Excerpts from His Imperial Majesties interview with
newsmen and representatives of the German
Radio and Television in Tehran - 1968

...As we all know, the world is confronted with numerous dangers and disasters among which are the menace of famine and hunger. At present, our world has a population of 3 billion or more, and in every niche and corner there are millions of human beings who are not only starving but are perishing from hunger.

We are also aware that there are more than one billion illiterates scattered all over the world and that this figure is increasing rather than diminishing. We know that many people are dying because of lack of proper sanitation. We are all aware of these facts. This is one side of the picture. On the other side, as I mentioned before, we are faced with discontent, in particular the discontent of youth, which is not always without reason for they see many of the shortcomings of society. What are these weak points?

They are typified by such questions as: Why should a man die from hunger while another under the same circumstances suffers from indigestion because of over indulgence? Why should some people enjoy the amenities of life and in time of illness have the advantage of the services of private hospitals while others are deprived of the basic necessities of life and means of hygiene? 

In order to eliminate these differences, we have begun by creating Literacy, Health, and Development Corps. These programs have been highly successful in our country and have been a source of encouragement and inspiration for our youth. 

Today our girls join them with the same enthusiasm, and I am sure that Iranian women, imbued with the spirit of self-sacrifice, shall fulfill their duties most earnestly and whole-heartedly, and shall always be ready to serve their country and their fellow countrymen. Taking into account these facts, I have thought why should we not in the same spirit, expand  this program on an international scale and crystallize its objectives with the creation of an International Corps of Volunteers for Development?

Such a Corps can serve Humanity. Many people confronted with impossible situation will thus find an escape  route. I proposed that the International Corps of Volunteers for Development should be under supervision of the United Nations so that it should be free from all political influences and that every individual regardless of race, sex, religion, nationality or political belief could join the Corps and serve mankind in this capacity. 

Such was the spirit which inspired me to embark on this proposition...