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U. S. Federation of Scholars and Scientists
U. S. Affiliate of the World Federation of Scientific Workers
Affiliated with the American Association for the Advancement of Science
[http://perso.wanadoo.fr/fmts.wfsw/]

Re: Proposal to Co-Sponsor International Workshops on

"Defining Aggression" [for the ICC] and on

"The Establishment of a Peoples’ Assembly (United Nations)," University of Regina, 12-15 June 2003

Dear

A number of organizations are cosponsoring International Workshops on "Defining Aggression" [which the Assembly of States Parties of the International Criminal Court is scheduled to define on 1 July 2009] and "To Establish a UN Peoples’ Assembly" scheduled for 12-15 June 2003 at the University of Regina, Canada. We are soliciting your sponsorship, your participation, and your support. This is part of a continuing effort to replace the imperial war system with democratic rule of law.

In order to provide political momentum to the consensus proposals adopted by the workshops, the format to be used will be the same as that adopted for the J. D. Bernal World Scientific Conference on Security and Disarmament[1], viz., papers submitted must contain proposals or resolutions, i.e., they must be prescriptive as well as descriptive. They must be submitted in time for one round of review and criticism by other participants. Time for discussion will be scheduled in order to achieve consensus recommendations that will then be submitted to the plenary session and to other organizations for approval and support.

The Workshop will be part of the three principal themes (United Nations Reform, Human

Rights, and World Peace) of the Annual Conference of the Canadian Peace Research and Education Association (CPREA), during the five-day event.

As the has been in the forefront in advancing the mission and goals of the United Nations, it is only appropriate that it be one of the sponsors of one or more of the workshops and participants in developing consensus recommendations and conclusions.

With the hope that you will favorably consider this request, consideration should be given to sending representatives and presenters on the subjects, and providing financial support.

We are compiling resources related to this effort. Please submit any materials and references you have.

Cosponsoring organizations pay $300, which includes two conference fees. They will receive copies of all workshop documents that are submitted in electronic form.

I would be more than pleased to provide further details and respond to any questions you may have in this regard. [More information is appended below.]

There are several topics that require serious consideration [See Below]:

Sincerely,

Roger Dittmann
Professor of Physics Emeritus
California State University, Fullerton
President, US Federation of Scholars and Scientists


CALL FOR PAPERS

International Workshop to Establish a UN Peoples’ Assembly
Annual Conference of the Canadian Peace Research and Education Association (CPREA)
University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

12-15 June 2003

Tentative Topics and Agenda for the Workshop on the Establishment of a UN Peoples’ Assembly

      Rationale

      Qualifications for representatives.

      Voting procedures

      How to obtain adequate representation of all peoples.

      Structure

      Financing

      Strategy

In order to initiate the discussion, some ideas and proposals are suggested for your consideration:

Rationale:

As currently structured the UN does not honor fundamental principles of governance and jurisprudence, such as democracy [Only governments are represented.], universal applicability and uniform enforcement [Non-elected members of the Security Council can block any action.], separation of powers with checks and balances [The Security Council is an (impotent[2]) policeman, judge, and jury.]  Structural reform is rendered unfeasible by the requirement of unanimous concurrence of the non-elected members of the Security [Article 108].

NGO’s could immediately establish a Peoples’ Assembly. UN approval and support would be most welcome, especially permission to use Trusteeship Council Chambers, but not necessary.

There is fear of democracy. The Peoples’ Assembly could help alleviate that apprehension by providing experience with an operating democratic institution [at least with the "demos", if not yet the "-cracy"]. It would operate as a shadow UN, debating and voting on the same resolutions. A history of such activity would provide an empirical experience that would allay many of the fears of the unknown.

Peoples’ Assembly decisions could develop more legitimacy than those of the UN and undemocratic governments because they were arrived at democratically. Actually, the Peoples’ Assembly could be a test bed for democracy by adopting voting rules that would allow everyone to have a representative, instead of the winner-take-all system that commonly rules.

Proposal: Voters be allowed to cast multiple (10?) ballots for representatives [or supranational organizations] or their choice.

Qualifications for Representatives:

If the Peoples’ Assembly were initially established by NGO’s, they could establish criteria for the conversion of NGO’s [defined by what they are not] into SVDO’s [Supranational Voluntary Democratic Organizations] that would qualify to seat representatives. Other representatives could be directly elected on a continuing basis if a required number of voters designate them as their representative.

Proposal: In order to qualify as SVDO’s, NGO’s:

1)      Would have to have at least 1% of their membership in at least three countries in at least two continents;

2)      Would have to have a certified democratic election process to elect representatives.

Everyone could be allotted, say 10 votes, that they could cast in support of multiple political identities, rather than the geographic identity that denies large minorities representation in the winner-take-all system. Voting could be preferential so that if one’s preferred candidate [or organization] is not elected, the vote could go to one’s second choice, or third,…

Proposal: Preferential voting shall be used. If one’s choice doesn’t have enough votes to be elected, the vote shall be assigned to the next choice, in order.

How To Provide Representation for All Peoples:

NGO’s tend to concentrate in developed countries among more prosperous people. Extraordinary efforts will be required to broaden representation.

Structure:

Proposal: The rules of the UN General Assembly will provide a model for the bylaws of the Peoples’ Assembly.

Proposal: The 400(?) representatives with the largest number of votes shall be seated.

Financing:

Proposal: Initial funding will be sought from the UN, from NGO’s, foundations, individuals.

Strategy:

Proposal: A founding constitutional convention will be proposed to be held in conjunction with a major UN conference.

Historical Record

June 1967

Wolfang, Germany

World Constitutional Convention

June 1967

Interlaken, Switzerland

World Peoples’ Parliament

June 1986

University of Regina

Proposed Structure of a UN Peoples’ Parliament, presented at an International Conference on the UN and Peace, published as an appendix to "The United Nations as an International Peace, Justice, and Security System" in The United Nations and World Peace[3].

June 1987

United Nations, NY

United Nations Conference on the Relationship between Disarmament and Development. Vanguards, a coalition of over 200 NGO’s is formed to promote an NGO "Second Assembly".

July 1988

World Trade Center, NYC

Workshops on UN Reform and a UN Peoples’ Assembly held at the JD Bernal World Scientific Conference on Security and Disarmament [A scholarly and scientific NGO conference for the UN 3rd Special Session on disarmament]. [Consensus recommendations of the Conference were presented personally to the President of the UN session and delivered to all delegates.]

October 2002

 

Montreal,Canada

Montreal International Forum

Proposal for a Global Parliament



CALL FOR PAPERS

International Workshop to Define Aggression for the International Criminal Court
Annual Conference of the Canadian Peace Research and Education Association (CPREA)
University of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada

12-15 June 2003

As of 8 November 2002, the Rome Treaty establishing the International Criminal Court [ICC] [which came into force 1 July 2002] had 139 signatures and 82 parties. Ratifications continue at a rapid pace. Aggression has been added to the list of "Nuremberg crimes" [The crime of genocide; Crimes against humanity; and War crimes], but, according to Article 5 Paragraph 2, jurisdiction is pending upon definition by the Assembly of States Parties to be convened by the UN Secretary-General on 1 July 2009. Until then, the ICC will not have jurisdiction over individuals who commit aggression or who are complicit in aggression. Of course, aggression is a violation of the UN Charter[4], but, except for the voluntary jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice, before which only states may be parties, no court can hold culpable individuals responsible.

Even though the Bush administration took the historically unprecedented action of removing the signature of the US government from the Treaty, there remains some danger that the US government might ratify the ICC Treaty before 1 July 2009 and would then have an opportunity to obstruct any reasonable definition of aggression as a member of the Assembly of States Parties. However, in the meantime, adversity can be turned to advantage. We can work to develop a consensus definition of aggression that would be difficult to challenge under any circumstances

In order to initiate the discussion, an initial attempt at definition is offered for your consideration:

aggression

The "use of [military] force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any [sovereign] state" that is recognized or defined by the UN or to violate any multilateral treaty registered with the UN.

If the treaty that has allegedly been violated by the use of military force has an associated tribunal to adjudicate disputes arising from interpretations of the treaty, the associated tribunal shall judge whether the actions that are challenged constitute aggression. If aggression in violation of the treaty is judged by the relevant tribunal to have occurred, enforcement against culpable individuals allegedly complicit in the aggression shall be remanded to the ICC. In the absence of such a tribunal, the ICC shall judge whether aggression has occurred, and the culpability of individuals complicit in its commission. The ICC may issue advisory opinions in anticipation of alleged aggression upon request by a state party. [Quotes from Article 2 of the UN Charter (parentheses added)].


[1] Organized by the World Federation of Scientific Workers for the Third UN Special Session on Disarmament at the World Trade Center 27-31 May 1988.

[2] Even ignoring the UN Charter requirement of concurrence of the non-elected members, the most the Security Council can do is legitimate war by others

[3] Juyal, Shreesh, and Babu, B. Ramesh, eds., (1989) Sterling Publishers, L-10, Green Park Extension, New Delhi-110016

[4] Article 2

3. All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.

4. All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.
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