Center for United Nations Constitutional Research

Center for United Nations Constitutional Research

CUNCR

Three of the founders of the new UN Constitutional Research think tank at the signing of the official documents establishing the Center for UN Constitutional Research at the Notabel notary offices in Brussels, October 13, 2016. (left to right) Daniel Schaubacher, Executive Director and President Shahr-Yar Sharei, Marjolijn Snippe.

BRUSSELS, Belgium – October 13, 2016 marks the formal establishment of The Center for UN Constitutional Research (CUNCR), founded by former DWF Board member Dr. Shahr-Yar Sharei. The CUNCR, located in Brussels, is an independent think tank whose mission is to provide research and recommendations concerning the Charter and the structure of the United Nations. The aim of CUNCR will be to achieve the Charter preamble ‘We the peoples’ through democratization, and render the UN more effective in controlling conflicts, preserving our planet Earth and ensuring the well-being of humankind and life. 

The CUNCR will be an important resource for The Promise of San Franciscowhich is a movement launched by DWF for a review of the UN Charter which is legally required by the Charter itself, but never carried out.

The Charter’s flaws have prevented the UN from ending war or resolving other serious global problems.  DWF Board members Dr. Bob Hanson, Dr. Roger Kotila, and Dr. John Sutter are founding members of CUNCR from the USA, while other members are from Europe and the Middle East.  


NOTE: The Democratic World Federalists are committed to expressing a wide range of views on the vision of creating a peaceful, just, and sustainable world through a democratic World Federation. The views expressed in this article represents that commitment and not necessarily our official position.

The San Francisco Promise

The San Francisco Promise

UN Founding in SF

By Bob Hanson
DWF Board Member

Last year the United Nations celebrated its seventieth anniversary. This documentary created just after the U.N.’s founding in 1945 in San Francisco provides a feeling for the hopefulness of those days. Since then, the UN has accomplished much good, but of course it never lived up to its potential as the organization that would put an end to war. One key reason is the veto power vested in the Security Council. A majority of the nations present at the founding of the U.N. objected to the proposal that the winners of World War II be given the power of the veto. They were told in reply that their objection to the veto could be addressed by a formal charter review that could be held no later than 10 years from the UN’s founding. So this provision was included as Section 109(3) of the charter. But this so-called “San Francisco promise” was never fulfilled—simply because the veto-wielding members of the Security Council have managed to keep it from happening. The U.S., Russia, China, Great Britain, and France prefer having a situation where nothing will happen unless they approve of it.  

The veto is profoundly unfair and undemocratic in that it enables the holders to prevent any actions against themselves or their friends. This power to veto is an affront to the rights of the other member-nations of the United Nations and the reason why it cannot solve many of the world’s major global challenges. The composition of the Security Council is also the subject of much legitimate complaint. Why should France and Great Britain have permanent seats, while Brazil, Germany, Japan and India only occasionally get to sit on the body and don’t have a veto when they are on it?

To improve the efficacy of the United Nations, several key actions need to be considered through charter review. These include: 

1) Form of a world parliament which could enact world law. 2) Enable the World Court of Justice to have the power to enforce its decisions. 3) Develop a volunteer rapid-deployment force (armed and unarmed) which could put out brushfire wars and do effective peacekeeping instead of relying on national armies—a provision recommended by all Secretary Generals from Trygve Lie to Kofi Annan.  4) Create mechanisms capable of dealing with problems such as climate change, nuclear proliferation  and endangered species, which are issues that recognize no national boundaries.

Another obvious shortcoming of the present U.N. is that in the General Assembly, India—with over a billion citizens—has the same one vote as Monaco, which has a population of about 30,000. When the U.N. Charter was adapted at San Francisco in 1945, no one expected it to remain unchanged forever. The world has changed a lot in these seventy years and the United Nations must change if it is to be relevant in the 21st Century. The U.N. needs far reaching reforms to better deal with ending war, preventing global warming and solving dozens of other worldwide problems. 

Remember the San Francisco Promise! 

*For more information, contact the Democratic World Federalists at [email protected] or the Center for United Nations Constitutional Research (CUNCR) at [email protected]  

 

NOTE: The Democratic World Federalists are committed to expressing a wide range of views on the vision of creating a peaceful, just, and sustainable world through a democratic World Federation. The views expressed in this article represents that commitment and not necessarily our official position.

BEWARE: Madeleine Albright’s Commission on Global Security, Justice, & Governance

BEWARE: Madeleine Albright’s Commission on Global Security, Justice, & Governance

UN Commission ReportAn Open Letter from Roger Kotila, Ph.D.

 

Good morning friends,

I just finished reading the report of the Commission on Global Security, Justice & Governance. The report is advertised as “Confronting the Crisis of Global Governance.” I am not impressed.

The Commission co-chairs are former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and a former Foreign Minister of Nigeria and past UN Under-Secretary General for Political Affairs, Ibrahim Gambari.

Madeline Albright has been described by investigative journalist and author William Blum as “ethically challenged.”

Albright is best remembered by her critics for a “60 Minutes” television interview with Lesley Stahl in May 12, 1996. Stahl asked about US sanctions against Iraq: “We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And you know, is the price worth it?”

Madeleine Albright: “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price—we think the price is worth it.”

Granted it is unfair to evaluate a report by attacking the integrity of one of its sponsors, but the Iraq nightmare caused by US sanctions (and invasion) leaves me questioning Albright’s value system and judgment.

Unless I read the report wrong, I’m guessing it is another (well-meaning?) ploy to postpone having authentic global democracy for all nations and for “we, the people” – an often used strategy to keep civil society (you and me) feeling like we are making “progress,” when in fact nothing of real significance is being offered.

The euphemisms in this report would make a snake oil salesman puff up with pride.   

The report, like the UN Charter, uses the right language (“justice”, “security”, and yes, of course, “PEACE”).  These are feel good words–but alas, missing is a plan for a strong enough geopolitical structure to be able to deliver (except in ways that don’t alter the good life for the 1%). 

There are no world federalist solutions here, except at the weak margins.  

Rather than recommend eliminating the permanent veto in the Security Council which would be a step toward democracy, the report only recommends that the P-5 nations consider “use of restraint in the use of the veto.” This is laughable, an insult to any thoughtful world federalist.

I’m having trouble finding the word “democracy” anywhere, only the empty phrase “global governance.”

From the Commission recommendations we can conclude that militarization will remain, but with some frosting on the cake so it tastes better. How will they end wars? By establishing a “UN Peacebuilding Council.” Leaders of powerful bully nations who commit world crimes will remain above the law, with no seriously effective enforcement system under consideration.

There is no adequate plan to end war and proxy wars; no plan that would eliminate nuclear weapons.  Resources will continue to be siphoned off to the military/industrial complex and to covert operations; hence, it will be hard to reduce poverty in the world despite the report’S call for “global economic cooperation.”

No proposed structure to give “we, the people” democratic control over multinational corporations and international Big Money.  The Wall Street Journal investor class (the 1%) and private equity firms will continue business as usual.  Your country could be up for sale next!

Climate change solutions will remain voluntary with no provision for enforceable universal legislative authority by the world community.   

No proposal to fundamentally change the UN Charter–the heart and soul of “modern” (medieval) geopolitics.  Bully nations and Big Money stay firmly in control, and global democracy is nowhere in sight.

There may be an opening for real change from all of this, but I’m not sure where a point of entry might be.  Perhaps through the proposed UN Parliamentary Network especially if that “network” demands Charter Review, and join forces with the Earth Federation Movement’s Provisional World Parliament under the Earth Constitution.

At least then we would know we are headed toward establishing a democratic world federal union government – what we all know is what is realistically needed.  

Your feedback?  (Am I being too harsh?)

By Roger Kotila, Ph.D.

Editor, Earth Federation News & Views


NOTE: The Democratic World Federalists are committed to expressing a wide range of views on the vision of creating a peaceful, just, and sustainable world through a democratic World Federation. The views expressed in this article represents that commitment and not necessarily our official position.