October 8, 2015
Pope and UN Sustainable Development Goals Inspire, but Fall Seriously Short
by Roger Kotila, Ph.D.
The talk to the United Nations by Pope Francis in late September along with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 by the UN General Assembly provide inspiration for a deeply troubled world beset with crises. Yet what is missing is too important to ignore.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in recent Guardian newspaper articles asks if the UN is “still functional” and “fair?” Can it be fixed? What are the chances for reform?
World federalists have warned from the UN’s birth that the Charter is wrong. Some of the world’s best thinkers, like Einstein and Freud, concluded that only a world government can do the job.
The Charter is the UN’s Achilles heel.
The Charter must be “constitutionalized,” much like when the 13 American colonies abandoned the Articles of Confederation and replaced them by adopting a federal union model of government -- the US Constitution.
Transforming the UN is no longer out of the question. A new world Charter/Constitution has been successfully drafted by the World Constitution and Parliament Association.
WCPA’s Constitution for the Federation of Earth, also known as the Earth Constitution, corrects the fatal flaws in the UN Charter. It is the type of governmental structure that world federalists insist is what will be required if we are to “end the scourge of war.”
NO NEED FOR DINOSAUR THINKING
In view of the availability of a replacement for the Charter, the Pope’s exhortations and the UN’s pronouncements fall seriously short. The Pope, perhaps unaware of a better alternative, lauds the UN Charter. UN member states, like dinosaurs, have remained stuck for 70 years in the same inadequate governing system.
Rather than talk directly about the fateful problems with the Charter and the need for a new one, the Pope emphasized spiritual strategies: “The appeal to the moral conscience of man has never been as necessary as it is today.” He urges an “examination of conscience” for those “charged with the conduct of international affairs.”
Meanwhile, proxy wars in the Middle East instigated by bully nations are causing terror beyond description. The US is busy invading nations and overthrowing governments. Now Russia weighs in bombing the very terrorists and mercenaries trained and armed by the CIA and its allies. The UN tries to mediate peaceful solutions but mostly is reduced to the role of Red Cross, aiding desperate refugees fleeing the carnage.
CLINGING TO A DEFECTIVE CHARTER
When changes to the UN are considered, they are invariably only cosmetic – appealing for “cooperation” and “partnerships,” expanding the size of the Security Council, or asking to have more say in selecting the next UN Secretary General.
Peace activists urge the Security Council’s Permanent-5 (US, Russia, China, Great Britain, France) to refrain from using the veto under certain dire conditions such as genocide.
UN member states, the UN Association, other NGO’s, and the media rarely address the urgent need to replace the defective, aging Charter. The thought of a new Charter for a “new UN” seems to be out of the question, despite the fact that a new world Charter/Constitution is completed and ready to go
The very idea of such a game changer is seen as either utopian, or unrealistic. There is a widely held belief, not without reason, that the Security Council’s P-5 would use their absolute veto power to block any new Charter -- no matter how good it is.
The introduction of the Earth Constitution, along with the concept of “constitutionalizing” the Charter, could potentially overcome the stifling threat of the veto. The absolute veto power granted the P-5 cannot be considered legitimate and may be challenged when democracy is the order of the day, and the Review required under the Charter has never been conducted.
To the Pope’s credit, he recognizes the key missing elements in UN governance -- democracy and enforceable law. He states that all nations should have “a genuine and equitable influence on, decision-making processes.” He adds that there is a need for the “rule of law” and “creation of a juridical system,” governing necessities lacking in the Charter.
SECOND CLASS CITIZENSHIP AND LEGAL LOOPHOLES
The UN is not democratic. The majority of nations and world citizenry have no say even though what happens globally affects everyone. Only the P-5 nations make final decisions. The remaining 188 nations have second class citizenship, only allowed to make “recommendations” for the P-5 to consider.
Loopholes in the Charter permit leaders of powerful nations and other VIP’s to be above the law. World crimes instigated by these leaders, by heads of multinational corporations, or by Big Money almost always go unpunished. The International Criminal Court and World Court (International Court of Justice) are small steps in the right direction, but are no match for these global shot-callers.
Despite glaring defects the Pope believes that the UN can yield “peaceful results” if only the Charter is “respected” and “applied with transparency and sincerity.” He is wrong.
The Pope’s faith in gaining peace by respecting the Charter will fail just as “give peace a chance” and “all we need is love” failed. Government has always been needed to maintain a civilized order, but we need the right kind of government.
PLAN FOR A NEW UN
Recent doctoral research on the UN Charter and international law reveals that the UN is legally required to conduct a Charter Review but has failed to do so. Such a Review is part of a “constitutionalizing” process for the UN. The time is ripe for such an examination.
The world feels like it is spinning out of control with the UN helpless to bring back order or stability. WCPA’s Earth Constitution is a carefully crafted document designed to defeat the geopolitical war system of which the UN and its Charter are an integral part. For the first time, there could be hope that a world of peace is possible.
With the Earth Constitution a democratic world federation can be created with a democratically elected World Parliament and a rationally designed global judiciary system.
Critical world problems -- wars, secret operations to overthrow governments, threats of nuclear destruction, climate change, deep pockets of poverty, and the violation of human and earth rights -- can be dealt with properly under the Earth Constitution.
We must now hope that the UN General Assembly has the courage to begin a full Charter Review to analyze its fatal defects that will become increasingly obvious when compared to the Earth Constitution.
Roger Kotila, Ph.D.
Senior fellow, Institute On World Problem
Editor, Earth Federation News & Views