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Is Germany actually blocking the development of the UNITED NATIONS to become an effective System of Collective Security?

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by Klaus Schlichtmann


ART. IX / 九条




Walther SCHÜCKING, The International Union of the Hague Peace Conferences


INDIA and the Quest for an effective UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATION


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From: Klaus Schlichtmann, Hausaufgaben. Eine Verfassungsbeschwerde gegen den Stationierungsbeschluss vom 22. November 1983 (Homework. A constitutional complaint against the [German parliament’s] decision of 22 November 1983 to station [American Pershing II and cruise missiles in Germany], Kiel 1984, pp. 124-131

(translation by the author)

(d) The Federal Republic’s voting performance [at the UN]

The … [German] chancellor and former opposition leader, Dr. Helmut Kohl wrote in a letter to the ... chairman of the World Federalist German branch [i.e. the author of the complaint] on 6 May 1977:

"It was always the concern of the free world, to develop the United Nations into an instrument for reducing tension, prevent conflict, and ending war – in short, an instrument of peace. We have, however, seen in recent years, and especially in the present time, that the Eastern Bloc and radical developing countries have turned the UN into a battle instrument designed to achieve aggressive interest as well. As long as this pöractice continues, I think the development of the United Nations to become a work for peace and even a world government (Weltregierung), which would be a blessing for all, is hardly conceivable."

However, the recent votes in the General Assembly have ... clearly demonstrated that the Federal Republic stood against the peaceful interests of the international community, especially in vital matters of defense, security and peace.

To give a few examples, it was the Federal Republic voted against the prohibition of the nuclear neutron bomb (Res. 36/92K of 9.12.81, result: 68 +, 14 -, abstentions 57), against the Declaration on the Prevention of Nuclear Catastrophe (Res. 36/100 of 9.12.81, result: 82 +, 19 - abst. 41), against a Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention and Interference in the Internal Affairs of States (Res. 36/103 v . 9.12.81, result: 120 +, 22 - abst. 6) and against a rejection of the Use of New Discoveries, and Scientific and Technological Advances for Military Purposes (Res 37/77B v. 9.12.82, result: 114 +, 10 - abst. 17) voted. These were roughly the same majorities that voted also against the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan (or the American intervention in Grenada). [Apparently] The Federal Republic votes against these majorities in the General Assembly, when it comes to issues of peace and security. With that, however, the (current Chancellor’s) argument  in the above-quoted letter has lost its validity.

Also, the abstentions of the Federal Republic regarding the resolution on measures to be taken against Nazi, Fascist and neo-Fascist activities and all other forms of totalitarian ideologies and practices based on racial intolerance, hatred and terror (Res. 35/200 of 15.12.80, result: 124 +, 0 – abst. 18) and the resolution on World-wide action for collecting signatures in support of measures to prevent nuclear war, curb the arms race and promote disarmament (Res. 36/92J v. 9.12.81, result: 78 +, 3 - abst. 56) is not liable to boost confidence in the peace policy of the Federal Government(s).

The Federal Republic and Federal Governments could not have demonstrated to the world public opinion their intentions more clearly.

The voting behavior of the Federal Republic must be seen as a clear admission to an aggressive 'peace and security policy'… The Federal Republic should … make every effort to bring about an overarching non-partisan consensus within the framework of the United Nations, in accordance with the will of the majority of the peace-loving international community.

The federal government, the German Bundestag (parliament), the Bundesrat (upper house) and the Federal President should not assume the exercise of a right (which turns out to be the equivalent of a veto power, because of the special political status of the Federal Republic in the East-West conflict), by which consciously and intentionally genuine peace and disarmament negotiations at the negotiating table at the World Security Council are prevented.


(e) The Human Rights

An essential basis for international law are the fundamental and human rights. This includes the prohibition of weapons of mass destruction, which derives from the agreements from the genocide convention of 1948 and the Fourth Convention from the year 1949 to protect the civilian population, from the Geneva Protocols of 1925, the Hague Regulations of 1907 and others.

Under Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights "Everyone has the right to liberty and security of person." With the deployment order of 22 Nov. 1983, however, international tensions have increased. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 1948 states similarly:

"Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person." (Art. 3)

The right to life, liberty and security is also part of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966 (The human rights covenants of the United Nations), which the Federal Government has signed on 17 December 1973 (in force 23 March 1976).

Fundamental rights form today an essential part of the national constitutions.

Human rights and fundamental freedoms are also part of the Final Act of the Conference on Security and Cooperation [in Europe, CSCE], of 1 August 1975. It says inter alia:

"The participating States recognize the universal significance of human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for which is an essential factor for the peace, justice and well-being necessary to ensure the development of friendly relations and co-operation among themselves as among all States. … They confirm the right of the individual to know and act upon his rights and duties in this field. … In the field of human rights and fundamental freedoms, the participating States will act in conformity with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights." (Chapter VII)

Thus, the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are recognized as binding international law. This includes Article 28 of the Universal Declaration:

"Everyone is entitled to a social and international order in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration can be fully realized."

By this as well as Article 55 c) of the Charter of the United Nations the right of the individual state claiming separate, full national sovereignty (art. 2, para 7 of the Charter) has undergone a crucial limitation. Article 55 of the Charter states: 

"With a view to the creation of conditions of stability and well-being which are necessary for peaceful and friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples, the United Nations shall promote: ...

c. universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion."

In Chapter VII of the CSCE Final Act, this idea has been confirmed and developed further.

Because of UN Resolution 1503 (XLVIII), which was adopted on 27 May 1970 by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, now also individual complaints about human rights violations are taken care of, by way of UN resolution 728F (XXVIII) of 30 July 1959 (UN-Doc. E/3290, p. 19) of the Human Rights Commission of the United Nations.

In accordance with Resolution 1503 (XLVIII), the Human Rights Commission can determine that in a country situations prevail, "which appear to reveal a consistent pattern of gross and reliably attested violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms." The UN Secretary-General then presents a copy of the complaint to the government concerned.

As a result, the individual is not only the source and basis of any given domestic legal order, it is essentially 'subject'. In contrast, the only 'object' within the context and meaning of the state and society, however, is the preservation of peace, justice and freedom. The state has no right to violate [such] 'subjective' and/or 'objective' prerogatives. The state … does not have absolute power* … over the individual, as long as it does not violate principles of humanity, human rights and fundamental freedoms [etc.] … Conversely, the individual has full and unrestricted sovereignty vis-à-vis the state, should it violate these imperatives. The responsibility of the individual in the realization of [an international order of] peace is also reflected in the Preamble of the Charter of the United Nations, which states:

"WE THE PEOPLES (not the governments!) OF THE UNITED NATIONS”


"DETERMINED [and authorized under the Charter]

... to create conditions

... to unite our forces,

... accept Principles and procedures 

... and employ international institutions,"

in order to "to serve the peace of the world" [Preamble, German constitution], in other words, to adopt such measures, and exercise such rights and obligations, as are necessary for "the creation of conditions of stability and well-being ... [so that] peaceful and friendly relations among nations" can prevail. (Art. 55 UN Charter) The state does not have the right to incite the hearts [of people], by continually preparing for war."

"1. Any propaganda for war shall be prohibited by law.

2. Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law." (Art. 20, International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights)

Under Article 25 GG [German constitution] the individual citizen has been endowed with a sovereignty of his own, which takes precedence over national sovereignty, to exercise his rights and obligations regarding the preservation of peace, and in order not to become himself guilty of "crimes against peace," [i.e.] within the framework of the existing international law and the constitutional order, [the individual is] to ensure that the international law [relating to the maintenance and permanent establishment of an order] of peace is not broken and basic human and fundamental rights are not violated. In case there should be any doubt, individual human rights and fundamental freedoms take precedence over the supposed sovereign right of belligerency of the state. The sovereign state has positively been relieved of his right of belligerency, to the extent that the individual citizen has [already] staked his claim, through the application of the [binding] rules of international law, human rights and fundamental freedoms.

It is, therefore, duty-bound to delegate the powers concerning its security and that of its citizens to the Security Council, and actively, [inter alia] in cooperation with the social forces, ensure the settlement of international disputes by peaceful means.

* The original German says 'sovereignty'.



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Human, All too Human

284 The means to real peace. -

No government nowadays admits that it maintains an army so as to satisfy occasional thirsts for conquest; the army is supposed to be for defence. That morality which sanctions self-protection is called upon to be its advocate. But that means to reserve morality to oneself and to accuse one‘s neighbour of immorality, since he has to be thought of as ready for aggression and conquest if our own state is obliged to take thought of means of self-defence; moreover, when our neighbour denies any thirst for aggression just as heatedly as our State does, and protests that he too maintains an army only for reasons of legitimate self-defence, our declaration of why we require an army declares our neighbour a hypocrite and cunning criminal who would be only too happy to pounce upon a harmless and unprepared victim and subdue him without a struggle. This is how all states now confront one another: they presuppose an evil disposition in their neighbour and a benevolent disposition in themselves. This presupposition, however, is a piece of inhumanity as bad as, if not worse than, a war would be; indeed, fundamentally it already constitutes an invitation to and cause of wars, because, as aforesaid, it imputes immorality to one‘s neighbour and thereby seems to provoke hostility and hostile acts on his part. The doctrine of the army as a means of self-defence must be renounced just as completely as the thirst for conquest. And perhaps there will come a great day on which a nation distinguished for wars and victories and for the highest development of military discipline and thinking, and accustomed to making the heaviest sacrifices on behalf of these things, will cry of its own free will: ,we shall shatter the sword‘ - and demolish its entire military machine down to its last foundations. To disarm while being the best armed, out of anelevation of sensibility - that is the means to real peace, which must always rest on a disposition for peace: whereas the so-called armed peace such as now parades about in every country is a disposition to fractiousness which trusts neither itself nor its neighbour and fails to lay down its arms half out of hatred, half out of fear. Better to perish than to hate and fear, and twofold better to perish than to make oneself hated and feared - this must one day become the supreme maxim of every individual state! - As is well known, our liberal representatives of the people lack the time to reflect on the nature of man: otherwise they would know that they labour in vain when they work for a ,gradual reduction of the military burden‘. On the contrary, it is only when this kind of distress is at its greatest that the only kind of god that can help here will be closest at hand.  The tree of the glory of war can be destroyed only at a single stroke, by a lightning-bolt: lightning, however, as you well know, comes out of a cloud and from on high. (R.J. Hollingdale, transl., Human, All Too Human. A Book for Free Spirits, Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy (1996), pp. 380-81)