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.


Five Pillars for Building a Just World

Five Pillars for Building a Just World

by Father Benjamin J. Urmston, S.J., PhDFather Benjamin J. Urmston, S.J., PhD

The first act of the American Revolution began in 1776. I think it remains for us to write the second act and perform it. This second act would truly bring liberty and justice for our world, for each human person, created in the image and likeness of God. This second act would be non-violent, courageous, imaginative, and comprehensive. In my vision of this next phase of our evolution, there are five major pieces, or pillars, that we need to focus on to build a just world.  Truly today we are technological giants, but are we not moral infants? What structures are necessary for there to be a world more in accord with God’s Word? With care of the earth part of each pillar, the five pillars I presently use as a framework for peace are: a global ethic; non-violence; basic human rights; economic democracy; and a global world authority.

The first pillar of a new world order is to develop and begin to live a global ethic. Religions are exploring today what they have in common. We need to establish worldwide moral guidelines as we move together toward a common future of peace. The World Parliament of Religions has declared we are all interdependent. “Each of us depends on the well-being of the whole. . .We consider humankind our family.” Shouldn’t we acknowledge ourselves as citizens of our country, but also as citizens of the world?

We add the second pillar of a new world building when we create a culture of non-violence, healthy and positive relationships, persuasion rather than coercion. If we are treated unjustly, we can strike back violently or we can be prudent and simply keep quiet. Imaging a third alternative, active non-violence is an historic development on a par in the evolutionary process with the breakthrough to intelligence. It will change our future in a radical way. Non-violence has many components, education, conflict resolution skills, appropriate laws, intelligent and reflective voting, prayer and meditation.

The third pillar of a new world structure is promotion of a culture where basic human rights are second nature. God did not create us to be essentially frustrated. Natural human rights are pleas to one another for our basic material, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual needs. The new Constitution of South Africa gives each person the right to shelter, to health care, to food, water, education; the right to live in a healthy environment.  We need new national constitutions and a new world constitution that will make basic human rights part of our online pharmacies and legal structures.

The fourth pillar of a new world building are economic structures through which the people can participate in policy decisions. Made in the likeness of God, we have the right and responsibility to make our own decisions on basic fundamental issues. We can control corporations externally by laws and agencies. We need legally to expand the bottom line of corporations to include care for the common good. We can better control corporations by ownership. The worker-owned cooperatives such as Mondragon are democratically structured. Rather than a limited number of large conglomerates, there should be widespread ownership of the means of production, the factories and farms. Ownership is power. Those in the political realm hesitate to alienate those who own the factories, farms, banks, transportation, and communications media. Widespread ownership would be check and balance to government at all levels.

The fifth pillar of a new world structure is democratic world order. The Catholic Catechism urges us to pray every day that we be free of the “ancient bondage of war.” Since law distinguishes terrorists from the innocent and determines degrees of guilt, something bombs cannot do, law is a more humane way to provide security. Although the United Nations has made many important strides toward a peace with justice, the present UN, a confederation of governments, cannot give us adequate freedom and security. A stronger, more democratic body needs to be imagined. Although law needs to be more humane and infused by the Spirit, law can bring us order, stability, and security. One of the greatest men of the 20th century, Pope John XXIII, made a democratic global structure a moral imperative.

A democratic world authority, economic democracy, a culture of basic human rights, non-violence, and a global ethic are pillars of a new world mansion.

As the five fingers in our hand are interconnected and work harmoniously together, so the five pillars presented above function smoothly together.  If one finger of our hand were cut off say by an industrial accident, the finger could not exist apart from the hand.  One pillar will not hold the building together. It will collapse.

There are also internal structures in all of us—our attitudes, our values, our philosophy of life. Do we have an attitude of sharing or of hoarding and grasping?

There are many blank spaces in my dream. Perhaps you have a completely different dream. I just hope that you will envision structures you think we need to make this the beginning of a better, more workable world. The future is up to us. I believe with Peter Maurin, the companion of Dorothy Day, that with God’s help we can create a world in which it is easier to be good. 

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.

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