World Constitution and Parliament Association  

Organizing Agent for Sessions of the Provisional World Parliament                                            Cooperating with the Institute On World Problems

North America Office:  313 Seventh Avenue, Radford, VA 24141 USA          fax: 1 -540-639-4320    gmartin@radford.edu,   govt_rules@yahoo.com,    www.wcpa.biz       www.worldproblems.net    www.radford.edu/gmartin                       www.earthfederation.info Dr. Glen T. Martin, President    Dr. Eugenia Almand, Secretary-General

 

24 June 2012              

To: WCPA Executive Council

From: Glen T. Martin

Re:  Report on trip to Togo, Croatia, Macedonia, and France

 

My recent trip on behalf of WCPA lasted nearly one month and included these four countries.  The general purpose of these trips is to energize and empower existing WCPA membership and chapters, to recruit new supporters for our work, to make important contacts with officials, and to develop the network and general public knowledge regarding the Constitution for the Federation of Earth and its implications.  On this trip my additional purpose was to distribute copies of the Earth Constitution in French (in both Togo and France) and to distribute announcements of the next session of the Provisional World Parliament (PWP). I had many copies of this announcement with me in French and English.  We all need to be promoting the 13th session of the PWP from this point forward.

 

WCPA (and the Institute on World Problems working with WCPA) can only afford to cover the cost of brochures and literature, a suitcase full of which I take with me for distribution.  My wife Phyllis and I bear the costs of travel, lodging, food, and the cost of arranging WCPA/IOWP events in countries like Togo where the supporters cannot afford the cost of reserving rooms, refreshments, etc. We are working on fundraising in the U.S. but it is a difficult process in a difficult time.  Here is an account of my May-June 2012 trip with some photos.

 

Upon arriving in Togo on May 18th (after an arduous two day journey) I was met at the airport by Dr. Dominique Balouki, WCPA Vice-President and Mr. Joseph Ekpetchou, organizer and President of a new WCPA chapter in south Togo. Mr. Ekpetchou is a committed and enthusiastic supporter of our work whose participation, along with Dr. Balouki, I very much appreciated.  Exhausted from traveling, they took me to the local Motel de L’Aeroport where I usually stay in Lome.  The owner of the motel is a friend of Dr. Balouki.

 

The next day we traveled east from Lome to another town near where Mr. Ekpetchou lives and works.   He had a special meeting of a school (KPÉMÉ EDISON College) which has some 200 students and 25 teachers. Mr. Ekpetchou is on the governance committee for the college. The students and teachers assembled to hear Dr. Balouki and myself speak about the work of WCPA.  We spoke to the assembly about our work and then we met with the school’s teachers for refreshments.   After this, Mr. Ekpechou showed us some of the Togo government phosphate project where he works as an engineer.  This state owned company mines and exports phosphates for a variety of uses, including as natural fertilizer.

 

 

        

 

       

Left above: Joseph Ekphechou on his motorcycle (the most common mode of transport in Togo). 

Right above: the assembled school awaiting our lectures. 

Left: teachers of the school.  Dr. Balouki is to my right.

We are wearing identical African style shirts, supplied by him.

 

 We were in Lome two nights and then took the bus north toward Sokode.   As is often the case in Togo, the bus broke down about an hour out of Lome and we had to get out with our luggage and wait for other busses to arrive to take us the rest of the way. While waiting I slipped on the gravel bank on the side of the road and scraped my leg badly, with blood seeping from the scrapes. A man wearing a cap typical of Moslem men took his backpack down from the roof of the van at which we were waiting, took out some green salve, and told me to rub it into my wounds to stop the bleeding and prevent infection. It apparently worked well.

 

 In Sokode, Dr. Balouki housed me in Nouvel Hôtel Central at a discounted rate that he arranged.  After one night there, he stayed in Sokode to work on arrangements for the upcoming WCPA events there, and I continued on a bus to Kara where I was met by Esther Boumbere, President of the WCPA chapter in that city and organizer of the WCPA events there.   Busses in Togo have no official schedule and no time for leaving or arriving.  Minivan drivers will not leave until the van is full with paid customers.  Hence, one pays for the journey and then hangs out in the station until the bus is full and all the luggage is tied on the roof.  The bus stops many times on the trip at the whim of the driver, to pick up or drop off someone (the latter requires a time-consuming process of climbing onto the roof, untying, pulling out the person’s luggage, and then retying the remaining luggage). The “bus” to Kara was a broken down, gutted minivan, stuffed with many people, with live goats tied on the roof, along with a giant pile of luggage. When we went around curves in the highway, through the open windows I could hear the goats screaming in terror on the roof.  In Kara, I stayed at the Hotel Kara at a discounted rate arranged by Dr. Balouki.   I was there for three days.

 

The following day in Kara, the WCPA meetings (that included 50 or more people) first met indoors (it was raining) and then moved outdoors as in the photos below.  After my talk indoors, translated by Esther, one middle aged man who looked ex-military and was obviously a leader in the community walked with his limp and walking stick to the center of the room, looked at me (I was in some consternation as to what he might say after this dramatic gesture), and began stamping his stick on the floor and with each stamp he shouted “Merci, merci, merci, merci, merci, merci, merci!”  I take it that this immense gratefulness was a result of my telling the truth. That is what WCPA does, it tells the truth: there is no way in hell that their crushing poverty can be eliminated in the third world (as in Togo) under the present neocolonial world political and economic system. The only reasonable and practical option is to establish a world of political equality (and reasonable economic equality) under the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.

 

                      

 

 

     

Above left: Esther Boumbere teaching an English class in INSAK, Dr. Balouki’s school in Kara.  Above right: the Kara WCPA meeting indoors.  Left: The participants from the WCPA meeting move outdoors holding WCPA membership certificates that Esther distributed at the meeting. 

 

The WCPA chapter there is now very active thanks to the organizing work of Esther Boumbere. I paid Esther for the rental of the room (10,000 CFA, $20) and the refreshments for the group afterwards (15,000 CFA). I became very ill before the outdoor meeting was over (a great risk in any third world country because of the water and other conditions my body is not used to). Fortunately, Esther arranged for one of our WCPA members to take me back to the hotel on his moto where I slowly recovered during the rest of the afternoon.

 

Dr. Balouki had joined us in Kara for the WCPA event, so the following day we headed back on a bus to Sokode where he had organized another event, and returned to the same motel.  The next day in Sokode we made the rounds to meet the dignitaries, as is the custom in Togo before almost any event.  The following day we had the WCPA meeting in a room in Dr. Balouki’s school in Sokode.  A number of regional dignitaries were present.   Dr. Balouki had hired a band and there was singing and dancing for the audience.   After our lectures and the question period (with some questions from the press who were present), the dignitaries moved to a nearby bar that had a courtyard in the back where we had our refreshments.  The photos below show us indoors (dignitaries in front on the left and the audience in the right photo), and the table where we had our refreshments after the event. I paid for the band and entertainment, the microphones, and the refreshments which came to some 150,000 CFA.  Dignitaries, apparently, are very much more costly than the ordinary people who attended the Kara event.  

 

         

 

      

          

 

         

 

Above left: the refreshment table with Dr. Balouki standing. Above right: Two prominent women members of the Moslem community.  I was very pleased at their attendance.  The man in the center is Tchemi Tchambi Tchapkro, the Head Administrator for the Central Region of Ghana.  He had Dr. Balouki and me to dinner at his house that evening (an once elegant mansion built by the Germans when they were the colonial masters in Togo).  Left: at the home of M. Alou Bale (who is in charge of telecommunications in the region) where we were invited to a wonderful meal. Mr. Bale and his wife are on the left, Dr. Balouki and me on the right.

 

A friend of Dr. Balouki, Aicha Ouro-Koura, who speaks English and whom I had met on a previous trip through Sokode, was going from Sokode to Lome to meet someone at the airport the next day, so I travelled with her, leaving Dr. Balouki at his home in Sokode.  It is a great help to have someone with you who not only speaks English but understands what is going on with the chaotic transportation system. (For example, on the way back our mini-bus ran out of gas engendering a very long delay during which we all sat patiently in the airless, stifling heat while they went on foot to find some gas.)

 

I arrived back in Lome on Sunday and my plane was to leave for Zagreb (through Paris) on Tuesday evening.  The President of Togo, Faure Gnassimgbe, had said he could meet with Dr. Balouki and me on Wednesday (Dr. Balouki knows him), but there was no way that I could delay my flight to Zagreb, since my advertised lecture there was to be on Thursday evening.  I wrote President Gnassimgbe a letter and left this with the motel owner to give to Dr. Balouki who was coming to Lome for the meeting. 

 

The seven day visa that I had acquired upon arrival had run out while I was in the north (where it is impossible to renew) and it was unlikely that the airport authorities would allow me to leave with an expired visa.   It turns out that Monday was a holiday and the central ministry in downtown Lome where visas were granted was closed.   That left me Tuesday morning to get the visa necessary for flying Tuesday evening.   Luckily, when I went out to the airport on Monday morning to find out what to do, an English speaking woman at the information desk, named Nadege Boyodi, took pity on my wretched plight, and offered to take me to the ministry on Tuesday morning.  Otherwise, not knowing the ropes and not speaking the language, my chances of being successful were miniscule.  It took us several hours on Tuesday, but thanks to her I ended up with a multiple entry visa for a year for only 10,000 CFA ($20).

 

Tuesday night I flew off for Croatia, arriving the next morning.  Marija Pavkov and Slavko Kulik picked me up at the airport.  They have founded an official branch of the Institute on World Problems in Croatia.  Slavko is a very prominent Croatian scientist whose highly abstract thoughts about the crisis that we face in world civilization is very much in tune with my own thinking.  His latest book contains two chapters that have been translated into English. Slavko appears on Croatian TV regularly discussing his views about climate change and the crises in civilization.  He told me they now have 20 prominent Croatians associated with the Institute on World Problems there and will soon be making a web site.  They both have IOWP Croatia business cards, Slavko as Director and Marija as Research Fellow.  Their work over the past several years to establish this has been invaluable for our movement.

 

Marija and Slavko took me to the Hotel Jadran, which I had booked on the internet.  It was a good choice: relatively inexpensive yet right in the city center where many of the interesting and historic features of Zagreb are located (I always try to learn as much as I can about the places I visit).  The following evening (Thursday), they came by my hotel and the three of us walked to the European House where my lecture was scheduled.  I had given a lecture there two years ago when Phyllis and I first visited Zagreb. At the European House lectures are in English.

 

The event had been advertised using Slavko’s name as well, since his name might attract more of an audience.  As it was we had perhaps 15 intelligent and interested participants, mostly professionals, and one woman from the press.  It was a good audience with good questions after.   Slavko gave a long introduction himself and I followed with my Powerpoint and lecture titled “Order Cannot Come from Disorder: Identifying the Principles of World Order.”   We were both well received by the audience.

 

      

Left: Dr. Slavko Kulik making his presentation and (right) making my own presentation that “world order cannot come from disorder.”

 

The next day they met me at my hotel and we walked across the broad city center to the very old square where the parliament buildings are located, one historic building for national government, another for the city government. We met with Tatjana Holjevac, M. sc., Vice-President of the Zagreb city assembly.  Her father had been a mayor of Zagreb during the time when Croatia was part of Yugoslavia. A very intelligent and sympathetic woman, Tatjana grasped what WCPA was about immediately.  I gave her a copy of the Earth Constitution book, which I edited with commentary, and she gave me a beautiful photo book of Zagreb. The more people we meet like this around the world who become aware of our work, the more we lay the groundwork for the day when the world as a whole will consider adopting the Earth Constitution.

 

The following day Slavko and Marija picked me took me to the airport where we dined before I flew to Skopie, Macedonia, on a round-trip ticket they had generously purchased for me.  It was late in the evening and I was relieved when Zaklina Dimovska appeared to pick me up after a short wait.  We drove into the city center near which she and her 11 year old daughter Teofani have an apartment 7 floors up, in a building with a broken elevator.  I carried one of my heavy suitcases up the seven flights on my head and left the other one in the trunk for another time (my third suitcase – the one exclusively for literature – was in storage back at the Hotel Jadran in Croatia).

 

Zaklina has been a regular attendee at WCPA meetings and Provisional World Parliaments in recent years and has volunteered to serve as WCPA Coordinator for southern and eastern Europe, with a center in Macedonia.  This is a wonderful development since WCPA has long had its greatest strength in Africa and South Asia (and recently also in Central America) and has lacked a European coordinator.  Since this was my first time in Macedonia, the many things on the itinerary that Zaklina had prepared for me included learning about the geography and history of this amazing country as well as meetings with educational institutions, TV interviews, and a lecture.

 

The first day we drove to the Ohrid region (surrounding Lake Ohrid) and visited Plaošnik the ancient Christian sites and the churches founded by St. Clement of Ohrid in the late 9th century.   Christianity had first come to the area through St. Erasmus in the early 4th century but St. Clement helped develop Plaosnik into a major spiritual center that for centuries produced thousands of monks and priests for the Orthodox Christian faith.  The Cyrillic alphabet prevailed after the 11th century, supplanting Greek, and is still the major alphabet in Macedonia today.

 

Back in the Skopie region, Zaklina and I visited the heads of several universities to discuss collaboration with WCPA/IOWP and our educational work regarding the Earth Constitution.  All seemed interested and I believe a major step was accomplished in getting our work known and appreciated in Macedonia.  We first visited Ambassador Prof. Dr. Blerim Reka, Vice-Rector for Research at South East European University (SEEU), about 40 km from Skopie. Dr. Reka has impressive credentials in international law, as an ambassador in Eastern Europe, and many publications.  He became excited at the idea of a federation for the Earth for he has published article on the same theme: the need for the EU to become a real federation rather than continuing as a mere confederation.  Dr. Reka appeared to want to bring SEEU into collaboration with our world-wide work promoting the Earth Constitution.

 

Next we met with Saso Kozuharov, Ph.D, Vice-Chancelor of Education at the University of Tourism and Management in Skopie.  He gave us a tour of some of the rooms of the university (beautiful and hi-tech) and expressed interest in our work for a federated and pacified world order.  It will be necessary to follow-up with these authorities and their universities, but the collaborative groundwork has been established.  In Skopie, we also met with Jorde Jakimovski, Ph.D, Director of the Macedonian Institute for Sociological, Political, and Juridical Research. Zaklina received her Master’s Degree from this Institute and she was clearly very well received and respected by them.  After our meeting with him, Dr. Jakimovski stated that the Institute could organize a conference on these themes (world problems and world government) for the year 2013 and that we could invite Slavko Kulic and other regional thinkers as well as myself to be participants in the conference.  It could be that, in this part of the world, where the terrible wars of the 1990s are fresh in everyone’s memory, they understand more deeply the urgent need to reflect on the possibilities for a transformed and democratic world order.

 

During my week in Macedonia, we were interviewed by two TV stations about our work and plans to establish a WCPA center in that country.  Zaklina did a wonderful job of scheduling and following through on all these arrangements. The final two days of my visit we were scheduled to participate in the Fair of Regions from Southeast Europe 2012 that took place in the city of Radovish, two hours drive from Skopje. In Skopie, we picked up a Macedonian woman named Lena who was the head of the Macedonia Association of south Florida.  On the way to Radovish, we took a detour to fulfill an appointment we had with the director of the Slavic Studies Institute of Macedonia (affiliated with Moscow).  The Director appeared very interested in our work, fed us a magnificent brunch that included an ostrich egg omelet (the university raises ostriches), and gave us each a huge ostrich egg as a parting gift.  He was an artist and a poet, as well as Director of the Slavic Studies Institute. He gave us a tour of the beautiful facility, full of works of art on the walls, including, some he had painted himself.  When we arrived in Radovish, we gave our prized eggs to Gordana, organizer of the Radovish Fair, who had been so kind to include us in the program.

            

Left: with the Director of the University for Slavic Studies. He is on the left in the photo, Lena on the right.  Below: On Friday morning, we met with the Director of a home for disabled children that is in this region (in the center of the photo below).

 

Apparently funding for the Fair, which included presentations on the work for environmental sustainability of a number of groups in the region, had come from UNESCO, which had paid for meals and lodging for the presenters. On Thursday, Zaklina was a presenter, and on Friday, I presented my lecture and Powerpoint called “Sustainable Living and the Earth Constitution” to the audience and rest of the panel of speakers on environmental sustainability. It received complements from the city mayor and others. Copies of the outline of my presentation had been made and placed in all delegate packets. That night, there was a picnic-dinner for all conference participants at an Eastern Orthodox monastery in the country side not far from Radovish.  A young man named Slobodan was very interested in our work and wanted to be part of it in Macedonia.  I promised to be in contact.

 

                

 

                

 

 Above left: Zaklina presents on the development of WCPA in conjunction with a meditation center in Macedonia. At the right, her panel of presenters.   Second row left: my panel, and right: my presentation on “Sustainable Living and the Earth Constitution.”

 

We had about an hour’s sleep before we had to drive me to the Skopie Airport for my 5:50 am flight back to Croatia for one day before flying to Paris.  In Paris, I rendezvoused with Phyllis who flew in from the US. On Tuesday, June 12, Phyllis and I visited the Paris head office of the Registry of World Citizens and met with Daniel Durand, Laurent Son, Marie Lamperti, and two other members of the World Citizens Registry.  We had a good meeting for two hours during which I donated a copy of the Earth Constitution in English and about 15 copies in French to the library of the office. A recurrent theme in our discussions was collaboration, especially with regard to public statements or resolutions concerning world events and the need for earth federation.  Daniel Durand (the Director) was about to go to Brussels to monitor the NATO meetings there and he spoke of writing a draft response in Brussels that WCPA might co-sponsor. He shared photographs from his last trip to Togo where his organization has projects similar to what WCPA is doing. Marie Laperti is planning to attend the 13th session of the Provisional World Parliament in Lucknow, with her daughter December 2013.

 

        

 At the Registry of World Citizens in Paris. Seated: Daniel Durand, Director. To the right with the hat: Laurent Son who brought our new World Citizens Identity Cards personally to our hotel the next day and with whom we had a wonderful dinner and conversation.  The gentleman on the left, Chouffane Robert Mehdi, is from Algeria. The younger man (fluent in French, Spanish, and English) is Henry Pérez from El Salvador.

The overall trip, I believe, was fairly successful.  WCPA in Togo was strengthened and empowered to continue developing further. We established or strengthened connections in Croatia and France, and, most importantly, we established many links in Macedonia which, I believe, will bear fruit in the form of a real active WCPA center there for south and eastern Europe (thanks to the hard work of Zaklina).  No world federalist organization on Earth except WCPA offers a concrete and specific plan for practical world transformation and liberation.  The Earth Constitution is the key to our success and our power to attract people and nations to the task of establishing a decent world system.  The Earth Constitution is the number one hope for a decent future for humanity.  We must promote it and distribute it in every possible venue.  We must think about it and talk about it night and day. Taking it as a reality will make it a reality. As our motto says: “Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair.”     Respectfully submitted: Glen T. Martin, June 2012.

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