Becoming the first television show ever invited to speak at the United Nations last March would be enough for some people. But not series star Edward James Olmos. Instead, he was out to change the very core of the United Nations itself. And he succeeded.
"The United Nations changed their charter three weeks ago after 'Battlestar' went and spoke at the UN," Olmos told G4's "Attack of the Show." "They changed the entire understanding of their charter that was written in 1947 so that they would never use the word 'race' as a cultural determinate again. There is only one race, and that is the human race."
The news of the charter change has not been made public until that announcement, Olmos said. A search for press releases over the past seven months on the United Nations Web site produced no results for "race" and "charter," and there are no other reports that such a change has been made.
"Nobody knows that the charter has been changed," Olmos said. "It's one of the hardest things that happened to me, and it would've never happened but if it weren't for 'Battlestar.' Did they invite 'The Sopranos?' Did they invite 'The West Wing?'
"'Battlestar and its writers decided to take on what was happening now. The reconciliation between the Cylon and the human being. How did that happen? How could it happen? If the Palestinian and the Jew could only see 'Battlestar,' they would understand how to reconcile."
Olmos did not explain how he was allowed to be the first to break the news, and why it seems that nothing about the charter change was made available through the United Nations. In fact, the charter that is still published on the UN's official site still uses the word "race" as part of its cultural determinant, so it's unclear why such changes have not been reflected in official documents.
The charter was not signed in 1947, but rather on June 26, 1945, and was put into full force in October of that year. Among its purposes listed for the United Nations in Article I, it continues to state that "to achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character, and in promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction to race, sex, language, or religion."
The power to amend or modify the charter is listed in Chapter XVIII has to take place after approval by a two-thirds vote of the members of the General Assembly as well as by a vote of nine members of the Security Council. Any alterations would have to be ratified by two-thirds of the members, including all the permanent members of the Security Council.
It is not clear if such a move was made, and if so, how such a massive undertaking was not previously reported in the media.
An attempt late Monday to reach the United Nations by e-mail is pending return, as is a message to G4 asking if they had verified the statement made by Olmos during the interview.
In the meantime, see Olmos' entire interview with "Attack of the Show" below.
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