Global Policy Forum

Remembering Erskine Childers


by James A. Paul


I was shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden death of Erskine Childers on Sunday, August 24th, 1996. He was stricken with a massive heart attack on Saturday shortly after delivering an address to the Fiftieth Congress of the World Federation of United Nations Associations in Luxemburg and died in hospital just a few hours later.

With his passing, we lose a brilliant and deeply-committed internationalist, a fierce supporter of the United Nations and an extraordinary orator and analyst.

Erskine was closely involved in the founding of Global Policy Forum and he served as the original co-chair of the board. Through his constant advice and enthusiastic support, he contributed enormously to the development of the organization. His presence at board meetings or public events always generated a sense of excitement, enthusiasm and the possibility for action. In circumstances that discouraged others, he carried on with unbounded optimism and belief in the possibilities of democratic action and grassroots effort. He combined a fierce outrage with a never-failing sense of humor.

His writings are extremely lucid and passionately commited to global justice and solidarity. He devoted his life to building a democratic citizen movement to strengthen world cooperation, peace and social equality.

We shall miss him sorely.

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