Final Word from Monday, April 29, 2019

In his most significant speech in the weeks after the CR joined Nato on March 12, 1999, and Nato started bombing Yugoslavia 12 days later, Václav Havel told the Canadian Parliament on April 29 that the "graven image of the sovereign state must inevitably dissipate" in a world that is increasingly connected. There is a value that ranks higher than the state itself, he added, and this value is humanity. The Alliance had no U.N. mandate to bomb Yugoslavia, he said, but it acted out of respect for the higher law of the rights of humanity. "I see this as an important precedent for the future," he said. Twenty years later Nato Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told the U.S. Congress that the "global balance of power is shifting" away from that very Congress. If Havel's words applied in 1999 to the U.S. and its partners, mustn't they also apply once the global balance of power shifts to China and its partners? Nato was perhaps setting a bigger precedent than even Havel could imagine. [ Czech Republic United Nations Security Council Kosovo idol direct United States ]

Glossary of difficult words

suprastate - a government or organization that is greater than any one state (in its reach or organization);

speech - a translation is available at the following address, after registration:

graven image - a carved idol or representation of a god used as an object of worship;

to dissipate - to disappear or cause to disappear.

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