NATIONAL CGS ORGANIZATION
MAKES MAJOR MODIFICATIONS
The national “Citizens for Global Solutions” organization has announced significant changes to the organization’s structure, changes which were adopted at its annual meeting held in March 2012. These shifts came out of a nearly year-long strategic planning process that involved staff, board members, and interested stakeholders.
The organization will now focus on creating and building a new kind of national movement for Americans who want the United States to take a responsible and cooperative role in the world. CEO Don Kraus noted, “We will be the first organization to build and mobilize a movement around the U.S. positively impacting global affairs. This shift will allow us to be more nimble and to ensure that we prosper beyond our 65 years of existence.”
The name “Citizens for Global Solutions” is being changed to “GlobalSolutions.org.” Kraus explained, “The new name punctuates this transformation, to lead people right to our website where our campaigns are based, and frankly to make our name shorter and easier to say.” The overall umbrella will be an educational 501(c)(3) organization called “GlobalSolutions.org.” Within the movement there will be a 501(c)(4) membership organization called “Global Solutions Action Network,” to which will be attached the “Global Solutions Political Action Committee.” Activists will no longer have to pay dues to participate in the movement as a whole. On the other hand, people will need to pay a membership fee to join the Action Network in order to be eligible to financially support the Political Action Committee.
Acknowledging the “irrevocably interconnected Internet world,” the overall movement
GlobalSolutions.org will increasingly rely on email, social media, and other emerging technologies to build its movement. Kraus stressed that the organization is building a culture of service for members, saying “We want to work on the issues that our members care about. ‘GlobalSolutions.org’ will provide the information to know what action is needed and who the action is targeting. With these tools and knowledge, our members will be empowered to increase their political clout on U.S. foreign policy issues.”
Minutes, 2012 Annual Meeting
St. Louis chapter of Citizens for Global Solutions
April 29, 2012
The April 29, 2012 annual meeting of the St. Louis chapter of Citizens for Global Solutions began at 3:30 pm with refreshments provided by officers and board members. The annual meeting was held at the Ethical Society at a reduced rate, thanks to the help of Bill Bartholomew, long-time CGS board member and member of the Ethical Society. Parking and access at the Ethical Society are outstanding. Thanks also to Dave Oughton for taking reservations and managing payment for today’s dinner and coordinating refreshments provided by the board and officers.
Professor Joseph Schwartzberg spoke from 4:00 to about 5:05 pm on his proposal for a weighted system of voting in the United Nations. About thirty-five persons attended the lecture, which attracted several non-members. (A separate article about Professor Schwartzberg’s lecture is printed separately in this newsletter.)
A buffet dinner followed for those who had purchased tickets, and a business meeting followed, with Ron Glossop presiding. Ron summarized the year’s activities as follows.
The events included the following. Tad Daley spoke at the St. Louis CGS annual meeting on April 3, 2011 on the danger of nuclear weapons, and he gave a similar talk the next day at St. Louis University as part of their ATLAS week program. On May 13, 2011, Ron Glossop spoke to the St. Louis County League of Women Voters on China. St. Louis CGS participated in the Partners for Global Change program on preserving UN funding on May 14, 2011. The remembrance of Hiroshima-Nagasaki held on August 7, 2011 was co-sponsored by St.Louis CGS. Professor Jean Robert Leguey-Feilleux, Ron Glossop and Bill Bartholomew spoke on making the UN more effective on September 25, 2011. On Oct. 22, 2011, St. Louis CGS participated with the United Nations Association in a program celebrating United Nations Day. On December 10, 2011, St. Louis CGS co- sponsored the annual human rights day celebration, along with the UNA of St. Louis. On February 26, 2012, Bud Deraps, long-time St. Louis peace activist, and Ron Glossop debated “Was Intervention in Libya a Mistake?” From March 15 to 17, 2012, Ron Glossop, Dave Oughton, and our two essay contest winners Miranda Clelland and our new board member college student Alex Nourse, attended the annual meeting of the national Citizens for Global Solutions in Washington DC.
Ron Glossop edited and published four issues of the St. Louis CGS newsletter. The St. Louis CGS officers and board met six times in the past year. All persons are welcome to attend board meetings. The past year’s officers were: Ron Glossop-Chair; Yvonne Logan-Vice-Chair; Dave Oughton-Treasurer; Celestia Gaudreault – Membership Secretary; Suzanne Reinhold – Recording Secretary and the Board of Directors – Bill Bartholomew, Paul Davis, Terry Gates, Hicham Jaddoud, Katharine Kilpatric, Tom O’Gorman, Bob Reinhold, and Lolly Wehrli.
New board member Terry Gates designed and drafted a flier for the speakers bureau of St. Louis CGS. We are constantly looking for opportunities to speak about the principles of Citizens for Global Solutions.
Membership in St. Louis CGS has declined this year to fifty-eight members and fifty-two households. One of the major problems is that the membership is elderly and we have not recruited enough new and younger members.
Dave Oughton presented the annual treasurer’s report. Income projected for the October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013 year is $5,600.00. Expenditures projected are $5,600.00. Suzanne Reinhold moved to amend the budget to decrease the income by $1,000.00 by not withdrawing $1,000.00 from the CD and by reducing expenditures in the amount of $1,000.00 by switching to a typed newsletter without professional layout and printing. Bob Reinhold seconded. The motion failed by a vote of 8 to 3. The proposed budget was adopted by a vote of 8 to 2. The current checkbook balance totals $722.58, consisting of $467.58 in the 501c(3) Education Fund and $255.00 in the 501c(4) Political Fund.
Yvonne Logan reported on the Partners for Global Change teleconferences held following almost every St. Louis CGS board meeting, at which board members can discuss major foreign policy issues with national staff and guest speakers.
The report of the nominating committee was presented by Suzanne Reinhold, chair. Other members of the nominating committee were Terry Gates, Yvonne Logan and Ron Glossop, ex officio. The slate of candidates presented were as follows: Ron Glossop-Chair, Yvonne Logan-Vice-Chair, Dave Oughton-Treasurer, Terry Gates-Membership Secretary, and Suzanne Reinhold-Recording Secretary. Board of Directors – Bill Bartholomew, Paul Davis, Celestia Gaudreault, Hicham Jaddoud, Katharine Kilpatric, Alex Nourse, Tom O’Gorman, Bob Reinhold, Lolly Wehrli, and Grant Williams. St.Louis CGS is delighted with the acceptance of the invitations to Grant Williams and Alex Nourse to join the board. The proposed slate of officers and board was approved unanimously.
New board member Alex Nourse reported on his attendance at the national meeting of CGS as a winner of the St.Louis CGS essay contest. He spoke of the value of participating in lobbying in the offices of members of Congress.
Ron Glossop reported that the”predecessor” organization “World Federalists Association” legally remains in existence “doing business as the Education Fund of Citizens for Global Solutions.” As such, tax- deductible contributions can be made directly to the St. Louis chapter of CGS and need not be routed through the national CGS Educational Fund as previously supposed.
An appeal to those in attendance was made for contributions.
The meeting adjourned at about 7:00 pm.
REPORT FROM MAY 19, 2012
MEETING OF PARTNERS FOR GLOBAL CHANGE
by Yvonne Logan
Every other month Partners for Global Change has a national telephone conference call in which several local CGS chapters participate. On May 19 the topic was the 2012 “Rio Plus 20” Earth Summit to be held in June in Rio de Janiero.
At the beginning of the call Don Kraus, CEO of Globalsolutions.org, reported on ongoing activities. Talks are being held concerning conditions for loosening sanctions on Iran. Fasting is being continued in Bahrain beyond the 100 days originally planned by the demonstrators. Of special interest to CGS is the fact that there seems to be some movement toward possible U.S. ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty.
Michael Davidson of the National Resources Defense Council reported that the idea of long-term sustainability is being taken much more seriously this year than at the first Rio Summit in 1992, but the challenge is to act on the treaties and agreements that have been made and that are being made during the conference. It was hoped that civil society organizations would be involved as they were in 1992, but this time only governments have been officially invited.
Ban Ki-Moon, U.N. Secretary-General, is pushing for an agreement on Sustainable Energy for All by 2030. It is evident that the world needs more accountability and commitment than has so far been evident.
SUMMARY OF PROFESSOR SCHWARTZBERG’S
TALK AT CGS/STL ANNUAL MEETING
Suzanne Reinhold, , May 8, 2012
Distinguised International Professor Emeritus Joseph Schwartzberg of the University of Minnesota was the speaker at the annual meeting of the St. Louis Citizens for Global Solutions on April 29, 2012. Professor Schwartzberg is a long-time member and participant in Citizens for Global Solutions.
His topic was a proposal for a new system of voting in the United Nations. He said that the goal is a better distribution of decision-making power, and that present voting arrangement has no relationship to real power. He said that 126 of the least populated countries constitute 2/3’s of the General Assembly. He said that nations with only 1/1000 of 1 % of the world’s population–15,000 to 18,000 persons living in 39 nations–can prevent decisions by a 2/3 majority.
In Professor Schwartzberg’s proposed weighted voting plan three factors would be used to determine a country’s weighted vote. The three factors are: (1) population as a percentage of world population, (2) that country’s financial contribution as a percentage of the UN’s total budget and (3) that country’s membership as a percentage of the total number of nations in the U.N. (meaning that the third factor for all countries is always 1/192) This weighted voting system gives more power to the more populated countries and to those that contribute the most to the United Nations budget.
Using Schwartzberg’s formula, the weighted voting for the US and China, the two nations with the greatest weighted vote, would be as follows:
4.672 % of the world’s population
22.000 % of the budget to be paid by the US
. 0.524 % US as % of the total number of nations
27.196 % divided by 3 = weighted vote of 9.065 %
21 % of the world’s population
1.5 % of the budget to be paid by China
. 0.524 % China as % of the total number of nations
23.017 % divided by 3 = weighted vote of 7.672 %
Professor Schwartzberg’s proposal was published in monograph form in 2004 by the Institute for Global Policy, World Federalist Movement.
The overhead projector of the Ethical Society of St. Louis broke down during his lecture, an unfortunate occurrence which interfered with his presentation, but his lecturing skills were superior, and he did not allow the problem to distract him.
Essentially, the proposal is simple, but a question needs to be raised regarding what kind of world government one wants to have? Do you want one in which the nations that already wield great power control the voting in the UN, or do you want one in which every nation continues to have an equal vote in the General Assembly? Those in support of Professor Schwartzberg’s proposal might counter that merely giving the many small and poor countries a voice is all that is needed.
The most glaring example of the present power of all of those pesky little nations was the recent vote by UNESCO in favor of a Palestinian state. Powerful nations would like to get rid of such irritations. Professor Schwartzberg maintains that his proposed system would lead to better decisions related to the environment and other matters.
However, the industrialized nations failed to enact serious measures to combat climate change at last year’s conference. If the biggest polluters, including the US and China, can block action in a major scientific forum, why would they take any helpful action under the proposed weighted voting system?
The U.S. government is hoping to get better information on global development so that citizens can make informed decisions. One hundred heads of state are now committed to attend the conference, but so far not President Obama.
Globalsolutions.org will be trying to get our members to send messages encouraging him to attend and to get ten others to do likewise. Unfortunately, when you get this newsletter it will be too late for such action. That is why it is important for our members to regularly look at our national website at Globalsolutions.org
The strength of the U.S. commitment to the “Rio Plus 20” conference is very important. We need to have robust leadership at the highest level. Our aims are to decide how the international community can work together to reduce poverty, advance social equity, and ensure environmental protection in the light of ever increasing world population.
Nevertheless Kofi Annan commented that no more summits were needed after the Johannesberg summit in 2002.
“Enough commitments,” he said, “had already been made. Now they must be adhered to.”
MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL TIME IS NOW
The membership year for Citizens for Global Solutions runs from October 1 to September 30. That means that now is renewal time for almost everyone. The only ones who don’t need to renew are those whose expiration date on their newsletter label is 10/1/2012 or 2013.
Everyone else should send the membership form below to the national CGS office, 418 Seventh St. SE, Washington DC 20003 together with a check of $25 or more. Because CGS is now a political organization with a Political Action Committee, this annual membership fee is not tax-deductible (but extra tax-deductible contributions can be made to the CGS Education Fund at the same address).
On your mailing label you may see a note like this: “10/1/2009.” That means that your membership ended on October 1, 2009.
After a grace period, you will no longer get the national and local newsletters unless you renew. The form for renewing is below. All memberships for Citizens for Global Solutions are now on a calendar-year basis ending on October 1. If you have not sent a contribution after October 1, 2011, you need to do that now.
“Citizens for Global Solutions envisions a future in which nations work together to abolish war, protect our rights and freedoms, and solve the problems of humanity that no nation can solve alone. This vision requires effective democratic global institutions that will apply the rule of law while respecting the diversity and autonomy of national and local communities.”
Join Citizens for Global Solutions!
If you wish to join, renew your membership or make a contribution. complete the following info:
[ ] Individual, $25 [ ] Couple, $30
[ ] Additional Contribution to Citizens for Global Solutions $________________
Send this form and your check to Citizens for Global Solutions, 420 Seventh St., SE, Washington, D.C. 20003.
Membership renewals using a credit card can be done at the website: Globalsolutions.org