Winter 2015

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Bill Pace

William R. Pace

Executive Director of the World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy (WFM-IGP) and a co-founder and steering committee member of the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect, will address the 2015 CGS Annual Meeting Speaking on:

“The International Criminal Court: Past, Present, and Future.”

Mr. Pace has served as the Convenor of the Coalition for the International Criminal Court since its founding in 1995. He is the Executive Director of the World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy (WFM-IGP) and is a co-founder and steering committee member of the International Coalition for the Responsibility to Protect. He has been engaged in international justice, rule of law, environmental law, and human rights for the past 30 years. He previously served as the Secretary-General of the Hague Appeal for Peace, the Director of the Center for the Development of International Law, and the Director of Section Relations of the Concerts for Human Rights Foundation at Amnesty International, among other positions.

He is the President of the Board of the Center for United Nations Reform Education and an Advisory Board member of the One Earth Foundation, as well as the co-founder of the NGO Steering Committee for the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and the NGO Working Group on the United Nations Security Council. He is the recipient of the William J. Butler Human Rights Medal from the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights and the Cox Price Human Rights Award from the University of Denver Ved Nanda Center for International Law, and he currently serves as an Ashoka Foundation Fellow. Mr. Pace has authored numerous articles and reports on international justice, international affairs and UN issues, multilateral treaty processes, and civil society participationin international decision-making.


STATE OF THE CGS ORGANIZATION AT BEGINNING OF 2015

Status:

The national Citizens for Global Solutions in Washington DC

The national CGS staff is located in Washington DC and is still operating out of our

two buildings located at 418 and 420 Seventh Street SE, Washington DC 20003. There is a second floor connection between the two. These buildings are very valuable because they are less than a mile from the Capitol and 2 blocks from the Eastern Market Metro Station located on Pennsylvania Avenue at D Street SE.

A decision has been made to convert these two buildings to apartments which will be rented to interns serving Congress and other DC organizations. This means that office space which CGS no longer needs will be bringing in money on a regular basis, something which we do need. Our leaders are now working out the financial arrangements for doing the construction. It is estimated that rentals will begin in 2017.

A two-part meeting was held in Chicago December 11-13, one part consisting of the Strategic Planning Committee which was followed by an official meeting of the two CGS boards, one for the 501(c)3 educational branch and one for the 501(c)4 politically oriented branch which also has a Political Action Committee that endorses some Congressional candidates and sometimes even provides financial support. An issue being discussed by the Strategic Planning Committee is the appropriate relationship between the two branches, namely those who want to focus more on the long-term educational goal of ending war by establishing a world federalism and those who want to focus more on issues of current interest in Congress such as ratification of international treaties.

At the end of the meeting of the boards several substantial financial contributions were pledged in response to the news of how difficult the current financial situation is, largely because many of those making substantial financial contributions to the organization during the past couple of years have died. At present the smaller national staff is working without a regular CEO, but Secretary-Treasurer Marvin Perry is serving as coordinator of the staff, which among other things has just completed a modernization of our national website at <http://globalsolutions.org>. Viewing that web-site is a good way to learn about what the national organization is doing, including publishing blogs from members about current issues.

Status:

Our local chapter of Citizens for Global Solutions in Saint Louis (with members throughout Missouri and southern Illinois and elsewhere)

The main activities of our local chapter include publication of our quarterly newsletter, an annual meeting, an annual essay contest in which we provide an all-expenses-paid trip to our annual national convention and other local meetings on international issues, often cosponsored with other peace-and-justice organizations. These activities are planned and coordinated by our Board of Officers and Directors, which usually meets at the World Community Center, 438 No. Skinker Boulevard on the second Saturday of the odd-numbered months such as January, March, May and July.

You can read about our activities in our newsletter.

For example, one article is about our September 21, 2014 workshop on the “Challenges Facing Spaceship Earth,” which featured six experts on various topics of global concern. Board member Terry Gates originated this idea and took charge of implementing it.

In the calendar of coming events on page 8 you can see some plans for events during the next three months. Not on the calendar yet is our annual meeting which will be held April 26, 2015 at the Ethical Society of St. Louis. We are very pleased that our speaker for that event will be William Pace, Executive Director of the international World Federalist Movement. He will be speaking on “The International Criminal Court: Past, Present, and Future.” This will be an extraordinary opportunity for us to hear from the person who was very much at the center of the effort to hold the July 1998 Rome Conference which adopted the Rome Statute creating the ICC and then the coordinated program to get that treaty ratified by 60 countries in just 4 years, something that was expected to take at least 20 years.

Another item not yet on the calendar of coming events is a second workshop on global problems probably to be held near the end of September 2015 at the same site, the ethical Society of St. Louis.

A new activity for our chapter is our Facebook page being managed by Hasmik Chakaryan and Alex Nourse. It is at <https://http://www.facebook.com/Citizens4GlobalSolutions>, and it is has a link to the national CGS Facebook.

During the past three months we have welcomed two new persons to our CGS/STL Board of Officers and Directors. One is Chancelor Thomas of Ballwin, Missouri. The other is Kimberly Murphy of Belleville, Illinois. She has also volunteered to be our new Recording Secretary.

At our January 10 board meeting, having learned that the national CGS is in financial need and from Treasurer Dave Oughton that our local treasury is now over $6,700, following the suggestion of Vice-Chair Yvonne Logan we voted to send $2,000 to the national CGS organization, hoping that other chapters might also follow our example. We also learned that we already have 21 members who have rejoined for 2015 along with our 5 lifetime members.

See page 7 for information on how to rejoin if you have not already done so.

If you would like to join our Board of Officers and Directors or if you have comments about what you think our CGS-St. Louis chapter should be doing, please contact Chair Ron Glossop at 314/869-2303 or by e-mail at<rglossop@mindspring.com>.


Bioethicist recommends those who favor a global government join CGS

By Marideth Sisco

James Hughes, a sociologist and bioethicist who teaches health policy at Trinity College in Connecticut, said in a recent interview with George Dworski of “io9,” an on-line magazine whose subtitle reads “We come from the future,” that the climate is right for giving global government another look, and that organizations like Citizens for Global Solutions might be a good place to start looking.

Hughes said despite current conflicts, the world, and particularly Europe, is undergoing “a kind of political consolidation,” the article said.

“The process is messy and fitful, but inexorable,” said Hughes. “Every time Europe seems ready to unravel, the logic of a tighter union pushes them forward — as it did just last week into the new European banking union agreements.”

Hughes said the road ahead is a hard one, and faces many challenges, particularly with regard to the effects on local governments of climate change, the resurgence of terrorist organizations and an escalation of advances in technology. However, he said, signs point to its potential, and it could happen sooner than anyone suspects. But not unless the hard work is done.

“Without a vision the people perish,” says Hughes. “If we want to see democratic globalization we have to openly point towards it as the goal.”

Hughes recommended in the interview that supporters wishing to be more active and informed consider joining world federalist organizations like the Citizens for Global Solutions, the Union of European Federalists, or the World Federalist Movement.

“Advocates should put global federalist solutions forward as the most obvious way to address global problems — even if such solutions appear currently chimerical. The world is changing quickly and what appears utopian today may appear obvious tomorrow,” he said.

Asked in the interview if he believes such an outcome can actually be achieved, he told the interviewer “I do believe it is possible to eventually achieve a global directly-elected legislature, complemented by global referenda and a global judiciary, controlling a global law enforcement military, and supported by global taxes like the Tobin Tax.”

Hughes was executive director of the World Transhumanist Association from 2004 to 2006, and now serves as the executive director of the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies. He also produces a weekly public affairs radio talk show program, Changesurfer Radio. Hughes’ book Citizen Cyborg: Why Democratic Societies Must Respond to the Redesigned Human of the Future was published by Westview Press in 2004.

Rejecting the two extremes of bioconservatism and libertarian transhumanism, Hughes argues for a third way, “democratic transhumanism,” a radical form of technoprogressivism which asserts that the best possible “posthuman future” is achievable only by ensuring that human enhancement technologies are safe, make them available to everyone, and respect the right of individuals to control their own bodies.

Material for this report comes from “io9” and the Center for Media and Democracy.


Book Review of Ronald Glossop’s CONFRONTING WAR: AN EXAMINATION OF HUMANITY’S MOST PRESSING PROBLEM

(McFarland, Jefferson NC, 4th ed. 2001; ISBN-13: 978-0-7864-1121-4, 324 pages.) Reviewed by Benjamin J. Urmston, S.J., Cincinnati, Ohio; December 3, 2014.

Clear, compelling, thorough, closely argued, Confronting War can be used as a textbook, a reference book, or a starting point for reflection and discussion on “humanity’s most pressing problem.” Ideas about the alleged positive value of war (control of human population, promotion of technological progress, stimulation of the economy, giving individuals meaning to their lives, promoting internal social cohesion, advancing justice) are shown to be mistaken. It is noted that Kenneth Boulding suggests that in the future warfare may be viewed as merely a bleak passing “interlude in humankind’s longterm development,” an interlude which will not be missed.

Historical background is balanced by a detailed discussion of several aspects of the contemporary situation (ideological, nationalhistorical, military, institutional, and legal). The causes of war are thoroughly discussed along with proposals for alternatives for resolving conflict for individuals and nations.

Confronting War concludes with the value of transforming the existing international structures and systems. We can’t send e-mails if we don’t own a computer. Nations and individuals cannot confront war adequately without transforming the international system. Only an international structure that puts limits on the sovereignty of nations offers hope of eliminating war. In the current international system, whose job description includes advancing the common good of our planet? “The global neighborhood of the future must be characterized by law and the reality that all, including the weakest, are equal under the law, and none, including the strongest, is above it.”

Moving from a confederation of governments to a federation of global citizens is an advance toward genuine security and prosperity. Steps in the direction of a world federation are the International Criminal Court, the Law of the Sea Treaty, successful interventions by the international community to protect human rights, and soon a U.N. rapid response force able to react more quickly.

Protests against secret proceedings of unelected representatives of world decisionmakers like the World Trade Organization indicate global citizens will only tolerate democratic structures which will be strong enough to protect workers, the environment, and consumers.

The way forward to a democratic federation is thoroughly discussed and analyzed. Instead of viewing other countries as potential enemies, the real enemies of humankind are poverty, unemployment, racism, violence, pollution.

The functionalist approach argues that even powerful nations would find it difficult to withdraw from the Universal Postal Union. Global functional agencies need to be strengthened and multiplied.

The populist approach emphasizes action independent of national governments. World citizens have created their own official documents. In Japan 306 cities have adopted resolutions declaring themselves to be worldcities. In 1951 French philosopher Jacques Maritain proposed a council of persons deemed to be especially prudent to speak out as the conscience of humanity on social issues. Such persons might be nominated by religious organizations and elected by people from all nations.

The federalist approach insists that a better informed citizenry eventually needs to persuade national governments to form a new global political order.

The author of this hopeful and comprehensive book, Dr. Ron Glossop, has dedicated his life to teaching, writing, and action toward a more peaceful and just world. Confronting War deserves our attention and reflection.


CGS Workshop Deemed a Success

By Terry Gates

The CGS of Greater St. Louis organized a workshop for citizens on the UN’s International Day of Peace, September 21, 2014. It was held at the Ethical Society of St. Louis and lasted from 2:30 until 7:30. A light supper followed the final session.

Titled “Challenges Facing Spaceship Earth,” the workshop featured six experts on various topics of global concern. Each of the 42 participants were able to choose which three of the one-hour sessions they would attend.

The experts and their session topics were:

Ronald Glossop, Ph.D. – How to develop the UN into a better governing body.

Allan MacNeill, Ph.D. – The income gap and global governance in the 21st Century.

David Oughton, Ph.D. – The world’s religions and world peace.

Robert J. Reinhold, Esquire – The Helsinki Accords and US/Russia relations.

Mary Beth Reissen, SSND, Ph.D. – Countering espionage and aggression in cyberspace.

Amanda Rosen, Ph.D. – Climate change and conflict.

Five more organizations assisted with publicity: Baha’i of St. Louis, League of Women Voters of St. Louis, The Lentz Peace Research Association, United Nations Association of Greater St. Louis, and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Two also gave financial assistance to the project to supplement the free-will donations collected at the event.

Evaluations of the event were overwhelmingly positive, and other experts from the region who were not able to participate this year pledged their involvement for future workshops in conversations with CGS leaders following the event.

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