Thursday, September 30, 2004

"Rule of Law at Risk"

The United Nations General Assembly had the first day of its annual top-level debate on September 21, 2004. In an address to the Assembly, Secretary-General Kofi Annan said as follows [1]:
Today the rule of law is at risk around the world. Again and again, we see fundamental laws shamelessly disregarded -- those that ordain respect for innocent life, for civilians, for the vulnerable -- especially children.
Annan mentioned situations in Iraq, Darfur, northern Uganda, Beslan and Israel as only a few examples of the shameless disregard for the rule. His words are heavy and respectable. Politicians of every nation should pay serious attention to his words, and people of every nation should not vote for those politicians who neglect his words.

Earlier than the above address, in an interview with the BBC on September 15, Annan said more severely that the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was illegal because it violated the U.N. Charter [2].

Note added later: The title of a story published at the PhysicsWeb site recently [3] was "Law-breaking liquid defies the rules." I wondered what would be a Japanese translation of this title to be put at my website, because I thought the words "law" and "rules" had the same meaning. The story was about the strange behavior of a liquid to "freez" when it is heated. The title must have been a modification of Annan's words "the rule of law," in which "rule" has a meaning different from law, i.e. "control."
  1. "Rule of law at risk around the world, says Secretary-General in address to General Assembly," UN Press Release SG/SM/9491, GA/10258 (2004).
  2. Reuters (September 15, 2004).
  3. "Law-breaking liquid defies the rules," PhysicsWeb News (Sep. 24, 2004)

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