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Mulroney on Canadian, U.S. roles in new world order
STANFORD -- Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, in the keynote address at the first of three Stanford centennial convocations, said his country and the United States must play key roles in charting "the course of peace."
The theme of the convocation was "Beyond Borders: Seeing the World Whole," and Mulroney as well as his host, George P. Shultz, former secretary of state, spoke of the need for international cooperation and a relaxing of the aggressive diversity that is tearing apart many countries in Eastern Europe and elsewhere.
"It is time now to chart the course of peace," Mulroney said, "now" being after what he called the Third World War, the Cold War.
"There is no map to the future, no instruction book to the new world order -- we have only our values and the hard-earned lessons of the past to go on."
Mulroney said sharing and cooperation at all levels would help determine what kind of world emerges from this era of change.
"We favor re-thinking the limits of national sovereignty in a world where problems respect no borders," Mulroney, wearing an academic robe, said before about 7,000 people in Frost Amphitheater.
"Just a few days ago, Iraq blocked a U.N. arms inspection on the grounds of national sovereignty. In the past year, countries have blocked food delivery to starving people, again on the grounds of national sovereignty. . . . Quite frankly, such invocations of the principle of national sovereignty are as out of date and as offensive to me as the police declining to stop family violence simply because a man's home is supposed to be his castle."
Mulroney said the world looks to the United States for leadership on the integration of the newly emerging democracies into the global economy, much as the United States has provided the leadership on the reduction of nuclear arms.
"Leadership does not equate with unilateralism," Mulroney said. "Nor does it imply a unipolar world. Unipolar globes are notoriously unstable; burden-sharing requires decision-making.
"The burden of building a new world order is too great to be borne by any one country, even a country as powerful and principled as the United States of America; it's a burden that must be shared by all industrialized nations, and I tell you today, Canada will fulfill every single one of its obligations."
The leading industrial countries, Mulroney said, "have a special responsibility to lead. We have all extended the former Soviet Union an olive branch; we must also throw them a lifeline."
Canada will do everything it can, the prime minister said, to help feed and care for needy people in emerging democracies. "But the challenge to the republics . . . goes far, far beyond any short-term need for food and medical supplies."
Mulroney said that if the situation in the former Soviet Union gets much worse, the people could riot as they did in Romania recently. Such riots, he said, "reflected the anger and frustration of ordinary people who thought freedom would swiftly bring a better day, and it did not."
Mulroney said the emerging democracies needed a "kick start," and that several things could be done to help them along:
"Trade is ultimately the most effective way both to provide the resources that are needed and to begin integrating the new economies into the world trading system," he said, adding that Canada would go beyond Most Favored Nation status and provide tariffs as low as zero in many categories, "as long as those countries continue their progress to democracy and free economies."
Mulroney also called for an era of "global sharing" of responsibilities, and said the United Nations should become more of an actor in international affairs, as well as a forum.
After the speech, Shultz presented Mulroney with a replica of the trowel used to lay the cornerstone of Stanford more than 100 years ago.
Other speakers at the convocation included Prof. Gerald Lieberman, chairman of the centennial celebration; Shultz, a distinguished fellow at the Hoover Institution and Parker Professor Emeritus of International Economics at the Graduate School of Business; and Wallace Stegner, professor emeritus of humanities and Pulitzer Prize-winning author.
Stegner read a passage from his 1963 book Wolf Willow which is based on his childhood in a border town in Saskatchewan, Canada.
"The 49th parallel unites as much as it divides" the United States and Canada, Stegner read. "I wish every boundary in the world could model itself on the one between the United States and Canada."
The processional and recessional marches included the flags of each nation represented in the Stanford student body, 95 flags in all. Shultz pointed out that there were more than 250 students from Canada, making it the most represented nation other than the United States.
"If you were in my situation, you'd come down here just to hug every one of them," quipped Mulroney, who has been decidedly unpopular in Canada recently.
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