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Food and Disarmament International - 30 agosto 1982
Operation Survival
Against the extermination by hunger to save 5 million lives

(Food and Disarmament International - Boulevard de l'Empereur, 3 -100 Bruxelles - Belgique * Radical Parliamentary Group, Camera dei Deputati - Rome, Italy))

Editorial

In an iniziative without precedent, 79 Nobel laureates, from different countries and different disciplines, have joined in one voice to proclaim that it is possible, and therefore our duty to do our utmost to ensure the survival of the millions that are being wiped off the face of the earth by hunger and misery. In June 1981 they launched the Nobel prize Winners' Manifesto against the holocaust by starvation. Not just an appeal, but a summons, an injunction to act in earnest confronting every one: governments or simple citizens, institutions or individuals, moral authorities, those holding the power of the media and ordinary people, with their responsabilities and possibilities of action.

In recalling the reversable political causes of extermination by hunger in the world, they propose the following method: to make the survival operation for the damned of the earth the locomotive for development and the establishment of a new North-South interdependent relationship. A new political will must be generated, which will give this task absolute priority, and political choices made accordingly by the electorate at the polls, by the representatives through their votes in the House, so that new laws be passed and suitable measures take. They call for non-violent action. They maintain that if the mass media give out the information, everything is possible, but only if they do so.

No sooner had the Nobel laureates' Manifesto been launched, than simultaneously in several capitals, prominent figures, parliamentarians, etc. from many countries rallied behind it in large numbers. The voice of 79 Nobel laureates quickly found in various parliaments, in Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy and the European Parliament, etc.

All these parliaments have mode the Manifesto their own and have adopted its recommendations. They have also demanded their respective governments to make the objectives of the Manifesto the main axis of their foreign and development policies.

Further, these parliaments have declared the will to give legal force to the right to be delivered from hunger and have appealed that the results of the global North-South negotiations be made legally binding.

"It is our duty to ensure that the acts of our political authorities live up to their words. It is a question of life and death which concerns us all".

Several fasts have ben conduced in different countries towards this end, among them that of the European parliamentarian, Marco Pannella, that of the Dominican priest, Jean Cardonnell, those of Belgian and Italian Senators and of tens of citizens in Europe.

Two bills of popular initiative have been proposed in the Italian Parliament to save millions of human lives, signed by over 1300 mayors in Italy.

A petition is being circulated in France, in which hundreds of mayors ask President Mitterand to take the necessary measures to ensure the survival of millions of men, women and children.

On Easter day 1982 a crowd of more than 50.000 strong, marched in Rome for the survival of 5 million human beings. A similar march took place in Belgium on June 5th.

A great impulse of life to sustain life.

It is possible to enlarge on all of this, to make in known that a majority asks with the Nobel laureates and with the European Parliament, with all the M.P.s. whose words have remained unheeded, that our governments, states, societies, save these lives, and embark on the establishment of a new world order which will no longer perpetrate today's carnages.

It will be possible if everyone becomes a multiplying factor and a relay for this action: through writing, speeches, marches and non-violent action.

So that 5 million doomed to die may live; so that the imperative domands made recently by the highest intellectual and moral authorities and unprecedented deliberation of various institutions do not remain unheeded, so that actions may speak louder than words, and lives be saved.

»Manifesto of Nobel prize winners

We the undersigned, men and women of science, letters, men and women of peace, of different religions, history and culture, we who have been honoured because we look for and celebrate truth in life and life in truth, in order that our work may serve as a universal testimony of dialogue, fraternity and a common civilization of peace and progress;

We the undersigned appeal to all men and women of goodwill appeal to the powerful and to the humble to act, each in their various responsabilities, for tens of millions of people on the point of dying from hunger and underdevelopment, victims of the international political and economic disorder which prevails in the world today, to be restored to life.

An unprecedented holocaust, encompassing in a single year all the horror of the exterminations experienced in the first half to the century is now being perpetrated and, with every moment that passes, is extending the frontiers of barbarism and death in the real world as well as in our consciences.

All of those who denounce and combat this holocaust are unanimous in maintaining that the causes of this tragedy are political.

We therefore need a new political determination aimed at eradicating the causes of this extermination and at the immedate alleviation of its effects.

"It is essential that a suitable method and procedure from the many possible ones that exist or can be imagined, should be devised, adopted and implemented immediately".

It is essential that there be devised a system of converging projects which answer the needs of the plural nature of the forces involved, of our responsibilities and our consciences.

It is essential that the highest international authorities the governments, the people - too often kept unaware of the fact that policies to protect and preserve life are feasible - act, as some of the highest spiritual powers of the earth summon us to do, in concert or united by the work they do, with precise, certain and suitable objectives to combat and conquer the death which persues, overwhelms and condemns a large portion of humanity at this time.

We must rebel against the false realism which accepts as inevitable what is in fact the outcome of the policies pursued by the established order, or rather ``established disorder''. We must fight in a realistic manner so that the attainable is attained and not lost forever.

We call for a positive change in the well meaning policies of aid which serve principally to salve the conciences ot he more fortunate and which do not save those at whom they are directed, and of those cruel and barren utopias which sacrifice men of today in the name of projected new men and today's societies in the name of projected new societies of tomorrow.

It is essential that citizens and politicians choose and vote at their respective levels, in elections, in parliaments, in governments or at international level, new laws, new budgets, new projects and new measures designed to take immediate effect to save billions of people from malnutrition and underdevelopment and hundreds of millions in every generation from death by hunger.

It is essential that each and every one give the force of law to the need to save the living, not to kill and not to exterminate, not even by inertia, failure to act or indifference.

Although the powerful of this earth bear the greatest responsibility, they are not alone. If the helpless take their fate into their own hands, if increasing numbers refuse to obey any law other than the fundamental human rights, the most basic of which is the right to life, if the weak organize themselves and use the few but powerful weapons available to them: nonviolent actions exemplified by Gandhi, adopting and imposing objectives which are limited and suitable: if these things happen it is certain that an end could be put to this catastrophy in our time.

We cannot stand idly by and watch as disaster approaches. Our knowledge tells us that the whole of humanity is increasingly in danger of death and we must use this knowledge to create hope and salvation to give substance to our beliefs and opinions.

In the news media and those who granted us the honours we have received, listen to our voices now and make them heard, give heed to our work and to the work of all those who have been making efforts in the same direction, if people know or are informed we have no doubt that the future can be changed for all the people of the world.

But only if this is done.

Now is the time to act, now is the time to create, now is the time for us to live in a way that will give life to others.

List of signatories

Vincente ALEIXANDRE - Nobel Prize for Literature 1977

Hannes ALFVEN - Nobel Prize for Physics 1970

AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE - Nobel Prize for Peace 1947

Philip ANDERSON - Nobel Prize for Physics 1977

Christian ANFINSEN - Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1972

Kenneth ARROW - Nobel Prize for Economics 1972

Julius AXELROD - Nobel Prize for Medicine 1970

David BALTIMORE - Nobel Prize for Medicine 1975

Samuel BECKETT - Nobel Prize for Literature 1969

Saul BELLOW - Nobel Prize for Literature 1976

Baruj BENACERRAF - Nobel Prlze for Medicine 1980

Baruch S. BLUMBERG - Nobel Prize for Medicine 1976

Heinrich BÖLL - Nobel Prize for Literature 1972

Norman Ernest BORLAUG - Nobel Prize for Peace 1970

BUREAU INTERNATIONAL DE LA PAIX - Nobel Prize for Peace 1970

Elias CANETTI - Nobel Prize for Literature 1981

Owen CHAMBERLAIN - Nobel Prize for Physics 1959

Mairead CORRIGAN - Nobel Prize for Peace 1976

Andre COURNAND - Nobel Prize for Medicine 1956

Jean DAUSSET - Nobel Prize for Medicine 1980

John Carew ECCLES - Nobel Prize for Medicine 1963

Odysseus ELYTIS - Nobel Prlze for Literature 1979

Ernst Otto FISCHER - Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1973

Paul John FLORY - Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1974

Ragnar GRANIT - Nobel Prize for Medicine 1967

Roger GUILLEMIN - Nobel Prlze for Medicine 1977

Charles HARD TOWNES - Nobel Prize for Physics 1964

Haldan Keffer HARTLINE - Nobel Prize for Medicine 1967

Odd HASSEL - Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1969

Gerhars HERZBERG - Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1971

Robert HOFSTADTER - Nobel Prize for Physics 1961

David HUBEL - Nobel Prize for Medicine 1981

Francois JACOB - Nobel Prize for Medicine 1965

Brian JOSEPHSON - Nobel Prize for Physics 1973

Alfred KASTLER - Nobel Prize for Physics 1966

Lawrence R. KLEIN - Nobel Prize for Economics 1980

Polykarp KUSCH - Nobel Prize for Physics 1955

Wassily LEONTIEF - Nobel Prize for Economics 1973

Salvador LURIA - Nobel Prize for Medicine 1969

André LWOFF - Nobel Prize for Medicine 1965

Sean MAC BRIDE - Nobel Prize for Peace 1974

Cweslaw MILOSZ - Nobel Prize for Literature 1980

Eugenio MONTALE - Nobel Prize for Literature 1975

Nevill MOTT - Nobel Prize for Physics 1977

Gunnar MYRDAL - Nobel Prize For Economics 1974

Daniel NATHANS - Nobel Prize for Medicine 1978

Louis NEEL - Nobel Prize for Physics 1970

Marshall NIRENBERG - Nobel Prize for Medicine 1968

Philip NOEL-BAKER - Nobel Prize for Peace 1959

Severo OCHOA - Nobel Prize for Medicine 1959

Linus PAULING - Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1954 and Nobel Prize for Peace 1962

Arno PENZIAS - Nobel Prize for Physics 1978

Adolfo PEREZ ESQUlVEL - Nobel Prize for Peace 1980

Rodney Robert PORTER - Nobel Prize for Medicine 1972

Ilya PRIGOGINE - Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1977

QUAKER PEACE AND SERVICE - Nobel Prize for Peace 1947

Isidor Isaac RABI - Nobel Prize for Physics 1944

Tadeus REICHSTEIN - Nobel Prize for Medicine 1950

Burton RICHTER - Nobel Prize for Physics 1976

Martin RYLE - Nobel Prize for Physics 1974

Anwar EL SADAT - Nobel Prize for Peace 1978

Andrei D. SAKHAROV - Nobel Prize for Peace 1975

Abdus SALAM - Nobel Prize for Physics 1979

Frederik SANGER - Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1958 and 1980

Arthur SCHAWLOW - Nobel Prize for Physics 1981

Kai SIEGBAHN - Nobel Prize for Physics 1981

Albert SZENT-GYORGYI - Nobel Prize for Medicine 1937

Hugo THEORELL - Nobel Prize for Medicine 1955

Jan TINBERGEN - Nobel Prize for Economics 1969

Nikolaas TINBERGEN - Nobel Prize for Medicine 1973

Sir Alexander TODD - Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1957

Ulf VON EULER - Nobel Prize for Medicine 1970

George WALD - Nobel Prize for Medicine 1967

Ernest WALTON - Nobel Prize for Physics 1951

James Dewey WATSON - Nobel Prize for Medicine 1962

Patrick WHITE - Nobel Prize for Literature 1973

Torsten WIESEL - Nobel Prize for Medicine 1981

Maurice WILKINS - Nobel Prize for Medicine 1962

Betty WILLIAMS - Nobel Prize for Peace 1976

Food and Disannament International

During 1980 and into the beginning of 1981 discussions took place between non-violent militants, third-world activists and Nobel Prize Winners (to name but a few: Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Lord Philip Noel-Baker, Mairead Corrigan, Seàn Mac Bride, etc.) out of which grew the Nobel Prize Winner's Manifesto and all the compaign which was set up into motion by them. The same people who took on the task of launching the Manifesto formed themselves into an association - namely ``Food and Disarmament International''.

Whilst carrying out the work of the Nobel Prize Winners, ``Food and Disarmament International'' does not set out to double up on the work of those organizations already involved in the fight against hunger and for disamament. Its aims and methods are precise.

Its aims are:

- to lead a campaign to ensure the right of every human being to food and to disarmament;

- to make sure that information is freely available on possible solutions to the problems of food and disarmament - first and foremost by means of the mass media and official bodies;

- to promote action, both at national and international level, by means of laws, institutions and the like, to enable people to have the right to live - rights denied them by hunger and the arms race by undervelopment and violence.

Its methods are those of the large pacifist campaigns, such as that held in Satyagraha, marches, actions by fasts, non-violent protest, both by individuals and collectively, which put official violence into perspective and raise these problems in such a way as to make answer to them imperative.

Its international headquarters are in Brussels.

Editor responsable: Food and Disarmament International 3 Boulevard de l'Empereur, 1000 Brussels, Belgium tel.: 02/511.61.55 telex: 63992.

First the Nobel Prizewinners' Manifesto Now for Parliamentary Votes Steps in the Campaign to Save Lives

"24th June": The Manifesto against death by hunger and for development which brought together 53 Nobel Prizewinners was published simultaneously in Paris, Rome, New York, Brussels and Geneva in the presence of and with the support of the most prominent religious leaders from all faiths, politicians, personalities and government representatives. Messages of support were also received from several Heads of State, in particular from those in the Third World, and these were distributed at the same time.

"18th July": The Belgian Senate voted unanimously for a motion committing the Governament to make the appeal from the Nobel Prizewinners the central pivot of their policy for foreign relations and for development and cooperation and asked them to draw up, either singly or in cooperation with other countries, un urgent concrete plan of action to stop death by hunger in those cou

ntries, whose very existence is menaced by this threat. This decision was preceded by some Belgian citiziens deciding to hold a hunger strike following the publication of the Nobel Prizewinners' Manifesto.

"27th July": The Nobel Prizewinners' Manifesto was put before the Press at the House of Lords in London, in the presence of political personalities.

"30th July": The Italian Chamber of Deputies approved a resolution, which, in answer to the Nobel Prizewinners' appeal, committed the Government to allow for a supplementary amount of 3,000,000,000 dollars for additional urgent aid, needed to prevent millions of people otherwise doomed to die from hunger.

"3rd September": The European Member of Parliament, Marco Pannella, announced at a press conference at UNESCO in Paris during the UNCTAD Conference on the least developed countries, that he had the day before embarked on a hunger strike, so that at least a tenth of those otherwise destined to die from hunger, would survive in 1982.

Dozens of supporting committees for the Nobel Prizewinners and for Euro M.P. Pannella's hunger strike were set up throughout France.

"29th September": The European Parliament adopted a resolution (1-375/81) by absolute majority that the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Cheysson, qualified as ``historic''. It calls upon the 10 Member States of the European Communities to save at least 5 million people from death by hunger before the end of 1982, and to this end asked that a special fund of 5 thousand million ECUs be set up. Furthermore he asked the Commission of the European Communities to draw up an urgent outline plan of action during the month following the adoption of the resolution.

"14th October": An International Discussion at the European Parliament in Strasbourg brought together several Nobel Prizewinners who had been signatories to the Manifesto, numerous ambassadors, experts and members of parliament, who had all dropped their engagements at the

last minute to make an immediate study of the problems set by the resolution adopted by the European Parliament.

The `Osservatore Romano' greeted this event, to which it dedicated several front page articles.

"16th October": On the occasion of World Food Day a delegation was received in Rome by the President of the Italian Republic and the FAO.

"17th October": The Nobel Prizewinners took part in the march for survival and life, which brought together several thousand people in Rome.

"11th November": The Luxemburg Parliament approved a resolution by unanimous vote, which, referring to the Nobel Prizewinners' Manifesto and to the resolution of the European Parliament, asked that the Government draw up an urgent plan of action, such as had already been put forward by the Belgian Senate.

"19th November": Willy Brandt and 150 other European Members of Parliament made a solemn appeal to the Heads of State and Governments of the European Communities befofe the Summit meeting in London, so that a definite outcome could be given without delay to the European Parliament resolution. Subsequently E.M.P. Pannella called off his hunger strike.

"26th - 27th November": More than 200 bishops from all over the world asked the Heads of State of the European Communities, meeting in London, to put the plan outlined in the European Parliament resolution, into action immediately.

"3rd December": The Italian Government asked for a vote of confidence against a resolution drawn up by 180 deputies on their own initiative, asking that a plan of campaign be put into action immediately in order to be able to save 3 million people before the end of 1982. Nevertheless, the Parliament reaffirmed its position of 30th July.

"18th December": The Italian Parliament confirmed its previous resolutions during a debate on foreign policy.

"19th December": The Belgian Chamber of Representatives approved by unanimous vote a resolution, such as had already been voted through by the Senate in July.

"1st March 1982": 1300 Italian mayors from every political shade in the spectrum, publicised the petition which they had addressed to the President of the Republic, asking him to intervene with the Institutions, to enable the resolutions drawn up by Members of Parliament and the appeals from the Nobel Prizewinners to be put into effect within a very short space of time.

The French Dominican Father, Jean Cardonnel, started a 40 day fast to attract public opinion and those responsible for the French policy.

"3rd - 4th March": The Nobel Prizewinners announced during their discussion, to which they had invited members of parliament from various European countries, that there were no more than 100 days left if the campaign to save 5 million lives in 1982 were to work. To this end it was decided to hold a huge demonstration in Rome on Easter Day and to step up the plan of compaign during the 100 days still left. The participants in the discussion agreed wholeheartedly to these proposals.

"End of March": The Members of Parliament of the Radical Party in Rome engaged in a battle which lasted several days and nights, against the budget which had already been laid down for the next three years, in order to make Italy contribute 0,7% of her gross national product immediately to public aid for development and that the three thousand million dollars asked for in July 1981 and subsequently confirmed, be put aside for an urgent compaign to save lives.

"11th April": More than 50.000 people marched in Rome on Easter Day to ask for a plan for survival be put into action to save at least 5 million lives, who would otherwise die. Amongst the marchers were several M.E.P.s., some of the mayors who had signed the petition in Italy and colleagues from other countries, as well as M.P.s. from several European Community countries and others. The Pope in his address drew attention of the audience to death by starvation and the possibilities of solving this by adeguate steps, not least by the reduction of money spent on armament.

"19th April": Simultaneous demonstrations by Belgians, French, Italians and Spanish were held in Moscow, Prague, Budapest, Bucarest, East Berlin and Sofia, with the aim of informing the people there about the Nobel Prizewinners' Manifesto, The European Parliament's resolution and other actions taken to combat death by starvation. Nearly all the demonstrators were arrested, in some instances for several days.

"22nd April": The European Parliament, during one of its debates, reaffirmed its unanimous request for an immediate urgent plan of action, as contalned, in the resolution 1-375/81, which it had addressed to the Commission of the European Communities.

"24th April": 1300 Italian Mayors and more than 50,000 of the electorate deposited two proposals under the law of public demand, for Italy herself to take on the task of mounting the campaign for survival of at least 3 million people, who would otherwise die of hunger and underdevelopment. They asked that a special fund of 3,000,000,000 dollars be set up to combat this, subsequently managed by a High Commissioner.

"End of April": The deputies of the Radical Parliamentary Group in the Italian Parliament took up the battle nught and day against the defence budget (which was for more than 10,000,000,000 lire and already allowed for an increase of more than 50,000,000,000 for the period up to 1986, asking that resources be put to better use, namely in the fight against hunger. 5 Radical deputies were expelled. In violation of the rules, the budget was approved.

"28th April": The Belgian Senate, after a debate, approved a new resolution committing the government to put into effect the urgent plan of action to save 5 million lives, as asked for by the European Parliament, the 79 Nobel Prize-Winners and the two Houses of Parliament by unanimous vote.

"29th April": Two Belgian senators, Alphonse Royen and Georges Trussart started a sit-in hunger strike at the Senate itself, to show their support for the resolution which had just been approved by the Senate and to commit the government to putting it into effect.

"12th May": The Radical Senator, Gianfranco Spadaccia, started a hunger strike in Rome, which he ended on 9th July whilst discussions were taking place about the draft legislation from the 1300 mayors, to get the Government to undertake to carry out its commitments in the fight against hunger.

"13th May": A group of Senators put forward a draft law in Brussels, calling for the setting up of a special fund to carry out `Operation Survival'.

"15th May": Mayors from 10 large Italian towns set up a congress in Milan, attended by a delegations of Nobel Priwewinners, M.P.s. from different parties, and representatives from local government, at which it was decided to create a Permanent Committee in the Fight against Death by Starvation and to set in motion a series of initiatives, aimed at speeding up action by Parliament and the draft proposed by the mayors.

"16th May": The Deputy Secretary of the Radical Party in Rome, Giovanni Negri, started a hunger strike, which finished on 11th July, asking for a resolution from the Parliamentary Committee on Information to be applied, which allows debates to be broadcast or televised during peak listening periods, to bring the problems of hunger and possible solutions to the attentions of the maximum number of people.

"3rd June": 86 mayors in Italy went in person to the President of the Repubblic in order to hand in their petitions and their proposed draft laws and to ask for his intervention. They were then received by the President of the Senate and by the President of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

"5th June": On the eve of a debate on hunger at the European Parliament in Strasbourg leading religious figures from every denomination appealed publicly that everything be done to put the European Parliament resolution, 1-375/81 into motion.

"15th June": Important demonstrations took place in Strasbourg, where a conference was also taking place at the Parliament of many Nobel Prizewinners, Mayors from several towns in Europe, as well as representatives from international organisations and from the different churches. President Dankert recevied a delegation which handed in a petition signed by several thousand European Mayors, and hundreds of thousands of European citizens.

"24th June": The Italian House Foreign Affairs Committee started examining the draft legislation recevied from the 1300 Italian Mayors, and this was on the agenda several times during the month of July.

"July": In order to get the law under discussion approved as quickly as possible, the European M.P., Marco Pannella, on three separate occasions started refusing liquids, backed up by several hundreds of militant radicals on hunger strike. Ten ministers, dozens of members of parliament from different political groups expressed their support for the propsed legislation.

On the 3rd August the Commission gave its approval of the draft resolution. This will now go forward for Parliamentary discussion at a plenary session.

Action by the Radicals in Italy Against World Hunger Before the Publication of the Nobel Laureates' Manifesto

On January Ist 1979 the Radical M.P. Marco Pannella announced his intention of starting a hunger strike - which lasted 40 days - to prevent the ``Year of the Child being transformed in the Year of Herod''. This non-violent action was backed by a committee of prominent members of various political parties, ecclesiastics and intellectuals. Pannella demanded that Italy should immediately allocate 5,000 billion lira to fight hunger. This is equivalent to 2% of Italy's GNP, 1% to be the normal contribution and 1% an extraordinary contribution for emergency situations and to compensate for Italy's inadeguate budget allocation for this purpose. In 1979 the sum allocated was only 0.06% of GNP and over previous years Italy had contributed only 200 billion lira annually.

On Easter Sunday 1979, ten thousand people paraded through Rome in a Peace March to St. Peter's square to present the Pope with an appeal for his support of the moves of this non-religious group against world hunger. A delegation of the marchers was also received by the Italian President, Sandro Pertini, who associated himself with their request for a reduction in arms expenditure and an increase in contributions to finance the compaign against hunger.

Thanks to the initiative of the small Radical minority, the Italian Parliament met in an extraordinary session - only the second to be called in 30 years - in August 1979 to discuss measures to be taken to halt the implacable progress of hunger's toll of human lives, today's tragic reality.

The Peace March was repeated at Easter 1980 after a weeklong collective fast, the first Ghandian Satyagraha in the west. Fifty thousand people took part in the march, which was supported by thousands of declarations of solidarity from municipal administrations and most members of the Italian and the European Parliaments.

The continuing action of the Radical parliamentary group (hundreds of hours of attendance, dozens of committee session, motions; parliamentary questions and requests for further information) has led the Italian government to increase its contribution to 4,500 billion lira over 3 years in the 1981 budget. This is in line with the average aid to development of the industrialized nations.

Since 1979 the Radical Party requested that the problem of world hunger be given top priority by the Italian government and also asked for the proclamation of a week of national mourning for the victims of hunger. A black band symbolizing mourning has been added to the Radical Party's emblem.

Action by the Radicals in the European Parliament before the Publication of the Nobel Laureates' Manifesto

Since the first session of the newly elected European Assembly in 1979, the three elected radical Members of the European Parliament urged that the first major debate be on development and the battle against extermination by starvation and malnutrition. Upon termination of the work by the committees the European Parliament approved a resolution which invited the governments of the member States to contribute the 0.70% of their GNP for development. The radicals then proposed that public hearings be held on this issue, which took place in Brussels with the participation of: Willy BRANDT, TANCO, GILMAN, CHONCHOL, PAROTTE, some ministers from third world countries and some representatives from the specialised UN Agencies.

However the amendments to the budget were rejected, therefore the radicals voted against the budget of the E.E.C. denouncing the apathy of the working party and that of the European Parliament to the urgent need to save millions of people already in the throes of death.

Meanwhile, Emma Bonino and Maria Antonietta Macciocchi participated to the ``March for Survival'' in Cambodia, and upon their return they succeeded in having adopted by the European Parliament a special financial aid, given the desperate shortage of food supplies experienced by that country.

In June 1980, the radicals moved that the budget proposed by the Commission of the E.E.C. be rejected in its entirety due to the gross inadequacy of the sums allocated as aid to development. In September they tried in vain to have incorporated in the draft resolution on famine examined by the European Parliament the proposals of the Brandt report, the Carter Commission, the World Food Council, the FAO, of the group of 77. The radicals were therefore the only ones to vote against the resolution on hunger approved by the European Parliament for the political aspect of the problem had, to a large extent been excluded.

They then put forward the idea of seizing the Security Council of the UN and the setting up of a ``task force'' against hunger.

At the end of the year 1980, the Parliament, after having rejected the majority of the proposals made by the radicals approved a budget for aid to development smaller than that of the previous year.

Further, vigorous actions were conducted in the ACP-ECC Assembly (an assembly of African, Carabian and Pacific countries which together with the ECC countries signed the Lome 11 treary) and its joint Commiittee where the debates finally became political as a result of major confrontations, which took place during sessions held in Luxemburg, Freetown, and majorities formed which no longer reflect the dichotomy between Europeans and the Third World.

Loosening the grip of Hunger

Death from misery and hunger is the result of a social, economic and political power system which effects national and supernational structures, deeply rooted in the individual mentalities and cultures, and is worsenend by conflicts and wars. Persistent and dedicated work is therefore necessary in order to provide a lasting, stable solution. Suitable fundamental programs are necessary, timeconsuming and careful studies made for every situation, but also and above all, determination. A cocktail of measures which apply not only to the areas with a high mortality rate, but concern also the rich countries; measures, therefore, inspired by a balanced vision of the world and society. This reoganization can take place only through changes, which require contributions from the entire social fabric, including new political decisions.

Towards these changes have long been committed the efforts of non-governmental organizations, social groups, i.e. political institutions. Groups of volunteers have been struggling for years to remedy the most dramatic situations in the areas suffering from the present political and economic disorder, while preparing long term solutions. The majority of them have come to the conclusion that work in order to raise the level of awareness in the most fortunate countries is necessary. Without the work of these people, the present social disaster might have even been worse, and the necessary changes relegated to a distant and uncertain future. But all of these groups, frustrated by the behaviour and magnitude of the established values, are hindered, not so much by the absence of political will, but by the bad political will. They have working against them the dominant political priorities which relegate the battle against death, by hunger and war, against underdevelopement to the bottom rung of parliament's and go

vernament choices, and shrink this subject down to the level of a secondary problem in the mass media, rather than treating it as a major theme for political and social debate.

Reaching out for life

The necessary changes of behaviour and mentality, the restructuring of the dominant values, or the debates of sufficient magnitude that will lead to the essential restructuring will never take place as long as the battle against death from malnutrion and underdevelopment has not become the priority objective of our society. There will never be any noticeable progress as long as resignation to let people die, reigns supreme, capitulating to what seems reasonable and possible to do rather than shaping and carrying out other possibilites. The switch in values, hence forth imperative, can occur only in a society which considers life as its most important value, guaranteeing it and protecting it above all else. To tolerate death, and to such a scale, means nipping any hope in the bud.

Hence we must literally declare war to death by hunger in order to permit the process of development to finally take off and be effective, and the social dialogue to take place.

To save 5 million people from death by malnutrition and underdevelopment by the end of this year: this is the objective proposed by the European Parliament and the Nobel laureates short of which the major reversal that we must bring about will not be possible, 5 million precious lives that can contribute greatly to development.

5 million lives restored to development.

5 million lives fighting to change the structures. A survival operation that will create a tremendous shockwave that will set development in motion; that will break the stone wall of the mass media so that a massive public debate will finally take place, prepared through many years of indefatigable fundamental work so that are finally heard and implemented the proposals of the non-governmental organizations, which have been indefatigable in carrying out their fundamental work for many years, and which we must help to succeed.

A Crash Operation

Irrespective of the short, medium or long-term measures needed to end the holocaust of underdevelopment, one thing is clear from the start: there must be an end to death from hunger. This fundamental task is one brooking not the slightest delay.

... To set a process in motion

This operation is not in itself the end of the story. On the contrary, it is but the first stage in the long journey towards ending the situation of our being privileged nations, leaving the field free for those people at present under trusteeship.

The work immediately facing us is indissolubly bound up with the longterm process and is a necessary, albeit in itself insufficient, condition of it. The movement in support of immediate survival is part of the fundamental process of changing relationships between peoples. Not ``aid'' in the accepted sense of the word, it is, rather, an awakening of the potential for action and popular consultation, starting with decisions which we can and must entrust to our governments.

A duty of society...

The task is of such magnitude that private initiatives alone are insufficient to ensure its completion. Its requirements are such that only states can invest enough to meet them and the same is true of the political measures needing to be taken from the point of view of international legal order. It is one, furthermore, which constitutes a fundamental humanitarian duty and in this sense it is society as a whole - and therefore those politically and institutionally representing it - whom it behoves to undertake it. It is right, therefore, that we should address ourselves today to the public authorities.

... Guaranteed by non-governamental organisation

This in no way means that they will have to accomplish the task alone, at the risk of reproducing the errors or of reasserting the calculated interests of the past. What it does mean is that they should provide themselves with the means of achieving the objective - reckoned in terms of human lives - which necessitates therefore an entirely new form of coordinated action agreed upon by public authorities, international and non-governamental organisations alike, much of the responsability for implementing which would devolve upon the latter: a new approach for a new objective.

A single yardstick: the number of lives saved

The objective of ``operation survival'' is not to obtain money or to increase the volume of public developement aid. The objective is to save five million people from dying from misery and hunger before the end of the year and to ensure their survival long enough for them to be able to look after themselves.

We cannot reckon in terms of sums of money, since no purpose would be served. Our sole yardstick is the number of lives actually saved. Our wish is to return to the path of development those who today strayed from it and are at death's door.

Opyinum use of resources

No cure worse than the sickness, even if it is impossible to provide against every risk of ``wrong remedy'' or deflection.

Certainly, by attacking the mortality rate, we can reckon the result in terms of lives saved, correctly evalute the proposed resources and measure the results without cheating. Maximum possible recourse to the network of non-governmental organizations having already shown proof of their impartiality will also reduce the danger.

We cannot however eliminate it entirely.

Nor can we be entirely certain that what we erect on these foundations is an ideal development. That does not mean, however, that we stand idly by and watch the pile of dead and dying steadily increase.

Where there is life, however imperfect, there is hope

To allow a mass of humanity to die on the pretext that its mere survival would be harmful to genuine, ``correct'' development would be a criminal act. While caution is needed and guarantees require to be taken, it is unthinkable that millions of lives should be sacrified to a planned ideal future which would exclude the slightest risk of error. Nor can we claim that others should have a right to live only insofar as there is the guarantee that what we have ourselves been unable to accomplish in our part of the world is accomplished in theirs. If we are going to wait for every guarantee to be given, the change will never take place and, furthermore, if the decision of principle to save these millions of lives is not taken, there will be no process for us to control. Over the coming days, it is this decision which we shall above all need to arrive at.

These lives can be saved: a question of priorities

This is the only »reasonable option left open to us and one which is feasible technically and supportable in budgetary terms. To claim that is not would be to express the political decision, ostensibly as an ``established fact'', to do nothing to change our way of life. It is, in effect, a question of priorities and, therefore, of will. In the face of the spreading holocaust, our sole guilt would lie in the claim that we are without the capacity to put an end to it in the short term.

An Emergency Survival Plan

An emergency survival plan is not a food aid programme. It is a concerted and integrated operation incorporating the seeds of self-sufficiency: it provides a guarantee of survival given the premise of development.

The first objective is to bring down the level of the highest mortality rates and to follow their downward progression. What is involved, therefore, is not artificial survival, or blind shock therapy, but rather a series of integrated actions based on concerted and co-ordinated effort. While such action may not be sufficient in itself, it is necessary if longer term actions are not to fail and development and restructuring projects are not to look out on a scene of ever-increasing death.

Action needs to be taken above all in countries with higher mortality rates, which may be broken down into zones with a very high mortality level and more ``favoured'' regions. It needs to be concentrated in the worst affected zones, in each of which an inventory needs to be drawn up of the major and secondary causes of mortality (hygiene, disease, water, diet, poverty, resources, harvest, priority use of land, ownership of land, shortcomings, etc...). Information is also needed regarding existing plans and projects and prevailing political conditions.

On the basis of this information, the competent non-governamental organizations, specialist United Nations' Agencies (UNICEF, UNDP, FAO, World Food Council, World Food Programme, WHO, UNCTAD), experts, local representatives and institutions involved through the various Ministries concerned can then work out together all of the measures needed, tailored to the particular situation involved.

The action would, thus, tend to ``freeze'' the process of undernourishment, deteriorating health conditions and impoverishment in the most deprived regions by emergency measures aimed at the primary causes of such a situation and would, at the same time, introduce the first elements in the process of self-sufficiency, particularly with regard to food, and, therefore, of development.

All of this entails the setting up of a diversified network of services and structures, methods of training and education, the spread of small-scale basic infrastructures ensuring an elementary level of operation. At the same time, there has to be a guaranteeed supply of drinking water, health education, on-the-spot storage of foodstuffs, transportation to enable local and interregional trading to take place, family planning, a possible share in food aid, training in the basic elements of cultivating the land areas lost through various conversions dating from the colonial period, etc. A transport operation to route products immediately needed which is carried out by the States of Europe should prevent the incidence of transport ``racketeering'' and the sharp escalation of costs recorded with every normal aid operation.

These actions should be accompanied by national food strategies, regulation of the agricultural production policy (with the priority being given to food crops over export crops), of the price policy and of the marketing and distribution policy and by an agreement on the food aid quota on the basis of local production, so as to ensure a reduction in, followed by an end to, outside aid. This naturally calls for consistency between internal development and internal economic policies, measures to prevent the further spread of desert land, domestic energy policy and the village water supply policy, research in these areas being geared to local data and cultural background. Priority needs to be given simultaneously to speeding up the development of self-sufficiency in agricultural production, so as to meet local requirements, and to all measures aimed at ensuring the immediate survival of the dying. Although this whole operation may be the subject of difficult and sometimes lengthy negociations, there is nothing i

n this context which may not be considered.

Thus, through the emergency plan and the accomplishment of ``operation survival'', immediate action and the establishment of longer-term policies designed to restore the social fabric, far from interfering with each other or operating in isolation, provide the basis for mutual support.

 
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