The Hon. Peter MacKay,
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Government of Canada
Dear Peter MacKay:
I have heard on reliable authority that since 2001 more than 800 social activists in the Philippines have been assassinated in waves of state-sponsored terrorism. Most of these were human rights workers, clergy, lawyers, journalists and labour leaders who had dedicated their lives to the betterment of society. The country is much the poorer for the loss.
Myanmar has also been in the news again, with reports of similar oppression. And Zimbabwe is in a state of chronic disaster and growing chaos and poverty.
I realize that Canada’s power to effect change in such societies is limited. But there are ways in which we can exert an influence, along with other nations of good will. I remember hearing Wendell Willkie, during the American presidential campaign of 1940, saying that this was “one world”. Many people in later years have reiterated those words. The more peace and justice exist even in countries in distant parts of the globe, the stronger is the basis for peace and prosperity everywhere – including Canada.
Please make every possible effort to assist in the development of stable democracy in such lands.
While I have your attention, let me say that we have in our present Governor General an excellent ambassador to send abroad, particularly to the developing countries of Africa and Asia. With her personality, accomplishments and background, and with what she represents, she brings hope and encourages democracy wherever she goes.
With good wishes for success in your work,