Tag: <span>The League of Nations</span>

League of Nations Rapprochement of Cultures.

La Société des Nations et son armée de la…

Image en vedette : Stanley Bruce présidant le Conseil de la Société des Nations en 1936. Joachim von Ribbentrop s’adresse au conseil. Par Commonwealth d’Australie, domaine public, via Wikimedia Commons

Par René Wadlow.

Le 28 avril 1919 peut être considéré comme la naissance de la Société des Nations. La création de la Ligue avait été à l’ordre du jour de la conférence de la paix à Versailles, aux portes de Paris, dès son lancement en janvier 1919.

Le président américain Woodrow Wilson était le champion en chef de la Ligue. La création d’une telle organisation a été discutée dès le début en janvier, ainsi que des discussions sur l’emplacement du siège de la Ligue. Le 28 avril, la création d’une Société des Nations est décidée à l’unanimité et, dans le même temps, Genève est choisie pour son siège.

Woodrow Wilson, président des États-Unis d’Amérique. Par Harris & Ewing, domaine public, via Wikimedia Commons.

La première décennie de la vie de la Ligue.

Certains des échecs ultérieurs de la Ligue étaient visibles dès le début. L’Allemagne vaincue et l’URSS révolutionnaire n’ont pas été invitées à se joindre, et le Sénat américain a refusé l’invitation. Néanmoins, la première décennie de la vie de la Ligue a vu beaucoup de coopération internationale, en particulier dans les domaines des conditions de travail, de la santé, de la protection sociale, de la coopération intellectuelle et de l’agriculture – tous domaines qui seront ensuite poursuivis et développés au sein du système onusien.

La première décennie a vu le règlement d’un certain nombre de conflits qui auraient pu conduire à la guerre. Il y avait un sentiment largement répandu qu’une nouvelle ère dans les relations internationales était née. Cependant, les années 1930 ont commencé avec les conflits qui ont conduit à la fin de la Ligue.

Incident de Moukden.

Le 18 septembre 1931, le Japon accusa la Chine d’avoir fait sauter une ligne de chemin de fer de Mandchourie sur laquelle le Japon avait des droits issus de traités. Cet ” incident de Mukden “, comme on l’appela, fut suivi de la prise par les Japonais de la ville de Mukden et de l’invasion de la Mandchourie. L’occupation militaire de la région a suivi et, le 18 février 1932, le Japon a établi l’État fantoche de Mandchoukine.

De nouvelles hostilités entre le Japon et la Chine étaient une possibilité réelle. La Ligue a tenté de servir de médiateur dans le conflit sous la direction de Salvador De Madariaga, l’ambassadeur de l’Espagne républicaine auprès de la Ligue. En pratique, aucun des gouvernements occidentaux n’a voulu s’impliquer dans les conflits asiatiques, surtout pas à une époque où ils faisaient face à une dépression économique.

L’écrivain espagnol Salvador de Madariaga et le ministre des Affaires étrangères de l’Argentine José María Cantilo se sont entretenus lors d’une session de la Société des Nations (1936). Par Auteur inconnuAuteur inconnu, domaine public, via Wikimedia Commons.

Salvador De Madariaga: Conscience of the League of Nations.

Coopération avec les organisations non gouvernementales.

La coopération des organisations non gouvernementales avec la Société des Nations n’était pas aussi structurée qu’elle le serait par la Charte des Nations Unies. Il y avait quelques groupes pacifistes à Genève qui interagissaient de manière informelle avec les délégations de la Ligue – la Ligue internationale des femmes pour la paix et la liberté, le Bureau international de la paix et les Quakers britanniques étaient actifs mais n’étaient pas en mesure de parler directement lors des réunions de la Ligue. Ils ne pouvaient qu’adresser des appels écrits au secrétariat de la Ligue et contacter de manière informelle certaines délégations.

En réaction aux tensions Japon-Chine, le Dr Maude Revden, une ancienne suffragette, l’une des premières femmes pasteurs d’Angleterre, influencée par le Mahatma Gandhi qu’elle avait visité en Inde, proposa des “troupes de choc de la paix” qui se porteraient volontaires pour se placer entre les Japonais et combattants chinois. La proposition d’interposition d’un corps non armé de civils des deux sexes entre les armées adverses a été proposée au Secrétaire général de la Société des Nations, Sir Eric Drummond.

Drummond répondit qu’il n’était pas dans son pouvoir constitutionnel de présenter la proposition à l’Assemblée de la Ligue. Seul le gouvernement pouvait soumettre des points à l’ordre du jour à l’Assemblée. Néanmoins, il a diffusé la lettre aux nombreux journalistes alors à Genève alors que l’Assemblée était en session. La lettre a été largement relayée.

Une troupe de choc non armée de la Ligue ne s’est jamais développée, et la Chine et une grande partie de l’Asie sont devenues le théâtre d’une guerre menée par les Japonais.

Sir Eric Drummond vers 1918. Par Bain, domaine public, via Wikimedia Commons.

Les Nations Unies par des citoyens du monde.

L’idée d’une force d’interposition non armée a de nouveau été présentée cette fois aux Nations Unies par des citoyens du monde peu après la création de l’ONU lors de la création de l’État d’Israël en 1947-48 et du conflit armé qui en a résulté. La proposition a été présentée par Henry Usborn  un député britannique, actif dans le mouvement mondial fédéraliste et citoyen du monde. Usborn a été influencé par le concept de satyagraha (une force de l’âme) du Mahatma Gandhi et a proposé qu’un corps de volontaires de quelque 10 000 personnes non armées détienne une zone démilitarisée de deux kilomètres de large entre Israël et ses voisins arabes.

Un peu plus tard, en 1960, Salvador De Madariaga, qui avait cessé d’être ambassadeur d’Espagne auprès de la Ligue à l’arrivée au pouvoir du général Franco, créa en 1938 l’Association des citoyens du monde depuis son exil en Angleterre.

Le socialiste indien de Gandhi.

Il a élaboré une proposition avec le chef du Parti socialiste indien de Gandhi, Jayapeakash Narayan, pour des gardes de la paix de l’ONU, une force de paix internationale non armée qui serait une alternative aux forces armées de l’ONU. (1) De Maderiaga  et Narayan ont soutenu qu’un corps de gardes de la paix réguliers intervenant sans aucune arme, entre deux forces au combat ou sur le point de se battre  pourrait avoir un effet considérable. Les Peace Guards seraient autorisés par les États membres de l’ONU à intervenir dans tout conflit de toute nature à la demande de l’une des parties ou du Secrétaire général.

Jayaprakash Narayan lors de sa visite en Allemagne, 1959. Par Ullstein bild, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Dag Hammarskjold, qui avait suffisamment de problèmes avec les troupes armées de l’ONU dans l’ancien Congo belge et comprenait la realpolitik de l’ONU, n’a pas donné suite à la proposition. Ainsi, pour le moment, il n’y a que des troupes onusiennes armées tirées des armées nationales et ne pouvant agir que sur une résolution du Conseil de sécurité.

Photographie de Dag Hammarskjöld (1953). Par Caj Bremer, domaine public, via Wikimedia Commons.

You might interesting to read: Dag Hammarskjold. Crisis Manager and Longer-Range World Community Builder .

Note.

Un bon portrait de Jayaprakash Narayan, citoyen du monde, est dressé dans Bimal Prasad. Gandhi, Nehru et JP Studies in Leadership (Delhi, Chamakya Publications, 1985)

Narayan était également l’un des dirigeants indiens rencontrés par les dirigeants fédéralistes du monde étudiant lors de leur séjour de 1949 en Inde. Voir Clare et Harris Wofford, Jr.
India Afire (New York : John Day Company, 1951).

René Wadlow, président, Association des citoyens du monde.

Voici d’autres publications qui pourraient vous intéresser.

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Edmond Privat Rapprochement of Cultures.

Edmond Privat: The Inner Light.

Featured Image: Esperanto World Congress, Vienna 1924. Prominent group of participants, from left to right: Lidia Zamenhof, Edmond Privat, Klara Zamenhof (1924). By Unknown authorUnknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

17 August is the birth anniversary of Edmond Privat in 1889 − a leading world citizen of the first wave of world citizen action closely associated with the League of Nations.  It was natural for Privat, a citizen of Geneva, to be drawn to the efforts of the League of Nations.  He served from 1923 to 1927 as the vice-delegate for Iran.  In the early League days, many States did not have a permanent representative to the League and so named an “intellectual personality” to represent the country. 

The Interpreter and Orator.

Privat also worked at different times at the League as an interpreter from English to French.  In those days, there was no simultanious interpretation but only consequtive interpretation. The interpreter, standing near the speaker had to convey some of the same drama in his voice. Privat was an experienced orator, one of the first to make regular radio broadcasts and so was much appreciated as an interpreter. At the time, the League Secretariat staff was small, and there was a good deal of interaction among the staff and the government delegates.  Thus Privat, already a political journalist, could follow closely world events and the League efforts.

Privat served as an interpreter for Fridtjof Nansen, whose work for World War I refugees and relief to Russia after the Revolution, marked Privat who developed a life-long concern for refugees and relief from hunger.

Fridtjof Nansen is a model for Erik Werenskiold’s bust of him in the artist’s studio. Half figure. By National Library of Norway, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Romain Rolland and Gandhi.

Privat was a close friend of Romain Rolland who lived during the 1920s and 1930s at Villeneuve near Geneva.  Romain Rolland was one of the first in Europe to write about the philosophy-in-acts of Mahatma Gandhi.  Gandhi had gone to London in 1931 for a government roundtable on the future of India.  Romain Rolland invited Gandhi to Villeneuve and asked Privat to translate for him and to organize two public talks for Gandhi. Privat was much impressed with Gandhi, and Privat and his wife left shortly afterwards for India to report on Gandhi’s efforts, resulting in a book Aux Indes Avec Gandhi.

Romain Rolland, Nobel laureate in Literature 1915. By Unknown authorUnknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Through Rolland and Gandhi, Privat became interested in Indian philosophy and shared Gandhi’s views that there was an inner light that was  a common core of all the world’s religions.  

As Privat wrote :

The Inner Light opens us to the sense of the universal and the eternal. The Inner Light can recognize no frontier and can exclude no one. The Inner Light can make no distinctions of race, color or social condition. Love can not be bound by passports or visas. The Inner Light is seen not in words but in attitudes and acts.”

Mahatma Gandhi. By Elliott & Fry (see [1]), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Esperanto Congress.

Privat had a life-long passion to promote the universal.  He looked for ways to build bridges among peoples and had learned Esperanto from childhood. As a secondary school student, he attended the first universal Esperanto congress in France in 1905. He then took on the task to organize the next Esperanto congress in Geneva in 1906.  Privat had a talent as an organizer and virtually to the end of his life in 1962, he was organizing conferences, creating committees as well as writing articles.

During the First World War, he was sent as a war correspondent to Poland where he met Ludoviko Zamenhof, the creator of Esperanto.  Later Privat wrote a biography in Esperanto Vivo de Zamenhof, translated into many languages.  From his observations in Poland, he became a champion for the liberation of Poland from Russian influence.   In 1918, Privat published L’Europe et l’Odyssée de la Pologne aux XIX siecle.

L. L. Zamenhof  (1859–1917). Universala Esperanto-Asocio. By L. L. Zamenhof, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

World Wars.

Privat’s observations of the First World War and its consequences confirmed his earlier conviction that war was evil and the result of narrow nationalism.  To overcome war, there was a need for a cosmopolitan – world spirit.  People needed to think of themselves as citizens of the world.  He saw the League of Nations as a first step toward a federation of the world.  After the Second World War, he worked actively for a stronger United Nations and the creation of a “Second Chamber” to which people would be elected rather than being appointed by governments as is the case for the UN General Assembly. He published Trois experiences federalistes (USA, Suisse, S.D.N.) on federalism as an approach to a stronger world structure.

Privat’s vision of the unity of the world included a strong emphasis on the equality between women in men − this in a country where, at the time, women could not vote or hold public office.

Today, much of the cosmopolitan-world citizen emphasis is on understanding the forces leading to world integration. Not all “globalization” works for the benefit of all people.  Nevertheless, trends are to ever grater interaction among the representatives of governments, transnational corporations, and non-governmental organizations – social movements. There is less emphasis on a common language of communication such as Esperanto.  It is likely that English plays the role that some hoped that Esperanto would become, although Esperanto still has its chanpions.  Privat is an important symbol of those who worked between the two World Wars for new positive attitudes and strong inter-governmental structures that would create a climate of peace.  The tasks still  face us today.

o: Edmond Privat, drawing, 1925 (made during the UK in Geneva), photo archive of AdUEA, BHH of eo: UEA. By Oszkár Lázár (1890–), Geneva, Rue Lévrier 3, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

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

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

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Salvador De Madariaga Portraits of World Citizens.

Salvador De Madariaga: Conscience of the League of Nations.

Featured Image: The Spanish writer Salvador de Madariaga and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Argentina José María Cantilo talk during a session of the League of Nations (1936).

By Dr. Rene Wadlow.

The first two organizations using world citizen in its title “World Citizens Association” date from 1939, the eve of the Second World War when the dangers of aggressive nationalism became evident. Both organizations, one in the USA, the other in England, owe much to two friends who had worked together in the League of Nations: Henri Bonnet, a Frenchman living in 1939 in the USA and the better known Salvador De Madariaga of Spain living in England after General Franco came to power in Spain.

Salvador De Madariaga (1886-1978) was called, half ironically, half seriously, ‘the conscience of the League of Nations’; by Sir John Simon, the chief UK delegate to the League of Nations Council and Foreign Secretary. De Madariaga was chairing the Council at the time of the Japanese attack on Manchuria, and he was convinced that this attack, the first major violation of the Covenant by a Council member, Japan, was a key test for the League. He later chaired the League efforts to deal with this Manchurian crisis, as he did with the League efforts to deal with the Italian attack on Ethiopia (Abyssinia, as it was then called). 
Salvador De Madariaga had a free hand as chief delegate of Spain during the Republican years (1931-1936); before the Civil War and General Franco‘s victory ended Spanish influence in the League. Spain was not considered a ‘Great Power’; it was not a permanent member of the League Council, but it was large enough and had friends in South America (Spanish America as De Madariaga calls it), so that Spain was often chosen to lead League efforts when a ‘neutral’ state was needed.

Portrait of John Simon, 1st Viscount Simon, no later than 1922. By Unknown authorUnknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Morning Without Noon.

From the memoirs of De Madariaga, Morning Without Noon (London: Saxon House, 1974) written when he was 80 and recalling the period from 1921 to 1936; one gets a good view of the inner workings and the spirit of the League of Nations. They are memories rather than documented research as most of his personal papers were destroyed when Franco took control of Madrid; where De Madariaga had a house and office. Nevertheless, they are a vivid picture of the period and the early functioning of a world institution of which the UN is the continuation in the same buildings. The main League of Nations building for most of its Geneva history is now the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the Palais des Nations, finished just as the League was ending its life, is now the UN’s main European headquarters.

Salvador De Madariaga had a first-hand knowledge of the League, having joined its Secretariat in 1921 when it was being created as the first world civil service by Sir Eric Drummond and Jean Monnet. De Madariaga come from a distinguished Spanish family. His father was a military officer who believed that Spain had lost the Spanish-American war to the USA because of a lack of technology. Thus he encouraged his son to have an international technical education, and Salvador De Madariaga went to the elite Ecole Politecnique and the Ecole des Mines, both in Paris and ended with an mining degree which he never used.

Portrait of Eric Drummond, 16th Earl of Perth. By Harris & Ewing, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

However, it gave him a certain image of having technical knowledge and so he was chosen to head the Disarmament Department of the League in 1922 as some people mistakingly thought disarmament was a technical problem. As De Madariaga argues in his book Disarmament (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1929) written just after leaving the League Secretariat:

” disarmament is an irrelevant issue; the true issue being the organization of the government of the world on a co-operative basis.”

Jean Monnet à Londres en 1952. By AnonymousUnknown author (Keystone France), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

De Madariaga left the League Secretariat in 1928, largely because the League had accepted to fire Bernardo Attolico as Under Secretary-General and replace him by Paulucci di Calvoli Barone, a chief assistant of B. Mussolini. There were always persons from the Great Powers in influential League posts; but they were usually intellectuals who believed in the values of the League and not national civil servants. De Madariaga had met Mussolini twice in Rome during disarmament talks. It was De Madariaga’s habit of making quick instinctive judgements of people, and he did not like Mussolini from the start.

De Madariaga became a ‘premature’ anti-Fascist. The fact that the League would place a Fascist civil servant in a key position was for De Madariaga a step backward for a real world civil service. As he writes:

“Here began the downfall of the Secretariat. The Fascist Under-secretary’s room became a kind of Italian Embassy at the League (Save that the Ambassador’s salary was paid by the League), linked directly with Mussolini and openly accepting orders and instructions from him. Paulucci in himself an attractive and friendly person, was nevertheless zealous enough to go about even during official League gatherings sporting the Fascist badge on his lapel.”

As luck would have it, just as he was thinking about leaving the League Secretariat, Oxford University was looking for a professor of Spanish literature for a newly-created chair. Although he had never taught, through League friends, he was named Alfonso XIII Professor of Spanish Studies at Oxford. Once when asked when he had studied Spanish literature, he replied:

“I didn’t need it before, so I shall study it now in order to teach it.”

He held this chair until King Alfonso XIII, who had nothing to do with the chair, was pushed from power.

In 1931 the Spanish Republic was born. The new Spanish Republic leaders, divided among themselves along political lines, were united in wanting the Republic to be represented by intellectuals so that they could explain the aims and values of the Republic. De Madariaga was named Ambassador to France but also asked to represent Spain at the League of Nations since League duties were not considered as a ‘full time job’, and he had League Secretariat experience.

Thus De Madariaga returned to Geneva, one of the few government delegates who knew the workings of the League Secretariat. De Madariaga, when he had been in the Secretariat, because he spoke Spanish, English, and French and was an excellent speaker, had become the chief ‘lay preacher’ for the League and had travelled throughout Europe and the USA giving talks to present the work and the ideals of the League.

Alfonso XIII of Spain on Time magazine cover, 1928. By Time Magazine, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Geneva was a smaller city at the time and much of the intellectual life related to the League. The League had created the Committee for Intellectual Co-operation as an effort to build an intellectual network of support for the League. De Madariaga gives interesting pen portraits of people he had met in the League effort of intellectual cooperation: Paul Valery, R. Tagore, Albert Einstein, Bernard Shaw, H.G. Wells and others. Knowing leading intellectuals also opened doors to political figures in many countries. De Madariaga’s knowledge of a country’s politics went beyond his contacts with the delegates to the League.

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

You might interest read: Rabindranath Tagore: The Call of the Universal Real.

Crisis Situations.

The highlights of De Madariaga’s League efforts were the complicated entry into League membership of Mexico which had been barred by Woodrow Wilson who had bad memories of the Mexican Revolution. Although the USA was not a League member, Mexico had been barred by an annex to the Covenant. De Madariaga had to work so that Mexico would accept League membership without asking for it – such is the craft of diplomacy!.
His two most crucial roles were the League efforts at the time of the Japanese attack on Manchuria and the Italian attack on Ethiopia. His detailed accounts merit reading as to the difficulties of multilateral responses to crisis situations.

De Madariaga resigned as Spain’s chief delegate to the League as the Republic disintegrated, and Franco took power. From 1936 on, he lived outside of Spain, mostly in England and Switzerland and only returned to Spain to visit after the death of Franco. He devoted himself to countering those forces of aggressive nationalism which had destroyed the effectiveness of the League. As he wrote:

“If peace and the spirit of Europe are to remain alive, we shall need more world citizens and more Europeans such as I tried to be.”

De Madariaga encouraged Henri Bonnet, who had been the League Secretariat member in charge of the Committee for Intellectual Co-operation and who was then living in the USA to create in 1939 the World Citizens Association which he did with the young lawyer Adlai Stevenson and Quincy Wright, a leading professor of international relations at the University of Chicago.
De Madariaga helped to create a World Citizens Association in London, also in 1939 – both efforts were too late to block the tide of war. After the Second World War, De Madariaga helped create the College d’Europe in Bruges as a training field for Europeans, especially for those thinking of working in European institutions.

Quincy Wright, Professor of International Law at the University of Chicago, from the 1940 MacMurray College Yearbook, where he was one of the speakers on “The Essential Elements of a Durable Peace” at the MacMurray Institute. By Unknown authorUnknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

You might interest read: Quincy Wright: A World Citizen’s Approach to International Relations.

Special Program in European Civilization.

He continued his literary and historical interests, writing especially on the founders of ‘Spanish America’. He did some teaching, and in 1955 spent a year at Princeton University in the USA where a new “Special Program in European Civilization” had just been created. His lectures covered the literary analysis of his  Portrait de l’Europe (Paris: Calmann-Levy, 1952). As his student that year, I was also interested in disarmament and the functioning of the League of Nations so we had many interesting talks. His was a witty and perceptive mind.

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

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League of Nations Rapprochement of Cultures.

The League of Nations and its unused Peace Army.

Featured Image: Stanley Bruce chairing the League of Nations Council in 1936. Joachim von Ribbentrop is addressing the council. By Commonwealth of Australia, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

By Rene Wadlow.

28 April 1919 can be considered as the birth of the League of Nations.  The creation of the League had been on the agenda of the Peace Conference at Versailles, just outside of Paris, from its start in January 1919.  

The U.S. President Woodrow Wilson was the chief champion of the League.  The creation of such an organization was discussed from the start in January, along with discussions as to where the headquarters of the League would be set.  On 28 April, there was a unanimous decision to create a League of Nations and at the same time Geneva was chosen for its headquarters.

Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America. By Harris & Ewing, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

The First decade of the League’s life.

Some of the later failings of the League were visible from the start.  Defeated Germany and revolutionary USSR were not invited to join, and the U.S. Senate turned down the invitation.  Nevertheless, the first decade of the League’s life saw a good deal in international cooperation, especially in the fields of labor conditions, health, social welfare, intellectual cooperation, and agriculture – all areas that would later be continued and developed within the U.N. system.

The first decade saw the settlement of a number of conflicts that could have led to war.  There was a wide-spread feeling that a new era in international relations had been born. However, the 1930s began with the conflicts which led to the end of the League.

Mukden Incident.

On 18 September 1931 Japan accused China of blowing up a Manchurian railway line over which Japan had treaty rights.  This “Mukden Incident” as it became known was followed by the Japanese seizure of the city of Mukden and the invasion of Manchuria.  Military occupation of the region followed, and on 18 February 1932 Japan established the puppet state of Manchukin.

Further hostilities between Japan and China were a real possibility.  The League tried to mediate the conflict under the leadership of Salvador De Madariaga, the Ambassador of Republican Spain to the League.  In practice, none of the Western governments wanted to get involved in Asian conflicts, especially not at a time when they were facing an economic depression.

The Spanish writer Salvador de Madariaga and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Argentina José María Cantilo talked during a session of the League of Nations (1936). By Unknown authorUnknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

Non-govermental organization cooperation.

Non-govermental organization cooperation with the League of Nations was not as structured as it would be by the U.N. Charter.  There were a few peace groups in Geneva which did  interact informally with the League delegations – the Women’s International League for Peace and Fredom, the International Peace Bureau, and the British Quakers were active but were unable to speak directly in League meetings.  They could only send written appeals to the League secretariat and contact informally certain delegations.

In reaction to the Japan-China tensions, Dr Maude Revden, a former suffragist, one of England’s first women pastors, influenced by Mahatma Gandhi whom she had visited in India proposed “shock troops of peace” who would volunteer to place themselves between the Japanese and Chinese combatants.  The proposal for the interposition of an unarmed body of civilians of both sexes between the opposing armies was proposed to the Secretary General of the League of Nations, Sir Eric Drummond.  

Drummond replied that it was not in his constitutional power to bring the proposal before the League’s Assembly.  Only government could bring agenda items to the Assembly.  Nevertheless, he released the letter to the many journalists then in Geneva as the Assembly was in session. The letter was widely reported.

An unarmed shock troop of the  League never developed, and China and much of Asia became the scene of a Japanese-led war.

Sir Eric Drummond circa 1918. By Bain, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

The United Nations by World Citizens.

The idea of an unarmed interposition force was again presented this time to the United Nations by world citizens shortly after the U.N.’s creation at the time of the 1947-48 creation of the State of Israel and the resulting armed conflict.  The proposal was presented by Henry Usborn  a British MP, active in the world federalist and world citizen movement.  Usborn was influenced by Mahatma Gandhi’s concept of satyagraha (a soul force) and proposed that a volunteer corps of some 10,000 unarmed people hold a two kilometre-wide demilitarized zone between Israel and its Arab neighbors.   

Somewhat later, in 1960, Salvador De Madariaga, who had ceased being the Spanish Ambassador to the League when General Franco came to power, created in 1938 the World Citizens Association from his exile in England.

The Gandhian Indian Socialist.

He developed a proposal with the Gandhian Indian Socialist Party leader Jayapeakash Narayan for a U.N. Peace Guards, an unarmed international peace force that would be an alternative to the armed U.N. forces. (1) De Maderiaga  and Narayan held that a body of regular Peace Guards intervening with no weapons whatever, between two forces in combat or about to fight  might have considerable effect.  The Peace Guards would be authorized by the U.N. Member States to intervene in any conflict of any nature when asked by one of the parties or by the Secretary General.

Jayaprakash Narayan during his visit in Germany, 1959. By Ullstein bild, CC BY-SA 4.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Dag Hammarskjold who was having enough problems with armed U.N. troops in the former Belgium Congo and understanding the realpolitik  of the U.N. did not act on the proposal.  Thus for the moment, there are only armed U.N. troops drawn from national armies and able to act only on a resolution of the Security Council.

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

You might interesting to read: Dag Hammarskjold. Crisis Manager and Longer-Range World Community Builder .

Note.

1) A good portrait of Jayaprakash Narayan, a world citizen, is set out in Bimal Prasad. Gandhi, Nehru and J.P. Studies in Leadership (Delhi, Chamakya Publications, 1985)

Narayan was also one of the Indian leaders met by the student world federalist leaders in their 1949 stay in India. See Clare and Harris Wofford, Jr.
India Afire (New York: John Day Company, 1951).

Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens

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

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world citizen action Education of World Citizenships.

The Three Waves of World Citizen Action

Featured Image Photo by fauxels on Pexels.

The idea of world citizenship has been put forward in periods when the existing structures of inter- State relations were fragile and endangering life and society: by Socrates when the classic Greek city states were under strain; by the Stoics when the Roman Republic was being transformed into the Empire; at the Renaissance as, again, the city-States were too narrow a framework for the expanding cultural renewal; by Anacharsis Cloots at the time of the French Revolution; by some of the Abolitionists during the US Civil War when equality between free and slave was at stake.

French Revolution, 1789 Painting; French Revolution, 1789 Art Print for sale. By Unknown authorUnknown author, CC BY-SA 2.5 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5, via Wikimedia Commons.

In the same way, modern world citizen action has been a response to important challenges faced by the world community. Individuals who saw the dangers of traditional ways of thinking and inaction have acted together to promote loyalty to humanity as a whole. There have been three waves of modern world citizenship action.

Barbara Fritchie 1766-1862 in US Civil War. Caption reads: “Shoot, if you must, this old gray head, but spare your country’s flag, she said.” By Source: Woman’s Work in the Civil War: a Record of Heroism, Patriotism and Patience (1867) page 10., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

The First Wave.

The First Wave, manifested in 1938 by the creation in England by Hugh Schonfield of the Commonwealth of World Citizens, was a response to the growing power in Europe and Japan of narrowly nationalistic dictatorships. Hitler and the Nazi Party in Germany was the outstanding representative of this dangerous aggressive nationalism.

Likewise, the following year, 1939, the Association of World Citizens was created when the clouds of war had gathered, and an ideology in opposition to narrow nationalism was required. The Association began at the same time in England and the USA by persons who had been active in the League of Nations. Salvador De Madariaga who had represented Republican Spain at the League, Henri Bonnet who had headed the Intellectual Cooperation Section of the League, and James Avery Joyce, a young British lawyer active in youth efforts for the League of Nations.

The First Wave of world citizen action was unable to prevent the Second World War. The war ended the possibility of active cooperation among members. Thus the war ended the First Wave, although many of those active on the eve of the war helped to form the Second Wave of world citizen action.

French conclude agreement on lend-lease and reverse lend-lease. Jean Monnet, representative of the French Provisional Government signs agreements. Left to right: Henri Bonnet, French Ambassador, Joseph C. Grew, Undersecretary of State and Jean Monnet (1945). By Lakey, J. Sherrel, photographer, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Second Wave.

The Second Wave was a response to the massive destruction of the Second World War, of the use of atomic bombs, and the start of the Cold War. Under the leadership of Lord Boyd Orr, the first director of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), world citizens were particularly active in efforts against hunger and for a world food policy. 1948 and the proclamation by the UN General Assembly meeting in Paris of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was the high point of the Second Wave. In 1950, the start of the Korean War and the structuring of the Cold War into military alliances – NATO and the Warsaw Pact – put an end to the Second Wave of world citizen action. However, many world citizens were active in the 1950-1990 period to lessen the dangers of Soviet-USA confrontation, to abolish nuclear weapons and to bring colonialism to an end.

Lord John Boyd Orr, Nobel Peace Prize 1949. By Unknown authorUnknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

The Third Wave.

The Third Wave of world citizen action can be dated from 1990 as a response again to narrow nationalism as seen with the break up of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia and the failure of nationalistic responses to major ecological challenges. Again world citizens are organizing in collective efforts such as the Association of World Citizens to develop strategies for the benefit of all humanity and to promote efforts based on justice and cooperation.

The Fall of the Berlin Wall, 1989. The photo shows a part of a public photo documentation wall at the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin. The photo documentation is permanently placed in the public. By Lear 21 at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

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Albert Einstein Rapprochement of Cultures.

Albert Einstein: Remember Your Humanity and Forget the Rest.

Featured Image: Albert Einstein (1947). By Photograph by Orren Jack Turner, Princeton, N.J. Modified with Photoshop by PM_Poon and later by Dantadd., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.

There lies before us, if we choose, continual progress in happiness, knowledge and wisdom.  Shall we, instead, choose death, because we cannot forget our quarrels?  We appeal as human beings to human beings: R ember your humanity, and forget the rest.
                                             – Russell-Einstein Manifesto, 1955

14 March is the birth anniversary of Albert Einstein, born in Ulm, south Germany, in 1879 and died in Princeton, New Jersey in 1955. I was a student at Princeton University from 1953 to 1956, and as I liked to walk in the late afternoon, I would cross Albert Einstein, who also liked to walk, coming from his office at the Institute for Advance Study. I would say “Good Evening, Professor Einstein” and he would reply “Good Evening, Young Man”.

Einstein’s home was on Mercer Street, close to the University campus and seeing him was a sort of link to the history of science − though I had no idea of what his scientific ideas were all about.  In the popular mind, Einstein was somehow related to nuclear science and thus the Atomic Bomb, but the relation was not clear.  The link with the A Bomb was much clearer with J. Robert Oppenheimer who was the director of the Institute for Advanced Study from 1947 to 1966 and that I would also cross occasionally on my walks.

The Manhattan Project.

  Oppenheimer had been the scientific head of the Manhattan Project which developed the atomic bomb during World War II. Oppenheimer later disagreed with US government policy concerning control of nuclear weapon. In the “guilt by association” atmosphere of the early post-war, Oppenheimer, having been friends with and married to people who were communists, had his government security clearance taken from him in 1954.  He returned to “pure” theoretical physics, and symbolized for many of us at the time, the mindless anti-Communist associated with Senator Joseph McCarthy.

Einstein was never really involved with nuclear physics though some of his ideas had been used by those working directly on nuclear physics.  In his years at the Institute for Advanced Study, which he joined in 1933, he was trying to develop a unified field theory which would unify four fundamental forces of nature: gravity, electromagnetism, the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force − all to provide a unified understanding of the basic laws of the physical universe.  

He was never able to work it out, but the Institute for Advanced Study was created in 1930 to allow a small number of important thinkers to go on thinking without having to do any university lecturing or to publish in order not to perish.  Einstein had the look of someone who was thinking, and probably few asked him for a reprint of his last paper.

My admiration for Einstein was unrelated to his scientific ideas which I did not understand but to his work for peace and for stronger world organizations that could promote peace.  As he wrote “Just as we use reason to build a dam to hold a river in check, we must now build institutions to restrain the fears and suspicions and greeds which move people and their rulers.”

One World or None.

The 1950-1953 Korean War was just winding down with no “victor”; the French war in Vietnam was still on. Europe was divided. By 1955, ten years after the first use of nuclear weapons on Japan, both the USA and the USSR had a range of thermonuclear weapons more potentially destructive that the atomic bombs that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. “One World or None” had been the cry of those, like myself, who joined the United World Federalists in 1951 as a secondary-school student. We were looking for leaders to articulate the effort for a nuclear-weapon free world.  

Albert Einstein was such a voice, and he had joined the Advisory Board of the  World Federalists.  He was by conviction and also by life experience a world citizen: German born, educated in Switzerland, he had become a Swiss citizen.  He saw the narrow, aggressive nationalism of Hitler destroy much of German scientific life and then turn to the wholesale persecution of Jews and political opponents.  Einstein was fearful of the narrow anti-communism in the USA in the late 1940s- early 1950s.  There were even voices which said that his anti-atom bomb efforts were disloyal and paving the way for a communist takeover of the US.

The League of Nations Committee.

Albert Einstein, while working in Switzerland, in the 1920s had been active in the League of Nations Committee on Intellectual Cooperation − an early effort to develop cooperation among intellectuals in the natural sciences, the social sciences and the arts to work for cross-cultural understanding and peace.  Bertrand Russell − the multifaceted English intellectual − had also participated in the League efforts and saw the need for a new wave of action directed to the dangers of US-USSR war where nuclear weapons might be used if ever a situation became desperate.  Bertrand Russell wrote the Manifesto and asked a small number of nuclear scientists from different countries to co-sign the statement.  

Albert Einstein signed the statement − one of the last things he did.  Russell received the signed letter a couple of days after the announcement of Einstein’s death.  The Manifesto became the Russell-Einstein Manifesto and was publicly issued in July 1955.

For a nuclear-weapon free world, we still need vision, leadership, responsiveness, empowerment, and persistence.  An ongoing challenge is to stay focused and specific and yet have a broad, integrated and unified vision.  We need to be flexible and receptive to new ideas and new openings but also have stability in our identity as world citizens.  

By Rene Wadlow, President, Association of World Citizens.

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