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International year of peace: UN statement

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No. D 1 9 D a t e 9 N o v e m b e r 1 9 8 4

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Following is the text of the statement made by the Australian Ambassador for Disarmament, Mr Richard Butler, to the UN General A ssembly in New York on 8 November 1984:


?ir breaidcnt,

Λ little- over two weeks ago, in this great assembly hall,

the General Assembly of the On lied Nations elected Australia to

membership of the Security Council.

This was a decision greatly welcomed In Australia and I

believe· the Australian people know clearly the challenge and

responsibility that membership of the Security Council brings to

them. .

The Australian Government accepts that challenge and

responsibility. It will discharge .its role on the Council on

the basis of its complete dedication to the Charter of the

gritted Nations especially to the· corrr.dt«ie?nfc that all people

should be free from "the scourge of v?o.rf l

Tho Australian Government; hn.*t mndo the pursuit of peace end

disarmament and arms control one of; the highest priorities in

Australian Government foreign policy and in the conduct of its

relations with other states.




A few days ago, in Canberra, when speaking on the subject of

Australia's election to the fjeourity Council, the Prime lu.nistor

of Australia, Hr Bob Hawk a, aaid thin: .. .

"Forty years after the Second World War, the people of the

world, and certainly the people of Australia, yearn for a

real peace - a peace that Is more than a mere absence of

war, This in particularly the plea, of our young

people". .

Peace is Our commitment and poaco Is the subject today. ,

The deepest wieb of all Australians andd 1 believe thie wish

is shared by all people, i.s to shape a life for themselves and

their children on the basis of a decent standard of living and

to live in a framework of peace*

Mr President

Australia is cosponsoring, for the first time, the

resolution proposed to the General Assembly by Cost a Rica. ..Ou-,±he - - .

-I-nte;:nai:fon:,: il Year of Peace,



Wo are ctep-tclally glad to work with the delegation of Costa

Rica, a country which the Australinn Foreign Minister, Mr Bill

Hayden, visited recently.

Costa Riga could be said to be a country which has given

practical effect to its national conuftltmont to psace by

declining to maintain any defiance forces of its own* It has put

its faith in alternative methods of maintaining Its own national

security and the promotion of International peaceful

cooperation. 1

1936 has been proclaimed by the United Nations as the

international year of Peace. Australia is giving its full

support to a program of activities for this Veer, both as they

will be carried out under the auspices of the United Nations and

as they will be promoted by individual governments in their own

national territory.

In striving to maintain the ponce we must not only eliminate

factors which work against tl’ io creation and maintenance of a

world free from international tensions, we must also take

positive measures to promote the conditions to preserve the

peace which already exists.

4 *

m this endeavour it in vital that the poopies of the world

be properly Informed and hove accenn to the widest possible

rahoe of informat ion and · opinion;·, on mattem which affoct peace

and international security.

a number of important programs are already envisaged for the

international Year of Peace in Australia, ^hese will be carried

out at the national, state and local level.

Some particular project:/:! which I might highlight today

include the holding of a major p«mc& conference, the

establishment of peace research fellowships, the production of

special films and the issue of a rpecial postage stamp to

commemorate the IYP, These .projects arc first the beginning.

In our response to the Secretory-General's request for

information on the subject we hove spelled out, in greater

detail, some of the ideas which yc have in mind for the

International Year of peace This has now been circulated as

part of the report of the Sec rotary-General.

vj o hove read with intercut 'the plans of others and welcome

the international exchange of information which United Pitiona

cooperation thus engenders an·.! facilitates.

d ,

I am pleased to be able to «.no hhia important forum to . I ·

announce today, for the first fclmo, n special measure which

Australia is taking in order to facilitate cuch international

exchange and cooperation for the international year of peace.

' · X

Like Other members states, Australia linn a network of

diplomatic and consular missions around the world which help us

to maintain and facilitate diplomatic relations end exchanges

with most Member states of this body.

The Government has decided that, at each of our diplomatic

missions abroad, one popson will ho especially designated the

International Year of Peace Officer* The purpose of such

appointments is not, of course, to replace the traditional and

customary diplomatic activities in support Qf pence. It is

rather to support international cooperation and liaison in the

observance of the international yenc of peace on an

institutional and professional basin*

I now turn to the program of activities which are to be ■

carried out under the auspices oil the united nations itself.

We commend the Secretary-General on the program of

activities for the international Year of Peace which he has

presented to us* wo endorse the objectives of the program*

We not·-· the Sftf.iouB efforts which being made to coordinate

the activities» of the varionn dep».::<:rvints within the United

Nf’Clone in order to ensure the moot effective use of the .

resources available* We note also that active liaison is taking

place with the specialised agencies. In Australia's view the

greatest care must be taken in order to ensure that the program,

like that of the World DisarmnnonL Campaign» is carried out in a

balanced and factual anc] objective manner in all regions of the

world. .

nr President,

I want: to end this statement, by returning again to the

subject of the future, of our children# our young people.

One of the greatest, figures who worked for the cause.of

peace in our age wan Mahatma Oandbl„ ills dedication was to - peace and non violent action,

Mahatma Gandhi said "i.£ we are t<> reach real pence in this

wold and If we ore to carry on real war against war vie

have to begin with children",

We have today in our hands a very great power - the power of

modern communications.

Ό .

But there Is another important power And it in one which

will shape our future. I am speaking of the power of the

imagination and openness of cue children.·


what we help our children to think and to aspire to will

determine their future. To this end we have all of the means of

modern co mmu n i . c a t J . ο η o at our dinpcoal. We must use those means

in the cause of peace because wo owe our children a peaceful

world. '

The gleam in the eyes of our children should be a vision of

a world In which life .is fruitful and enjoyed in peace. Above

nil wc must show by out: own behaviour that peace is good and

that war ia a disaster, a terrible failure.

The choice is ouro and thin van reflected on recently by

Stella Cornelius, the Director o,f the Australian International

Year of Ponce Program when she said "neither war nor peace is

inevitable, Roth are the result of human decision. The tank ig

urgent but there is time to chooset}.

The choice of the Australian Government is to give full

support at home in Australia and in the world community, to the

program for the International Year of Peace.