Title: Important Utterances of H.IM Emperor Haile Selassie I Jah Rastafari (Volume 2)

Friday, November 7, 2008
Publisher and Date of Publication: The Voice of Rasta Publication; 1996 Paperback; 80 pages

In this slim book, Emperor Haile Selassie’s speeches are preserved for humanity. It contains important speeches the late emperor gave at important occasions in his lifetime. The speeches include the ones delivered at the 37th Coronation Anniversary; Mrica Day; the opening Session of the OAU Summit; the Inaugural Africa Session of the UN Security Council; at the 25th Anniversary of the UN; Address on “International Education Year”; on International Literacy Day; and Freedom from Hunger Campaign.

In all these speeches and many others, Emperor Selassie shows the depth of his humanity, as he deals realistically with the issues that confront the human race. Speaking during the 37th Coronation Anniversary, he elaborates on the importance of planning in fostering development. “In the modem world, no nation, and certainly which is classified among the less-developed, can hope to bring to its people the standard of living and material and spiritual prosperity which it seeks for them unless its total resources are enlisted in the struggle. Surely Ethiopia’s most valuable resources are her people and the intelligence, energy, devotion and ambition, which they constitute and represent. It is to them that we must look for the attainment of the goals, which we seek. Even assuming, however, that the will and the desire exist, there remains the immensely difficult and complex task of organizing the nation’s energies and resources and directing them in a well-conceived and fully integrated fashion to the achieving of carefully studied and clearly defined ends.” (p.21).

At the opening session of the OAU Summit, he talks about African unity as a prerequisite for the continent’s progress. “In spite of obstacles, we have succeeded in establishing the Organization of African Unity. This we have achieved because the unity, which we seek stemmed from the deep conviction which the people of Africa hold for the acceleration of their political, social and economic development. The fact we succeeded in laying the foundation of our unity was due primarily to the desire of all Africans to unite in a common struggle colonialism, poverty, disease and ignorance which are enemies.”(p.30)

At the global level, he says: “The choice of this age and the future of humanity is simple: collective survival, or collective extinction. When the stark choice is thus revealed in all its naked horror, dare we hesitate as to our choice? The choice we know; the means we can rediscover in a reinvigorated and mature UN. The will to act, and the courage and determination to implement the decisions we must take, matters. Let this session be the re-birth of the United Nations, and the re-affirmation of our faith in the ever-continuing validity of the purposes and principles for which it was established. A grave responsibility rests upon us: to ensure our own collective survival, and the future of unborn generations. May the Almighty grant us the wisdom, courage and determination to rise this supreme challenge and reap a rich reward!” (p. 47)

Also included in this volume is an extract from one of his speeches. “Throughout history it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph. The glorious pages of human history have been written only in those moments when men were able to act in concert to prevent impending tragedies...”

And finally, he extols the resilience of the human spirit. “In the history of the human race, those periods which later appeared as great have been the periods when the men and women belonging to them had transcended the differences that divided them and had recognized in their membership in the human race a common bond”(p.78)

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