January 11, 2007.
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An open letter to Ban Ki-moon, UN  Secretary-General - by Baqi Barzani

Dear Ban Ki-moon,

On behalf of 40-million stateless Kurds, I would like to extend you best wishes and congratulate you as the new Secretary-general of the United Nations.

While you are preparing yourself to shoulder one of the most burdensome and historic responsibility of the time, many despondent and dispossessed people of the world are in anticipation of you to salvage them from their tribulations and sufferings.

On a daily basis, tens of thousands of innocent people are killed in their pursuit for the hallowed goal of self-determination. From Iran to Syria, and from Turkey to Iraq, their quest has culminated in a dead-end road full of obstacles, resentments and a lack of recognition. But these people continue to put their lives on the line, hoping that those noble words of self-determination amount to much more than political
rhetoric. So they continue to die, hoping that maybe, there is a genuine right of self-determination.

Mr. Secretary-General, in today’s world, there are more than 2000 thousand ethnic groups but only 192 states. In most Asian countries, the dominant powers continue to deliberately ignore the socio-economic and cultural identity needs and rights of other peoples within the same state. Human rights violations are on the rise and the plight of ethnic and religious minorities has deteriorated beyond comparison. Among them most suffering is the Jews, Christians, Bahaiies and the 40 million subdued Kurds living under the totalitarian regimes of Turkey, Iraq, Iran, and Syria. The Kurds have consistently been subjugated, degraded, denied,
repressed, demoralized, prosecuted and discriminated against by neighboring countries for most of their history. They have been denied the right of self-determination. They have been denied one of the most legitimate, inherent and fundamental right. One of the most important principles of contemporary international law.

Mr. Secretary-General, Self-determination is considered not simply a principle of international law, but rather an affirmative right of all peoples. It is a prerequisite to any genuine enjoyment of any of the human rights. The right to self-determination is considered jus cogen, and a part of customary international law that imposes binding obligations on all nation states. Self determination is a stabilizing concept. Self determination and democracy go hand in hand. If democracy means the
rule of the people, by the people, for the people, then the principle of self determination secures that no one people may rule another - and herein lays its enduring appeal.

Mr. Secretary-General, the right to self-determination is the right of a people to determine its own destiny. Like many others, Kurdish people should also reserve this right to choose their own political status and determine their own form of economic, cultural and social development.

It is of historic, world importance, and it would make you one of the most important leaders of the 21st century, if you would encourage the afore-mentioned countries to respect, recognize and grant their ethnic and religious minority groups their rights.

Thank you for your attention.
Peace, equality and justice for all.

Yours sincerely,


Write an open letter to the new UN Secretary General.

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