Assembly for Human Rights: Montreal; Meet the Delegate
Well the problem of Nigeria is the problem of a civil war which happens in every country. Now in war war means war whether it is civil war or any other kind of war so that involves a loss of lives. But as far as Nigeria is concerned it is not so much intervention by anyone that we we do not want our case is quite clear. We ask anyone to come and see for himself the facts are there. We are not saying we do not want intervention. But what we don't want is that somebody any anybody in the United Nations would take our case to make to play a political football with it because there is no such sincerity in the United Nations as I have already said in the question of the area of human rights. It is a made it a political football an area of a political event Alyssum. People members of the United Nations come with the idea of the protection of human rights and use that as an excuse to attack the policies of other countries. Now every country is guilty of this sort of thing in the United Nations. We
are not saying that we are clean or cleaner than anybody else we know we have our problems but if our problems can be realistically discussed we are open. When you spoke in the general assembly session of the Assembly for human rights session here in Montreal you listed some specifics I believe about what action or actions you would like to see taken relative to the apartheid problem and I wonder if you could summarize those for us. Well the whole thing as I put it was this here in the same way the world assembly for human rights. What we are talking about is all areas of human rights. Now there are areas of human rights but Visa V United Nations action. Now since the United Nations action in the field of human rights has created itself into a vicious cycle. I was pointing at the reason and that reason is the fact that since you have the majority members to be African and Asian their aspirations was the question of a path aid which is a complete denial
of human rights instead of just talking about certain areas of human rights or certain areas of the world where certain human rights are enjoyed and others are not. The Africans and the Asians will always say Well how about a path where no kind of human rights is enjoyed by those people in South Africa at all. Why don't we start by making recommendations as to how this can be can be solved. In my intervention in the world assembly I said the word assembly as an important non-governmental organization as an important conference of experts could do very well being in the western sector by impressing up on countries like the United States like the United Kingdom to relax their hold on their opposition. With regards the solution of the question of a path it once that is broken the area of human rights would no longer suffer any political vandalism greater progress in the field of the protection of the rights of the individual start coming into their own.
Did I hear some reference to a sort of trial or an Dykeman of governmental leaders of South Africa. Oh yes well this is always being going on the list as the latest one was the trial of Southwest Africans. Thirty seven of them were arrested and a special law called the Terrorism Act was enacted by the government of South Africa for the trial and conviction of these people. And some of them were convicted. Of course we the United Nations and many other nations including the Vatican. I reacted against this but all the same Some of them had been executed. But when you stage a trial of some sort of South African leaders in absentia in other words even though you couldn't get at them at least put it on the record that they had been accused and in fact convicted of certain racial crimes. Well this is a marvelous clever idea sought out by certain delegations.
And this affects Southwest Africa because Southwest Africa as you know is not under the direct responsibility of the United Nations of course this is something which they South Africans do not agree to since they are there from the point of view of the United Nations. They are in South West Africa illegally. So the United Nations being the administrator of south south west Africa can take some of the administrators of the South African government in South West Africa to indict them and convict them of certain offenses. This is just in absentia. It is not going to affect the person whatsoever but it will be good enough for public opinion. What do you think the Western nations particularly United States United Kingdom should do. I know that these Western countries are frequently criticized by the African black in the United Nations for. Evading the issue of South Africa and we don't have the other side here but we have a typical example of the African side. And what does that criticism consist of to
be rather specific about it. Well to be absolutely specific is the fact that these Western countries the United Kingdom is that leader here followed by other friendly Western countries friendly to United Kingdom. Now the United Kingdom is directly involved with South Africa in trade. Now we understand and appreciate the fact that the United United Kingdom is a trading power and survives on trade and its power and economic difficulty because I mean difficulties. But what we say is there's a great how market elsewhere in Africa which the United Kingdom can expand to to replace whatever losses it might encounter. Before stopping any trade relations with South Africa but because of the fact that there is this suspicion may be racial grounds on political grounds whatever it was the United Kingdom would never think of transferring its trade away from South Africa and spread it
in the African countries. Now we talk about economic aid from the West for Africa for development. Now this is one way where the United Kingdom could benefit and the African countries could benefit. But the United Kingdom would never bring itself to do this. Therefore because of its trading interests in South Africa whatever we do against South Africa the United Kingdom goes against and for the same reason the United States France to a certain extent the Nordic countries to a certain extent western Germany Italy the lot of them you wouldn't recommend an international armed force actually going into South Africa would you. I would rather see that stronger and effective sanctions involved invoked. First of all if those don't work then get in if necessary with force. You feel that in general apartheid is the most serious case of what you would say is racial
discrimination in the world today. Well any dogma that looks at me and does not call me a human being to me is that greatest abuse of human rights. Wouldn't you say. Well it sounds reasonable yes. Thank you very much Mr. Maverick you indeed for filling us in on an African viewpoint on apartheid in particular. We have been speaking with Mr. Ray Muhammad representative of Nigeria to the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations. And now to conclude today's meet the delegate session we have some comments from the only delegate at the Assembly for human rights who came from a nation in the communist fair. He was Mr. Ambassador of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia to the United Nations. We began the interview by asking Mr. brought to this question. Does your work in the United Nations give particular attention to human rights problems as such. Yes I do although although I must say
that I look at the problem of human rights in a larger sense than it is usually looked at as a matter of fact I think that the economic and social rights and economic and social conditions of the basic importance to the employment pension implementation of human human rights and they cannot be treated separately of the circumstances. And the other social economic and political set up in a given country and in the international community as a whole. So you would put greater emphasis on economic factors and the achievement of individual rights. Actual bill of particulars which give individuals certain rights to avoiding or to appeal on grievances and so on.
Yes I think that we have to deal with matters with a sense for reality and we have to find out first of all the causes of the non implementation of human rights in given circumstances. And if the people don't have anything for that breakfast it will be very difficult to force them to think abstractly in the abstract way about human rights. Wouldn't it be a question of some somewhat similar to the chicken and the egg which comes first. People are really free if they have a ballot and that we in the West at least regard as democracy then they would have the power to improve their economic conditions were they not. You're right. To some extent I think that in Western countries what you have already achieved is the high standard of living
always economic high level of industrial development and owing to a long tradition of democracy. There are there is overwhelming majority of the nations specially merging the newly emerging states where they don't have the two very important project with it and they have to create material bases to develop the to develop and to implement the rights individual rights to such an extent that you are able are ready to implement. You would feel that a certain economic growth is needed. Of course I think that the implementation realisation of individual rights and economic and social development. These two aspects have to be treated as a complex. They are mutually interdependent.
If we might take you to your homeland Yugoslavia Ambassador one of the main characteristics of your country is a great number of ethnic groups Serbs Croats and many others I presume. This might make your country a case example of problems in the rights of minorities. You have a general state of peace and harmony among all these different peoples or is there a constant competing and a constant friction among them. I would say that that is the constant competing and it has to be a constant competing as the competing is day. Is there a force that is dying for diving for the progress and the humanity. But the the problem that has at all isn't for us that it is during the national liberation war is the conditions of equality that or
nations have to have in order to be able to compete on equal. And equal conditions. And as a matter of fact one of the weakest aspects and points of the old pre-war. Monarchic and unitary state of Yugoslavia was they had Germany the most Numa Numa to Kalie biggest nation in Yugoslavia over all other. And the one of the basic reasons why we have created a federation as the result of the National Liberation War was exactly to give the chance to every nation in Yugoslavia to enjoy its equality politically as well as economically. What concerns the economic
equality. Here we have been still very beginning but that the principle is that the whole Yugoslav community has to assist the less developed areas and the less developed the developed nation to have ensured a relatively speedy rate of development. Then the more developed at yes. Have you tried to have each cultural group in your ghost lobby or preserve its traditions its language costumes and so forth are you trying to melt these people together into the same type of national group. I think that. The role of the state and the political action and also a model model action is to ensure the conditions that every group has a
diff feeling to be sure not that has the feeling of the security to carry on and to develop its own traditions and to use its language equally with all other nationalities. But the deep problem of methink and the pablum of integration over the national boundaries that has to be there that has to be a. Voluntary and a free development and nothing in post. We hear something from human rights about public protector called him. Do you have any such thing in Yugoslavia. Or do you have any other means for enabling an individual who may have some grievance to get a hearing. Well as far as the ombudsman is concerned I think that in the countries
with the traditional parliamentary democracy it is a very good fall. And I have tried recently to to get acquainted more closely with the essence of the ombudsman. But as it happens in the social and political life no form is as exact and as ideal that some better forms couldn't be found in our situation in Yugoslavia where we have been trying to put a new basis for a implementation of economic political and human rights. As a matter of fact on the basis of the principle of self management and self-government of the people. I don't think that only such a form would correspond. It would be the best corresponding form
to our needs and I think that the major a major stress will be will be in our situation but also in the future in development of the mechanism of self management that means to put everybody in the position to be discharged ject in the process of the decision making and not A and not object whose rights have to be protected so that they feel that the protection is going to be more than moderately limited and the field of personal decisive participation in this season making that ensure the economic and social position to be able to implemented once owns all right will be more and more decisive.
When you refer Mr. Ambassador to this process of decision making are you thinking for one example the workers councils in Yugoslavia the way in which we understand that the workers are involved to some extent in the management of the businesses that they are a part of. As you had I not only to some extent the aim our aim is to. To create the deceit to ational the workers that means the working collectively in an enterprise or in an industrial enterprise or in agriculture enterprise or in the school or in the scientific organization will be autonomous. Not only Concerning concerning the policy they would like they would like to develop but also deferred to development. The enlargement of enterprise or the the modernization of the enterprise including
new investments and including including the decisions about their own salaries so that the state is going to be limited more and more to the to framing the the grass plain of the matter of the development of national economy. But the enterprises will be more and more autonomy in their business policy and in their association business and other private suspicion within this same branch of industry for instance or Also outside of the bread. So that essentially is. In the modern in the Nowadays modern society that artists that and there are decisions some decisions of a major importance that have to be taken centrally. But what we would like to have is this
integration to grow to be growing from the bottom on the basis of individual incentive and individual and collective interests. As you know our doctorate has So we turned away equate political and individual liberty in the West with the existence of political parties. Do you think that there will be a party system growing up in Yugoslavia over a period of time. Well this is rather. Complex question in say it in one sentence I would like to because I would like to indicate what a gain on this field is the direction of our development. What we would like to have to develop a system which would be based on this self government. That means not a
mighty neither a uni party one party system but a none party system. But this is of course a problem for for a long period of time for several generations. Yes it was necessary if there were necessary several centuries to the development of the Parliamentary democracy that has been that has been practiced today in the West. So I think that also for this as we have been used to call nonparty democracy the democracy of direct participation on the basis of the principle of self-management will need several generations and centuries before you might consider Eastern Europe generally for just a moment where you hear so much about stirrings. Popular movements are rising in various countries of Eastern Europe of course Yugoslavia long
since set the precedent for an independent national existence and I presume your relationships with the Soviet Union are friendly and yet you really wouldn't classify as a satellite of the Soviet Union and I wonder if you would have any contribution to make as to our understanding of what's going on in Eastern Europe generally if you feel that we might eventually have a situation where we have a lot of shall we say Yugoslavia's. Well you know it was a difficult to answer in that in that he studied the history doesn't it's not that he didn't say in the history the same events. Not to repeat it. Usually there is we have to to contemplate these processes as part of the progress
of the mankind. And I think that those countries may be the problem of the national independence is not the D major one. But the problem of the day for M and sebaceous of the demand of the realisation of the integration of the unity of the individuality and that this most importance in what is going on not only in socialist countries but also in other countries in different in different. They are in different forms and that they will create this situation for peace for international cooperation with more international solidarity. That is that we have now when we refer to a state as being a communist state aren't quite sure of what we mean are we could take various forms as we are learning more and more.
Got it yet I think. And of course I don't neglect I don't. And that estimate that the problem of national sovereignty it is very important in the international situation and the International Peace in security is based on the respect of national sovereignty but within the national ar a multi national nationalist States who has to be free is demand and everybody to have the same opportunities. Of course in different conditions and and following different forms of implementation of this but it's a big if we might turn toward the Underdark of reducer to this assembly for human rights. A great many references are made to the role of the United Nations and other specialized agencies in the United Nations and I believe there is a proposal for a very high commission at the United Nations might set up to
be addressed soley to human rights. And I wonder what reaction you have to this or to any other proposed move that would affect the U.N. being more effective in human rights. Generally speaking I think that we have to make efforts to strengthen their role of the United Nations and specialized agencies in this field to to us. So in order to strengthen their role of United Nations in the field of peacekeeping and peacemaking. And I think that the promotion of human rights is an integral part of peacemaking operations peacemaking peacemaking activities of United Nations. What concrete forms concerning the concrete forms and concrete institutions. I think we have to be cautious.
The international institutions cannot be imposed upon sovereign states and therefore when discussing the problem of concrete institutions or be it collective or individual we have first of all to. Investigate what the attitude of different countries will be. And having in view the fact that today's international relations are such that it is very difficult to ensure that the problem of human rights could be dealt with not under the aspect of political relations. I'm very doubtful that such a individual as at your commission a could be
or could be very effective and acceptable and not only not only that as we have been living in every day with very big differences economic development with the different with different social systems. I'm wondering whether there is a such a clever man. They have good that they're good and they're stained. The essence of the problem in each county and in each situation what do you feel at the United Nations has done about as much as it can up to this point with its Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Well the United Nations have done a lot concerning the adoption different declaration and other documents biding binding or recommending some putting suppose and rules dealing also with internal domestic domestic affairs. But what they what they have faced
- Meet the Delegate
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- University of Wisconsin
- WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
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- For series info, see item 3739. This prog.: Meet the Delegate. Chief S.O. Adebo, Nigeria, Undersecretary-General, U.N.; A.A. Mohammed, Nigeria, U.S. Commission on Human Rights; Anton Vratusa, Yugoslavia, Ambassador to the U.N.
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Producing Organization: University of Wisconsin
Producing Organization: WHA (Radio station : Madison, Wis.)
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 68-43-5 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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- Chicago: “Assembly for Human Rights: Montreal; Meet the Delegate,” 1968-11-23, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed December 7, 2021, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-bk16r82c.
- MLA: “Assembly for Human Rights: Montreal; Meet the Delegate.” 1968-11-23. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. December 7, 2021. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-bk16r82c>.
- APA: Assembly for Human Rights: Montreal; Meet the Delegate. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-bk16r82c