hammarskjold started to be proposed as a suitable candidate from an appropriate country, Sweden. It took five months of discussions before on 10 April 1953; Hammarskjold took office in New York.

Little in his background or experience had prepared Hammarskjold to be a crisis manager. He came from a distinguished Swedish family.  His father had been Prime Minister; and other members of his father’s family had been civil servants or military officers.   On his mother’s side; the family had been well-known Lutheran clergy and academics.

“Only he deserves power who everyday justifies it” .

Dag Hammarskjold was known for his active interest in literature, art and music − interests which he continued throughout his life.  However; he was trained in economics and by age thirty-six; he was chairman of the National Bank of Sweden; concerned with long-range economic trends.  He was not a stock-market trader having to make quick decisions with very incomplete information to “buy or sell”.

Hammarskjold had a very strong sense of duty. As he wrote to himself in 1951; in a dairy published after his death as Markings (1) “Only he deserves power who everyday justifies it.”

The UN Development Program (UNDP)’s.

Hammarskjold came to the United Nations just as socio-economic development; was being considered as a permanent mandate for the UN Secretariat.  At the time of the creation of the United Nations in 1945; economic and social issues were considered as the functions of specialized agencies; formally related to the UN through the Economic and Social Council; but in effect, independent with their own governing boards, budgets and administrative procedures: the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Washington, and UNESCO, FAO, ILO, WHO, all located in Europe. 

By 1949; influenced by the “Point Four” idea of US President Harry Truman; there started to grow the idea that the UN itself should become operative in providing economic, administrative, and technical assistance. A modest “Expanded Program of Technical Assistance to Underdeveloped Countries” was created in 1949; and through different incarnations has become the UN Development Program (UNDP)’s, complex and multi layered activities.

Very nice color portrait photograph of President Harry S. Truman seated in a chair, half figure (1952). By US Navy, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Economic and Social Programs.

Hammarskjold was a strong supporter of economic and social programs.  He appointed well-known and active economists to guide these programs.  By training and temperament; he would have wanted to follow economic and social issues; as he saw such programs as important buildings blocs of the world community.

However; it was as a crisis manager that he filled his days.  These were often long days; and he was able to work for 18 hours a day for long stretches of time.  He started as Secretary-General when the war in Korea was ending; but peace had not been established.  Korea was still divided into two hostile States; a large number of people had been uprooted and much of the economic infrastructure destroyed. 

Montage for the Korean War Main Page in Wikipedia. By Madmax32, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

“Leave it to Dag”.

The French war in Indochina was still going on; and many observers feared that there could be a generalized Asian conflict.  In 1952; the UN General Assembly created the “Commission on the Racial Situation in South Africa” – the start of a decades-long concern.  The French war in Indochina was followed by the start of the war in Algeria.  In April 1955; the “Asian-Africa Conference” was held in Bandung, Indonesia; a sign that decolonization would stay on the agenda of world issues for a long time.  In November 1956; the first session of a UN Special General Assembly condemned the military aggression of the UK, France and Israel against Egypt; which later led to the use of UN Peacekeeping forces.

Dag Hammarskjold became an expert crisis manager; to the point that there was a common slogan in the UN- “Leave it to Dag”. He liked to work alone; but had created a team of people working under him; who were highly competent and totally devoted to him.

MONUSCO Photos, CC BY-SA 2.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons.

The United Nations Peacekeeping Forces, Weak but Necessary.

His Last Crisis-Management.

His last crisis-management effort was in the former Belgium Congo; which had become independent in July 1960; followed quickly by violence, the breakdown of public order, the murder of the former Prime Minister Lumumba, the effort of Moise Tshombe to create a separate state in Katanga, and the sending of UN troops.  USA-USSR Cold War tensions increased over Congo issues. Hammarskjold was to try an effort of mediation at the airport of Ndola; now in  Zambia; when the UN plane crashed, and all were killed.

Shortly after assuming office Dag Hammarskjold set out his view of his task as a world public servant faced by conflicting government − a vision which he fulfilled fully.

The Secretary-General should express with full frankness to the governments concerned and their representatives the conclusions at which he arrives on issues before the organization.  These conclusions must be completely detached from any national interest or policy and based solely on the principles and ideals to which the governments have adhered as members of the United Nations.”

This remains the guidelines for the UN Secretary General. It  is important to recall the drive and initiatives of Dag Hammarskjold.

Official Congo government portrait of Patrice Lumumba as the Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (1960). By unknown, Republic of the Congo (Léopoldville) government, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Moise Tshombe arrives in Toulouse (1963). By André Cros, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.


Dag Hammarskjold. Markings (New York: Alfred A.
Knopf, 1964, 222pp.)

Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

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Trafficking in Persons Appeals

Concerted Efforts Against Trafficking in Persons.

Featured Image: Photo by  sammisreachers in Pixabay.

On 30 July;  there should be a world-wide concerted effort against trafficking in persons.  The United Nations General Assembly in Resolution A/RES/68/192 in 2012;  set out 30 July as a day to review and reaffirm the need for action against the criminal global networks dealing in trafficking of persons.   The traffick in human beings reveals the hunger of the global economy for human labor and the disrespect for human dignity.  Drugs, guns, illegal immigration are the nightmare avenues of how the poor world becomes integrated into the global economy. These are intricate networks and are intertwined with interests in business and politics.

A recent U.N. Report presented to the Commission on the Status of Women;  highlighted that human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal industries and one of the crucial human rights crises today.

From Himalayan villages to Eastern European cities – especially women and girls – are attracted by the prospects of a well-paid job as a domestic servant, waitress or factory worker.  Traffickers recruit victims through fake advertizements, mail-order bride catalogues, casual acquaintances, and even family members.  Children are trafficked to work in sweatshops, and men to work in the « three D jobs » – dirty, difficult and dangerous.

        Despite clear international standards;  such as the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime  and its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons;  Especially Women and Children; there is poor implementation; limited governmental infrastructure dedicated to the issue.  There is also a tendency to criminalize the victims.

Since 2002;  the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime has collected information on trafficking in persons. 

The International Labour Organization, the World Health Organization – especially in the field of HIV/AIDS prevention – and the International Organization for Migration – all have anti-trafficking programs; but they have few « people on the ground » dealing directly with the issue.

Thus real progress needs to be made through non-governmental organizations (NGOs),  such as the Association of World Citizens;  which has raised the issue in human rights bodies in Geneva. 

Trafficking in Persons

Kari Johnstone serves as Acting Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons delivers remarks at an event recognizing the release of the 2018 Trafficking in Persons report and honoring the 2018 ‘TIP Report Heroes’ at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, DC on June 28, 2018. (State Department photo/ Public Domain). By U.S. Department of State from United States, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

There are three aspects to this anti-trafficking effort. 

The first is to help build political will by giving accurate information to political leaders and the press.  The other two aspects depend on the efforts of NGOs themselves. Such efforts call for increased cooperation among NGOs and capacity building.

The second aspect is research into the areas from which persons – especially children and women – are trafficked.  These are usually the poorest parts of a country and among marginalized populations.  Socio-economic and development projects must be directed to these areas so that there are realistic avenues for advancement.

The third aspect is psychological healing.  Very often persons;  who have been trafficked have had a disrupted or violent family life.  They may have a poor idea of their self-worth. The victim’s psychological health is often ignored by governments.  Victims can suffer a  strong psychological shock that disrupts their psychological integrity. Thus;  it is important to create opportunities for individual and group healing;  to give a spiritual dimention through teaching meditation and yoga.  There is a need to create adult education facilities so that persons may continue a broken educational cycle.

          We must not underestimate the difficulties and dangers; which exist in the struggle against trafficking in persons nor the hard efforts;  which are needed for the psychological healing of victims. 30 July can be a rededication for our efforts.


Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

Here are other publications that may be of interest to you.

The Uprooted.

Increasing numbers of people in countries around the world, have been forced from their homes, by armed conflicts and systematic violations of human rights. Those who cross internationally recognized borders…

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