[Edition 28] NEW YORK, Monday: Last- minute drinks at the UN Millennium conference have led to the inclusion of several new hollow catch phrases in the conference declaration. The document entitled the UN Millennium Declaration sets down the new principles which nation states will pay lip service to in the new millennium.
Cartoon by Fiona Kautsakis
[Edition 28] NEW YORK, Monday: Last-minute drinks at the UN Millennium conference have led to the inclusion of several new hollow catch phrases in the conference declaration. The document entitled the UN Millennium Declaration sets down the new principles which nation states will pay lip service to in the new millennium.
“It is important that nations around the world know what abuses they have to deny and those that they can just ignore altogether,” said UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. “Nations ignoring the principles of the Declaration will now be forced to go as far as official denials and perhaps even assurances that they agree with the principles.”
Mr Annan said he was pleased very with the result and believed that the Declaration laid down a ‘road-map for the future of human rights’. “Sadly, the world is run by men, so no-one will ever choose to look at the road-map, but at least it is there just in case.”
Leaders and diplomats from all over the world came together to pay lip service to doctrine which involved grand principles for the future of the world while ensuring that they were still imprecise enough to be ignored.
“I came up with the phrase ‘common humanity’ and everyone agreed it sounded pretty cool so we put it in,” said Annan. “But the funniest things was when we got the Pakistani delegate to propose the ‘equal rights and opportunities of women and men must be assured’ line. We couldn’t stop laughing. He thought its was hysterical.”
Throughout the world, people starving as their leaders attended the conference were relieved that they now had a ‘right’ to live their lives free of hunger.
“I am so glad that I now have the right to be free from hunger and war,” said one Angolan citizen who was pleased that Foreign Minister João Bernardo had attended the summit in New York. “In the past I have always been beaten by soldiers when I have had food.”
Australian Prime Minister John Howard complained that the other world leaders did not agree to include his suggested principle of a ‘fair go’. Howard said the principle of a fair go, which formed the basis of his speech to the conference, was “the perfect example of a popular hollow phrase which can be moulded to your own political goals. You only have to look at the way I have used it to further my policies in Australia to see that”.
All delegates said that they agreed with the doctrines laid down in the document although they admitted that there were important clarifications which unfortunately couldn’t be fitted into the document after the UN photocopier broke down.