Newsletter Archive

Leave a comment

Fall 2012 Newsletter

LOCAL CHAPTER OF CGS FACES IMPORTANT CHOICES

GlobalSolutions.org” and “Global Solutions Action Network, Inc.” are names being adopted by the national organization of which we are the St. Louis Chapter. The changes at the national level were described in our Summer 2012 newsletter. This article will address more specifically the impact of these changes on the St. Louis Chapter.

National Organization Name Changes

To recap, this year “GlobalSolutions.org” has become the new name of the Citizens for Global Solutions Education Fund (“CGSEF”), a nonprofit corporation organized in 1968 under the laws of the District of Columbia and determined by the IRS to be a 501(c)(3) charitable educational organization. CGSEF has been formally named “World Federalist Association,” and since 2003 has operated under the registered trade name “Citizens for Global Solutions Education Fund.”

Global Solutions Action Network, Inc.” has become the new name of Citizens for Global Solutions, Inc. (“CGSI”), a nonprofit corporation organized in 1983 under the laws of the State of New Jersey and determined by the IRS to be a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization. CGSI was originally named Campaign for U.N. Reform, and its name was changed in 2004.

Anyone can join GlobalSolutions.org (now CGSEF) simply by giving the organization your email address or street address. This can be done online at <http://globalsolutions.org&gt;. One does not have to pay anything to join GlobalSolutions.org (now CGSEF). It is a charitable educational organization, and therefore, donations to it are tax-deductible. Like many nonprofit corporations, GlobalSolutions.org (now CGSEF) is governed by a board of directors whose members are nominated and approved by the board itself.

Global Solutions Action Network, Inc. (now CGSI) is a social welfare organization that is able to lobby for legislation that its members support. Therefore, donations to it are NOT tax-deductible and it must charge a membership fee. The membership fee is $25 per person ($40 for couples). Global Solutions Action Network, Inc. (now CGSI) is also able to maintain a political action committee, Global Solutions PAC, to make donations to candidates for public office. One can join or make donations to Global Solutions Action Network, Inc. (now CGSI) and online at <http://globalsolutions.org&gt;. Global Solutions Action Network, Inc. (now CGSI) was founded as a nonprofit membership corporation which means that its board of directors is elected by its members in annual elections to three-year terms.

Changes for the St. Louis Chapter

The St. Louis Chapter is, as a formal legal matter, a nonprofit corporation organized under the laws of the State of Missouri in 1950. Officially this corporation still holds the name it was given at its inception: “United World Federalists of Missouri.” Over the years, our Chapter has operated under the names “World Federalist Association – St. Louis” and “Citizens for Global Solutions of Greater St. Louis.” At a meeting on May 21, 2012, the board of the St. Louis Chapter voted to retain the name “Citizens for Global Solutions of Greater St. Louis.” We plan to take the necessary steps to make this name the formal name of the nonprofit corporation that is our chapter.

The St. Louis Chapter is qualified as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization under a group exemption obtained by CGSEF effective in 1968. This means that tax-deductible donations can be made to the St. Louis Chapter. We want to encourage people to make donations to the chapter as well as to the national organization.

In order to remain in existence and in good standing, our chapter must comply with state law requirements to maintain our existence as a nonprofit corporation (periodic filings, annual meetings, election of officers, etc.) and maintain our tax-exempt status with the IRS (periodic filings and educational activities). We will need to make sure that the Chapter officers understand and continue to undertake these responsibilities.

Like many nonprofit corporations, the St. Louis Chapter is governed by a Board of Officers and Directors. This board can be self-perpetuating — the board elects new officers and board members — or the board can be elected annually by those who meet the requirements of being members of the chapter. Our board will be discussing this issue. We want to encourage active participation in the work of the Chapter whether we decide to have dues-paying members or not.

If you have any comments or ideas about these matters, please call Ron Glosop at 314/869-2303 or send an email to rglossop@mindspring.com.

 

INFORMATION ABOUT THE CGS POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEE

You can learn more about the CGS Political Action Committee on the globalsolutions.org website at http://globalsolutions.org/capitol-hill/pac. This Global Solutions Political Action Committee is an activity of the Global Solutions Action Network, Incorporated described on page 1 of this newsletter.

The Global Solutions Political Action Committee has endorsed several legislators for re-election, as well as some challengers. Endorsed Senators include Claire MacCaskill of Missouri, Bill Nelson of Florida, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, Ben Cardin of Maryland, and Dianne Feinstein of California. All have excellent records of supporting CGS issues, including strong UN funding, genocide prevention, and ratification of key treaties. Endorsed incumbents in the House of Representatives include Howard Berman, Lois Capps, and John Garimendi of California; Jim McGovern of Massachusetts; and Gerry Connolly of Virginia.

The Global Solutions PAC has also endorsed several challengers. These include Rep. Martin Heinrich, who is running for the Senate in New Mexico; former Governor Tim Kaine, who is running for the Senate in Virginia; David Gill, who is running in Illinois’s 13th district; Annie Kuster, who is running in New Hampshire’s 2nd district; Eric Griego,who is running in New Mexico’s 1st district; and CGS member Jerry Tetalman, who is running in California’s 49th district.

To read the full list of Global Solutions PAC endorsements and contributions, see http:// globalsolutions.org/capitol-hill/elections/endorsed. Endorsement and contribution news will be regularly updated as the 2012 campaign continues!

Note that one can be involved in the work of the GS Political Action Committee only if one is a member of Global Solutions Action Network. The annual membership fee is $25 per person ($40 for couples). One can join Global Solutions Action Network online at <http://globalsolutions.org&gt; or by sending a check to Global Solutions Action Network, 420 Seventh St. SE, Washington DC 20003.

 

AMERICAN CONSERVATIVES, FEAR, AND “THE NEW WORLD ORDER”

By J. Terry Gates

In August, I attended the periodic reunion of my high school class of ’54. It was great to see all those old folks and to remember events from our high school years, some of which actually happened.

One of my high school friends has been caught in the hyper-patriotic fervor of some conservative Americans. He started forwarding by email material written by others, some of which decried the current US administration’s accommodation to other sovereign states and expressed the intention to change the direction of the US’s relationships with the world’s other sovereign states. Never did he express his views in his own words. I ‘unsubscribed.’

Because I wanted to know more about his own views, I acknowledged to him that he probably did more thinking than most of my friends about America’s future and knew the information on which fears about the future were grounded. I asked him to tell me what his take on all that was.

He said, “This fall, there are going to be general riots, and marshal law will be declared.” “What will trigger the riots?” I asked. “The Occupy Movement and the current administration if it is re-elected,” he responded. “They want the US to promote the new world order–to knuckle under to some sort of world government.”

The UN is another thorn in the side of American separatists, and it connects with my friend’s fears. Tom Head, a county judge in Lubbock [Texas] told Reuters (Aug. 24, 2012) that if Barack Obama is re-elected there will likely be “civil unrest, civil disobedience, civil war maybe.” Reuters further reported that Head predicted that Obama would hand the problem over to the UN, and that UN troops would therefore be called in to quell the disturbances.

Fear and the new world order

The fear about America sliding toward a ‘new world order’ appears to have some substance, especially if one is an American exceptionalist and separatist, characterizations that fit most American political conservatives.

Here’s a recent example: The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), in which the US is now a member, releases certain multinational companies based in eight other countries from jurisdiction in US courts for some kinds of infractions, assigning them instead to an international tribunal, the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). (See http:// http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/13/obama- trade-document-leak_n_1592593.html for more on this US move.)

According to the tribunal’s web site, “The ICSID is an autonomous international institution established under the Convention on the Settlement of Investment Disputes between States and Nationals of Other States with over 140 member States. . . . The primary purpose of ICSID is to provide facilities for conciliation and arbitration of international investment disputes.” (https://icsid.worldbank.org/ICSID/ Index.jsp).

The ICSID is not new. It was created by the World Bank in 1965 and began its work in 1966.

The TPP is essentially a trade agreement, not an abdication of sovereignty. As Thomas Friedman pointed out in his 2005 book, The World is Flat, the 21st century will be dominated by the economic sphere rather than the political one. Statecraft will be less about sovereignty than it will be about forging economic alliances, regional collaboratives, and trade pacts.

If anything, economic collaboration seems to be ‘the new world order,’ not the abdication of American sovereignty to a looming world government controlled by a mysterious cabal of powerful people.

So, how do we confront some Americans’ fears?

1. We need to recognize that the fear is real to the person who is gripped by it. We need to explore these patriotic Americans’ views on what they see as the problems ahead, asking them to list those international problems that do not seem to be addressed by the US federal government today.

2. We need to arm ourselves with accurate information about the current agreements that seem to turn over American powers to international bodies such as the ICSID, the International Court of Justice (a/k/a The World Court), and the UN. Sources include NYU’s Project on International Courts and Tribunals

( http://www.pict-pcti.org/) and various tribunals listed at http://www.worldcourts.com/.

3. We should evaluate the current effects of these entities on American individuals and corporations, and project their effects in the near-term future.

4. Finally, we should create publications, panels, and talks that promulgate our findings in clear and persuasive ways.

As Franklin Delano Roosevelt famously said, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” And many good, well-meaning Americans are fearful today. We can and should do what we can to provide information and analysis that can take the edge off their fears.

Beyond these important contributions, we should point out that multinational corporations are moving forward to take advantage of a resistance to act on the part of many democracies. They do not need to run for public office at multi-year intervals to enact their programs. They can (and do) act when it is expedient to do so.

To the degree that the multinationals guide corporation leaders; either that or give in to policy, as the Citizens Trade Campaign claims in influential separatists in their own countries. the TPP case, decisions are then made in Either alternative is too narrow a direction for our boardrooms, not ballot boxes or legislatures, global community. decisions that restrict and often subvert elected governments and the rule by law. Sovereign states should collaborate to regulate these multinationals and to protect people’s rights.

The greater fear is that states will shrink from regional or global collaboration and that their leaders will move instead in directions that are dictated by the financial advantages defined by corporation leaders; either that or give in to influential separatists in their own countries. Ether alternative is too narrow  direction for our global community.

AN IMPORTANT NEW BOOK ON HOW TO MOVE TOWARD GLOBAL DEMOCRACY

Book Review

By Ronald J. Glossop

September 7, 2012

In the new book CREATING A WORLD PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY: AN EVOLUTIONARY JOURNEY distinguished international scholar and author Dr. Joseph Schwartzberg has provided us with a detailed proposal focused on what needs to be done to move toward the creation of a democratic world parliament. In addition to Schwartzberg’s cogent observations and arguments, this book also provides a huge amount of relevant information about all the nations of the world, information which he uses in order to clarify and justify his proposals and which will be very useful to diplomats and scholars concerned about global political affairs. This book of concrete proposals of how to do it takes us beyond the abstract dream of a global democracy.

As the subtitle indicates, we should not expect that the creation of a world parliament is something that can be completed all at once. Schwartzberg proposes a three-stage process somewhat similar to the way in which the European Parliament was developed. The first step would occur when the UN General Assembly, following Article 22 of the UN Charter which allows for the creation of subsidiary organs, establishes a World Parliamentary Assembly (WPA) whose members are chosen by the UN’s member states. Ideally, these delegates to the WPA would be members of national parliaments and would even be of different political parties proportional to their representation in each national legislature, but each national government could decide how to select its delegates in the WPA as well as whether to participate in it at all. Resolutions

adopted by the WPA would be advisory rather than binding, but that is also the case for resolutions adopted by the UN General Assembly itself.

Chapter 2 titled “Relevant Constitutional Experience “briefly summarizes the history of democracy in nations and the development of the European Union internationally to find clues about how to move toward more democracy at the global level. Schwartzberg notes that his plan for working through the UN General Assembly to create a WPA is not the only way to move toward more democratic governance in the global community, and he discusses some of the alternative ways of doing this in chapter 3 and mentions them again on page 95. In chapters 4,5, and 6 he returns to discussing the WPA approach which he favors and the various issues which need to be addressed to get the WPA started.

Obviously, an important and controversial matter to be decided would be the number of delegates/ votes each nation-state would have in the WPA. Schwartzberg already addressed this issue in his 2004 monograph REVITALIZING THE UNITED NATIONS: REFORM THROUGH WEIGHTED VOTING where he recommends an apportionment of national votes based on the three factors of population, wealth, and the sovereign equality of nations; and he addresses it again in chapter 7 of this book. In chapters 7 and 8 he also discusses many other matters that would need to be addressed even at this first stage of the WPA.

It is worth mentioning that in this first stage (Model A) the numbers of delegates for some of the 190+ countries in the WPA would be approximately USA-57, China-55, India-39, Japan-20, and

Germany-15 while 35 countries would have 2 delegates each and 114 out of the 190+ countries would have only one delegate each (pp. 42-44 & 103-110) . Nevertheless “collectively, those 114 nations contain only 6.8% of the total world population, yet would account for a total of 20.2 % of all the seats” (p. 44). This situation shows what a challenge it is to develop a democratic world parliament when there is such a discrepancy in the size of the populations of the 190+ countries of the world, a point which Schwartzberg makes on pages 34 and 64 and often elsewhere. (In chapter 11 where he discusses Stage 3 Schwartzberg moves on to explore what is possible in a WPA which represents people rather than countries.)

The second step toward a more democratic global governance system would be the popular election of the members of the WPA along with increasing the authority of the WPA to enact real laws with regard to global issues. Schwartzberg says this transition should take place within 25 years or so (p. 49), but he recognizes that it will be resisted by the larger and richer countries (pp. 41 & 68). It seems to me that this transition from Stage 1 to Stage 2 will be even more difficult than the move to Stage 1. This second step where the people begin to elect the representatives in the WPA presents an opportunity to revise the allocation of votes each nation gets in the WPA, partly because the economic weighting used in Stage 1 could be dropped. Schwartzberg provides 2 detailed alternative systems of how the quantity of representatives from each country could be determined while noting that many other systems are possible.

In the first alternative (which he calls Model B.1) each elected representative to the WPA would have one vote, and each would represent roughly the same number of constituents. In this system, the number of representatives a country gets would depend on its population, and each nation would get at least one. Schwartzberg thinks that in order to be practical there should not be more than a total of 1000 members in the WPA (pp. 63-64). Schwartzberg’s second alternative (which he calls Model B.2) allows for a variation from country to country in the number of persons one representative in the WPA represents. He goes into great detail indicating the way in which the influence of particular countries would be affected depending on whether one relies on the “degressive proportionality” system used by the European Parliament or the “Penrose method” based on the square-root of the population in determining how many persons a single member of the WPA will represent.

Schwartzberg then presents his own middle way (pp. 71-75 & 115-20) between these two approaches. If his proposal were adopted, the approximate number of representatives in the WPA would be China-37, India-34, USA-18, Indonezia-15, Brazil & Pakistan-14 each, Russia-12, Japan-11, Germany-9, Congo DR, Thailand, France, U.K., and Italy-8 each, 29 countries with 3 each, 34 countries with 2 each, and less than 20 countries with 1 each.

Schwartzberg proposes that countries with 9 votes or less (pp. 75-77) should have proportional representation so groups with less than a majority would also be represented. He also discusses the issue of requiring more than a simple majority in the WPA for various kinds of issues as the WPA acquires authority over more kinds of global issues (pp. 78-81). In chapter 10 he addresses the issue of what nations and groups of nations might try to do as the WPA is developed. He says, “Even the most optimistic observer would probably concede that  the world is at least a decade away from establishing a WPA”(p. 80).

In Chapter 11 Schwartzberg considers Stage 3 of the development of a WPA where national boundaries are no longer so crucial and the focus turns to creating voting districts with about the same number of constitutents each. He limits his discussion to how the districts might be drawn in the Americas.

In his concluding Chapter 12 he says, “This essay has sought to demonstate that creating a World Parliamentary Assembly . . . would be a feasible, even if difficult, undertaking . . . ” (p. 95). He is sure that creating a WPA would be worth the economic cost, but admits that he has not demonstrated that conclusion in this book (p. 96). He agrees with those concerned about the “glaring democratic deficit” in the UN, but he thinks that that should and can be changed. “With a WFA and other needed reforms in place, we can expect a world in which people from one country will be much more inclined to listen to and learn from others with a different nationality, in which states will be much less prone to armed conflict, and in which a revitalized UN will be better able to focus on meeting the economic and social needs of all the world’s inhabitants”(p. 96).

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

Joseph Schwartzberg, CREATING A WORLD PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY: AN EVOLUTIONARY JOURNEY (Berlin: Committee for a Democratic U.N. <www.kdun.org> with the support of Earthrise Society, Munich <www.earthrise-society.org> ,2012). Forward by Daniele Archibugi.

Thoughts to Ponder in These Interesting Times:

“The international community should support a system of laws to regularize international relations and maintain the peace in the same manner that law governs national order.” – Pope John Paul II

“A world government with powers adequate to guarantee security is not a remote ideal for the distant future. It is an urgent necessity if our civilization is to survive.” – Albert Einstein

“Our goals are the same as those of the U.N.’s founders, who sought to replace a world at war with one where the rule of law would prevail, where human rights were honored, where development would blossom, where conflict would give way to freedom from violence.” – President Ronald Reagan, Address to the U.N. General Assembly, Sept 26, 1983

“It will be just as easy for nations to get along in a republic of the world as it is for you to get along in the republic of the United States. Now when Kansas and Colorado have a quarrel over the water in the Arkansas river they don’t call out the national guard in each state and go to war over it. They bring suit in the Supreme Court of the United States and abide by the decision. There isn’t a reason in the world why we can’t do that internationally.”

– President Harry S. Truman

“It is obvious that no difficulty in the way of world government can match the danger of a world without it.”

– Carl Van Doren

“A federation of all humanity, together with a sufficient measure of social justice to ensure health, educaion, and a rough equality of opportunity, would mean such a release and increase of human energy as to open up a new phase in human history.” – H.G. Wells

We need first and foremost a world democracy, a government of this planet for the people and by the people. But the problem is so colossal and unprecedented that few political thinkers even dare to consider it. They feel more at ease discussing the number and strength of missiles. Since government and institutions are so slow and reluctant to do it, we must build the world community through individual commitment and action. – Robert Muller, Former U.N. Assistant Secy.-Gen., Chancellor, University for Peace

UPCOMING EVENTS

Sunday, September 16, 1:30 p.m. – Meeting in the Hanke Room at the Ethical Society of St. Louis. 9001 Clayton Road, 1/4 mile north of the Galleria. Professor Hayrettin Yücesoy of Washington University will address the topic “What Should the International Community Do with regard to Syria?” Issues to be addressed include what role if any can be played by the International Criminal Court and what is the source of the current militant opposition to the Syrian government. Is it possible that governments such as the US and Israel might be stirring up this opposition? How is the situation in Syria different from what happened in Libya?

Sunday, November 4, 2:30 p.m. – (tentative) The theme for this UN Day event (though UN Day is actually October 24) is UN Day 2012: Solutions for a Prosperous World! Our speaker will be Edward Elmendorf who in the 1960’s worked with Ambassadors Adlai Stevenson and Arthur Goldberg at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. After that he worked at the World Bank for 30 years on policy planning and then loan programming and negotiations with the countries of North Africa. He co-authored the book Better Health in Africa. After retiring from the World Bank, he taught at the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies and its Bloomberg School of Public Health. He has served as a consultant for the World Bank, the World Health Organization, the US Institute of Medicine, the African Development Bank, and the UN Development Program. This UN Day event focused on the generally neglected accomplishments of the UN is sponsored by the UNA of Greater St. Louis, and CGS/STL is one of the many co-sonsors. It will be held in the lower level Fellowship Hall of the First Unitarian Church of St. Louis, 5007 Waterman Boulevard (63108) just west of Kingshighway.

Saturday, November 10, 10:15 a.m. – CGS/STL Board of Officers and Directors meets at World Community Center, 438 No. Skinker, 63130. The meeting is open to all and will be focused on the future structure of our chapter.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 7 other followers

%d bloggers like this: