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An Open Letter to the SLORC (r)

      Dear SLORC,

      In my notion there is no you and I, only WE. It would be so great
      that WE all march together for PEACE and RECONSTRUCTION of Burma.
      Please let me not mourn for U WIN TIN, Dr. AUNG KHIN SINT and 
      U CHO AUNG THAN,as an addition to my existing grief and sorrow for
      the loss of many thousands who died for the cause. Those consist of
      OUR beloved students, poor, needies and powerless, the ordinary 
      peoples of Burma. Please do not overlook this message. Read 
      carefully and think with compassion. I enclose herewith a piece of
      news for you.

      with metta,

  "We, the Peoples of the United Nations for an Economy with Justice"
   October 12, 1997
   March for Peace from Perugia to Assisi 

 The world's economy is becoming increasingly unjust and unsustainable. 
 It kills more people than bombs do. It sows the seeds of discord and 
 strife. It exacerbates poverty, unemployment and social exclusion. 
 The gulf between a wealthy minority and the vast impoverished majority 
 of humanity is growing wider and wider by the day.
 We, the peoples of the United Nations, are deeply concerned about the 
 widespread and shameful indifference to this reality and about the 
 lack of adequate national and international policy to address the
 rootcauses of so much suffering and misery. That is why we 
 have decided to initiate the Perugia-Assisi March for an Economy with 
 Justice October 12, 1997.
 * In the last fifty years, the world has witnessed unprecedented 
 development. Per capita income has tripled. In theory, therefore, we 
 should all be better off. And yet...every three seconds, a
 child whom we have failed to protect, dies. Inequality is increasing. 
 In 102 countries, people are poorer today than they were 15 years ago. 
 In the same period, the number of wealthy people
 has doubled, yet the poor have more than tripled. Over 60% of the 
 world's population survives on just two dollars or less a day. Three 
 fourths of global production is concentrated in
 industrialized countries, and only one fourth in the so-called 
 "developing" countries, where 80% of the world's population Iives. 
 And even in the more developed countries, the gap between
 rich and poor continues to widen.
 * This unjust economy is the reason behind most of today's conflicts, 
 which fuel instability and a climate of violence across the globe. 
 Many states simply cannot develop their economies,
 which aggravates social conflict and rifts, accelerates environmental 
 damage, famine and the spread of disease, abets the growth of 
 organized crime, precipitates conflict for the control of such
 vital resources as land, water and energy and leads to civil and 
 ethnic warfare, with their toll of destruction and displaced 
 * This injustice is rooted in a new free marketeerism which is unable 
 to meet the true needs of people and disregards the rights of human 
 beings. Injustice flourishes in an economy designed
 for the benefit of the privileged few rather than for the well-being 
 of the many, an economy that puts the market over people, unrestrained 
 competition over co-operation; profit over equity;
 growth of the economy over better quality and distribution of goods 
 and services; and exploitation of the environment over nature 
 * The peoples of the world should all benefit from increasing 
 inter-dependence and scientific and technological progress. And 
 yet...the globalization of markets and the economy -without any
 democratic regulation- and the ensuing surge in international trade 
 and foreign investment by multinational corporations, benefits the 
 most powerful countries and the social and economic
 élites, while millions of people, and the poorest countries of the 
 world, are left trailing behind.
 * The global economy now emerging is based on a market ideology and 
 unbridled competition. The risk is that it will drag everyone and 
 everything, under, by squeezing salaries and social
 protection, trampling on human rights, generating new poverty and 
 wiping out jobs, destroying resources and the environment, fuelling 
 the spread of a "shadow" economy and precipitating
 a crisis of political democracy.
 In the face of this serious reality, we need to set ourselves a new 
 course. This is what needs to be done:
 1. Put people first. Priorities need to be reversed. People should not 
 have to adapt to an alI-powerful market. The economy should work to 
 meet people's needs. Economic growth is not
 an end to itself but only a means. The end is human development, in an 
 economy that respects all forms of social diversity, culture and 
 identity, as set out in the U.N. Declaration on the
 Right to Development in 1986. Support for economic growth should go 
 hand in hand with political commitment to full employment, to the 
 fight against poverty and social exclusion, to
 the promotion of equal opportunities for all -particularly women-, and 
 to the protection of the environment and natural resources. 
 Paradoxically, the process of economic integration has led
 to an opening of borders to finance, investment and goods, but not 
 always to people. Putting people first means resisting the spread of a 
 marketbased ideology to all areas of human life, as
 if the world were nothing more than one big economy
 2. Combat poverty and social inequality through the adoption of 
 consistent local, national and supranational policies and agreements, 
 involving also representatives of local
 communities, industry and labour. Ours is the first generation to have 
 the resources and potential to eradicate poverty, along with itsn 
 consequences and terrible human and social cost. Yet,
 1.3 billion people, mostly women, the elderly and children still live 
 in abject poverty. Forty-seven people across the globe are made poor 
 every minute, which is about 70,000 people every
 day. What can be done? Is the right to development a universal and 
 inviolable right to which all human beings are entitled, or is it the 
 privilege of the happy few? Poverty is not only
 morally repugnant, it is also economically destructive and politically 
 dangerous. The eradication of poverty should be given top-priority on 
 both the national and international scale. An
 important step in this direction is debt relief for impoverished 
 countries, where debt has spiralled to the record figure of 2,000 
 billion dollars. Current lending policies which generate
 unsustainable levels of indebtedness, also need to be reviewed.
 3. Create new employment and restore full dignity to work and workers 
 worldwide. 35 million jobless in industrialized countries. Over 20 
 million in Europe. More than
 700 million working-poor, who are unable to provide a decent standard 
 of living for themselves and their families. These figures illustrate 
 this most severe social crisis of our times. This
 social crisis is bound to worsen in the near future as production wiIl 
 require less and less human labour. New national and local policies 
 are needed to re-allocate wealth, and create new
 employment, also by reducing working time. It is essential to promote 
 equal access for women to jobs, trade, and credit, and to support the 
 development of a diversified and fair economy by
 enhancing the role of the non-profit sector and by stimulating even 
 small-scale initiatives that may offer concrete alternatives to 
 unemployment. At the same time, we must strive on a
 global scale for the introduction and enforcement of international 
 standards that ban the exploitation of child labor and guarantee the 
 basic economic and social rights of workers contained in
 the Conventions of the International Labor Organization (ILO) and in 
 many other international documents.
 4. Cooperate at all levels. Never before has there been such a need 
 for intensive and effective international cooperation. But many 
 governments believe that they can do without
 cooperation, preferring short-sighted defence of their so-called 
 "national interests". The laws of the market and of global 
 competition, and measures on a domestic scale, cannot provide
 solutions to the world's probIems and ensure good governance in the 
 world. The U.N. has promoted a series of important international 
 conferences, including the Rio Summit on the
 Environment and Development, the Copenhagen Summit for Social 
 Development, the Beijing Summit on Women and the Rome Food Summit. 
 Governments have made numerous
 commitments on those occasions which are far from being honored and 
 implemented. Development cooperation is a glaring example: resources 
 made available worldwide for aid to the
 poorest countries have plummeted to a 25-year low. All countries have 
 the duty to reverse this trend and increase their contributions. They 
 should target initiatives for the promotion of
 human development, accept more international coordination and promote 
 direct cooperation between local communities.
 5. Democratize the economy. The lack of democratic regulations, which 
 should apply to large multinational corporations and international 
 economic and financial institutions,
 deprives governments of the power to control their country's economy 
 and citizens of the right to choose their future. In particular, a 
 lack of means for monitoring the enforcement of the
 ILO Conventions and international trade regulations regarding large 
  multinational organizations leads to serious abuse and the 
 exploitation of labor, causing a degradation of Iiving and
 working conditions, and the environment. On a global scale, it is 
 essential to reinforce and render more democratic the United Nations 
 system, which has the duty of overseeing international
 relations. The United Nations must have the right to intervene in 
 economic options that are at the root of the global problems that this 
 organization is called on to address. Reform is needed
 to ensure that the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the 
 World Trade Organization operate in accordance with the principles and 
 commitments to sustainable development laid
 down by the United Nations, guaranteeing transparency, participation 
 and democratic control by all countries and civil society. For a 
 democratic economy to develop, the rules of
 international trade that hinder access to markets for products from 
 developing countries need to be modified. Democratization of the 
 economy also requires consistent action inside individual
 countries, businesses and workplaces, where it is imperative that all 
 discrimination against women be abolished. Governments and Parliament, 
 workers and civil society, should have more
 control over the problems and choices to be made. For democracy wilI 
 only advance if it develops at all Ievels, from individual cities to 
 the United Nations, in accordance with the principle
 of subsidiarity.
 6. Adopt a new model of sustainable development. To expand the current 
 development model would increase injustice and rob future generations 
 of their rights. We must
 reconsider production patterns, and individual and community 
 Iifestyles, so as to stop waste and excess, modify and reduce 
 consumption, support fair and equitable trade initiatives, and
 promote more ethical management of resources, based on sensible use. 
 We must halt the degradation of the environment because our welI-being 
 depends on it. The major environmental
 emergencies (global warming, loss of bio-diversity, deforestation, 
 desertification,...) should be the priority concern of the 
 international institutions, national and local governments.
 We, the peoples of the United Nations, are asking business, the 
 international economic institutions, political representatives, 
 national governments and the United Nations, to implement
 the provisions of Art. 55 of the Charter of the United Nations and 
 honor the pledges underwritten in the international conferences and 
 conventions. There is no lack of resources. For decades,
 enormous amounts of money have been spent on defence. The time has 
 come to use those same resources for the real security of individuals, 
 peoples and the planet.
 Our generation has a special responsibility to change the situation. 
 For this, we need to shift from a culture based on domination and 
 unchecked competition to one based on cooperation and
 solidarity: from the culture of warfare to the culture of affirmative 
 Much depends on the decisions of those in positions of power in global 
 politics and the economy. But we can all do something, each and 
 everyone of us, women and men, workers,
 consumers and savers.
 Starting from our own lives, our families, in schools and in the 
 workplace, in our neighbourhoods and cities..
 We have the right to ask but also the duty to act. Together, we shall 
 contribute to building the global civil society, which is being shaped 
 by a vast network of associations and citizens'
 organizations engaged in the promotion of peace and human rights. This 
 is why we have called the Second Assembly of the Peoples of the United 
 Nations, to be held on October 5-12,1997,
 with the participation of men and women representing civil society 
 from all over the world. Together, we wish to call for an end to a 
 "market ideology" and to unbridled competition. Let us
 work together to build an economy with justice. The fruit of justice 
 will be peace.
 For further information:
 Tavola della Pace - Peace Round Table
 via della Viola, 1 (06122) Perugia - Tel: ++39-75-5722479 - 5736890,
 Fax: ++39-75-5721234
 E mail. mpace@xxxxxxxxx