Speeches by H.I.M Haile Selassie I
WAR – California 28th february 1968
“Last May, in Addis Ababa there was convened a meeting of Heads of African States and Governments. In three days, the thirty-two nations represented at that Conference demonstrated to the world that when the will and the determination exist, nations and peoples of diverse backgrounds can and will work together in unity for the achievement of common goals and the assurance of that equality and brotherhood which we desire.”
“Although our position vis-a-vis the power-blocs is identified with the policy of non-alignment, our past history testifies to the fact that we have always endeavored to cooperate with all nations, without exception. Thus, one of the fundamental principles we have agreed upon at the Addis Ababa Summit Conference gives expression to our fundamental desire to live in harmony and cooperation with all States.”
“On the question of racial discrimination, the Addis Ababa Conference taught, to those who will learn, this further lesson:”
“That until the philosophy which holds one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned; that until there are no longer any first-class and second-class citizens of any nation; that until the color of a man’s skin is of no more significance than the color of his eyes; that until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all, without regard to race — until that day, the dreams of lasting peace and world citizenship and the rule of international morality will remain but a fleeting illusion, to be pursued but never attained. And also, that until the ignoble and unhappy regimes that hold our brothers in Angola, in Mozambique and in South Africa in subhuman bondage have been toppled and destroyed; until bigotry and prejudice and malicious and inhuman self-interest have been replaced by understanding, tolerance and good-will; until all Africans stand and speak as free beings, equal in the eyes of all men as they are in Heaven — until that day the African continent will not know peace. We Africans will fight, if necessary and we know that we shall win, as we are confident in the victory of good over evil.”
“The very diversity of the worlds peoples today constitutes one of mankind’s great resources; the different philosophies with which nations approach their problems lead inevitably to a vast array of methods and techniques. These variations are necessary, for each people must find solutions which are responsive to its particular needs… each nation will inevitably pursue that course which appears best suited to its own unique characteristics, but no nation can pursue its course in isolation, and no nation can develop and prosper with its back turned to the rest of the world in terms of trade, techniques, resources and ideas. Each of us depends on the other, can learn from the other, and in pursuing it’s own destiny will go further and succeed more quickly with others, Indeed, the free exchange of support and ideas is an essential condition to world understanding and equally to world progress.”
“We in Ethiopia have one of the oldest versions of the Bible, but however old the version may be, in whatever language it might be written, the Word remains the same, It transcends all boundaries of empires and all conceptions of race. It is eternal.
“No doubt you all remember reading in the Acts of the Apostles how Philip baptized the Ethiopian official. He is the first Ethiopian on record to have followed Christ, and from that day onwards the Word of God has continued to grow in the hearts of Ethiopians. And I might say for myself that from early childhood I was taught to appreciate the Bible, and my love for it increases with the passage of time…….
“Because of this personal experience in the goodness of the Bible, I was resolved that all my countrymen should also share its great blessing, and that by reading the Bible they should find truth for themselves. Therefore I caused a new translation to be made form our ancient language into the language which the old and the young understood and spoke.
“Today man sees all his hopes and aspirations crumbling before him. He is perplexed and knows not whither he is drifting. But he must realize that the Bible is his refuge and the rallying point for all humanity. In it man will find the solution to his present difficulties and guidance for this future action, and unless he accepts with clear conscience the Bible and its great message, he cannot hope for salvation. For my part I glory in the Bible.