Poets Against War continues the tradition of socially engaged poetry by creating venues for poetry as a voice against war, tyranny and oppression.
13,000 Antiwar Poems Presented to Canadian Prime Minister
by Bob Hicks - Poets for Peace - Burlington Ontario CANADA
The presentation to the 13,000 poems was made as promised directly to the Prime Minister of Canada, in Ottawa, by Member of Parliament Ms. Paddy Torsney from Burlington, Ontario. She made the presentation on March 25th and made an announcement in Parliament on March 26th.
The following is a transcript of the announcement made in Canadian Parliament on March 26th:
Ms. Paddy Torsney (Burlington, Lib.): Mr. Speaker, all around the world people are united in their desire for peace. This desire was clearly evident on March 5 when my constituency office served as the Canadian presentation site for Poets for Peace. Some 11,000 poets for peace collected 13,000 anti-war poems through the Internet. Poems were submitted by eight Pulitzer prize-winning poets, professors, business people, homemakers and war veterans from around the world and were presented to the government representatives in 12 countries. Yesterday it was my great pleasure to present these poems to the right hon. Prime Minister. I am pleased that concerned citizens from my riding and from across Canada and people around the world are speaking out and letting their government representatives know of their desire for peace. All of us hope for a speedy resolution to the current conflict in the world.
The following is the position of the Canadian government as expressed on April 3, 2003:
Hon. John Manley (Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Lib.):
Mr. Speaker, may I begin by saying that I believe it is appropriate for parliamentarians once again to have the opportunity to express themselves on the events that we see unfolding daily in Iraq. Canada is not directly engaged in this conflict. We stood apart because we believe that it is the Security Council of the United Nations that ought to take the responsibility for authorizing the use of force in international conflict. This is consistent with decades of Canadian foreign policy and it is consistent with the charter of the United Nations. It is consistent with past practice, as long ago as the Korean war and as recently as the first gulf war. Our principles have not changed. They are as strong today as they were when our diplomats were working tirelessly toward bringing a new resolution before the United Nations Security Council.
We reaffirm our support and commitment to international institutions upon which world peace and security depend. Canada firmly believes in the essential role the United Nations must play in the aftermath of this conflict as well as in the resolution of any other conflict. Canada remains steadfastly committed to providing humanitarian assistance now and in the future, and to supporting the reconstruction process in Iraq once the conflict is over.
Bob Hicks: I join with the many thousands of poets around the world who feel deep sorrow over the tragedy we have witnessed since this war began. I hope we can come together to build peace, with tolerance, goodwill, compassion and respect for all people in the days, and months ahead.