College students, & high-school seniors and juniors—Enter this contest for an all-expenses-paid tripto participate in our annual assembly in Washington D.C.
“NEXT STEPS TO PEACE, SUSTAINABILITY, AND JUSTICE” MARCH 19 – 21, 2009
HEAR PRESENTATIONS BY EXPERTS & JOIN IN DISCUSSIONS ON: STEPS TO PEACE: ELIMINATE NUCLEAR WEAPONS & IMPROVE UN PEACEKEEPING
STEPS TO SUSTAINABILITY: PUT CAPS ON CARBON & RATIFY INT’L TREATIES STEPS TO JUSTICE: END TORTURE & SUPPORT THE INT’L CRIMINAL COURT
VISIT AND LOBBY YOUR MEMBER OF CONGRESS
Citizens for Global Solutions of Greater St. Louis will provide transportation, registration, meals, & lodging for a college student or a high-school junior or senior to participate in the Citizens for Global Solutions national assembly in Washington DC.
The conference begins at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, March 19, so you should be able to leave St. Louis Thursday morning. It ends Saturday mid-afternoon, March 21, so you could be back that night if you wish. If you want to do sightseeing in Washington on Sunday, we will also provide housing for you for Saturday night (but not extra meals). Getting to and from the St. Louis airport is your responsibility.
If you want to be a contestant for this all-expenses-paid trip, write a 3-5 page typed essay (double- spaced) consisting of two parts. In the first part tell us about your background and why you would be a good person for us to send to this meeting. In the second part share with us your thinking about some of the problems our world community faces and how we might deal with them more effectively.
In exchange for this subsidy, C/GS of St. Louis expects you to give us a brief written report about the conference & what you learned from it. (This gets published in our local newsletter.)
Send your essay to:
Ronald J. Glossop, 8894 Berkay Avenue, Jennings, MO 63136-5004 or preferably by e-mail to: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Be sure to include your home address and home telephone number. For more information, call (314) 869-2303.
Citizens for Global Solutions Winter, 2008-2009
REPORT CONCERNING PARTNERS FOR GLOBAL CHANGE
by Yvonne Logan
At noon on Saturday, January 10, 2009, immediately after the CGS/STL board meeting at the World Community Center, we had our usual every- other-month conference phone call for “Partners for Global Change” from the national CGS office in Washington DC. We used our speaker phone so that all of us could hear.
The conference call was chaired by CGS CEO Don Kraus. He filled us in on a letter titled “Call to the New President for Responsible U.S. Global Engagement” signed by 147 national NGO leaders, including Don. The hope is to initiate a process to bring the Call’s international goals to the attention of the 10 million Barack Obama supporters in our communities by means of our future Partners’ Projects.
Don introduced four leaders of other international organizations who also had signed the letter. (1) Sharon Kelly of Human Rights First discussed their current priorities of closing the Guantanamo Bay base and totally ending torture by this country. (2) Katherine Silverthorne of the environmental group E3G spoke on pressing climate change issues such as the need to put binding caps on carbon emissions. (3) John Isaacs, Executive Director of the Council for a Livable World, focused on arms control priorities, noting that there had been no progress on agreements to reduce nuclear weapons since 1991. (4) Todd Shelton of InterAction emphasized the need to get increases for the U.S. international affairs budget and a greater reliance on diplomacy for national security.
These and other organizations were invited to be part of this cover-the-waterfront call in accord with the plan that we in CGS will become more active locally in coalition work, already at a high level in Washington. Kelly emphasized that Congress needs to hear our opinions on these subject. We were reminded that adoption of a new Kyoto Treaty protocol depends on getting at least 67 Senators to vote for it. It was noted that the International Criminal Court (ICC) was taking baby steps in successful prosecutions which will eventu- ally (hopefully) bring our U.S. military into line with endorsing it.
The bipartisan nature of these future achievements depends on citizen pressure. More participation is needed in our local Partners for Global Change program. Plan to join us for our next conference call at the World Community Center (438 North Skinker Blvd.) at noon, Saturday March 14. We recommend that you bring a sack lunch to eat while we listen to the call. If you would like more information, contact Ron Glossop at <email@example.com> or by phone at 314/ 869-2303 or call Yvonne Logan during the middle part of the day at 314/862-5735 or evenings at 314/ 961-5994. Please help us do our part.
There will be more details about that annual meeting in the next newsletter along with the form for ordering the usual turkey dinner. The meeting will begin at 3:45 and end at 7:00. By having the meeting on Sunday afternoon, we hope that some of our members who do not live in the immediate St. Louis area will be able to attend.
World Federal Government: Creating, Enforcing, and
Adjudicating EnforceableWorld Laws for All World Citizens
David C. Oughton, Ph.D.
During the 1780s American colonists debated the proposal to transform the Articles of Confederation into a federal system that would join state governments under a federal constitution. A similar debate is now needed concerning the transformation of the current war system and confederal United Nations Organization into a peace system and a world federal government that would create, enforce, and adjudicate world laws as well as have the power to arrest and incarcerate individuals who violate them. Just as a governor or any citizen of any state in the United States of America can be prosecuted for violating U.S. federal law, national leaders or any citizen of any country could be prosecuted for violating world laws. Under a world federation, many thousands of innocent civilians would not be bombed or suffer under international sanctions because of the decisions of their leaders as they often are under the present war system.
A world federal government would not be the only government in the world. It would be based on the principle of subsidiarity. It would not eliminate national, state, and local governments; they would continue to solve problems as well as make and enforce laws for people within their own borders. A world federation of nations would therefore not make everyone and every nation the same but simply unite members of the world community under the same global legal system.
The United Nations Organization, created during and after the Second World War, has been instrumental in preventing a third world war and has achieved so many accomplishments. But it has often been weak and ineffective in solving global problems and preventing wars for these reasons:
(1) The U.N. is a confederacy, a weak political organization of national governments.
(2) The U.N. is based on the principle of national sovereignty.
(3) The U.N. is based on the concept of collec- tive security, the responsibility of all nations to fight against any aggressor.
(4) The U.N. General Assembly is nondemocratic (based on one nation-one vote regardless of a member-nation’s size, population, or wealth), and it can only pass nonbinding resolutions.
(5) The United Nations system must rely on dues from national governments, which are not always paid.
(6) The U.N. Security Council has often been impotent in preventing or ending wars because of the veto power of the five permanent members, used for themselves or for their allies.
(7) The U.N. is based on international law, a system of customs and treaties.
Most national governments follow most of their treaty agreements most of the time. But international problems arise when some national govern- ments decide that it is not in their national interest to follow the customs and treaties that they have agreed to follow. At present there is no effective system to enforce such obligations. The closest thing now is the permanent International Criminal Court, which is different from the ad hoc tribunals created by the U.N. Security Council. The ICC can investigate and prosecute individuals for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide only if national courts are unable or unwilling to prosecute them. But only about half of the national governments of the world (not the United States, China, or Russia) are now parties to the workings of the ICC.
War has been defined as “large-scale violent conflict between organized groups which already are governments or which seek to establish their own government over some territory.”1 A common misconception is that wars can never be eliminated because there is always conflict between people. There will always be conflicts of interest between individuals (even between spouses who love each other) and between many different groups of people, but conflicts do not have to become violent and can be resolved nonviolently. The problem is whether political power is determined by conflicting groups (like political parties) in a nonviolent democratic process (as in American elections), or whether it is determined by violent conflict between opposing groups through violent revolutions and wars.
The current war system costs over a trillion dollars per year. Under an effective world federation, struggles for power would be political and judicial rather than military. National governments (like state governments within the U.S.A.) would only need weapons for internal control of their population and for the ability to arrest individuals who violate national laws. The world federation of nations would only need a lightly-armed world police force in order to arrest individuals who violate world law. All weapons of mass destruction would be eliminated. Even now, national governments could agree to reduce their military spending by certain percentages each year under a supervised plan.
Just as local, state, and national governments have created systems to enforce traffic laws against those who violate them and other laws to prevent individuals and groups from harming each other, the world community needs a global system of enforceable world laws in order to outlaw war, prosecute terrorists and other world criminals, and better solve global problems. This global system would involve:
1. A democratic world parliament to make world laws that deal with global problems and the relations between nations.
2. A world executive committee to enforce world laws.
3. A world court to judge individuals who violate world laws.
4. A world police force that would arrest individuals who violate world laws.
5. A world prison system that would incarcerate individuals who violate world laws.
6. A world constitution which would make explicit
a. the powers and limitations of the organs of the world federation,
b. the checks and balances between them, c. the rights, powers and limitations of national governments, and
d. the rights and responsibilities of all citizens of the world.
Besides outlawing war and enforcing world laws against individuals, a world federal government would be better able to solve global problems than individual national governments or the United Nations Organization can’t. For example, there is a need to manage the global economy. There is also a need to avoid ecological disaster by protecting “the commons”: the planet’s air and atmosphere, the oceans, Antarctica, and outer space. Rain forests could be bought and managed as world parks. Laws could be enforced against individual polluters.
A democratic world federation would help nondemocratic nations to democratize. Even under the present international confederation, stable democratic countries do not go to war against other stable democratic countries. Furthermore, stable democratic countries do not kill their own citizens.
A world federation could promote world citizenship and humatriotism (loyalty to the human family). The present international system obviously promotes national citizenship and patriotism (loyalty to “the fatherland”) in order to be able to fight wars against humans in other countries.
World citizenship and world democracy can be promoted by a pledge of allegiance to the world, a world flag and global symbols, a world anthem, and the celebration of world holidays. World citizenship can also be promoted by the study of world history, the world’s religions, peace heroes, and peace education. It can be increased by travel to many different countries and by communication with people around the world through the internet.
World democracy would benefit from the teaching around the world of a universal auxiliary language such as Esperanto. The purpose of a universal auxiliary language is not to eliminate the national languages but to preserve them while having a nationality-neutral language for global- level communication and a feeling of solidarity for the whole planetary community.
Who would pay for the running of a world federation? Rather than an income tax on each world citizen, a user tax on nations, corporations, and individuals could be assessed for international travel and for exploring and using the resources of the common areas of the planet. An individual’s national income taxes would be greatly reduced when the war system has been replaced by a democratic world federation.
1Ronald Glossop, Confronting War (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2001, 4th ed.), p. 10. See also his book World Federation?: A Critical Analysis of Federal World Government (McFarland, 1993).
Our local organization, Citizens for Global Solutions of Greater St. Louis (which includes all of the state of Missouri and southern Illinois from Springfield south) is a chapter of the national organization, Citizens for Global Solutions, whose website is <http://www.globalsolutions.org>. Individuals join the national organization ($25 a year), and those who live in the appropriate ZIP- code areas automatically are also members of our chapter.
But there is also an international organization for world federalists, the World Federalist Movement-Institute for Global Policy (WFM-IGP) whose website is <http://www.wfm-igp.org> and whose headquarters is near the UN in New York City. A second office is near the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands. WFM- IGP is a coalition of national world federalist organizations, including Citizens for Global Solu- tions in this country. That means that each of our CGS members is indirectly also supportive of WFM-IGP.
At the same time, individuals are free to directly support WFM-IGP if they would like to do that. Financial contributions can be sent to WFM- IGP, 708 Third Avenue, 24th Floor, New York NY 10017. Contributors will receive the newsletter WORLD FEDERALIST NEWS once or twice a year.
WFM-IGP is also the coordinator of various international projects such as the Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC) <http:// http://www.iccnow.org> and the Responsibility to Protect: Engaging Civil Society (R2P-CS) whose website is <http:// http://www.responsibilitytoprotect.org>. Consequently, financial contributions to those particular projects can also be sent to the WFM-IGP office in New York. All such contributions are tax-deductible because WFM-IGP is not politically active in the United States. (Citizens for Global Solutions is politically active in the U.S., but tax-deductible contributions can be made to the non-political CGS Education Fund, 418 Seventh St. SE, Washington DC 20003.)
A UNITED NATIONS PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY?
Joe Schwartzberg, Professor Emeritus, Univ. of Minnesota; CGS National Board Member
For many years I have been an advocate of creating an elected Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) within the United Nations system to represent people, rather than nations. But I despaired of seeing such a development within my lifetime. Now, thanks to my participation on November 4-5, 2008 in a conference at the European Parliament in Brussels, I believe there is actually a chance that I might live to see my hopes realized; and, if not, that many of you reading this essay will do so.
The proposed UNPA would be analogous to the US House of Representatives, and would function alongside the UN General Assembly, which represents nations and may be seen (within limits) as analogous to the US Senate. A model for its creation is provided by the European Union. Initially, European Parliament (EP) members were elected by the Parliaments of the EU member nations and the body had only advisory powers; but since 1979 direct popular elections have been held every five years and the EP functions as a genuine legislative body for the 27 EU member nations. Its 785 current members sit not by country of origin, but by party affiliation: Conservatives, Christian Democrats, Liberals, Social Democrats, Greens, etc. Curiously, while it would require a Charter amendment for the UN to increase the size of the Security Council by even one seat, a UNPA could be established without such a step in that Article 22 enables the General Assembly to “establish such subsidiary organs as it deems necessary for the performance of its functions.” What better way to democratize the UN?
The Brussels conference that I attended was that of the Steering Committee of the UNPA campaign launched in May 2007. Since its inception, the campaign has been directed by a remarkably able and energetic South African-born German, Andreas Bummel, formerly employed by an NGO promoting the rights of oppressed peoples. He is assisted by Dr. Claudia Kissling, an international lawyer. Both work full-time without pay. The thirty or so members of the steering Committee in attendance came from 17 countries on five continents, Europe, North and SouthAmerica, Asia and Africa. Most were middle-aged professionals, but one, Ed Rawson, a long-time World Federalist, was 94!
The conference was addressed by several members of the EP, including our official host, Jo Leinen, the representative from the German state of Saarland.
To date roughly 600 members of parliaments from nearly 100 countries around the world have endorsed the idea of a UNPA, as have former UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali and the European Parliament President Hand-Gert Pöttering, and more than 2,300 other prominent individuals, including several Nobel laureates. Additionally, the Argentine Senate and more than 150 NGOs and INGOs have endorsed the idea. The number of endorsements is growing by leaps and bounds. As of early November, each of the following countries had more than ten parliamentary endorsers of the UNPA idea: Canada (15), Mexico (13). Argentina (38), Germany (59), Switzerland (49), Belgium (45), Spain (22), France (17), UK (16), Italy (12), South Africa (32) and Tanzania (18). Although more than 100 prominent US citizens have also endorsed the idea, not a single member of the US Congress has done so. To learn more please go to the following websites: http:// http://www.kdun.org/ or http://www.unpacampaign.org/.
At the December 4 Board meeting of the Minnesota Chapter of CGS, we made two important decisions. First, we voted to add our name to the list of UNPA endorsers. Second, we agreed to form, in cooperation with other local like-minded groups (list to be determined), a delegation to visit one or more of our representatives in Congress to urge him/her/them to become the first member(s) of Congress to endorse the UNPA concept. Given the reluctance of most elected officials to go out on a political limb, our task may prove to be difficult; but it’s worth trying. We do not yet know the extent to which President Obama will set a tone in his inaugural address that will facilitate our effort, but we are optimistic. So, stay tuned and we’ll let you know how we’re doing in our March Newsletter. We can help make history. This is truly exciting.
WHAT IS R2P AND WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?
Ronald J. Glossop
“R2P” is the abbreviation for a new interpretation of “national sovereignty” now guiding the United Nations when it addresses this central concept. The traditional view of “national sovereignty” was established by the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia at the end of the Thirty Years War. That absolute view of national sovereignty was that each national government could do whatever it wanted within its own national boundaries and that no other government had any right to intervene in its internal affairs.
The new view of national sovereignty, now officially adoped by both the General Assembly and the Security Council is that part of what is involved in national sovereigny is the “Responsibility to Protect” the human rights of everyone inhabiting its territory. Furthermore, and this is the crux of the new view, if a national government does not protect the rights of its inhabitants, the international community (but not individual nation-states) has a right to intervene to see that those rights are protected.
This new view of national sovereignty has been forced to the forefront by what was done by the German and Japanese governments during World War II. The Nuremberg Trials made it clear that national governments do not have a right to do anything they want. The need to address exactly what “national sovereignty” entails was raised again by the ethnic cleansing that took place in the former Yugoslavia in 1990s and by the genocide that took place in Rwanda in 1994. These incidents led everyone to see that the world community cannot just stand idly by while massacres occur. But on what legal basis can the world community do anything?
One of the first world leaders to address this issue was U.N. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros- Ghali. In 1992 he noted that “the time of absolute and exclusive sovereignty . . . has passed.” The intervention by NATO in Kosovo in 1999 led U.N. Secretary-General to ask the General Assembly this question: “[I]f humanitarian intervention is indeed an unacceptable assault on sovereignty, how should we respond to a Rwanda, to a Srebrenica—to gross and systematic violations of human rights that affect every precept of our common humanity?”
The idea that sovereignty should be thought of in terms of responsibility for protecting rights was developed by Francis Deng and his colleagues at the Brookings Institution with special attention to managing conflict in Africa. In 2000 the Constitu- tive Act of the African Union affirmed “the right of the Union to intervene in a Member State pursu- ant to a decision of the Assembly in respect to grave circumstances, namely: war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity.”
A giant step forward on the “right of humanitarian intervention” at the global level occurred in September 2000 when the government of Canada announced to the U.N. General Assembly that it, with the help of several foundations, would establish the International Commission on Interven- tion and State [that is, National] Sovereignty (ICISS). The Co-Chairs were Gareth Evans of Australia and Mohamed Sahnoun of Algeria while the other members were Giséle Coté-Harper of Canada, Lee Hamilton of the United States, Michael Ignatieff of Canada, Vladimir Lukin of Russia, Klaus Naumann of Germany, Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, Fidel Ramos of the Philippines, Cornelio Sommaruga of Switzerland, Eduardo Stein Barillas of Guatemala, and Ramesh Thakur of India.
The Commission’s report, The Responsibility to Protect, was published in December 2001. Ron Glossop’s book review of it can be found on the website of Citizens for Global Solutions <http:// http://www.globalsolutions.org>. The key point of the report is to shift focus from “sovereignty as con- trol” to “sovereignty as responsibility.” (p. 13) Furthermore, the responsibility to protect includes (both for national governments and for the international community) not only the responsibility to react to human catastrophes but also to prevent them and to rebuild the community afterwards. (p. 17)
To be continued in the next newsletter.