BERLIN — The first democratic all-German Parliament in 57 years convened in the historic Reichstag building Thursday, and its senior legislator, Willy Brandt, called on the united nation to shoulder greater global responsibilities.
In a keynote speech to the new Bundestag, the policy-making lower house, the 77-year-old former chancellor said that modernizing the former East Germany will be a huge task but must not detract from growing German duties around the world.
"Germany would heap guilt on itself if out of its own concerns it forgot world concerns: hunger, migration of the poor, environmental destruction," said Brandt, who won the Nobel Peace Prize for pursuing East-West detente in the 1970s.
"We all know the tasks in our country are not minor," he said of Bonn's costly commitment to turn eastern Germany into a mirror of affluent western Germany. "But we cannot fail to show solidarity with the wretched of this earth."