Comments from world leaders

"I believe the paragraphs distilled over the last few years by the distinguished members of the InterAction Council under the Honorary Chairmanship of Helmut Schmidt are of the utmost significance today. I believe that the code of human rights and human responsibilities, as presented in the declaration of the InterAction Council, can serve as a guide to humanity."

Lord Yehudi Menuhin
January 1998


"I fully support the principle that, just as people have rights, they also have responsibilities. It is an underlying theme of all my government's policies that people must accept the responsibilities they have for their own lives, and also for others around them."

Tony Blair
Prime Minister of the United Kindom
October 1997


"The search for universal ethical standards is something that should be of interest and benefit to all countries and as you have so aptly pointed out in your letter, Eastern civilizations have always attached primacy and importance to human obligations and responsibilities. Indeed these are the complemental aspects of human rights and also safeguards to ensure that liberty does not degenerate into license."

Sheikh Hasina Wazed
Prime Minister of the People's Republic of Bangladesh
October 1997


"You understand that the objective of this common value system, which emphasizes the duty of all, is a crucial question in our continent where the situation is particularly dramatic. That is why I agree totally with you, that the sense of responsibilities must be given definite value and integrated in all societies."

Henri Konan Bedie
President of the Republic of Cote d'Ivoire
October 1997


"I agree fully with your premise that with rights come responsibilities, and I share your commitment to non-violence, respect for life, justice, solidarity, truthfulness and tolerance."

Kofi A. Annan
Secretary-General, United Nations
September 1997


"This [Universal Declaration of Human Responsibilities] is a most interesting document, and one that raises a number important questions. I can assure you that it will be given close and careful consideration by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade during preparations for the 50th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights."

Lloyd Axworthy
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Canada
October 1997


"I am pleased to tell you that strategies and policies of the Asian Development Bank are in harmony with the Council's recommendations, particularly those regarding poverty reduction. We will continue to take these recommendations into account in further developing the Bank's strategies and policies."

Mitsuo Sato
Asian Development Bank
September 1996


"The problems analyzed by your Organisation are very important for the future of the world and, as you probably know, are also among the preoccupations of the Club of Rome."

Bertrand Schneider
The Club of Rome
August 1996


"The concerns of the Council on global ethical standards and a stable financial system are topical issues in view of globalisation caused by information technology. Without mechanisms to attend to the risks of globalisation, some countries will fail to cope up and to give their nationals a definitive path to a worthwhile development."

Ng'andu Peter Magande
African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States
August 1996


"On behalf of the Cameroon Government, I hereby state our adherence to the recommendation of the said session and do pledge our commitment to their implementation, in so far as they contribute immensely to further the course of peace and sustainable development of the mankind."

Simon Achidi Achu
Prime Minister of Republic of Cameroon
August 1996


"Recommendations by the expert group "In Search of Global Ethical Standards" was of particular interest to me. The growing importance of international trade to our economy has brought about a heightened awareness of ethical issues within the Canadian business sector."

Arthur C. Eggleton
Minister for International Trade of Canada
August 1996


"Both themes are of interest to me and I will certainly find the time to read the reports and see how the conclusions and recommendations of renowned former Heads of State and Government such as yourselves could be internalised into our own policies."

Benjamin William Mkapa
President of the United Republic of Tanzania
July 1996


"Plusieurs des points souleves par le Conseil sont essentiels a l'amelioration de la situation sociale et economique a travers le monde. En raison de leurs repercussions profondes, les standards d'ethique et la stabilite du systeme financier comptent parmi les questions importantes auxquelles les dirigeants actuels doivent accorder une attention particuliere. Je suis persuade que les avis eclaires de groupes influents tels que votre ne peuvent manquer de faire impact sur leurs choix strategiques et leurs decisions quotidiennes."

Jean Chrétien
Prime Minister of Canada
July 1996


"I was particularly taken by the high-level participation at the Council's conference and trust that the noble goals espoused by the InterAction Council will be an inspiration to Governments around the world."

J.B. Bolger
Prime Minister of New Zealand
July 1996


"I was most interested by your analysis of the international situation and by the reflections on global ethical standards and the creation of a stable international financial system and I agree with your conclusions in many respects."

Helmut Kohl
Federal Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany
July 1996


"I firmly believe that policy-makers responsible for improving both human and economic aspects of life of mankind with no other choice than to live together on our single planet Earth will be impressed with your recommendations and will use them as a practical guide in their own work."

Arpad Goncz
President of the Republic of Hungary
July 1996


"I share many of the concerns you raise, including the need to control population growth in the developing world and the need to pursue energy saving measures and a more ecological approach to energy production. These issues are among the key challenges that the international community must address. Your report offers valuable insights on these important problems."

Bill Clinton
President of the United States of America
October 1992


"It is invaluable to me to have your insights on the challenging new issues we face together."

George Bush
President of the United States of America
August 1992


"Je sais tout l'interêt que vous portez aux grandes questions politiques et économiques internationales. Par la qualité de ses membres, par la diversité géographique de sa composition, le Conseil me paraît être un lieu privilegie de réflexion et de dialogue entre des personnalités d'éxperience ayant exercé oú étant appelées á assumer d'éminentes responsabilités."

Francois Mitterand
President of the French Republic
August 1990


"I was particularly interested to read of the work of the InterAction Council, much of which was relevant to the discussion we had in Naples. I thought the Summit was the best I had attended because for the first time we were able to look at the longer term, strategic questions in an informal and unscripted way. This is something I have long advocated and is, I suspect, much closer to the approach adopted by the InterAction Council. I hope we shall be able to continue in the same vein in Halifax next year."

John Major
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
July 1994


"Das von Ihnen beigefuegte Papier [des InterAction Councils] zum Thema 'Wirtschaftssysteme im Uebergang' enthaelt wertvolle Ueberlegungen fuer die Diskussion ueber wirtschaftliche Reformen in der Sowjetunion."

Helmut Kohl
Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany
July 1991


"I was particularly pleased to note that on several issues, there is a high level of convergence between the views expressed by the Council and the positions of the Government of Canada."

Jean Chrétien
Prime Minister of Canada
July 1994


"Je tiens a vous exprimer la haute appreciation que je porter sur les travaux du "Conseil interaction", qui apportent une contribution de tres grande qualite a la necessaire reflexion sur les grandes questions qui ont trait a la securite internationale et au devleoppment economique et social."

Edouard Balladur
Prime Minister of France
July 1994


"I express to you my greatest admiration for your noble efforts in bringing about world peace and advancement."

Kim Young Sam
President of the Republic of Korea
July 1994


"The work of the InterAction Council is highly valued also in Finland, and the Finnish Government will take due note of the resolutions of your Council."

Esko Aho
Prime Minister of Finland
August 1994


"...that New Zealand has appreciated the work of the Council is engaged on, and hopes it will continue, as a fitting memorial to the efforts made by Mr. Fukuda."

J. B. Bolger
Prime Minister of New Zealand
September 1995


"The concept [for a political and economic reform] I have described [in the letter to the 1991 G-7 summit]...takes into account the conclusions and recommendations...of the recent conference of the InterAction Council..."

Mikhail S.Gorbachev
President of the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics
July 1991


"I have asked my collaborators to use these documents [the reports of the ninth session of the InterAction Council] as sources and inspiration for our own work..."

Gro Harlem Brundtland
Prime Minister of Norway
July 1991


"The Council has attained significant accomplishments in finding peaceful solutions to regional conflicts and disputes, in preserving the environment of the Earth, and in combating racism and other prejudices and injustices around the world. What you have been saying and doing has sharply jolted the conscience of the world."

Roh Tae Woo
President, Republic of Korea
May 1990


"In a world in which old realities are rapidly becoming obsolete, there is a great need for penetrating analyses and thought-provoking ideas. I am convinced that the InterAction Council's work is warmly applauded by all who are interested in international relations."

Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands
August 1992


"He leído con gran interés esta documentación que analiza con cuidadoso detalle algunos de los principales retos a los que se enfrenta la Comunidad Internacional, y considero constructivas y clarificadoras sus recomendaciones para la consecución de los objetivos de justicia, progreso y desarrollo en América Latina y el mundo."

King Juan Carlos of Spain
August 1992


"The work which has been carried out in preparing the reports [of Querétaro] is admirable and I would like to commend the Council's contribution in focusing attention on international issues of acute importance to all the world's peoples."

Mary Robinson
President of Ireland
September 1992


"We appreciate your endeavors for peace and development, for the welfare of mankind and your engagement for the environmental protection. Moreover, we equally highly appreciate your contribution bestowed for the solution of problems which have come upon the whole of the territory of former Yugoslavia."

Milan Kucan
President of Slovenia
August 1992


"It is the hope of His Holiness that the InterAction Council become an ever more effective agent within the international community for the promotion of policies and decisions inspired by respect for the rights of all the members of the human family."

Angelo Cardinal Sodano
Secretary of State of the Holy See
September 1992


"The Holy Father wishes to encourage all the members of the Council in your efforts toward resolving pressing global problems drawing upon your vast experience as responsible political and social leaders. He is confident that the insights gained from your discussions will further the cause of greater justice and peace for all the world's peoples. To all associated with the InterAction Council His Holiness gives the assurance of his prayerful good wishes."

Agostino Cardinal Casaroli
Secretary of State of the Holy See
August 1990


"The Council's activities offer springboards for reflection in directing the actions of our governments toward resolution of the problems [mentioned in the Queretaro statement]."

Oscar Luigi Scalfaro
President of Italy
September 1992


"I am asking my colleagues here to look carefully at the papers enclosed with your letter, and I will write to you again soon with any comments or suggestions on them."

Boutros Boutros-Ghali
Secretary General of the United Nations
September 1995


"J'ai particulierement retenu les reflexions et les propositions qui sont contenues dans le rapport [du Petersberg]. Il correspond aux preoccupations de la conscience europeenne et aux interrogations de la societe francaises sur les grands defis auxquels nous sommes confrontes....Dans tous les domaines que vous evoquez, la politique du Gouvernement francais vise precisement, comme vous suggerez, a choisir les moyens nationaux les plus efficaces au service du progres, sans jamais oublier notre interdependence et l'obligation qui nous est faite de perfectionner les instruments multilateraux sans lesquels notre action serait ou freinee ou insuffisante."

Pierre Beregovoy
Prime Minister of France
September 1992


"...appreciation for the careful evaluation and thoughtful proposals regarding the many problems of the world."

Steingrimur Hermannsson
Prime Minister of Iceland
August 1992


"The proposals contained in the [Queretaro] documents will be of great value to those concerned with the present situation in the world affairs and faced with the immense challenges they present."

Turgut Özal
President of Turkey
August 1992


"Como es habitual, los trabajos y conclusiones del Consejo son de una gran actualidad y de alto nivel en el diagnóstico y en las propuestas de solución a los problemas identificados."

Felipe Gonzalez Marquez
President of the Government of Spain
July 1991


"We will take into consideration your concerns and assessments which, in many regards, we fully share."

Fidel Castro R.
President of Cuba
October 1992


"I appreciate your sharing the thought-provoking documents [of Querétaro] with me."

Levon Ter-Petrossian
President of Armenia
September 1992


"Coincido con el Consejo en la necesidad de estimular el debate en torno a temas de fundamental importancia en la presente coyuntura mundial y continental, los mismos que son adecuadamente identificados en la nota y documentación."

Jaime Paz Zamora
President of Bolivia
July 1992


"It is particularly encouraging to realize that the Council's agenda coincides with that of the Global Coalition for Africa which I co-chair."

Quett K. J. Masire
President of Botswana
August 1992


"Aprovecho la oportunidad para felicitarlo por su constante labor y liderazgo en la búsqueda de soluciones para los problemas globales que afectan a la humanidad."

César Gaviria Trujillo
President of Colombia
August 1992


"I have read your proposals very carefully, since they represent an excellent assessment of the problems and needs we face at present."

Rafael Angel Calderón
President of Costa Rica
September 1992


"I welcome that the InterAction Council deals with critical issues for mankind today and seeks to offer solutions."

Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani
President, Islamic Republic of Iran
February 1993


"I fully share your view that there is need to develop additional rules in order to respond to the drastically changing international landscape. I assure you that Turkey will continue to implement your proposals, both in the context of domestic policy and at high-level meetings."

Suleyman Demirel
Prime Minister of Turkey
November 1992


"I was struck by the broad consensus that exists between the InterAction Council and the European Commission in the analysis of global problems and recommendations of measures to tackle them. I also share the views concerning the changing nature of sovereignty in the modern world. In an increasingly interdependent world the concept of national sovereignty has lost much of its meaning. The ambitious plans of the European Community, as outlined in the Maastricht Treaty, should hopefully provide a model of cooperation which other states might care to emulate. I am sure you will agree that a strengthened European Community is a vital element in the search for a new global order."

Jacques Delors
President of the Commission of the European Communities
December 1992


"Appreciating your efforts in the service of humanity through InterAction Council, I wish these efforts all success."

Hafez Al-Assad
President of the Syrian Arab Republic
November 1991


"Uganda will strive to do its utmost to implement within its national programme the recommendations [of the Council] that are pertinent."

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni
President of Uganda
September 1992


"The final statement [of Seoul] indeed deserves utmost consideration by all developing countries....The Council has been undertaking its work with dedication and excellence."

Corazón Aquino 
President of the Philippines
September 1990


"I found [the Council's Final Statement of Washington] very interesting. [It] rightly underlines the massively increasing demand for energy in developing countries and the need for technology to improve energy efficiency to help these countries....I strongly endorse your views on the need for structural adjustment in both developed and developing countries..."

Margaret Thatcher
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
July 1989


"The Lisbon Statement on Global Interdependence and National Sovereignty was very good."

Lee Kuan Yew
Prime Minister of Singapore
July 1990


" sincere thanks and my appreciation for the fruitful activities."

Falvio Cotti
President of the Swiss Confederation
October 1991


"You have united your efforts in the InterAction Council, a body distinguished by the quality of the statesmen from different countries and continents who comprise it. Your InterAction Council has become a prototype of the kind of world assembly that could share with all people their views, tried and tested by experience, and their wishes prompted by noble impulses."

Andrei A. Gromyko
Chairman, Presidium of the Supreme Soviet, USSR
May 1988


"World leaders are now truly world leaders, not just leaders known to the whole world. International fame must carry with it international responsibility as well...responsibility cannot just cease because one is out of office. The world should continue to benefit from the experience and knowledge that you have accumulated while in office....In a world gone slightly unbalanced your wise counsels are much needed....You may no longer be wielding power. But you do have influence. You are the conscience of the world. We welcome you because we think the world needs its conscience now more than ever."

Mahathir bin Mohamad
Prime Minister of Malaysia
April 1987

"...the Council's concern with the issues that arise from the colossal political and economic system transformations currently unfolding, in concepts, structures, and dynamics, is legitimate and timely and of important value for humanity."

Yasser Arafat
Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization
September 1991


"The Council's recommendations relating to ecological self-discipline and the need for deliberate family planning policies are timely. The proposal for a collaborative programme in research and development of renewable sources of energy production and consumption deserves serious consideration."

Lewis T. Preston
President, The World Bank
July 1992


"We at OECD strive continually...towards the achievement of the kinds of objectives and policies recommended by the InterAction Council, in particular sound fiscal and monetary policies and accelerated structural reform."

Jean-Claude Paye
Secretary General, OECD
September 1992


"We must all be grateful to you for the quality of the reflection on a new world order which, in the main, has still to be built. I shall not fail to take inspiration from the interesting proposals by the Council in the task of adapting UNESCO's programs to the demands of a new world."

Federico Mayor
Director General of UNESCO
September 1992


"I fully agree with your emphasis on the urgency of consolidating democracy in Latin America, as well as with your view of poverty as probably the main obstacle that will have to be surmounted in order to ensure the survival of democratic institutions in the region."

João Clemente Baena Soares 
Secretary General of the Organization of American States
September 1992


"I fully share your concern on the urgent need to address in a more comprehensive fashion the fundamental issue of population growth."

Ahmed Esmat Abdel-Meguid
Secretary General, League of Arab States
July 1992


"I have taken note of your work with great interest."

Helmut Schlesinger
President, Deutsche Bundesbank
September 1992


"J'ai lu avec beaucoup interet ces divers rapports [du Conseil InterAction] qui presentent des vues tout a fait pertinentes et eclairees..."

Jacques de Larosiere
Governor, Banque de France
July 1991


"The reports and statements of the Council are always valuable, both for their substance and also because of the distinction and experience of their authors. The conclusions [of Seoul] are now even more welcome as the United Nations confronts a greatly expanded agenda. That agenda largely consists of just those kinds of global issues which are discussed [by the Council]...Of particular and immediate importance to me is the Council's call in all of its reports for creativity, commitment and solidarity by all nations. These qualities are essential in international relations if we are to be able to address global issues effectively."

Javier Perez de Cuellar
Secretary-General of the United Nations
July 1990


"Your willingness to continue your service and contribution through this Council demonstrates the highest dedication that a public servant can have... Those of us who are part of the international dialogue have a special responsibility to take account of those aspirations [for a better life ] and to be guided by them as we search for peace and well being. The InterAction Council with its distinguished and experienced members, is a precious resource in that great undertaking."

George P. Shultz
Secretary of State of the United States
February 1986


"I would like to pay my respect to the InterAction Council which, with a strong awareness [of the need to create an environment where mankind can live a decent human life], will directly cope with the vital issues that confront us today."

Shintaro Abe
Foreign Minister of Japan
April 1986


"World matters have become so complex that it is indeed fortunate that figures such as the members of this Council are able to come together in a common exercise of thought. It is particularly important that people who have held the highest office be able to exchange ideas and point of views, compare past actions and combine it with thought. Experience and wisdom are the signs under which your undertaking could be placed....The conclusions of your work will be very beneficial."

Roland Dumas
Foreign Minister of France
April 1985


"One of the great virtues of the Council is its realization that, to paraphrase the poet, 'no nation is an island unto itself.' We must all live and work within an interdependent world."

Lawrence S. Eagleburger
Deputy Secretary of State of the United States
July 1990


"A group of the world's outstanding leaders who not only bear responsibility for the directions in which their countries move, but who are also concerned about attaining equitable and balanced development in the international economy to pave the way for peace."

Belisario Betancur
President of Colombia
September 1984


"The Council is not to be seen as a concentration of power, but as concentration of experience, goodwill and solidarity with the people who live in material and spiritual poverty."

Rudolf Kirchschlaeger
Federal President of Austria
November 1983


"I found the recommendations concerning energy, development, and the environment to be both comprehensive and compelling. I share the Council's strong emphasis on energy efficiency and regard it as the most important near-term strategy for sustaining economic growth while reducing greenhouse gases....I share the Council's call for strong and well-coordinated action by the world community to stem adverse climate change."

Mark L. Edelman
Acting Administrator, United States Agency for International Development
August 1989


"I cannot but agree with your legitimate concern about the necessity for demographic and ecological discipline on the part of both developing and industrialised countries of the world for improving people's living standards and the quality of life on our planet."

Babacar Ndiaye
President, African Development Bank
October 1992


"The suggestions and proposals for action presented by the Council are of utmost importance at a time when consensus on these various questions seems to be emerging in most circles where people think or prepare actions. The thoughts and recommendations of the prominent members of the Council are always eagerly waited for by the economic community."

Jean-Claude Trichet
Chairman of the Paris Club
August 1989


"It is encouraging to note that such a distinguished group spoke so forcefully about the need for increased international population assistance....The work of the InterAction Council will be invaluable to development education and securing the political commitment so critical to successful development."

Nafis Sadik
Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund
July 1989


"The [Washington] statement is indeed a valuable contribution to the development of appropriate policies related to greenhouse gases and climate change."

G.O.P. Obasi
Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization
July 1989


"[The Washington statement and the Trudeau report], which contain an authoritative in-depth scrutiny of the main questions affecting the present situation and the short and longer term prospectives of our planet, are of great interest to our governmental and parliamentary bodies."

Catherine Lalumiere
Secretary-General, Council of Europe
August 1989


"Ich stimme [der Denkschrift zur Frage der internationalen Verschuldung] in der Eindringlichkeit der Mahnung und dem aufgezeigten Handlungsbedarf vollauf zu."

Alfred Herrhausen
Chairman of the Board, Deutsche Bank AG
December 1987


"I find myself very much in accord with the general tenor and substance [of the statement on international debt questions]."

Paul A. Volcker
Former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board
November 1987


"...eine moralische Instanz neben politischen Fuehrungskraeften..."

Kardinal Franz Koenig
Former Archbishop of Vienna, Austria
May 1986


"I want to congratulate you for the creative tasks you carry out in favor of the societies and I hope that you get every kind of success in your endeavours."

Emilio Gamboa Patron
Director General, Instituto Mexicano del Seguro Social
October 1992


"I congratulate you on the most thought provoking and helpful recommendations you have made [in the Queretaro statement]. I hope they will help to influence public policy in both industrialised and developing countries."

M.S. Swaminathan
Chairman, M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation
October 1992


"We have reviewed these documents, and it is not surprising that out of such an eminent gathering should emerge such visionary ideas."

James D. Wolfensohn
President, The World Bank
August 1995


"The Council is quite right as far as the population explosion is concerned. The increase of the world population, mostly in the Third World, is one of the most imminent problems we are facing all over the world."

Kurt Biedenkopf
Minister of Sachsen, Federal Republic of Germany
September 1995


"It is with great interest that I have read the documents from the thirteenth session of the InterAction Council (of former Heads of State and Government. In particular, the summary of the "major points of discussion" clearly outlines the major topics and concerns on the agenda of world politics."

Wilhelm Hoynck
Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)
August 1995


"Let me tell you that I found the documents immensely valuable particularly the subjects discussed are very timely and relevant as much as they are extensive."

Girija Prasad Koirala
Prime Minister of Nepal
August 1995


"I welcome and appreciate very much the fruitful activity of your organisation which has shown the world what kind of results come from mutual efforts. I hope that your organisation and my contry will form a close cooperation in the new future."

Eduard Shevardnadze
Head of State of the Republic of Georgia
September 1995


"The problems analyzed by your Organization are very important for the future of the world and, as you probably know, are also among the preoccupations of the Club of Rome."

Bertrand Schneider
Secretary-General of the Club of Rome
August 1996


"I have found justified and thought-provoking the Forum's review on the current world situation together with its conclusions..... I firmly believe that policy-makers responsible for improving both human and economic aspects of life of mankind with no other choice than to live together on our single planet Earth will be impressed with your recommendations and will use them as a practical guide in their own work.

Arpad Goncz
President of the Republic of Hungary
July 1996


"I found these documents extremely interesting and helpful. I am sure that the communique adopted at the Lyon Summit echoes your concerns."

Jacques Santer
President of the European Commission
July 1996