WIN A FREE TRIP TO MINNEAPOLIS, MN FROM October 9-10/2015 TO ATTEND THE CREATING A WORKABLE WORLD” CONFERENCE!
Citizens for Global Solutions (CGS) of Greater St. Louis will pay for transportation, registration, meals, & lodging for the CREATING A WORKABLE WORLD conference held at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs of the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, MN. This conference lasts from October 9-10, 2015. Anyone, between the ages of 18 to 30 as of October 1, 2015, is eligible to participate. The prize includes transportation from and to St. Louis Lambert Airport. The conference begins Friday afternoon, 10/9. You will leave from the St. Louis airport that Friday morning. The meeting ends at 5:30 P.M. Saturday, 10/10. You can choose to fly back to St. Louis on either 10/10 (if possible) or 10/11. The one or two essay contest winners will be asked about their preference. Getting to and from the St. Louis airport is completely your responsibility.
If you want to be a contestant for this all-expenses-paid trip, write a 4-6 page essay (double-spaced) consisting of 2 parts. In the first part, tell us about your background and past activities. What have you already accomplished? Why would you be a good person to send to this conference? In the second part, share with us your thinking about one or more problems faced by our world community and what should be done to address it in order to have a more workable world.
Deadline: September 9, 2015
Notification: September 14, 2015
Eligibility: Anyone between the age of 18 and 30 as of 10/1/2015
Send to: Ron Glossop
8894 Berkay Avenue
Jennings, MO 63136-5004
Requirement following selection:
Provide CGS for St. Louis a brief report about the conference and what you learned from it. This report as well as your winning essay gets published in our quarterly chapter newsletter.
For more information about Citizens for Global Solutions, visit http://www.globalsolutions.org
REPORT ON THE ANNUAL MEETING
CITIZENS FOR GLOBAL SOLUTIONS OF GREATER ST. LOUIS
Held Sunday April 26, 2015 at the ETHICAL SOCIETY OF ST. LOUIS, 9001 Clayton Road, 63117
by Ron Glossop, Chair, CGS/STL
The 2015 CGS/STL annual meeting began at 3:00 p.m. with a half-hour informal reception. Snacks and beverages were provided by board members.
Ms. Jelena Pia-Comella, Deputy Executive Director of WFM-Instituted for Global Policy and of the NGA Coalition for the International Court in NewYork City gave the main address titled “The International Criminal Court: Past, Present, and Future.” She noted that collaboration between non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the United Nations is called for right in the U.N. Charter.
The Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) is composed of many NGOs. It played a major role in the convening of the 1998 Rome Conference which developed the Rome Statute creating the ICC. The CICC has also been active in getting 123 national governments to ratify the Rome Statute. She noted that WFM-IGP not only coordinates the CICC but also the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect and the International Democratic Governance Program. She explained that although there had been two ad hoc tribunals to prosecute individuals for war crimes in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, the ICC which started operating in 2002, is the only permanent international judicial body able to prosecute individuals for genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. She pointed out that by enumerating “crimes against humanity” the Rome Statute is the very first treaty that criminalizes sexual and gender-based violence.
The Rome Statute also describes certain actions involving children as “crimes against humanity.” The ICC has greatly advanced international justice at minimal cost. Despite its successes, the ICC faces many challenges in the future such as lack of support from some national governments and concern about the relation between the ICC and the UN Security Council. The CICC is important overall because of its role in building global support for justice, its role in strengthening the ICC and the Rome Statute System, and its role in advancing awareness about the work of the ICC.
Following Ms. Pia-Comella’s talk Mr. Jordan Bankhead of Mississippi, visiting board chair of the national CGS Action Network, discussed what is happening at the national level. He indicated that he meets every two weeks with Victor Lang, board chairman of the the national CGS Education Fund. Chief Executive Director Don Kraus has been dismissed largely because of the poor financial situation of the national organization for which he seems to have been at least partially responsible. For now the search for a new Director is on hold as the national CGS organization is still discussing its future structure and goals. Our two connected well-located buildings in Washington DC are being converted into rental apartments for interns working in Washington. There will be some reconstruction costs, but after the project is completed the organization will for the first time have a regular source of income from the rentals plus buildings whose value will be increasing. He announced that the national CGS organization has decided to honor its commitment to pay the St. Louis chapter at least $2,500 per year as was agreed when the Funsten Fund was established in 2001.
After a short pause, the annual business meeting of the organization was convened. Members in attendance for the business meeting were Hasmik Chakaryan, Terry Gates, Ron Glossop, Katharine Kilpatric, Joe Logan, Yvonne Logan, Kimberly Murphy, Alex Nourse, David Oughton, Bob Reinhold, Alice Geary Sgroi, Judith Smart, Chancelor Thomas, Lolly Wehrle, and Grant Williams. Non-member Bing Gibbs also attended.
The minutes of last year’s annual meeting held April 27, 2014 at the First Unitarian Church of St. Louis were approved as distributed with the agenda.
Chair Ron Glossop briefly discussed some highlights of his distributed written report of CGS/STL activities during the past year. He noted that last year’s winners of our 2014 essay contest were Meaghan Gass and Sara Rahim. They traveled to the June 2014 meeting in Washington DC of both the World Federalist Institute and the annual CGS national convention. Another important event was our first workshop, “Twenty-first Century Challenges Facing Spaceship Earth,” held September 21, 2014 at the Ethical Society of St. Louis where 42 participants heard and discussed lectures by six expert presenters on six topics. He noted that the Board of Officers and Directors had met six times and that four newsletters had been published. We also co-sponsored several events with other area peace-oriented organizations.
Treasurer David Oughton gave his report on the organization’s financial situation. His written report for the 2014-2015 fiscal year was available. He noted that the current checkbook balance is $3,833.83 compared with $10,442.97 one year earlier, and that our CD is now worth $10,559.89. Our expenditures so far are very close to the $6,200 budgeted for the fiscal year July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015 but the actual income so far has been only $1,903 compared to the budgeted income of $6,200. It is to be noted, however, that so far we have not had to take out $1,000 from our CD and we have not yet received the $2,500 which we expect from the Funsten Fund.
Treasurer Oughton’s report also included the CGS/STL proposed budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2015. That budget has a projected income/expenditure of $5,000 compared with the $6,200 budget for 2014-2015. Since we now expect to get the $2,500 from the national office for the Funsten Fund, we apparently will not need to take out $2,000 from the CD as was previously anticipated. The proposed budget was adopted unanimously.
Membership Secretary Terry Gates reported that CGS/STL now has 45 members including a total of 5 who have paid $500 to become lifetime members.
Bob Reinhold, chair of the Nominating Committee which also included Alex Nourse and Chancelor Thomas, announced the committee’s slate of nominees. For President- Ron Glossop; for Vice-President-Yvonne Logan; for Treasurer-David Oughton; for Membership Secretary-Terry Gates; for Recording Secretary- Kimberly Murphy; for Directors-Cassandra Butler, Hasmik Chakaryan, Alex Nourse, Sara Rahim, Robert Reinhold, Chancelor Thomas, Grant Williams, and Samantha Williams.
There was no Old Business.
Under New Business the motion to elect all the proposed nominees was approved unanimously. Kimberly Murphy suggested that in the future perhaps the Webmaster and the Public Relations Chair should be specified in the Bylaws rather than just being two Directors appointed to those positions by the Chair. It was noted that such a change would require amending the Bylaws, something which can be done only with the board’s recommendation and prior notice.
The proposed budget of $5000 income and expenditures for the coming fiscal year was approved unanimously.
In closing the meeting Chair Ron Glossop noted that the main business of the organization for the near future are two items: the essay contest for an all-expenses-paid trip to the “Creating a Workable World” Conference in Minneapolis October 9-10 and the second CGS/STL workshop on how to deal with contemporary global problems to be held at the First Unitarian Church of St. Louis on Sunday, October 25, 2015.
Then participants enjoyed the traditional turkey dinner served by Diner’s Delight.
THE BEGINNING OF A NEVER ENDING (?) WAR
(This article previously appeared in the May 2015 newsletter of CGS-Minnesota and was written by Dick Bernard who lives near Minneapolis.)
2015, the 70th Anniversary of the United Nations: A Year to Affirm the Community of Nations
Found hidden away in a drawer in an old North Dakota farm home, was a newsprint magazine very similar in appearance to the Parade magazine insert in present day Sunday newspapers. This one had a most intriguing heading: “1942 WAR ATLAS edited by H. V. Kaltenborn, Published by Pure Oil Company.” Behind the cover on page one was Kaltenborn’s “Chronology of World War II.” The final entry was about WWII’s real beginning for the U.S.: Jan. 15, 1942.
Most of today’s Americans likely are only dimly aware that World War II began almost three years before Pearl Harbor December 7, 1941. In the Chronology are listed 142 events, the first being Jan. 14, 1939:
“Britain protests to Japan against violations of NINE POWER TREATY.”
December 7, 1941 is entry 125. The United States was officially at War after 23 years of relative peace.
The “Old War”, as Grandma called WWII, began to end this time of year in 1945, with Kathe Kollwitz etching “No More War” 1924 Germany surrendering in May, and Japan holding out till September. On August 6 & 9 came the A-bombs (which Grandma applauded– she saw it as saving her son, for three long years Kathe Kollwitz etching “No More War” 1924 a Naval Officer on a Destroyer in the Pacific.) “Hurrah, the old war is over,” Grandma said in a letter after the bomb. War is like that: individual and tribal survival. It is deadly short-term thinking.
Then came Peace…for not much more than a year. People were sick and tired of war and ready for peace, just as they had been after the deadly “War to end all Wars” ended in 1918. The United Nations was founded 70 years ago in October.
But war drums are hard to silence. There seems, always, the next, essential, certain-to-be successful war.
The May 2015 American Legion Magazine (pp. 30-38) briefly catalogues U.S. wars over its history. Post 1941, the author concedes about a year or two of peace–between WWII and Korea.
Then are listed the “Cold War” (1947-91); assorted Middle East conflicts, like Iraq; the presumptive never-to-end (till we obliterate ourselves) “Global War on Terrorism” (2001 to the present).
It seems that a perpetual war has been declared on our watch.
Yes, The conversation can change. But we as individuals are the only ones who can change that conversation.
“THE HOPE OF A DEMOCRATIC WORLD FEDERATION TO END WAR”
In the past we have had times of war and times of peace. Now even times of peace are used to get ready for the next war. We humans have increased our capabilities for faster communication and transportation. We are creating ever more destructive weapons. In the 20th century we had two world wars. In the 21st century national governments and even groups of dispersed individuals are planning and conducting wars to gain control over the whole Earth.
Long ago governments were developed to control conflicts within societies. Groups of aristocrats and their armed forces established control over all individuals and any rival groups in larger and larger areas. These empires came and went. Eventually a new kind of government of and by and for the people was established. Mainly since the 18th century the number and influence of these democratic republics has gradually increased.
But the problem of possible wars between national governments has not ended. Governments have sometimes established associations seeking nonviolent ways of resolving their conflicts. Often these associations are called “confederations.” In confederations the member governments are not required to accept the collective decisions of the association. They have the right to ignore them or even secede from the confederation.
Within confederations wars can still occur when some members seek to coerce a reluctant member to abide by the rules of the association. The “collective security” enforcement mechanism relied on by the confederal United Nations Organization is an example. All U.N. members are supposed to join the military effort against any member-state which commits aggression against another member-state. As a result we had the Korean War (1950-1953) when the U.N. Security Council declared that North Korea had committed aggression against South Korea. A second instance was the First Gulf War in 1991 when the U.N. Security Council decided that Iraq had committed aggression against Kuwait.
A more effective way for governments to avoid wars between them is to form a federation. In a federation the member governments agree on a process for resolving conflicts by political and judicial means rather than by war. Federal laws are established, and federal courts and police are created to enforce these laws against individual violators. Another important change is that in a federation the member governments do not have a right to secede. The commitment to join is irrevocable. Federations illustrate what is called “divided sovereignty” where certain powers are delegated to the central federal authority while others are retained by the member states.
The United States of America is an example of a successful federation. Moving beyond the Articles of Confederation which had coordinated the activities of the colonies during Revolutionary War, the new federation was created to better integrate the 13 newly independent states. The federal U.S. Constitution began functioning in 1789 when George Washington was elected the first President. The American Civil War (1861-1865) was fought to preserve the Union and the federal principle that no state(s) had a right to secede.
Federations can be difficult to create, but once established they have a collective power much stronger than a confederation. The longer they exist, the stronger they become. No state in the United States is concerned about possible military attack from another state. In the United States there is no chance that any state or group of states would try to secede, and loyalty to the nation takes priority over loyalty to the state. Many national governments are federations, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Germany, India, Mexico, Nigeria, Russia, Switzerland, and Venezuela.
Not only are many nations federations but we are now witnessing the effort to develop regional federations called “Unions” such as the European Union, the African Union, and the Union of South American Nations. An interesting issue is whether the whole world should or will move toward a world federation directly from the confederal United Nations or whether a world federation should and will best be created by uniting regional federations.
The success of democratic federations as a way of promoting peace within nations and within regions gives us hope that in the not-too- distant future a democratic world federation will be developed to put an end to war and national armies everywhere and where consequently loyalty to the whole human community (humatriotism) will take priority over loyalty to one’s nation-state (patriotism).
” Unless some effective world supergovernment for the purpose of preventing war can be set up…the prospects for peace and human progress are dark…. If…it is found possible to build a world organization of irresistible force and inviolable authority for the purpose of securing peace, there are no limits to the blessings which all men enjoy and share.”
UNITED NATIONS FLAG FLIES AGAIN IN WHITEWATER, WISCONSIN
In 1971 Everett and Betty Refior persuaded the Whitewater Common Council to authorize the flying of the U.N. flag as a symbol that the citizens of Whitewater are citizens of the world as well as of the United States and the state of Wisconsin. Unfortunately, the administrators in charge of the government did nothing to implement the ordinance. Everett died, but recently Betty alone started pushing for implementing the ordinance.
On July 17, 2014 the Common Council reacted negatively to her efforts by repealing the crucial sentence of that 1971 ordinance which authorized the flying of the U.N. flag. But that didn’t stop Betty, one of our chapter’s lifetime members. On Memorial Day, May 25, 2105 she with friends Rollin and Nancy Cooper and others celebrated the raising of the U.N. flag permanently on the Cooper’s new flagpole. Does that give any of our readers the notion that they might be able to do likewise?
Reminder: Time to renew your membership in CGS of Greater St. Louis
We value your membership in Citizens for Global Solutions of Greater St. Louis. We hope you will continue your support for another year. On your address label you will find the date when your membership expires. If it says “31 January 2016, you have already renewed for 2015. Membership guarantees that you will get our quarterly newsletter GLOBAL SOLUTIONS NEWS. It keeps you informed about our local activities and provides articles of interest to our members. We encourage you to participate in our events where you will be informed by experts about global issues and global solutions and will have a chance to share your views with them.
Memberships in our local CGS organization and the national CGS organization are separate matters. A membership in the national Citizens for Global Solutions, Inc. costs $25 per year. Since it is politically-oriented and the home for our GS Political Action Committee which endorses and supports candidates for Congress, its memberships are not tax-deductible.
Join at the website <http://globalsolutions.org> or by sending a check to: Citizens for Global Solutions, P. O. Box 96222, Washington DC 20090-6222.
The educational CGS national organization no longer has memberships and relies on the website for its helpful informational efforts.
Our CGS of Greater St. Louis publishes a quarterly newslettter and arranges local programs.
Annual membership dues are $25 ($10 for students). Members and other contributors receive our newsletters and have voting rights at the annual meeting. Please also consider an additional contribution to assist us in our work. Life membership is awarded for a donation of $500 or more.
Make checks payable to “Citizens for Global Solutions/St. Louis” and send them along with the membership blank below to David Oughton, 1130 Big Sky Drive, Fenton MO 63026. Both dues and additional contributions are tax deductible because CGS of Greater St. Louis is a 501(c)(3) educational, non-political membership organization. Thanks for your support.
Ron Glossop, Chair
Saturday, June 20, 1:00 p.m. – WILPF’s Barbara Taft and Ellen Rosser, Ph.D. address
“Hamas at the Middle East Peace Table: Why?” at the World Community Center, 438
No. Skinker Blvd, St. Louis MO 63130.
Sunday, August 10 – WILPF arranges annual commemoration of and thinking about
the implications of the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Details still to be
decided. CGS/STL will be co-sponsor as usual.
Saturday, August 15, 10:15 a.m. – CGS/STL Board of Officers & Directors meets at
World Community Center, 438 No. Skinker, 63130. The meeting is open to all. Note
that meeting has been shifted to the 3rd Saturday of the August instead of the second
Saturday of July.