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UNITED FOR PEACE OF PIERCE COUNTY

"We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative diplomacy."

On the Bush administration's snubbing of the 60th anniversary of the signing of the U.N. Charter

June 16, 2005

On June 26, a ceremony will be held in San Francisco marking the 60th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter. But the United States, the body's host nation, which played such an important role in its founding, has decided to snub the ceremony by sending not the president of the United States, not the vice president of the United States, not the secretary of state of the United States, not an undersecretary of state of the United States, but the United States representative to the United Nations Economic and Social Council, Ambassador Sichan Siv.

We're sure that this will be exciting for Ambassador Siv, who survived harrowing experiences as a refugee from the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, was resettled in Wallingford, Connecticut, and rose to be Senior Adviser to the International Republican Institute after having been managing director of the investment bank Commonwealth Associates, financial advisor at Prudential Securities, and managing director of ICG Consulting. But it is a flagrant insult to the United Nations, its Charter, and the ideals it represents

Those ideals are set forth in the Article I of the Charter:

"1. To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;

"2. To develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, and to take other appropriate measures to strengthen universal peace;

"3. To achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion; and

"4. To be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations in the attainment of these common ends."

On second thought, it's just as well that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and Condoleezza Rice will be absent from the ceremony. Ambassador Siv once said: "Of the 16 of us who left Phnom Penh together on April 17, 1975, I am the only survivor. As we look back on the 30th anniversary of the killing fields, I hope we can once again remember this tragedy and vow 'Never again!'" He, at least, will be able to speak sincerely about his appreciation of the importance of the U.N.'s mission of peace and human rights. Our nation's leaders cannot.

UNITED FOR PEACE OF PIERCE COUNTY

"We nonviolently oppose the reliance on unilateral military actions rather than cooperative diplomacy."