Samstag, 29. Dezember 2012



We and the Ethiopian people are honoured to welcome
to our country this most distinguished gathering of eminent
scholars and scientists. The occasion is of especial signific-
ance to Us since We respect and earnestly seek to support in
all Our actions the very principles which have brought you
together here from diverse nations and political creeds
vigorously and openly to discuss with one another some of
the major problems of our time. We are pleased, indeed,
that the University and the Foundation which bear Our
name, have been able in some measure to further the noble
work and ideals of the great men whose efforts led to the
creation of this extraordinary series of Conferences on
Science and World Affairs. We must acknowledge once
more Our sincere admiration for Lord Bertrand Russell,
whose indomitable courage and profound moral and scientific
teachings have left an indelible mark on the history of
our times, and whose spirit infuses and enlivens the discus-
sions which take place under the aegis of these Conferences.

It was, of course, inevitable that Pugwash should one
day come to Africa; nor could a more appropriate location
have been found for the first of these Conferences ever to
be held on African soil. For it was in this very room that
the unity of Africa first took form and substance less than
three years ago with the establishment of the Organization of
African Unity. The location is appropriate, not merely because
this room and building are in some ways symbolic of
the common hopes and aspirations of all the free peoples of
this continent, but also because the fundamental principles
which Africans have espoused in so joining together appear
to Us to be closely linked with those which underlie the
Pugwash Conferences.

These Conferences arose out of the belief that there
were certain problems facing the world today; problems of
such vital importance to mankind that there was great need
to discuss them freely without reference to conflicting moral
or political ideologies; problems indeed of such magnitude,
such universal importance, that common ground of agree-
ment must and could be found and common proposals for
their solution could arise through the process of objective
observation and analysis in which scientists are trained.

Free Communication Needed

Africans, too, have recognized the imperative that there
must be, for the sake of their common welfare, some means
for the free communication and exchange of ideas in an at- 
mosphere untainted by extraneous political considerations.
We may not consciously have sought the “scientific” way to
deal with Our problems, but we have recognized and continue
to maintain Our belief in the necessity for an objective approach
to the difficulties which we share.

In these hours of crisis and tension across the world, no
nation, however willing, can hold itself apart from the
encroachment of political and nationalistic forces. Nonetheless,
it remains clear beyond doubt that the interests and
concerns shared by the developing nations cover a vast
expanse demanding exploration, but as yet scarcely known
to exist.

Thus, the subject matter of this, the fifteenth of the
Pugwash Conferences, is vital, timely and potentially of far-
reaching importance. The developing world now includes
the greater part of the human race; thence it is essential
that the hopes, the aspirations, and the necessities of its
peoples be carefully evaluated and understood.
Progress in this world had been possible only through
the consistent application of knowledge which was amassed
by you scientists and your predecessors during the past
centuries. One need look no farther than the wonders of
Axum and Lallibela to realize that this continent in which
you are now assembled did, at one time, share the benefits
of science and technology.

However, all of you here, trained, and excellent, in the
application of your minds to the true understanding and
betterment of the world, are now confronted with what has
been termed the “revolution of rising expectations.” Ultimately,
this is a revolution which can be peacefully accomplished
only through an unselfish cooperation among nations.
Yet we cannot postpone the needs, the hopes, the aspirations
of our peoples indefinitely.

Little Spent For Development

To be sure, there exists throughout the world a sense
that something must be done, and, as well, a belief that all
that should be done is being done. But in terms of the
enormous resources squandered in wars or in the amassing
of weapons of destruction or even devoted to the enthralling
conquest of space, the amount which has been allotted to
bettering the existence of the individual in the developing
world is little indeed.

Poverty, fear, ignorance, disease are not problems van-
quished in the wake of scientific progress; they are the pro-
blems with which we struggle from day to day.
All these problems will surely not be solved by the present
Conference. But, it is Our earnest conviction that, at
the very least, the forthright exchange of ideas and impress-
sions concerning them will occur here.

In a world made strong and prosperous through the
force of man’s intellect, it is a further challenge to that
intellect that science be charged to solve the unique problems
of development; for all mankind must share in the better
life which progress has made possible.

It is this challenge which must triumph over the evils
that plague our peoples; which must temper and reduce the
racial, political and religious differences among them; which
must bring to them the peace required for the better world
which you seek to create.

It is this challenge which must be the impetus and the
inspiration of your deliberations here.

Dec. 29, 1965.

Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie - page 105 –

Translation and information in German

Speech of The Day (110): Inauguration of the 1st Session of The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa

His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, On
Monday, December 29, 1958, inaugurated the
1st Session of the United Nations Economic
Commission for Africa with the following Speech

"It is with great pleasure that We, on behalf of
Ourselves and Our beloved people, today extend Our
warmest greetings to the delegations of the Economic
Commission for Africa who have gathered here from all
over this great continent, and, in particular, to the
Honourable Dag Hammerskjoeld, Secretary General of
the United Nations, who is Our honoured guest on this
occasion. We welcome you all to Our capital.
The opening Session of the United Nations Economic
Commission for Africa is truly a most historic and
significant event for the great African continent. But
a short half-century, ago, only the' most far-sighted
individuals dared predict that within fifty years Africa
would have so far progressed along the path of political
and economic progress that a conference such as this,
where representatives of nine independent African
nations, as well as representatives of several other African
countries have gathered together in solemn conclave
to consider the common problems of Africa and the
African peoples, would be possible. And yet this has
come to pass, and today we are assembled here for
this very' purpose. Our heart overflows in the attainment
of this moment.

Only a few years ago, meetings to consider African
problems were held outside of Africa. and the fate of its
peoples were decided by non-Africans. Today, the
tradition of Berlin and Algeria has been repudiated,
and it is thanks to the Conference of Accra and now of
Addis Ababa that the peoples of Africa can, at long last,
deliberate on their own problems and future.

The political growth of the peoples of Africa, a
development which has come to fruition within the
life time of everyone of us here present, is one of the most
striking and extraordinary evolutions in the recorded
history of man. The political coming of age of the
African peoples is ample testimony that we are witnessing
the inauguration of a new and splendid period in this
continent's history. The number of African states
which now enjoy their independence is only nine, but
this number will grow in the future. In 1960, additional
states will emerge into the brilliant sun of freedom,
clear evidence that the political growth, which in a few
short years has transformed the status of so great a
number of the African peoples, has not yet finished, and
that it will not come to its end until the goal toward
which this movement has steadily and inexorably
progressed has been totally realized.

Political independence, however, is but one part of
the complex of problems which face the African peoples
in their struggles to achieve their rightful place in the
world. It is paradoxical that while Africa is potentially
the richest of the continents, large numbers of her people
still lead an existence that can only be regarded as substandard.
A major cause of this lag in Africa's economic
development has been the lack of education of her
peoples. Let us not be too proud to face these facts and
to recognize Africa's deficiencies and defects. Let us
face honestly and frankly the fact that by the standard of
the modern world, the African peoples today are poor,
Our poverty need not cover us with shame. Africa,
despite the predominantly agricultural basis of her
economy produces only a small percent of the world's
foodstuffs. Indeed, Africa produces scarcely enough
food to support her own peoples. The average wage of
the African worker compares unfavourably with that of
other areas of the world. The average African may,
if fate has smiled upon him, receive the minimum amount
of nourishment necessary for physical survival, but
rarely more.

Among the reasons for the poverty and hard life
of the African peoples must be numbered the fact that
heretofore most Africans have not enjoyed the freedom
which they are now attaining. In addition, the lack of
the capital essential to the development of their economies
and the shortage of technically qualified personnel have
severely limited Africa's capacity for economic growth.
But, just as we must not be too proud to recognize the
facts of Africa's economic situation as it exists today, so
we must not be cast down or discouraged by the magnitude
of the problems which face us. For Africa is potentially
rich. She has enormous deposits of raw
materials, and the total extent of her wealth is by no
means yet known. Africa produces large quantities
of several of the world's basic minerals and metals. She
produces large quantities of various agricultural products
such as palm oil and cocoa. The fertility of much of
her land is potentially high in the extreme. A tremendous
potential for the production of hydroelectric
power and the irrigation of her land is found in the lakes
and rivers of this great continent.

The vista that opens before the Economic Commission
for Africa is fulfilling the weighty responsibilities
laid upon it by the United Nations General Assembly which
is vast. The tasks are immense. Much labour and toil
will be demanded, not only from those who will constitute
the permanent organization, but also from the
governments of all countries and territories in fulfilling
the commitments and discharging the responsibilities
resting upon its members and associate members.
The economies of the African states have too long
existed as separate, self-contained, isolated entities.
African countries have for too long been forced to nurse
their own economies and puzzle out their complicated
problems by themselves or else have them handled
hap-hazardly for them by others. We are all only
too well acquainted with the difficulties and barriers
that the African peoples have had to overcome in coming
together to deliberate on matters of common interest.
But it is impossible to believe that individual countries,
working alone and isolated from their neighbours, can
ever achieve their objectives, and the African peoples
must therefore work and cooperate together if the economic
development of this continent is to be furthered.

The Ethiopian people in particular, long isolated
socially and geographically, have had to plough a lonely
furrow in many fields of economic endeavour, lacking
the right and the facility to draw upon the experience
and knowledge of others who were attempting to solve
almost identical problems. Now, however, as almost
every paragraph in the charter of this Commission
emphasizes; the goal on which Our eyes have always
been fixed as a primary goal for Our people - the
raising of their standard of living - has become the
declared objective of the Governments of the member
states whose representatives are gathered here today, to
be sought, in every way, by concerted action. Concerted
action, cooperation, coordinated policies - these
honourable delegates, -are not just words, but great and
noble conceptions. In them and in what they stand for,
can be found the key for fulfilment of the longings
and the hopes of millions of Africans.
Our task, the task of all gathered here and of those
Other African countries who are not numbered among
the representatives at this first session of the Economic
Commission for Africa, is to improve the economic lot
Of All African peoples, to raise them to a standard of
living comparable to that enjoyed in the most highly-
developed regions of the world today. This is a task and
a challenge which must be met. And because this
touches all of us, all must labour and work for success in
this endeavour.

When the commission comes to consider specific
problems in the course of its deliberations, We ardently
hope that it will give serious consideration to finding
ways and means of extending immediate economic
assistance not only to all African nations which are in
need of such aid, but as well to those territories which
are on the threshold of independence. It must constantly
be borne in mind that the economic problems of some
of the younger African states and of those areas
which are on the verge of statehood are most pressing
and serious. The United Nations Organization and the
older States are consequently, under a grave moral
obligation to alleviate the economic difficulties of these
young States and territories, and to help them found
their economic structure upon a firm basis that will
maintain and assure their political independence.
Political and economic progress should go hand in hand.

There are other grave and important matters to
which We trust the Commission will not fail to direct
its attention. Among these are the implications of the
involvement of African nations in regional preferential
trade agreements with nations of other continents. The
Commission could well take concrete steps to explore
the possibilities of establishing statistical methodology to
be employed in common by all member states. 
A programme of close co-operation between the Commission
and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organi-
sation to study the possibilities of increasing food produc-
tion in areas where people are under-nourished, and of
wiping out cattle disease, problems of great importance
to African countries whose economies are predominatly
agricultural, would fulfil a long-felt need.

In view of the great influence of public health
problems upon the ecconomic development of African
countries, the exploration and recommendation of
solutions to such problems by the Commission, in
collaboration with the World Health Organization,
would aid immeasurably in accelerating the tempo
of the economic development of the African continent.
All African countries depend on their export trade for
the taking of all necessary measures for the promotion,
stabilisation and diversification of exports of the ECA
member countries. The Commission should give serious
consideration to the prevalent transporation and Communications
problems which have a considerable influence
upon the development of all African countries, and seek
resolutely to find solutions to the difficulties which
perplex us all in these fields. Solving these problems would
contribute much towards the economic development
of Africa. In undertaking such a study due consideration
should be given to the desirability of establishing
closer connections between the various national transportation
systems thus encouraging closer economic
and commercial relations among member states.

It is appropriate that this gathering today is held
under the sponsorship of the United Nations. The
United Nations is a living and tangible testimony to the
value of cooperative efforts among all men to improve
their way of life and preserve peace. We believe that
the African peoples, too, can co-operate effectively for
the common good, for their own good and for that of all
men. But this requires single-mindedness and an
unswerving devotion to the cause of Africa and be
guided by the principle expressed in the Holy Scriptures
'Love Thy Neighbour as Thyself'.

Africa is not the first geographical area to be
embraced by a regional Economic Commission. This
we do not consider a disadvantage, since the experience
gained and the lessons learnt by its predecessors in
Europe, Latin America and Asia and the Far East can
be drawn upon. But many of the economic and social
problems are new, and the paths untrodded. In your
task of finding the answers and the way, honourable
delegates, not only the eyes of all Africa but of all the
world will be upon you. We, for Our part, pledge the
highest endeavours of Our Government and people in
aiding and speeding your work, not only for this meeting
of the Commission but for the efforts and objectives of
this organization in the years that are to come. May
Almighty God prosper that work, and grant that it may
be pursued in peace, in peace of mind and of circumstance,
unhindered by the fact or threat of war.

This land, of which you are the honoured guests
has known and suffered from the horrors and brutalities
of war. The threats of armed conflict, the obsession
with war and armed might are evils yet to be eradicated
from the minds of men. So long as they survive, progress
towards the high and noble objectives to which this
organization is dedicated will be handicapped and
enveloped in darkness. In the mobilization of economic
resources, in the search for ways to improve the lot of
man" whether African or not, the threat to peace stands
as a grim obstacle. The essential prerequisite for
economic and social contentment is world peace, and
without such contentment, the weeds of discontent
luxuriate, and threats to peace develop.

We pray that peace may be vouchsafed to all men,
that the labours of this Commission may even be conducted
in an atmosphere of harmony and cooperation."

Speeches delivered by His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie Ist Emperor of Ethiopia on various occasions - page 99 -    & Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie - page 192 –             

Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld greeting His Imperial Majesty, Emperor Haile Selassie I. At centre back is Mr. Mekki Abbas, Executive Secretary of ECA.
29 December 1958 - Addis Ababa, Ethiopia