“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” (UDJ)

June 22nd, 2011 Print Print Email Email

Since the beginning of the emergence of world powers, superpowers of each epoch have played key roles in the relationship of nations. In the past, instead of aiming at seeing economically and politically stable societies emerge globally, super-powers have often been guided more by their own short term calculations and benefits. Many agree that these shortsighted goals have often been in clashes with the values of sovereignty, peace, justice and democracy– values dearly held and staunchly guarded by the people.

Even today, world powers are still faced, in their foreign relations, by this dilemma of short term gains often in the form of short-lived security versus long-term benefits. Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ) respects the foreign policy that distances itself from short term economic and political gains and focuses on enabling people to enjoy freedom and engage in common efforts to bring about mutual development in an environment where no nation is a threat to another nation. It is only then, UDJ believes, that our world that is hungering for peace could enjoy lasting peace and security. UDJ further believes that it is only then that mankind could achieve sustainable global development.

It is in the above frame of mind that UDJ believes that the visit of our country by the U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, as well as the speech she delivered at the African Union, is critical and historic. The main component of the current American foreign policy is the campaign against global terrorism. It is known that because of this policy, and despite the great value that it attaches to human rights, the United States has been working with brutal dictators known for their blatant trampling of human rights. It must be added, sadly, that it is still working with such dictators. UDJ believes that this is hurting the American image particularly in the eyes of millions in the world who live under the cruel rule of dictators.

One mistake in America’s foreign policy calculation is that it believes if dictators are removed, its war against terrorism would fail for lack of staunch anti-terrorist partners. America also seems to believe, mistakenly, that if oppositions come to power, they are unknown quantities and that it might face problems working with them. We believe that this kind of thinking is the result of failing to understand the natural process of human thought. UDJ believes strongly that an act of terrorism perpetrated by an individual, a group or a state anywhere in the world is a danger for peace everywhere in the world. While it does not condone any act of terrorism, it considers it inhuman for America or any other major power to pretend not to see dictators perpetrating other forms of terrorism on their own people because they might be displeased and reluctant to be partners in the global fight against terrorism.

UDJ admires the recent right and wise trend the American Government and other Western Governments have been showing in siding with the legitimate struggle of the people of North Africa and the Middle East. It wishes to emphasize that this trend should be continued and strengthened. It is the right way for laying a sound foundation for lasting peace and sustainable development.

UDJ believes that the speech by Mrs. Hillary Clinton is one delivered at the right time, at the right place and for the right people. The speech, in which she expresses support for the people of North Africa and the Middle East who are struggling to gain their freedom, though late, is appropriate. We hope that the speech will subsequently be backed by firm action.

As frankly expressed by the Secretary of State, the programmes her country had with African countries were of short range. She added that her country now wishes to change this trend. While UDJ welcomes this new approach, it wishes to emphasize that development partnership should be based on freedom and democracy. People under oppression and governments that perpetrate repression on their own people cannot be partners in sustainable development and lasting peace.

Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ)
June 21, 2011
Addis Ababa

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