Open Letter To UN General Secretary
“As poets, we are not women and men of power. We are not among those who run the world. We are neither bankers, nor Heads of State, nor commanders-in-chief”.
To His Excellency António Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations
Dear Mr. Secretary General,
We write to you on behalf of the hundreds of poets of all nationalities, gathered in the World Poetry Movement (WPM).
As poets, we are not women and men of power. We are not among those who run the world. We are neither bankers, nor Heads of State, nor commanders-in-chief.
As poets, however, we are accountable for the wealth of words and ideas which form mankind’s beauty, its sense of dignity and hope.
Poets from all places and times have but one true message, i.e., that life is precious, that it deserves to be praised and must be defended.
Nowadays, however, threats to mankind are accumulating.
A minority’s search for immediate profit consistently enforces its selfish and suicidal rule. In order to maintain its dominance, this minority opposes the emergency measures required by the social and environmental challenges. This minority does not hesitate to jeopardize the peoples’ freedom, democracy and sovereignty – to the point of starting another war.
We are indeed concerned when we see how a great country – also the world’s major military power – inspires and supports legal coups in Latin America.
We are indeed concerned when that country’s president commissions a terrorist attack in Iraq, at the risk of triggering renewed violence in the Middle East and elsewhere. We are indeed concerned when we hear that he threatens to bomb cultural sites which are the wealth of all civilization.
No ruler on this planet should be allowed to be a reckless firebrand unopposed. We expect concrete action from the international community against fire hazards. We need the United Nations’ solidarity to fight the forest fires caused by global warming, like the fires in Australia. And we need that solidarity to prevent the blazes that threaten world peace.
Thank you, Mr. Secretary General, for hearing the voice of the poets of the world, and making it heard among the community of Nations.
Jack Hirschman: poet and former director San Francisco International Poetry Festival (United States)
Rati Saxena: poet and director Krytia International Poetry Festival (India)
Alex Pausides: poet and director of the International Poetry Festival of La Havana (Cuba).
Ataol Behramoglu: poet, organizer and counselor of Smyrna Poetry Festival (Turkey).
Ayo Ayoola-Amale, poet and director, Splendors of Dawn Poetry Foundation (Ghana).
Francis Combes: poet and director of Festival International des Poètes en Val-de-Marne (France).
Zolani Mkiva, poet and director of His Royal Heritage International Poetry Festival (South Africa).
Mohammed Al Nabhan: poet and co-founder of Cultural Foundation Jozoor, founder of Masaa Publishing (Kuwait/Bahrain).
Jidi Majia: poet and vicepresident of China Writers Association (Popular Republic of China).
Khalid Raissouni: poet and member of the Writer Union of Morocco (Morocco).
Christopher Okemwa: poet and director, Kistrech Poetry Festival of Kenya.
Keshab Sigdel: poet and member of Society of Nepali Writers in English (Nepal).
Oscar Saavedra: poet and coordinator of the Latin American poetry meeting Descentralización Poética (Chile).
Magdalena Camargo Lemieszek: poet (Panama).
Agneta Falk: Poet (Sweden).
Vadim Terekhin: Poet and co-president of Writers’ Union of Russia (Russia).
Les Wicks, poet (Australia).
Koumanthio Zeinab Diallo, poet (Guinea).
Fernando Rendón: poet, director Festival Internacional de Poesía de Medellín (Colombia), and General Coordinator of World Poetry Movement.