San Francisco— Seven nation on five continents were linked on a live television “spacebridge” Saturday that featured Presidents, Prime Ministers and singing children in the third annual “Beyond War” award ceremony.
Six present and former heads of state who founded the Five Continent Peace Initiative were honored for their efforts.
The television linkup was the most complex teleconference ever attempted. It cost $750,000 and required the coordination of technicians worldwide and use of all the commercial channels available on eight satellites over the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans.
The broadcast from Dar es Salaam was the first live television from Tanzania. Julius Nyerere, first president of that country, who was one of the award winners, told more than 50,000 people assembled at “downlink” sites in countries worldwide, “This is what technology should be doing.”
Other honorees, all of whom participated in the program, were President Miguel de la Madrid of Mexico, Prime Minister Olof PaIm of Sweden, President Raul Alfonsin of Argentina, Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou of Greece and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi of India.
As the cameras moved from San Francisco to Mexico City, to Buenos Aires, Stockholm, Athens and New Delhi, the honorees received the ovation of crowds at all the other sites.
“Dialogue, with a view to banning nuclear tests and the militarization of space,” is the goal of the Five Continent Peace Initiative, said de la Madrid.
His theme was echoed by Gandhi, speaking from a ceremony in New Delhi, who said the group of national leaders from the five continent’s “have volunteered to monitor a test ban with our own monitoring stations.
Papandreou called for “a nuclear free zone stretching from the northernmost to the southernmost regions of Europe.”
The ceremonies included a cultural presentation from each nation dancing in Mexico City, a Sitar player in India and children’s choirs in Athens, Stockholm, and Buenos Aires.
Richard Rathbun, president of the Beyond War Foundation, said the purpose of the complex communications spectacular was “to show that the world has grown much smaller, that we cannot afford to hate each other, we cannot afford to go to war.”
Article extracted from this publication >> December 20, 1985