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Documents on Germany, 1944-1959 : background documents on Germany, 1944-1959, and a chronology of political developments affecting Berlin, 1945-1956

Address by the Polish Foreign Minister (Rapacki), on disarmament, October 2, 1957,   pp. 214-220 PDF (3.2 MB)

Page 215

120. In our view, the special responsibility conferred upon the great
Powers under the Charter in no way limits the responsibility and the
role of the smaller countries; everv nation has its particular facilities
for developing its relations with other nations and we feel that each
nation should use them in such a way as to contribute, to the greatest
extent possible, to the development of constructive co-operation, the
restoration of mutual confidence and the rapprochement of all peoples.
121. Poland is a socialist State; and it is only because we have em-
barked on the path of socialism that we have been able to resolve the
contradictions which held back economic, social and cultural progress
in our country; only because we have taken that path have we been
able to overcome the effects of the state of backwardness we inherited
from the past, and to bring about the advancement of Poland in all
fields. 'We also believe that, as a socialist State, Poland can be a
positive factor in the growth of peaceful relations among nations.
Strong and lasting bonds of solidarity link us with the other socialist
countries, bonds forged by common needs, by the common basic prob-
lems of socialist development and by the vital interests of the Polish
122. At the same time, it is our aim to maintain the best possible
relations with other countries. We are therefore gratified to note the
recent improvement in our relations with many Western countries, as
well as the continued strengthening of our friendly cooperation with
many countries of Asia and Africa. There is no, and there cannot be,
any contradiction between our ties and our solidarity with socialist
countries and the improvement and expansion of our relations with
other countries. It is essential for the favourable development of our
mutual friendly relations that the countries in question realize this. I
think it is also useful for an understanding of the very meaning of the
concept of constructive peaceful coexistence.
123. As you know, we have launched a vigorous programme to re-
organize the forms and methods of government and economic adminis-
tration in Poland. We are convinced that those carefully thought-out
changes will enable us to make the most of the great achievements
registered thus far and of the still greater future prospects of socialist
development in our country with a view to enabling our people to live
a better and fuller life. However, the success of this programme is
dependent to a great extent on the development of the international
124. We are fully aware of the difficulties in the way of any solution
of the problems facing the twelfth session of the General Assembly,
for we know how deep-rooted they are. No one, of course, imagines
that the basic contradictions of our time can be disposed of by a kind
of magic formula. Their solution is part and parcel of the historical
process now taking place. Our action should therefore be determined
by the realities of life and the laws of history. We should attempt,
through a common effort of all peoples, to shape this historical process
in the best interests of mankind; above all, we must prevent a catas-
trophe, the dimensions and consequences of which are unpredictable.
Where our differences cannot be resolved within a reasonable time, we
must reach at least partial agreements, and that is precisely where the
United Nationis can play a very important part.

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