Spring 2015

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THE INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL COURT: PAST, PRESENT, & FUTURE

Jelena Pia-Comella

Deputy Executive Director of WFM-Institute for Global Policy & of the NGO Coalition for the International Criminal Court

____________________________________

WHEN: Sunday Afternoon, April 26, 2015

3:00 p.m. – Informal reception and refreshments

3:30 p.m. – “The International Criminal Court: Past, Present, & Future”

Jelena Pia-Comella, WFM-IGP & CICC

4:30 p.m. – Business meeting with election of Officers & Directors

5:00 p.m. – Optional buffet turkey dinner (Use reservation form below.)

WHERE: Ethical Society of St. Louis, 9001 Clayton Road, 63117

(in the Assembly Hall, lower level; park in rear & enter by rear door.)

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Reservation Form for optional BUFFET TURKEY DINNER at 5:00 p.m.

(Deadline for receipt of this form is 1:00 p.m. Friday, April 24)

Printed name(s)________________________________________________________

Telephone: ( ) e-mail: .

No. of Turkey dinners __ No. of Vegetarian dinners __

$15 each; students $3.

Turkey, dressing, salad, mashed potatoes & gravy, green beans, cranberry sauce, whole wheat rolls, blueberry cobbler, beverage; cheese and vegetables for vegetarians.

Make your check payable to “CGS of Greater St. Louis” and send it with this form to:

Dr. David Oughton, 1130 Big Sky Drive, Fenton MO 63026.

For more info, contact Ron Glossop at 314/869-2303 or <rglossop@mindspring.com>.

The 2015 Annual Meeting Program

To all those interested in the most important development in international relations during the last 25 years: Of course, I am talking about the International Criminal Court (ICC) which formally came into existence in 2002 when the Rome Statute of 1998 received the sufficient 60 ratifications to go into effect.

At our 3:00 p.m. Sunday, April 26 Citizens for Global Solutions of Greater St. Louis annual meeting we will be getting inside information about the “Past, Present, and Future of the ICC” from Jelena Pia-Comella, Deputy Executive Director of the World Federalist Movement- Institute for Global Policy (WFM-IGP) as well as of the NGO Coalition for the ICC (CICC) in New York City not far from the UN building. In 1966 Ms. Pia-Comella was appointed the country of Andorra’s representative at the United Nations as well as that country’s representative to Canada and the United States. In 2002 she was appointed Deputy Permanent Representative of Andorra to the United Nations overseeing that country’s relationships with other countries, especially in the areas of human rights, humanitarian and development cooperation, and international law. In addition from 2001 to 2007 she served as Andorra’s Chief of Mission to the United States and Canada. She then joined the Center for Women’s Global Leadership and Women’s Environment and Development Organization as a consultant to the Gender Equality Architecture Reform Campaign (GEAR) at the U.N. She holds a Masters Degree in International Political Economy and Development from Fordham University in New York and a Bachelors degree in Economics from Université de Fribourg, Switzerland.

As usual at our annual meetings, we will also be having our catered delicious turkey dinner served by Diner’s Delight for only $15 ($3 for students). I urge you to join us and invite your friends too.

Ron Glossop

David Oughton’s Letter to the Editor of the Washington

In his essay on March 6, Garry Wills argued that Pope Francis is “the man who could prevent a holy war.” Of course, there is no such thing as a holy war. But wars have taken place throughout history where religious rationalizations have been a major factor in convincing people to fight in certain wars in order to solve political problems. According to Christianity’s just war teaching since St. Augustine as well as Islam’s teaching on military jihad, only a war fought by soldiers in selfdefense, as a last resort, and where civilians are never directly targeted could be considered morally justifiable. The nature of modern warfare and the nature of modern weapons have forced many people of different religions to consider how to eliminate the war system itself.

The Catholic bishops at the Second Vatican Council in 1965 called upon everyone to “strain every muscle as we work for the time when all war can be completely outlawed by international consent. This goal undoubtedly requires the establishment of some universal public authority acknowledged as such by all, and endowed with effective power to safeguard, on the behalf of all, security, regard for justice, and respect for rights.”(Gaudium et spes, #81) Popes and bishops since Pope John XXIII have taught that a universal public authority needs to be created, based on the principle of subsidiarity.

In order to outlaw war, what is needed is a transformation of the current war system and United Nations Organization. The U.N. has been unable to eliminate “the scourge of war” since the Second World War because it is a confederacy of national governments. Its structure is not democratic, mainly because of the one-nation-one-vote system (regardless of a national-member’s population) in the General Assembly and because of the veto power of any one of the five permanent members of the Security Council.

War can be outlawed only by means of a democratic world federation that would create, enforce, and adjudicate world laws as well as have the power to arrest and incarcerate individuals who violate them. World police would be needed to arrest individuals who violate world laws while national, state, and local legislatures, executives, courts, and police would continue to create, enforce, and adjudicate laws within their jurisdictions. Government leaders and others who are found guilty of aggression, genocide, crimes against humanity, and terrorism need to be prosecuted under a system of world laws.

The leaders of all major religions have the responsibility to emphasize those values and principles that would provide the firm foundation for this required universal public authority, such as the Golden Rule, the human family, the global community, interreligious dialogue and cooperation, and the responsibility for caring for our common planet. Pope Francis and the leaders of other religions need to emphasize the Declaration of the Global Ethic and the Charter for Compassion that have been emphasized at the Parliaments of the World’s Religions. People throughout the world must decide whether we want to create lasting world peace through a system of world law and eliminate the current war system.

David C. Oughton, Ph.D.

St. Louis, Missouri

Essay Contest

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.

CONTEST INFORMATION:

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 rglossop@mindspring.com

OR

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

A WORLD WITH NO MORE WAR

Ron Glossop’s March 29 public address in Alton, Illinois

 

A popular ideal is a world with no more war. Why does that ideal seem so far off or so unlikely that it is not even worth spending time thinking about it? I think that an important part of the answer to that question of why not much progress occurs is that our media and everyday conversation focuses on the wrong things. It focuses on (1) the disastrous effects of wars while showing little interest in the causes of wars or ideas about what needs to be done to prevent them. It focuses on (2) the heroism and sacrifices of soldiers fighting present wars rather than how such suffering might be eliminated. It focuses on (3) activities of military and political leaders as they prepare for battle against other countries rather than whether wars are necessary. It focuses on (4) the new weapons being designed to fight wars rather than whether war could be eliminated. It focuses on (5) the need for national governments to spy on each other rather than on whether the war system must continue. The focus on these matters just stimulates people to get ready to fight the next war, including supporting much spending for new weaponry and military training.

Almost nothing is said about the nature of the present international system of nation-states with their unlimited national sovereignty and the fact that it is a system which produces wars or about proposals on how it could or should be changed. Also too often those who want to promote peace focus on the behavior of individuals in relation to other individuals rather than on our political institutions and social forces. This focus on individual behavior misses the mark because wars are fought between group and group, not between individual and individual.

A crucial distinction which needs to be remembered in order to successfully confront this problem of war is to note that “war” is not the same as “conflict.” Maybe in human society there will always be conflicts, but that does not mean that there will always be wars. To end wars we need institutions which keep conflicts from becoming violent. Governments have been created to control conflicts within the society and keep them from becoming violent. Democratic governments especially have been relatively successful in doing this. There may still be civil wars to determine which organized group gains control of the government, but such civil wars are very unlikely in long-established democracies.

More important for our understanding of warfare is the fact that after governments were established, wars between these governments began to occur. Governments aimed to protect and expand the territory they controlled. Consequently some governments came into conflict with each other, and there was no government over them to keep the conflicts from becoming violent, that is from becoming wars. Just as governments were developed to control conflicts between individuals and groups within a society, we finally learned how to control the conflicts between governments. We created cooperative associations of governments called confederations or federations. That development occurred in Switzerland with smaller governed societies called “cantons” and in the United States of America with larger governed societies called “states.”

At first there was no distinction between a confederation and a federation. The words were used interchangeably, but then a similar development occurred both in Switzerland and in the U.S.A. In both places an association which began as a confederation became a federation.

It is still possible to distinguish between a confederation and a federation, even though the former often very gradually evolves into the latter. We can say that a confederation or league is a looser association of governments while a federation or union is a stronger or tighter one. The key term is sovereignty, which means possessing ultimate authority, that is, no one else having any authority over you. It originally applied to kings, the sovereigns who had ultimate authority in the country where they ruled. Afterward, as more countries became democracies, that term “sovereign” began to be applied to the national governments, and we got the notion of unlimited national sovereignty. Each national government had the sole right to determine what is legally permissible within its national boundaries. The history of our own country exemplifies the distinction between a confederation in which the component state governments retain all of their sovereignty as in the Articles of Confederation (1775-1789) and a federation in which some areas of control or sovereignty are transferred from component states to the new federal government. That transformation occurred when the U.S. Constitution was ratified by the state governments in 1787-1788. George Washington, the first U.S. President, was elected in 1788 and took office in 1789.

A very important difference between a confederation and a federation is whether the component governments have a right to secede from their commitment to join the association or federation. States have a right to secede from a confederation but not from a federation. The U.S. Civil War was really a war to determine whether the U.S.A. was a confederation where states could secede or a federation or union where states could not secede. The slogan for the creation of the U.S. was “E pluribus unum,” Latin for “Out of many, one.” Lincoln made it clear that the purpose of the Civil War was “to preserve the Union,” the federation. The ending of slavery was a secondary issue.

Many current court cases in this country aim to determine exactly the limits between the sovereignty of the federal government and the sovereigny ot the state governments. We obviously have conflicts in our country about what policies should be adopted by the government, but we work these out through the courts and elections rather than in wars. The court cases and the elections are substitutes for military battles in a war. How much do our state governments spend on getting ready to fight wars with other states? None!

Another important difference between confederations and federations is that within a federation federal laws can be enforced against individual violators while in a confederation like the U.N. the efforts to enforce the rules is aimed at the constitutent governments rather than individual persons, a system that is likely to produce wars (like the Korean War and the First Gulf War) rather than eliminating them. The recently created International Criminal Court which is designed to prosecute individual war criminals is a great step forward on the international level toward getting rid of war. It would be much more successful than it has been if it would receive support from the whole U.S. government and U.S. public rather than just from President Obama and a few others.

The gradual but difficult transition from confederation to federation is now taking place in the European Union whose very name indicates the goal of federation. The situation in Europe shows how nationalism and feelings of national identity are powerful obstacles to the integration into a true federation. Success requires developing a feeling of European identity.

A more important matter for the whole world and the abolition of war from human society is whether the confederal U.N. can somehow be transformed into a world federation.

An important book focused on this issue is THE ANATOMY OF PEACE by Emery Reves first published in 1945 at the end of World War II and at the beginning of the U.N. He says, “[I]f we attempt to reduce the seemingly innumerable causes of war to a common denominator, two clear and unmistakable observations emerge. (1) Wars between groups of social units always take place when these units-tribes, dynasties, churches, cities, nations–exercise unrestricted sovereign power. (2) Wars between these social units cease the moment sovereign power is transferred from them to a larger or higher unit.” (pp. 120-21)

A new book making the same point but with more attention to current developments is Joseph Schwartzberg’s TRANSFORMING THE UNITED NATIONS SYSTEM: DESIGNS FOR A WORKABLE WORLD (UN University Press, 2013). Near the end of his incredibly detailed study, he writes, “I firmly believe that a democratic federal world government with a builtin constitutional system of checks and balances provides the best of the many conceivable future ways of governing our increasingly interconnected world. Given the existential environmental threats confronting our society, as well as long-recognized threats from our presently anarchic “war-system,” we must now plan for and seek to create an essentially new global political order as quickly as possible . . . .” (p. 316)

Experience has shown us that an effective way of ending wars between sovereign social units is to bring them together into a federation where conflicts of interest can be resolved nonviolently by judicial and political means and the rule of law enforceable on individuals. At the global level, so far we have established a confederation called the United Nations. The difficult next step to creating a world with no more war is to transform that U.N. confederation into a world federation. As in Europe nationalism and feelings of national identity are powerful obstacles. Success requires promoting a feeling of world citizenship.

At the world level a big obstacle not faced by the European Union is the existence of nondemocratic national governments in the U.N. The transition from a confederation to a federation has always involved democratic governments. An important question is whether that transition from a confederal U.N. to a democratic world federation can be made when many of the constituent governments in the U.N. are not yet Western-style democracies. Perhaps NATO where all members are democratic governments might be a better base for creating a world federation than the U.N. The difficulty, however, is that many nations are not members of NATO while the U.N. includes almost all the national governments of the world. But would trying to create a world federation from NATO result in a war between countries which are in NATO and those which are not?

It is too optimistic to suppose that a transition from the United Nations (or from NATO) to a democratic world federation will happen very soon. At the same time, the need to make this transition right now is very great. New technology is already producing robotic soldiers and ever more deadly weaponry and new kinds of cyber warfare and new types of biological-chemical weapons which can be produced secretly and inexpensively. Even smaller poorer countries can now get involved in the struggle for power based on coercive military strength.

Somehow we must persuade our leaders to pay more attention to our war-and-militarism problem and devote themselves to developing a democratic world federation which will produce a world with no more war.

An important first step is for each of us to move beyond our own nationalism and focus on building not only our own land but our whole world.

“Should the UN Be Changed to Become More Democratic?”

Gail Hughes, Chapter President, Global Solutions-Minnesota

(reprinted from the March, 2015 Newsletter of Global Solutions-Minnesota)

The United Nations was established in 1945, at the end of World War II, to prevent World War III. Its mission is to be a force for peace; and in that we have not had World War III, we may say that it has succeeded to date. Almost all countries in the world are represented in the General Assembly, where members can raise issues and hear the perspectives of others around the world. Numerous affiliated NGOs address human needs in education, health care, refugees, and many other areas. The Millennium Goals include benchmarks and timelines to achieve quality-of-life targets necessary for a peaceful and prosperous global society; and the UN excels in providing global research and statistics to monitor progress and track the ‘state of the world’.

However, we cannot claim that we have achieved world peace. There have been all too many wars – though not world-engulfing, and most undeclared. President George W. Bush said in essence that the U.S. is in an endless ‘war on terrorism’. In addition, other global challenges have arisen – e.g. climate change, environmental destruction, potential global pandemics – that could destroy life on earth as we know it. The UN as presently constituted has not been effective in addressing these problems.

In addition, some in the Global South (countries that have been colonized) believe that the UN acts on behalf of Global North countries (roughly, excolonizer countries plus the U.S., Canada, and Australia). The perception of ‘neo-colonialism’ derives in part from the granting of veto power to each of the five permanent members of the Security Council – the victors in World War II. Veto power ensures that the UN will favor Big Power interests to maintain control over the Third World, resulting in “neo-colonialism” – a new form of colonialism.

Charges of neo-colonialism are leveled especially at the global financial and trade organizations that exist under the umbrella of the UN, but that operate independently. The World Bank (WB), International Monetary Fund (IMF), and GATT, the precursor to the present World Trade Organization (WTO) – were established in 1944, a year before the UN. The World Bank was founded to provide long-term loans, first to Europe through the Marshall Plan, and later to developing countries.

The role of the IMF is to provide short-term loans to maintain currency stability; and the trade organizations were created to coordinate international trade. These organizations are dominated by Global North countries, with the rationale that since the money for loans comes from the rich countries, “He that pays the piper calls the tune”. At times, however, countries are pressured to take out loans that they will not be able to repay[1], or to agree to “structural adjustments” which entail severe cuts in education, health care, and other social services, in order to qualify for loans.[2] Similarly, critics claim that the WTO pressures countries to agree to “free trade” policies that favor the Global North. The WTO enforces “free trade” through imposing economic sanctions against those who do not join, and against members who violate agreements. Many in the Global South call for “fair trade” as an alternative; and regional economic organizations such as BRICS (comprised of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) are emerging in an attempt to better serve their members.

The irony is that the most democratic global organization – the General Assembly – has no power to implement its decisions, other than voluntary compliance; but the least democratic organizations – the IMF, WB, WTO, and the Security Council – do have real power, through economic sanctions. For a detailed analysis of structural problems which undermine the effectiveness of the UN, as well as suggested remedies, see Joe Schwartzberg’s recent (2014) book, Transforming the UN: Designs for a Workable World..

[1] See John Perkins’ fascinating description of his role to encourage debt entrapment in his book, Confessions of an Economic Hitman (2004). Perkins worked for the NSA undercover in his role as an economist for the Charles Main Corporation.

[2] See Joseph Stiglitz’ criticisms when he served as Chief Economist at the World Bank in his book, Globalization and Its Discontents (2002). Stiglitz received a Nobel Prize for Economics in 2001.

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 by sending us your renewal before the end of February 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 taxdeductible.

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, nonpolitical membership organization. Thanks for your support.

Sincerely,

Ron Glossop, Chair

 

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