Parlement Mondial pour le 21e Siècle

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Summary No. 6 (December 9-15, 2002)

Arnaud BLIN
WP21 team


This will be the second synthesis on the topic of the architecture of global governance. Global governance should be concerned with capitalism. Reform of the U.N.: is it possible? And what might be the role for of WP in pushing for reforms? Simultaneous Policies as a way to create a process for moving towards a global structure of governance. Two blueprints for global governance : a tri-polar structure, world government.

This week saw a continuation of our debate on the architecture of global governance. There were responses to some of the questions discussed during the previous weeks, most notably on the topic of the reform of the United Nations, as well as the introduction of new ideas.

In response to the idea that the discussion over the creation of a WP should wait to tackle socioeconomic issues, one participant suggested that the gap between North and South is so big that it is imperative to think about solutions that would allow us to clarify future actions. But, he adds, "the responsibility of the situation of the not developed economies, corresponds first of all to our leaders, their inability, corruption and lack of creativity." Thus instead of looking at the transformation of capitalism, we need to look for the structural causes of its inconsistencies, to be able to design economic policies that bring all countries on par with the First World. On the topic of capitalism, another participant saw its shortcomings as one of the key elements that need to be addressed by the architects of global governance.

Reform of the United Nations
The United Nations is widely considered to be a cornerstone of global governance. Some (in this forum) see it as the future * executive branch * of a tripartite system that would also have a judicial branch, as embodied by the structure that is right now being put into place, and something akin to a * legislative body * that would be set up in the form of a world parliament of citizens. This of course would reproduce on the global scale the traditional republican system that is now the norm in most democratic countries.

Most of the participants who discussed this issue agreed that the U.N. has a place and a function in a global system of governance even though it is already antiquated and not entirely efficient. More importantly, the U.N. may have forgotten some of the ideals that brought upon its creation such as those embodied in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document that includes many of the principles we may want to uphold in a World Parliament. If the main problem of the U.N. is implementation, then a WP could act as an instrument that could push for greater action in the direction undertaken by the U:N.

How could a WP help reform the U.N. though? On this question, some people were skeptical that a WP would have the power to accomplish a lot in this regard, suggesting that it would exert more influence by building up a grassroots structure of global proportions.

The main problem of the U.N., and of any attempts to develop global democracy, someone suggested, is the U.N. Security Council and in particular its permanent membership. The permanent members can veto any of the reforms we might suggest, many of which would involve removing their veto. Further more, if we overcame this obstacle by marginalizing the permanent members from the Security Council, the most powerful states might attempt to establish a new security council of their own, which would become the de facto arbiter of war and peace. How to solve this conundrum? This might be a topic for further discussion.

One contributor went further, arguing that it is simply not possible to reform the U.N. since it has very little legitimacy to begin with : "The U.N: is simply an extension or tool or pawn of the capitalist powers, specifically the US government leaders. The final draft of the UN charter was compiled right in the US State Department. It was created in such a way as to give US an extension of their global domination." Thus, the "U.N. needs to be abolished and replaced, not by another IGO but by a world government" since only a world government would have the power to enforce justice globally.

Others were more optimistic that the U.N. would still have a place in a future structure of global governance but with some changes. For instance, a WP could spotlight what the U.N., and other organizations, have achieved in areas such as public health, education, environment, science, etc. As such, a WP would act as an information agent that would further activities that were initiated before but came to a stop or are moving too slowly. It could also highlight the fact that the U.N. could function more democratically than it does right now.

Simultaneous Policies (continued)
Another topic which carried through from the past week touched on the concept of Simultaneous Policies. One respondent suggested that the concept of Simultaneous Policies would be appropriate as a way to create a process for moving towards a global structure of governance. The main quality of this concept is that it relies more on the acts of individuals that that of nation-states. As such, it offers the following advantages :

- We are a small-tribe species. We deal more easily with issues that have a human scale. We handle most easily those relationships that are with people we know.

- Many individuals are motivated to move towards a world parliament. A process that allows them to act as individuals maintains some momentum.

- On the other hand, those who make decisions at nation-state (or city) level have benefited from the present structures. They are less motivated to bring about change.

Blueprints for a new architecture of global governance
Also this week, some participants offered some * blueprints * of what a new architecture of global governance might look like. We will try to summarize these ideas here as best we can by publishing some excerpts but encourage you to look at the original, and complete, documents.

Blueprint 1: a tri-polar structure
1) Pole of legislative: it should allow * all * human beings to manifest their own choices for their future and about which problems they want to be dealt with in priority. We believe that the Chamber of the Communities of ideas (or Chamber of Proposals) can made such a goal to be reached.

A Council of Sages with thinkers, scientific, activists... that were elected democratically, is charged to give its opinion and its light. It leads the organisms of analysis and assessment of the planetary situation and the Parliamentary system.

2) Pole of executive: In this level are taken into account the votes of the inhabitants of the Earth and their choices are confided to the nations or the regions so that they achieve these options. It corresponds to a renovated and truly representative UNO (Chamber of the States). The current UNO, being an emanation of the states, must evolve: its work and responsibility will consist in to act as relay between the Room of Proposals (that shows what the populations want for the planet) and the local governments that are going to apply the choices and decisions taken: it is the executive chamber, in a certain way. It must allow an effective administrative management towards the populations.

The executive chamber is helped by:

- an International Peace Force, whose members are in exact correspondence with the populations of the Earth, containing multi-ethnic units of intervention, so that no countries can take the control of it. There is the only one to possess the weapons, i. e. dissuasive weapons in priority. They are only used as a last resort, if some groupings reach to use murderous weapons. All other weapons must be destroyed and the local armies be dissolved or reabsorbed in the international Force. Its first mission is to interfere peacefully * from the first manifested signs of tensions *, before the conflicts don't explode. The adult attitude consists in saying * Stop, we don't want any conflicts anymore. It is necessary to warn them and not to wait that they will degenerate. We cannot tolerate anymore that a sole child of the Earth dies in a war: this is a crime against the humanity. *

By so doing, the * right of pacific intervention * is active since the beginning of a conflict. Immediately, since the first signs of tensions, even before the first shot. The Peace Force could be deployed, until that a satisfactory solution for all was obtained. It consists of teams of neutral negotiators, acting since the beginnings of a conflict to negotiate the solutions in a satisfying way for each one of the parts.

3) . Pole of judiciary: If these types of complaints cannot be treated inside the states (for political reasons, or either because the problems concern several states), we would wish an international structure, with at least an antenna in every continent:

- an International Criminal Court, where any citizen, of any country, can claim concerning the attacks to the human rights, the crimes against the humanity, etc... with a special department dedicated to the children. It is like the present International Criminal Court, but having more important possibilities, and accessible to all.

- a Court of arbitration of the Peoples and the Human Communities where all problems of state identity were dealt with, the problems of borders, invasion of territories, * ethnic cleanings *... minorities could ask for help since the beginning of a problem, or to solve a conflict of borders created artificially. The cases could be immediately examined by the Court of arbitration, the investigators and the negotiators get under way. Thus, it is even before even that the conflicts don't explode, that the needs are taken in account so that some ingenious solutions intervene... This role should finally be given to an adult Security Council, free of any dependence from the dominant states.

- an International Economic Court, where the crimes concerning the Right of labor, the crimes of exploitation or slavery, being domestic, economic or sexual ones, were managed, with a special department dedicated to the children.

- an International Ecological Court, where the crimes of attack to the environment, and the complaints concerning the animals are managed.

For each of these courts: some teams of investigators enough in number and qualification, and obviously also enough magistrates and enough efficient specializations.

Blueprint 2 : world government
The second blueprint is a bit different since it is based on the idea of world government (mentioned above). Following is the blueprint for what a constitution for such a government might look like, with a few key points :

(1) The guarantee of complete security to all plants and animals. (in the past we never thought about the complete security of black people and instead made them slaves. now we can move another step forward in evolution by recognizing the existential rights of animals to live out their natural lives.) (2) The guarantee of purchasing power adequate to secure the minimum requirements of life to all citizens. This is a very important point. Furthermore, it should be written into the world constitution that any citizen should have the legal right to sue the government if this guarantee of adequate purchasing power is not forthcoming. (3) The recognition of four fundamental rights, which are (a) spiritual practice, (b) cultural legacy, (c) education, and (d) indigenous linguistic expression. Cardinal human values are to take precedence over all rights and are to be the pole star for the framing of international law.

There were plenty of thought provoking ideas in this week's discussion. No doubt the issue of U.N. reform will occupy us further. The introduction of actual blueprints for global governance will spark many responses that should constitute one the topics of discussion for next week.
Fondation Charles Léopold Mayer © 2003