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message no. 241

in reply to :

replied to by : 287
WP21 Summary No. 7 (December 16-22, 2002)

Arnaud BLIN
WP21 team





Abstract

This is the third Weekly Synthesis on the Architecture of Global Governance. There were a variety of topics discussed and various ideas introduced including the replacement of the U.N by a new body such as a Parliamentary Conference of the Planet. There were again some voices to back the idea that a (democratic) world parliament would be an ideal body to lead grass roots and intergovernmental discussions on what Simultaneous Policies should include. Other topics dealt with the concept of the Savidpra, the rising of the masses, decentralization, the drafting of a world constitution, sustainable development and the European Union as a model for world governance.


This will be the third Weekly Synthesis on the Architecture of Global Governance which will conclude our formal discussion on this topic before the one week "coffee break." Late messages still not posted will be considered in the next monthly synthesis. This week saw a few responses to previous messages as well as various ideas and proposals for the articulation of a future system of global governance, including a world parliament (WP). We will start the summary with a few general ideas and then move on to more specific proposals.

General ideas on the architecture of world governance
Following up on the discussion about the U.N., one participant suggested that just as the League of Nations was replaced by the United Nations, perhaps it would be time to think about replacing the United Nations with another body better suited to the current configuration of the planet. Such a body could take the form of a Parliamentary Conference of the Planet made up of small nation states (under ten million each), sub-national constituencies including mega-cities.

There were again some voices to back the idea that a (democratic) world parliament would be an ideal body to lead grass roots and intergovernmental discussions on what Simultaneous Policies should include. The idea of Simultaneous policies also gained further support as one of the best means of hastening the development of a world parliament.

Along the same lines, it was mentioned that a global civil society could be visualized as * a process of vigilance and information in alert, but certainly not again as a new architecture of counter-power that would be structured on the model of the other institutional entities.* In this light, it would be necessary to start a popular consultation concerning dispositions and organization of a world parliament.

I will quote here one of the participants who summarized very well how this forum fits into this whole process : * It is time to realize that our discursive thoughts create a conceptual game in a same historical dimension which is common to all knowledge. We are at a general stage of reason; we share a certain structure of thinking from which no man of our time can escape! It is this historic raw material that it is necessary for us to use as absolute counter-power!!!!!!! *

On the subject of * Savidpra *
There were a couple of responses to he idea of the * Savidpra* introduced earlier this month, these * people with devotion to the entity of interconnectedness of all being.* While some envisioned these wise people as * the yeast in the process of motivation towards an inspiring of more and more actively dissident people, * others seemed more skeptical that one could actually educate and produce a class of such wise * warrior monks * with a tradition of cultural opening, pacifist wisdom and spiritual power. But perhaps Savidpras are not the product of a system but simply something that starts within each of us and develops enough to lead to a new kind of culture.

Masses of the world unite!
Throughout this forum, there have been several voices that highlighted the negative role played by international capitalism. If the * violent capitalist alliance* as one participant describes, is a source of power that needs to be crushed, then the organization of a global mass movements - similar to the peaceful masses that forced the breakdown of the government of the German Democratic Republic - might force the breakdown of this system. If such masses could show up in overwhelming numbers and unite under the same spirit, then the capitalist alliance might be rendered powerless. More than the idea of having real masses of people marching on the streets of the world, this might simply entail the * adoption of a spirit, of mental concepts which are able to focus our thinking and acting on the essentials. *

Decentralization
There were a couple of messages this week that focused on the idea of decentralization. One contributor argued against the idea of a traditional parliamentary system on a global scale. A more attractive idea would be a decentralized regional self-governance that would send delegates to a WP. These delegates would not legislate or attempt to elect some sort of world government but would act as a debating body in charge of evaluating how far we already agree on common human values. As the entity that hosts these debates, the WP would in essence establish a feeling of equilibrium necessary so that we may dispense of the need to have written laws. Its ideal would be a world with no state, no market , just the non-profit sector.

On the more specific topic of the economy, one participant suggested that the current state of things shows the absolute necessity that trade and finance laws must be secondary and subservient to social and environmental law and conditions. And that the institutions controlling trade and finance must also be democratized and held accountable first and foremost to a body such as the world parliament with a much broader mandate. Furthermore, it is probable that creating a decentralized economy, without controlling the institutions of finance and global governance, would not function since it would not stay decentralized for long. This matter is important enough that perhaps it should be included as a key or fundamental element in the architecture of global governance and included in the founding or constituting document for the WP.

Constitution
The creation of a world parliament might involve the drafting of a constitution, depending on the direction it takes. If it were to head that way, then a preliminary discussion would be necessary to make suggestions as to how to improve currently existing world constitutions. One participant suggested we look at a world constitution as a dynamic document that can quickly adapt to human and planetary necessities. This document would define the structure and procedure by which a WP would operate. This participant adds that * unless the World Parliament deliberates bills for creating binding world legislation, it would not be a parliament in the true sense. * In a very pragmatic manner, this participant encourages those interested in drafting such a constitution to familiarize themselves with the basics of parliamentary procedure and professional legislative drafting, thus enabling a constitutional document to truly reflect the ideas of its creators and ensure that the constitution is a working document.

Sustainable development and sustainable solidarity
In response to the question of the future of sustainable development, one participant suggested that we take a good hard look at the manner in which we envision the concept of development. Development is a term that has been imposed by the North. In essence, this concept is paternalistic. It is inherited from the colonial history and no matter how many times it has been transformed, will always be but a recycled version of the original. Today, for example, the concept of sustainable development is ecologically viable and socially acceptable. But the development we talk about is centered on material things, technological well-being and a limitless consumption. Instead, we should talk about the development of thought, of humanity, of cerebral capacities, that is, things that do not have any financial interest or value. Thus, the time has come to put in question our antiquated vision of development and start talking about sustainable solidarity

European Union model
Finally, someone argued that might look to the European Union as a model for global governance. As a standard of governance, the EU has given a place in history to the peaceful resolution of conflict and has proven incredibly successful in the manner by which it has solved conflict through effective communication and good will. Perhaps a world parliament could associate itself with the EU and help its advance toward a Euro-Asian union and perhaps even a World Union. But the progress of a political entity such as the EU should be accompanied by a significant sign that would seal our new identity. Such a sign would take the form of a common language (such as Esperanto) identifying us as the human beings with a global will.

Conclusion
This ends our formal discussion on global governance. Novel concepts were introduced, interesting ideas and proposals were put on the table and many questions were left unanswered. There is no doubt however that the discussion took a new turn with a high level of practical solutions offered to resolve the problem of global governance. The richness and diversity of this debate now allows us to move on to the next topic - after our monthly "coffee break." A monthly synthesis of this discussion should be published in the next few days. It will consider the later messages still to be published.
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