Related Links and Websites: Spiritus Mundi, Novel by Robert Sheppard
For Introduction and Overview of the Novel and Movie: https://spiritusmundinovel.wordpress.com/
For Author’s Blog: https://robertalexandersheppard.wordpress.com/
To Read a Sample Chapter from Spiritus Mundi: https://spiritusmundisamplechapters.wordpress.com/
To Read Fantasy, Myth and Magical Realism Excerpts from Spiritus Mundi: https://spiritusmundifantasymythandmagicalrealism.wordpress.com/
To Read Sexual Excerpts from Spiritus Mundi: The Varieties of Sexul Experience: https://spiritusmundivarietiesofsexualexperience.wordpress.com/
To Read Spy, Espionage and Counter-terrorism Thriller Excerpts from Spiritus Mundi: http://spiritusmundispyespionagecounterterrorism.wordpress.com/
To Read Geopolitical and World War Three Excerpts from Spiritus Mundi: https://spiritusmundigeopoliticalworldwar3.wordpress.com/
To Read Spiritual and Religious Excerpts from Spiritus Mundi: https://spiritusmundionspiritualityandreligion.wordpress.com/
To Read about the Global Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly in Spiritus Mundi: https://spiritusmundiunitednationsparliamentaryassembly.wordpress.com/
To Read Poetry from Spiritus Mundi：https://spiritusmundipoetry.wordpress.com/
For Discussions on World Literature and Literary Criticism in Spiritus Mundi: http://worldliteratureandliterarycriticism.wordpress.com/
For Discussions of World History and World Civilization in Spiritus Mundi: https://worldhistoryandcivilizationspiritusmundi.wordpress.com/
To Read the Blog of Eva Strong from Spiritus Mundi: https://evasblogfromspiritusmundi.wordpress.com/
To Read the Blog of Andreas Sarkozy from Spiritus Mundi: http://andreasblogfromspiritusmundi.wordpress.com/
To Read the Blog of Robert Sartorius from Spiritus Mundi: http://sartoriusblogfromspiritusmundi.wordpress.com/
Note: Herein follows the Chapter “Cyclops” from the Novel, Spiritus Mundi, by Robert Sheppard. Robert Sartorius and Andreas Sarkozy are representatives of the Committee for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly who have been called to testify before a Subcommittee of the House of Representatives on International Organizations on the question of whether the United States should take the lead in creating a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, extending the working model of the European Parliament to a global scale as part of the United Nations. They there encounter and must do battle against the Chairman, Ron Pall and his Tea Party sentiment, who, Cyclops-like and blindly insular, in addition to opposing almost everything in general, opposes any United States participation in such a Parliamentary Assembly or other international organizations, as an attack on American sovereignty.
XX. Washington, D.C. Cyclops
Sartorius and Andreas were still smarting from their failed mission at the United Nations to get the Secretary-General to push the proposal for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly to a vote in the General Assembly, stymied by the intransigence of the old conservative administration in its final term and the determined blocking of Sartorius’ old law school classmate and sometimes nemesis, Buck Bolger, US Ambassador to the UN. From long experience in public life in the US Sartorius knew that the pathways to ultimate success in a democracy as complex as the American were bound to be indirect and tortuous, and he resolved to continue on undaunted in the struggle. As powerful as the administration appeared, considerable opposition to its unilateral intransigence was also building against it in the Congress, and public opinion was seen by many as in the process of flux and realignment. They resolved to continue the fight, both in the “People Power” and NGO civil society campaigns of the Global Appeal and in their continued lobbying efforts in the executive, diplomatic and in the legislative arenas, putting on a full court press not only in America but in forums across the world including the more sympathetic European Union. A seeming break in the tough-slogging American effort occurred when US Representative Bill Dalamoign, an old friend of Sartorius, offered to introduce a Congressional Resolution in favor of the creation of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. Delamoign sat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, was progressively minded yet well respected in bi-partisan and moderate circles, and was thus well placed to help the effort. Unfortunately, in the populist reaction to the overwhelming and emotionally cataclysmic events of the World Financial Crisis another member of the same Committee, Ron Pall, the Committee Chairman, also known as “Dr. No” for intransigently opposing almost every imaginable proposal, and who had unexpectedly ridden a wave of populist indignation and outrage to become a radical-neo-populist-right wing Presidential candidate again blocked the path. Delamoign nevertheless introduced the Resolution, co-sponsored by Representative Keith Ellish, recently famous as the first Muslim American Congressman and leader of the Progressive Caucus and a Hearing on the matter was set. Delamoign invited Sartorius and Andreas to testify at the Subcommittee Hearing, and Ellish invited another of Sartorius’ old friends from the days when they worked together as junior officers at the United Nations in New York, Padraig Moynihan, a multi-talented Irishman who had risen to Assistant Secretary-General of the UN before resigning in protest over Mid-East Policy, then becoming the Director of the Global Spiritual Progressive Alliance, an influential Think-Tank and progressive global NGO. The old friends met in Washington D.C. and shared a dinner of reminiscences while strategizing on their presentations to be given the next day before the Subcommittee at the old hearing room at the Rayburn House Office Building, across the road from Capitol Hill, not looking forward to the reception they grimly expected from the hostile Chairman. Their encounter follows as recorded in the official Hearing transcript:
(I) TRANSCRIPT: INQUIRY INTO PROPOSED HOUSE RESOLUTION 247 ENDORSING THE CREATION OF A UNITED NATIONS PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY
SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL
ORGANIZATIONS, HUMAN RIGHTS AND OVERSIGHT
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS
U.S.HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED TENTH CONGRESS
Serial No. 110–53
Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Affairs
Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.foreignaffairs.house.gov/
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SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS,
HUMAN RIGHTS AND OVERSIGHT
RON PALL, Texas, Chairman
BILL DELAMOIGN, Massachusetts
RUSS CARNAUGHT, Missouri
KEITH ELLISHA, Minnesota
DONALD M. PAIN, New Jersey
ROBERT WAXLER, Florida
DANA ROSENBACHER, California
TED EDGAR ALLEN, Texas
CLIFF STONERMAN, Subcommittee Staff Director
PAUL BERSHEVITZ, Professional Staff Member
BRIAN FORTESCU, Staff AssociateN: SHIRL
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C O N T E N T S
The Honorable Bill Delamoign, Author of the Proposed House Resolution 247, a Representative in Congress from the Commonwealth
of Massachusetts, and Member, Subcommittee on International
Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight…………………………………….12
Professor Dr. Robert Sartorius, Professor of International Law, Peking University & Member, Board of Directors, Committee for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly…………………………………………………………………………22
Dr. Andreas Sarkozy, Administrative Director, Committee for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, London………………………………………………………………. 62
Mr. Padraig Moynihan, former Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and presently Director of the Global Spiritual Progressive Alliance…………………………95
LETTERS, STATEMENTS, ETC., SUBMITTED FOR THE HEARING
The Honorable Bill Delamoign, a Representative in Congress from the Commonwealth
of Massachusetts, and Member and Ranking Minority Leader, Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight: Prepared Statement……….……………………………………………………………….125
Article by Professor Robert Sheppard, ‘‘Towards a United Nations World Parliament’’ Asia-Pacific Law & Policy Journal, University of Hawaii, Jan. 2000…………..144
Former President Bill Clinton: Prepared Statement ……………………………………….. 204
Former President Jimmy Carter: Prepared Statement …………………………………… 224
Former Secretary-General of the United Nations Boutros Boutros Ghali: Prepared Statement …………………………………………………………………………………………………246
Mr. Günter Gross, Nobel Prize Laureate in Literature: Prepared Statement …………………………………………………………………………………………………….266
Submitted Document: “A United Nations Parliamentary Assembly: Frequently Asked Questions” by Andreas Sarkozy and Robert Sartorius, Committee for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, London………………………………………………………………………………283
Hearing notice ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 310
Hearing minutes ………………………………………………………………………………………… .311
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INQUIRY INTO THE PROPOSED JOINT RESOLUTION ENDORSING THE CREATION OF A UNITED NATIONS PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
SUBCOMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS,
HUMAN RIGHTS AND OVERSIGHT,
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN AFFAIRS,
The Subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:13 a.m. in room
2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Ron Pall
(Chairman of the Subcommittee) presiding.
Chairman PALL. This hearing will come to order. Ladies and Gentlemen, I would first like to welcome and extend a warm greeting to all of our witnesses and visitors for today’s Hearing upon the matter of the proposed House Resolution, HR 247 of the One Hundred and Tenth United States Congress endorsing a proposal calling for the creation of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. This proposed Resolution has been introduced by my colleague and member of this Subcommittee on International Organizations to my left, Mr. Bill Delamoign, and he will also be the first to speak on it to give those who are unfamiliar with this proposal some educative introduction to its essentials for the public’s understanding. Now one of the great strengths of our democracy lies in the fair and open airing of the views of widely disparate philosophies regarding the greater good of this commonwealth, the United States of America. Mr. Delamoign will have a fine opportunity to convince you all of the wisdom of his proposal, backed up by the testimony of numerous supporting witnesses. On the other hand I make no bones about the fact of my own disagreement with this proposal. Everyone in this room is aware that every year since I have been so honored by the voters of my district to be entrusted with the care of their interest in this body, I have repeatedly introduced my own bill, “The American Sovereignty Restoration Act,” HR 1451 with the goal and intention of effectuating the immediate and irrevocable withdrawal of the United States of America from the United Nations, which is an affront to our national sovereignty as envisioned by our Founding Fathers in the United States Constitution, and a bleeding drain on our native American freedoms and national resources. However, never let it be said that in my Subcommittee, any view was not afforded a full and fair hearing before it was disposed of. So we shall hear today from the sponsor of the Resolution, Mr. Delamoign, and two distinguished witnesses, Professor Robert Sartorius, Professor of International Law of the Committee for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, and his associate Dr. Andreas Sarkozy. We shall also hear the Prepared Statements submitted in written form by other illustrious contributors, including former Presidents Carter and Clinton, as well as former Secretary-General of the United Nations Boutros Boutros-Ghali and Nobel Prize winning author Mr. Günter Gross. So I will start us off by turning the floor over to my distinguished colleague from Massachusetts, Mr. Bill Dalamoign…….Bill………….
Mr. DELAMOIGN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for affording us the opportunity to speak out on behalf of the growing worldwide movement urging the formation of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. As you know I am the co-author of the House Resolution, HR 247, which calls on this body to express its support for the creation of such a body as an integral part of the United Nations system, convinced as I am of the necessity for greater democracy effectiveness and efficiency in our international institutions, led by the United Nations. As we are all aware, one of the greatest transformations of the last century has been the ever increasing globalization of all aspects of human life, from the globalization of the world economy embodied in the World Trade Organization or WTO, to the growth of the Internet, satellite television on CNN and BBC, containerized shipping and transportation and global tourism. Along with the blessings of globalization come the hard and difficult problems of globalization—the World Financial Crisis, the problem of Global Terrorism, Global Warming and Climate Change and the threat of international war. What is more and more obvious is that our main problems can no longer be solved within the borders of any one country by the government and people of one country acting alone. Instead all of our problems have become internationalized and all of the solutions must be internationalized as well. To solve these global problems and to preserve the international peace on which such solutions depend we must strengthen our international institutions, led first and foremost by the United Nations. But such strengthening is unworkable unless our international organizations become more accountable and closer to the will of the peoples of the world for whose benefit they act. Every meeting of the WTO or of the G8 or the Conferences on Climate Change are dogged by mass protests complaining that the leaders of those organizations are cut off from the voice of the people they should be representing. On the other positive side, we have the stunning examples of the European Parliament of the European Union, which draws together by democratic election the representatives of twenty-seven nations representing over five-hundred million people, and the recent evolution of similar organizations such as the Pan-African Parliament of the African Union, the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the Arab Parliament of the Arab League and the Latin-American Parliament. Given these success stories and the urgent and pressing need of greater and greater international action to solve more and more globalized problems, a mass movement has begun, associated with notable voices such as former Secretary-General of the United Nations Boutros Boutros-Ghali, former Czech President Vaclav Havel and Nobel Prize winner Günter Gross, as well as such media and celebrity figures known to us all such as Isis and Osiris. Our purpose here today is to firstly educate the American people on the urgent need for such United Nations Reforms, amoung others, and to mobilize support for their inevitable adoption. As our time is limited much of our material will be submitted in written form attached to the record of this hearing, including the prepared written statements submitted by former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, and many others. In addition we will hear live from Professor Robert Sartorius and Dr. Andreas Sarkozy of the worldwide NGO the Committee for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, who will also submit substantial written materials to supplement their testimony. I thank you for your kind consideration Mr. Chairman.
Chairman PALL. Thank you Mr. Delamoign for your eloquent arguments, but you haven’t convinced me yet. As I have said many times before this Subcommittee in my years as Chairman, no treaty or international agreement can transfer this legislative power from Congress to UN bureaucrats…. Yet the trend toward unconstitutional international laws already is firmly established. The UN wants to generate the same acceptance for global gun laws that it has established for global environmental and labor laws. As the global government trend intensifies, the conflicts between internationalism and sovereign constitutional government will only increase…. The simple truth is that the UN is not concerned with our Constitution or our system of government. It is concerned only with expanding its power at the expense of our Constitution on behalf of globalists, bureaucratic power mongers, and world socialists inimical of our American way of life and our American freedoms.
The problem is not that the UN is corrupt, or ineffective, or run by scoundrels, which it has proven to be from time to time. The real problem is that the UN is inherently illegitimate, because supra-national government is an inherently illegitimate concept. Legitimate governments operate only by the consent of those they govern. Yet it is ludicrous to suggest that billions of people across the globe have in any way consented to UN governance, or have even the slightest influence over their own governments. The UN is perhaps the least democratic institution imaginable, but both Democrats and Republicans insist on using it to ‘promote democracy.’ We should stop worrying about the UN and simply walk away from it by withdrawing our membership and our money. We should demand a return to real national sovereignty, and respect other nations by rejecting our failed interventionist foreign policy. By doing so we would make the world a more peaceful place and get corrupt government at all levels out of the way of the people in their own good sense solving their own problems by free individual action.
I went out on my Presidential campaign with a basic message: Freedom and limited government, States’ Rights and People’s Rights as spelled out in the Constitution; Strict Constitutionalism; Repeal the welfare-warfare state; Get out of Iraq and foreign wars and international organizations now; America First. Get out of the United Nations and get out of the corrupt sphere of international politics, war mongering, and international socialism. Abolish the income tax. Put the dollar back on a more solid footing with the return to the Gold Standard. Abolish the Federal Reserve. ……..return to common sense. The war whoops and thunderous approval of this message at my campaign stops have not stopped ringing in the ears of the media, the politicians and those who have good reason to be afraid of a riled American people who aren’t going to take it anymore. But I have no delusions about my own self-importance. My influence, such as it is, comes only by educating others about the rightness of the free market made up of free individuals, and getting big government out of their way——a conviction that people are born free and should govern themselves—–and that free markets make better decisions than governments do.
Now Mr. Delamoign, would you like to call your witnesses?
Mr. DELAMOIGN. Yes, Mr. Chairman. I would like to call my two witnesses from the Committee for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, Professor Robert Sartorius and Dr. Andreas Sarkozy.
Chairman PALL. Let the witnesses come forward and be sworn in. Welcome gentlemen, step forward.
Professor SARTORIUS. Thank you Mr. Chairman. I first want to thank you for the honor of having the opportunity to speak before the Subcommittee today. This forum is critically important in focusing the attention of the American people on the larger and longer-term challenges facing them in response to the accelerating and irreversible processes of globalization. The simple fact of our existence as a people is that all of the dimensions of our lives—-our economy, our financial system, our telecommunications, the Internet, our national defense, education, migration and immigration, the movement of goods in international trade and of ideas in international culture are all irrevocably integrated into global networks beyond our borders. By the same token all of our problems are no longer national problems but have become international problems to which the only solutions are international solutions. The major problems and crises gripping the daily headlines—terrorism, global warming and climate change, the World Financial Crisis, the impact of the Internet, drugs, unemployment and major medical crises such as AIDS, H1N1—-these are all crises and challenges that are global in scope and beyond the capacity of any one nation—-Yes, even beyond the capacity of the United States as the world’s sole so-called Superpower to address or solve alone. The history of the last fifty to one-hundred years has consistently underscored this new reality. Yet these globalized international problems remain unsolved. Why? In large part because the strength and effectiveness of our international institutions of governance have not grown to keep up with the scoope of these now internationalized problems. Nor is that all. Additionally where international treaties or bodies have superseded national legislation in dealing with areas of governance it has become painfully apparent that the process of international treaty making and enforcement is much less democratic, transparent and open to the participation of the people than is the process of domestic legislation, governance and oversight. Thus even where national systems have risen to the challenge of globalization it has often been to the detriment of their democratic legitimacy and control.
I am here today at the invitation of this Subcommittee and Representative Delamoign the sponsor of HR 247 to urge an affirmative vote for this House Resolution and to urge immediate action to transform our United Nations into an institution capable of functioning on behalf of the American people and all the peoples of the world in wrestling with these internationalized challenges in a democratic, transparent, responsive and accountable manner.
How will a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly make the United Nations more effective? In two principal ways, amoung many others. The first is in correcting the serious “Democratic Deficit” in our international institutions. The United Nations and many supra-national institutions are most often organizations of Nation-States to which the peoples of those states have but little input and influence. We must ask ourselves—what is the future of “Democracy” if most of the problems of the nation are international in scope and beyond the control of national governments? Democracies are losing the ability of their peoples to influence and control the forces determining the conditions of their lives—in short democratic governance is being seriously eroded by the processes of an incomplete and unbalanced globalization. Decisions are made over people’s lives in institutions such as the WTO, the IMF, World Bank by unelected and unaccountable bodies, often elites with divergent economic interests than the peoples they supposedly represent. To correct this democratic deficit at the globalized international level we have, fortunately, some good models to learn from. Perhaps the greatest accelerator of interest in the concept of the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly has been the operational success of the European Parliament, an elected assembly of twenty-seven nations representing over five hundred millions of people, which has shown that international democracy is not only possible but unavoidable and inevitable if nations are to successfully cooperate in international governance in the globalized environment. It is easy to forget that the United Nations itself was created out of the ashes of World War II that itself was but the end of a millennium of incessant European wars. It is easy to forget that the European Union has eliminated war amoung major powers within a single generation when that goal was an unthinkable empty dream for over a millennium. The role of the European Parliament in reducing the democratic deficit in the EU institions has been a powerful pillar in assuring their strength, popular acceptance and success in governance. The trailblazing model of the European Parliament has not gone unnoticed in other parts of the world. The African Union in emulation has newly established the Pan-African Parliament now based in Midrand-Johannasburg, South Africa. The Arab League has established the Arab Parliament, and similar bodies exist in a Latin American Parliament and such bodies as the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly. Now the time is ripe to globalize this regional best practice to include the universal institution of the United Nations with the addition of the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly.
A second major contribution of the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly will be in contributing to the efficiency of international problem solving. We have had the Kyoto gathering and the Bali Conference and we look forward to the Copenhagen Conference to address the accelerating problem of Climate Change and Global Warming. But calling a single special two-week meeting on a hyper-complex problem like Climate Change every three, five or ten years is ludicrous. I am willing to predict the failure of such efforts if they proceed on such a sporadic basis. If this United States Congress only met every two or three years when a special single-purpose session was announced, governance would break down completely. No, what is needed immediately is a continuous forum in which the representatives of the peoples of the world come together on a daily basis through most of the year, just as you do in Washington, and in committees like this one continuously address each and every dimension of the problems facing the peoples of the world, gathering the ideas and concerns of all the peoples affected. The treaty conference system is no longer viable and is incredibly slow and inefficient where the crises are increasingly accelerated and demand prompt and comprehensive action. We need a permanent body for the continuous negotiation of the concepts and terms of international treaties, and we need its representatives to be accountabe to their peoples, not just to their heads of state or ruling elites as in the case of the General Assembly. We also need treaties that take an integrated approach, as does national legislation taking into account the impact of action in one area of human concern on all other areas and interests of social concern, as perhaps where a regime for the WTO and trade matters also weighs the impact of such measures on the interconnected realms of the environment, jobs, health, energy, and peacekeeping.
I cannot address all of the dimensions of the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly in the very short time for oral testimony at this hearing. Therefore Dr. Sarkozy and have brought with us a more comprehensive document: “A United Nations Parliamentary Assembly: Frequently Asked Questions” which we have authored on behalf of the Committee for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, headquartered in London which we submit for inclusion in the permanent record of these proceedings. It addresses many complex questions such as formulas for how the seats in such an Assembly would be allotted and distributed amoung the nations, the question of direct election versus indirect selection from sitting national legislatures, procedures for establishment of the Parliamentary Assembly and logistics, etc. Additionally, I will defer to Dr. Sarkozy on many of the technical and logistical aspects of our proposal. We will be happy to answer any questions or concerns of the members regarding the proposal.
Chairman PAUL. Professor Sartorius, one of the main reasons I have advocated the United States’ withdrawal from the United Nations is the intrinsic undemocratic and illegitimate nature of such international organizations. Our American national sovereignty is based on the consent of the people obtained through free elections and accountability of the elected representatives regarding the acts and laws they pass. Nobody elects members of the Security Council or the General Assembly, even from so-called democracies like our own, and most of representatives at the United Nations are from dictatorships or unelected governments that are not even indirectly democratic to a single iota. Why should the people of the United States give up their sovereignty to become the slaves and subjects of unelected bureaucrats and tin-horn dictators and their flunkeys?
Professor SARTORIUS. Mr. Chairman, I think our two points of view have more in common than meets the eye. I am absolutely as concerned as you are that our democracy not be eroded and that our international institutions such as the United Nations become democratic where they are not at present. That is the whole raison d’etre of the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. So I think we are brothers in our common concerns. Where I differ and take issue you you sir, however, is in your notion that we could or should simply choose to walk away from these flawed institutions. That is a philosophy and course of action for ostriches and not for men living in the real world. Suppose you had your way and we withdrew from the United Nations. Would the world outside our national borders go away? Would our international trade, terrorism, climate change, drug problems, world financial crises and threats to international peace disappear because we stick our head into a hole in our hallowed and beloved American soil? Is it inconceivable that the world will in the future face a threat of aggressive war on the scale of another Hitler, Stalin or Tojo that may require total global coordination to fend off? Would such an act alter the fact that we as the American people are but 5% of the global human population and that we must import the majority of our oil and energy, and that more than half of the earnings and jobs of our corporations are dependent on their foreign earnings? No, Sir. I must respectfully tell you that such an action of withdrawal would be shear nonsense and an act of insanity bordering on national psychosis and withdrawal from reality. You will forgive me if I mince no words with you on this matter of fundamental importance.
Chairman PALL: Strong words, Professor Sartorius, strong words. But are you ready to surrender our American democracy and sovereignty so hard fought for and defended to an unelected and unaccountable passel of bureaucrats and flunkeys ready to sell our freedom to global socialists or global monopoly capitalists, whichever proves the most corrupt and highest bidder? Now you tell me how in God’s name can you consider your precious United Nations Parliamentary Assembly legitimate when half its representatives would have to come from dictatorships like Communist China and the tin-pot banana republics of the world? Are you seriously suggesting to me that we are going to see the free election of delegates to your Assembly through multi-party elections in Communist China? And how can you look your fellow Americans in the eye and tell them that you are going to trade their democratic national sovereignty to a body over half made up of such illegitimate flunkeys?
Professor SARTORIUS. Well, Mr. Chairman, you’ve raised a legitimate objection to which there is a convincing answer, although only a limited and imperfect one. You ask how shall the representatives in this Parliamentary Assembly be selected from across the globe. If it were within my power to choose, I would follow the model of the European Parliament of the European Union in which the Members of European Parliament, or MEP’s, are individually elected from districts across the international populace of 500 million. They have free competition of parties and individuals and each MEP is elected with a mandate answerable to his voters. He or she is thus not appointed by the ruling government and may often be a member of that government’s opposition party. When they are seated in the European Parliament they sit not in national delegations but in party or philosophically affiliated groupings cutting across the twenty-seven nations. So that interntional body is unequivocally democratically legitimate. However the objection you raise is indeed a legitimate one. If a nation like China with a one-party system dominated by the Communist Party and without free elections or free opposition parties free to remove that party in power from office then sends unelected and unfree representatives to the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly how shall it sustain its democratic legitimacy? The answer is only partially adequate. In our draft proposal we give nation-states freedom for the first twenty years to choose either separate direct free elections as for the European Parliament, or in the alternative to elect the representatives from amoung the elected representatives in their existing national parliaments. Initial studies have shown using Freedom House data on democratically legitimate governments, that over sixty percent of the representatives chosen under our Parliamentary Assembly proposal would in fact be initially selected by legitimately democratic processes. True, from one-party states without free elections such as China the delegates would initially lack full democratic legitimacy, but it is hoped that an evolution over the next twenty years would encourage the growth of free elections in China such as to allow them to change over after the initial abeyance period for direct elections.
Chairman PALL. Not good enough, Professor Sartorius! You won’t find me trading American sovereignty to a system where nearly half the seats are fixed with flunkeys of dictators. Plus, China is not small. It has over twenty percent of the world’s population. America has only 5%. How are we going to leave ourselves at the mercy of a few overpopulated countries inimical to our interests?
Professor SARTORIUS. Well, Mr. Chairman, that is also a very apt question. Of course in this country we have the principle of “one man, one vote” as the cornerstone of democracy, and the concept of democracy does imply that majorities are entitled to greater weight than minorities. We need to qualify that however, as it is unlikely that representation in the Parliamentary Assembly would be apportioned purely and solely by population statistics alone. Other bodies such as the European Union give greater voting power to larger nations such as Germany in accordance with population, yet guarantee a minimum of influence to each of the smaller nations to avoid their being drown out. Quite likely some formula would reflect not only population numbers but perhaps factors such as GDP to give a larger voice to powerful developed countries with smaller populations. In the formation of our own constitution the fears of the smaller States were alleviated by the creation of the Senate, in which the smaller states would have equal representation, in addition to the House in which population would weigh as the decisive factor. The European Union achieves a similar net effect by having minimum representation for small members coupled with Supermajorities required for important matters, giving the smaller nations a measure of leverage beyond their size. Some proposals for the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, such as that of Professor Sheppard, contemplate multiple houses that take GDP into account, although our own proposal contains no such recommendation. In this matter as well as all matters of governance I would observe that workable governmental systems must achieve a balance between what we might term “might and right,” or a balance between democratic and moral legitimacy and “Realpolitik.” A system that is completely ideal and democratically perfect but which proves impossible to implement or enforce is not sustainable, nor is a system based on force without legitimacy. Just like the British House of Lords began as a palpably un-democratic institution reflecting raw power, and even our own Senate is undemocratic, yet they proved a workable compromise within a system of democratic legitimacy that then had scope for later evolution towards a more perfect democracy and legitimacy when the “Realpolitik” factors and constraints had themselves undergone longer-term changes by historical processes. On balance I would say we need this balanced bi-focal vision, a reasoned balance of might and right, to negotiate the real world in the light of our ideals. I would say that is how we have to make our start in this matter—-we need an imperfect but workable beginning to start the evolutionary process towards more ideal ends.
Chairman PALL. Not on my watch Professor!—not on my watch! I am not ready to give up American sovereignty to buy your Bill of Goods, a Pig in a Poke for an unknown future! Professor Sartorius, you are a born and raised full-blooded American, just like me. Are you going to give up and lose for us our sacred American heritage and sovereignty? Don’t you love and revere your country above all?
Professor SARTORIUS. I am more than willing to serve my country; but my worship and reverence I reserve for something higher—Right and Justice and Universal Truth—which is far greater than my country and quite unfortunately by no means always the same with it. To worship my country as a god is to bring a curse upon it.
Chairman PALL. And who is to pay for all this expansion of international bureaucracy? Don’t we already have enough waste and abuse here in Washington without supranational waste and abuse at the global level—not to mention the danger of a whole new level of taxes—we’ve heard of the Tobin Tax and the Global Tax—-isn’t this going to create just another thieving hand in the pockets of the hard-working citizens of this country paying for millions of new unelected fat-assed bureaucrats making plans to order them around?
Professor SARTORIUS. Well, Mr. Chairman, the American people pay government officials to solve their problems for them—problems which are generally beyond their powers and capacities to solve individually, at least except for a small wealthy financial elite. And if their common problems in the new globalized world are internationalized then the problem-solvers and solutions are going to need to be internationalized and the American people are going to have to pay internationally for this international problem solving. Their problems are not going to be solved by keeping their own hands in their own pockets or even their own money in their pockets so it is shear nonsense to pretend so and borders on demagoguery to suggest otherwise. Now, everybody knows that nobody likes taxes and nobody likes to pay them. But nobody likes a government or system of governance that cannot solve their problems, and paying taxes to achieve solutions is the lesser of the two evils if you want to put it that way.
Now, Mr. Chairman, I have done lobby work on this Hill and I know that the common wisdom in a hearing like this is to hem and haw and talk in circles to avoid connecting a project like this with the prospect of any new taxes. But luckily, as a Professor, I have the liberty as well as the responsibility to speak the wider and deeper truth. You mention the Tobin Tax on international business transactions and currency exchanges. We have sales tax regarding purchases of consumer articles within particular states and Europe has a value-added tax. Now my opinion is that, not now or soon certainly, but ultimately, the evolving burdens of global governance will ultimately necessitate the development and evolution of an international and global tax base to put the United Nations and the organs of government on a sound fiscal basis independent of the necessity of passing the begging bowl every time a peacekeeping or other project requires funding. You reverence the U.S. Constitution, and in 1787 one of the reasons for calling the Constitutional Convention in Philidelphia was that the Articles of Confederation provided no adequate funding for the central government of the new United States. Every project required the Confederation to pass the begging bowl to the States for funding. I for one am not aghast at the prospect of an international tax base any more than I am aghast at the simple reality of paying income tax to both the Federal and my State government. Each requires independent funding and a viable tax base at its respective level to solve the problems entrusted by the people to it. To my mind a Tobin Tax would be entirely reasonable and would provide the foundation for our global institutions of global governance to begin to have the muscle and resources commensurate to their heavy and growing responsibilities in a world of Globalization. As conservatives in this body are wont to point out—there is no free lunch! There is no free global governance—-if we need and want it we have to pay for it—PERIOD! So I have no hesitation in seeking out rational and reasonable means of paying for the problem solving we need at the international level, including, not now certainly but eventually, an international independent tax such as the Tobin Tax as part of a responsible and commensurate international tax base.
Chairman PALL. No Sir! No! No! No!—a thousand times No! I say to you sir—–Not on my watch Professor! The day that the United Nations sends me a tax bill is the day of our surrender to communism and the day of the death of our American Liberty and our American Sovereignty and our American way of life! I tell you Professor Sartorius, the day that the United Nations sends a tax bill to any American or American company is the day I will personally don warpaint and lead a new Tea Party to dump every article subject to such communist inspired international taxation into New York harbor in front of the United Nations headquarters and personally demand that organization leave our shores just as the Patriots of the Revolutionary War demanded the departure of the British by dumping their tea into Boston Harbor!
Professor SARTORIUS. Mr. Chairman, I desire to show no disrespect for you or this institution, but I must be frank in calling your response point-blank infantile, irresponsible and bordering upon insane. Your ranting borders on demagoguery, or if not intended as such it certainly reveals an evasion of fundamental reality. You delude common frustrated working Americans that it is possible to turn back the clock on Globalization and return to the world of 1776 and the frontier ethic of self-reliance, isolationism and cowboy justice when a globalized economy and economic and political interdependence is a daily fact of life. You and your Tea Party are nothing more than a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, and the average working American should suspect that you have been smoking too much of your tea as well!
Chairman PALL. Professor I would be justified in holding you in contempt for those remarks, but I am a firm believer in freedom of speech, and I can say instead that I hold your ideas in the contempt they so well deserve. The American Dream is the dream of the hundreds of millions who came to these shores seeking the liberty, economic and political, of the free creative individual. I will tell you Professor Sartorius, that the sole source of wealth is the creative power of the individual mind and his productive power and his effort. Communism robs the creative individual, the inventor, the entrepreneur of the fruits of his creativity and of his enterprise. Our American revolution sought to remove a class of parasites sucking the blood of the free creative individual—the European parasitic aristocracy-and has defended him from time to time from coercive collective unions as well as predatory blood-sucking corporate financial capital. You seek to replace that parasitic class with the equally reprehensible parasitic classes of national and international bureaucrats—Big Government getting bigger and bigger—as big as the world! I take my stand against the Tobin Tax and all parasitical impositions on the free creative and productive individual—-“Don’t Tread on Me!” that was our flag then and our flag now! American patriots will join in my Tea Party because they are clear headed and sane and refuse to surrender their individuality or their creativity or their sovereign liberty, not because they, as you so maliciously suggest, are unable to face the real world out of supposed delusions. Real Americans reject your delusive socialism and flight from economic and personal freedom and will throw your Tobin Tax into the sea!
Professor SARTORIUS. Mr. Chairman, if I may recommend to you another great American tradition, I would advise you to follow in the tradition of American Pragmatism, the tradition of John Dewey and of William James and the tradition of Franklin Delano Roosevelt when he sought to draw this paralyzed nation out of the depths of the Great Depression by facing the world as it exists, not the false world imagined by the mythology of absolute individualism which has never existed and never will. The tradition of Amrican Pragmatism is proud to manfully face the world as it exists and do what is necessary to deal with it in order to sustain our American values in a changing reality. To willfully avoid reality to pursue a posturing celluloid cowboy myth of frontier self-reliance is neither manful nor heroic, but rather neurotic, unhealthy and unworthy of free men and women. A cheap nativist populism ranting and raving against things foreign and international is neither new nor honorable nor capable of dealing with the globalized world and economy as they exist. The American Pragmatist rallies both the powers of the creative free individual as well as the collective power of the people and the state and the international system of global governance to deal with problems that have grown inexorably to dwarf and overpower the isolated individual and even the isolated nation-state. To avoid world economic crisis we need a reality-based system of global governance rooted in the realities and the dangers of the existing global economy, economic interdependence and the globalized society in which we have no alternative in which to live. Now, Mr. Chairman, no one reverences the powers of the free creative and productive individual as much as I do. I also appreciate the vulnerabilities of that free and creative individual and his need for protection from immense forces beyond his control in the globalized internatiolnal marketplace in which the superstitiously invoked magically benign invisible hand so often remains invisible for the simple reason that it does not exist. That free creative and productive individual needs the protection of law and a social safety net when the world economic order breaks down, as it inevitably does every generation or so, and on appropriate occasion needs the regulation of national governance and global governance to reverse the perversion of that marketplace by powerful and unreliable interests. He needs protection from predatory financial capital and its demands just as much as he needs protection from abusive governments overtaxing him or denying his human rights. The American people are rightfully suspicious of big government, but they also have learned through the Great Depression and modern global financial crises that they need strong government to battle the abuses, exploitation, and predatory irresponsibility of big business and global finance and capital. Sir, I suggest that your Tea Party is pure escapism—an irresponsible escape from the realities of the modern globalized economy and a willful blindness to its manifest dangers and perils and the need for an effective and sustainable system of global governance in a globalized world of globalized problems.
Chairman PALL. Professor, it is sad that you are so far lost in your errors that you cannot recognize how wrong you are, but the American people recognize it and will not be persuaded to abandon their liberty and their sovereignty for the system of slavery you propose. Great thinkers from Ludwig von Mises to Ayn Rand have defended the powers of the free productive and inventive individual and it is he who has always, and will always make this nation great.
Professor SARTORIUS. I love the liberty of the free and productive individual as much as you or Ludwig von Mises or Ayn Rand, but I also see that unless that free individual has the means to deal with with the very complex reality of a globalized world and world economy, irresponsible and predatory capital, inherently unstable markets evading effective governance and control, and the absence of a viable social safety net in that globalized world then we are talking mythology rather than reality. You dream of the self-reliant Robinson Crusoe or the cowboy—John Wayne as Ringo free of the complications and limitations of society or the realities of the globalized industrial and post-industrial economy and marketplace. If you were to throw all the Chinese goods into the sea as the Tea Party threw the Chinese tea of 1776 into Boston harbor it is unlikely that even Wal-Mart would survive. You can’t go back to your lost Eden, if it ever existed, just by posturing like the Marlboro Man riding off into the sunset in blissful supposed self-sufficiency while he is dying of cancers of hidden causes. Such populist pandering after celluloid heroics and jingoistic isolationism is just a demagogic evasion of dealing with the real issues and realities. If your suggestion is simply to cut taxes without regard to maintaining a viable social safety net in case of world economic crisis and without regard to managing the adaptation of the displaced and disadvantaged from the process of globalization and the globalized evolution of the national economy, then I would suggest that your ethics, despite your romanticizing this Marlboro Man of a self-reliant individualist, are that of the Titanic, where you do nothing to save the ship or avoid the tragedy, but rely on the passengers with First Class tickets having guaranteed access to the lifeboats while everyone else is left to the ethic of “every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost’ and the certainty of drowning with the sinking hulk.
Chairman PALL. Professor Sartorius, much as it is my pleasure to cross swords with you on this matter my staff reminds me that out time is limited and fleeting. I will give you one last comment and then we will need to move on to Dr. Sarkozy if we are to finish our schedule today.
Professor SARTORIUS. Thank you Mr. Chairman. I would only repeat and emphasize recourse to the simplistic thinking of your Tea Party is to my mind a childish and immature fantasy—an attempt to lay down and hold your breath until your face turns blue and the world ceases to be the world that it is and consents to become the world you merely want it to be. It is a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party and not fit for the dignity of free men and free Americans pragmatic enough to live in, adapt to and deal with the world as it is. To ignore the reality of the globalized world and its globalized interdependent economy is merely to adopt the tactics of the ostrich, and if we only sow the wind by appealing to of our cowboy myths of self-reliance and individual self-sufficiency in a globalized economy which necessarily overwhelms, overpowers and dwarfs the mere individual, or even the individual nation-state, then we will reap in our future the whirlwind instead of any promised New Eden, New Jerusalem, Shining City on the Hill or other incarnation of the mythologized American Dream. And by ignoring reality we may face the danger of global economic crisis and a resulting threat of a potential world war that might arise from it, just as in the days of the New Deal that reqired a similar quantum leap in governance. ………….Now, as to the specific concrete costs of such a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, I will defer to my colleague Dr. Sarkozy, who has made a detailed study of how much money would be required to implement a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly based on the similar level of expense for the European Parl ament.
Dr. SARKOZY. Thank you Mr. Chairman for giving me this opportunity to contribute to your hearings. The first calculations of the Committee for United Nations Parliamentary Assembly concerning how much the setting up of a UNPA would cost resulted in a first rough total estimate of 100 to 120 million Euro per year. This would include the establishment and maintaining of a permanent secretariat, the administration, logistics and the carrying out of parliamentary work in a first, still limited step, during two to six weeks per year. As the Parliamentary Assembly becomes more professional and developed the sessions may be gradually lengthened with a commensurate increase in expense. The figure was calculated based on the budget of the InterParliamentary Union (IPU) for the administration of its Secretariat and on the budget of the European Parliament for travelling, accommodation during sessions as well as for extra costs, costs for special travels in execution of the mandate and general reimbursements. It is based on the assumption that all UN member states which participate possess a constitutionally elected parliament. The actual financial need for the first step can only be quantified if it is clear how the UNPA is to be designed, for example composition, voting procedure, participating states and legal basis. The money would most likely come from UN Member States through incorporating it into the regular UN budget, insofar as the UNPA is established according to Article 22 UN Charter which says “The General Assembly may establish such subsidiary organs as it deems necessary for the performance of its functions”, otherwise through a budget which has to be set up and financed separately. Otherwise, voluntary contributions for a direct financing of the UNPA from governments, international organizations, individuals, corporations and other entities could be made possible, analogous to Article 116 of the Statute of the International Criminal Court. This could relieve the regular contributors. Precondition would be that these contributions are in accordance with relevant criteria defined for this purpose which especially have to guarantee the independence of the UNPA from donors. Furthermore, the UNPA could be recipient of means raised by innovative financial sources such as global taxation of airline travel or currency exchange and international financial transactions, should they once be established.
Chairman PALL. Taxes! Did I hear you correctly Dr. Sarkozy! A tax on global airline travel—and we have heard of this Tobin Tax and global taxes on financial transactions and currency exchanges. Not on my watch, Doctor! No Siree! No new taxes and no global taxes! Over my dead body!
Dr. SARKOZY. Mr. Chairman, that is an attitude that may serve the interests of a narrow financial elite with enough money to pretend to a false self-sufficiency, but does not serve the interests of the common working man or woman in the globalized world. When complaints are made about the expenditures of the United Nations system it overlooks the gross disproportion between the miniscule budget of the UN and its global responsibilities. It’s true that the UN system embraces a multitude of programmes, funds, specialized agencies, institutes and other entities. While there certainly are opportunities for more efficiency and streamlining, and it is quite necessary to be vigilant against corruption and bureaucratic waste, one has to keep in mind that the UN system is designed to take care of the wellbeing of 6 billion people on the international level. Given the growing tasks transferred to the UN by its member states, the UN Secretariat as the core of the system, for example, is very modest in size and budget. In fact, it cannot fulfill its functions properly because it is not financed and staffed well enough. In fact it is grotesquely deprived of any adequate funding or financial base commensurate to its global duties. It has a total staff of about 7,500 and a budget of about 1,4 billion US Dollars. The New York City Fire Department’s staff alone, for example, is more than two times larger. The combined expenditures of the complete UN system, including, for example, peacekeeping operations, was at 12,3 billion US Dollars in 2001 – less than 2 US Dollars per world inhabitant and year. The City of New York, in comparison, currently has an annual budget of 52.9 billion US Dollars and thus spends about 6,500 US Dollar per inhabitant and year.
Chairman PALL. Well, you’re not impressing me, Dr. Sarkozy. I would cut down the New York City budget to match the UN budget and then cut down the UN budget another peg, if we couldn’t get out of her altogether. No, no, no, no and again no! No new taxes and no new spending! Period! But now we have Mr. Ellisha who has joined us and he also wishes to call a witness this afternoon so I will give him his opportunity. Mr. Ellisha………………
Mr. ELLISHA. Thank you Mr. Chairman. Today I want to express my solidarity with Mr. Delamoign and Drs. Sartorius and Sarkozy in support of the proposal for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, although I acknowledge we are in but a small minority here. But though we may face defeat in the vote in the present session I am confident as the American public learns more and more about this program it will adopt it in the not too distant future. The American people are hard-headed and practical, as well as being idealistic, and they are mindful of the existence of a world outside their own borders of which the American population constitutes but five percent. They know they must live and work with that outside world in a globalized economy and in an ever smaller Global Village. Yes, America will insist on protecting its vital interests. But America will also learn to work with the outside world in a spirit of constructiveness and fairness as embodied in this proposal for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. As an Afro-American and as one of a few Muslims in American public life I am ever mindful of the fates and destinies of the citizens of “The South” sometimes referred to as the “Third World” or the developing world, which make up a majority of humanity. A parliamentary assembly will give them a greater voice in the global forums. But I have no aspiration to be simply a representative of a minority group in this nation. I reach out to men and women of all races, creeds and religions and affirm our common humanity and spirituality. This proposal for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly takes me back to the Chicago of my youth where I grew up, which in 1893 broke global ground by convening the Parliament of the World’s Religions. This was an event of world importance in which such figures as Mary Baker Eddy of the Christian Science movement, Swami Vivekananda of the Vedanta and Hindu religion, Theosophy and Madame Blavatsky, Virchand Ghandi and representatives of the Bahai Faith, and Dharmapala of the Theraveda Buddhist faith were introduced upon the global stage in a constructive dialogue of mutual understanding. In my lifetime this Parliament was reconvened on its Centenary in 1993 and has met periodically ever since, most recently in Melbourne, Australia. I want to emphasize that the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly has as an important goal the reestablishment of the moral and spiritual authority of the United Nations system, paralleling the work of the Chicago Parliament of World Religions and its successors. Its goal is to bring us together in our common humanity, overcoming the superficial divisions of the faiths, ethnicities and political rivalries to reaffirm our much deeper and more comprehensive common humanity and common spirituality.
Chairman PALL. Thank you Keith. Do you wish to call any witnesses?
Mr. ELLISHA. Yes. I call on Mr. Padraig Moynihan, former Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and presently the Director of the Global Spiritual Progressive Alliance, on whose Advisory Board I am also a member. Mr. Moynihan is the recipient of the Ghandi International Peace Prize and has been nominated on three occasions for the Nobel Peace Prize. He served with the United Nations for thirty-four years in the areas of Development, Human Rights and Refugee assistance before resigning on principle regarding its activities in Iraq and the Middle-East.
Chairman PALL. Very well Mr. Ellisha, let the witness come forward and be sworn in.
Mr. MOYNIHAN. Thank you very much Mr. Chairman. It is my honor to be here to speak to you and to the American people in this historic setting. I thank you for affording me this opportunity to share my views and experiences, and to learn from my fellow witnesses and the members of this body. Although I am a citizen of Ireland and the European Union, as a former employee of the United Nations I spent many years residing in New York and other cities in this country and have come to love the land and its people. I have also a deep love of the United Nations, along with a hate for its failures and inadequacies—perhaps it is not surprising when one lives and works with another for thirty-four years one arrives at such a love-hate relationship. My fellow witness Professor Sartorius from whom we have just heard and with whom I also worked together many years ago in the United Nations Secretariat has very ably presented the positive face of a strengthened United Nations of the future improved by the innovations of outlined by his Committee for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. Understandably he has been optimistic and positive in his assessment and outlook, presenting a vision for a brighter future as a foundation for a positive working consensus throughout the world capable of bringing humanity together in its common consciousness, aspirations and good will for the future. I, on the other hand, have the duty to present to the people a a more critical and less rosy assessment. I am not here to invoke a rosy vision of the future regarding the United Nations but rather to be rather blunt and frank with you and the American people, along with the peoples of the world about the deep and disenchanting flaws of this institution. Being here in Washington, D.C. I recalled to my mind the words of your illustrious President Eisenhower “ I hate war, as only a soldier who has lived it can, as one who has seen its brutality, it futility, its stupidity.” President Eisenhower then added, “:every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed.” This reflects the similar ambivilance I have continuously felt in serving the United Nations as a soldier of its struggle over these past four decades.
Yes, I do lend my wholehearted support to Professor Sartorius’ proposal for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly and to Mr. Delamoign’s proposed House Resolution 247 in its support as a much needed and necessary reform and strengthening of the United Nations system, but I intend to go far beyond them in the depth of my criticism and disagree with them in part about the scope of reform that is needed, expressing views that I know they would find too extreme and disagree with, but nonetheless need to be expressed frankly and candidly if there is to be any way forward. Thus, after thirty-four years in the trenches of that organization I must inform you that even this momentous first step of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly is but a small and inadequate beginning compared to the much deeper reforms of the system that are required if the system is to be viable and effective in the longer term.
As you may have guessed – this is not intended to be a ‘feel good’ review of the UN. We are here to think, and consider something different, something better. Something representative, something respectful of international law: committed to equality of nations and people. An organization that really believes in a single standard of behaviour and treatment for all… and not double standards as of now.
My first point is that the system of International Law, international organizations and their constituent national governments ultimately rest more upon their moral authority than their ability to command and coerce. This a fundamental truth of all government which the generals of the world are apt to forget, but a fortiori is true of the much weaker international organizations such as the UN, which do not have armies and police forces to back them up. Thus the first great need is to restore the moral authority of the United Nations that has been so tragically eroded in disappointment of the high idealistic hopes accompanying the founding of that institution. That restoration concept should absolutely apply to the United Nations! And in particular to the Security Council responsible for global Peace and Security. It is to that Council that we should look for secular moral authority, global leadership, respect for international law and for management of global peaceful co-existence. But we don’t – do we?
Before diving into the business of moral restoration however – let’s first look at how the UN is viewed today—how the man and woman on the street of various psychological characters commonly view the United Nations:
First – there is the UN of people’s unrealistic expectations – how we want the UN to be and to act: to represent us caring people! – a UN to bring good will, and wellbeing to human-kind everywhere. This is the UN in the mists of the fuzzy idealism of the masses.
We want it to be the UN of the Preamble – “We the peoples of the United Nations determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war… to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small… to establish… justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law… to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom… and for these ends to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbours, and to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security…”
I believe most of us want a UN set apart and distinct from the ugly politics of the G-8, the EU, NATO, US/UK and the wars illegally pursued by UN Member States such as in the Congo, Chechnya, Gaza, Georgia, Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan, Afghanistan…
Ugly politics have undermined the Preamble – in fact, they have neglected the entire word and spirit of the UN Charter!
Sadly this perfect UN does not exist. Nor does its moral authority.
A second perception of the United Nations exists in parallel with this disillusioned idealistic view, however. This is the UN of the ‘Masters of the Universe’! The five veto powers and permanent members of the Security Council – the so called victors of the Second World War. The Old Boys Club of 1945. These five States, I am sorry to say, that have corrupted the UN Charter——–and corrupted the work of the UN. Applying double-standards, and disregard for law – they have made the organisation primarily serve their best interests rather than serve its mandate. This is the United Nations of Realpolitik and the United Nations become a tool of Big Power dominance an to the detriment of the idealistic aspirations of the peoples of the world.
Need I name them? We sit in the capital of the greatest of them. I refer to the five most dangerous Member States that together manufacture and sell some 85% of military arms, including nuclear weapons, and so called weapons of mass destruction. This is the UN of the arms dealers – the most disreputable and yet profitable business on earth.
And tragically and quite bizarrely – these arms dealers are the same Member States that the UN Charter entrusts with maintaining Peace and Security around the world! I trust you see the disconnect? The incompatibility? – the mind boggling reality of nuclear powers and weapons salesmen being responsible for peaceful co-existence?! It’s madness!
And yet another third perception offers itself: Is the UN of the Secretariat, the Secretary-General – the servant of the member states. The Secretary-General is the administrative leader of the UN family of Agencies, Programmes and organizations—-the alphabet soup of the WTO, ILO, WHO, FAO, etc. This is the so-called UN System that takes instructions from the member states – its shareholders – some from the permanent five and some from the 191 member states of the General Assembly who subsist under the shadow of the Permanent Five. Politically driven orders come directly – such as in my personal experience in Iraq when I assisted in heading up the UN Humanitarian Programme – or via Member State boards, councils, assemblies, committees etc. Is this any surprise when it is the ‘Big Five’ that have a veto and stranglehold over the selection of the Secretary-General himself along with the so-called “Power of the Purse” that keeps him coming back begging for every miniscule inadequate budget so completely disproportionate to the responsibilities of addressing the plights of six billion persons across the globe?
We may even argue this is proper – the shareholders have rights and the UN should serve its member governments! But those six billion stakeholders outside the power elites of those governments are seemingly left out of these rights and left out of the calculus of interests to be served. This does however remind us that despite the words of the Preamble to the Charter… “We the peoples” – the UN as it is presently composed IS AN ORGANIZATION OF STATES, NOT PEOPLES. Real people actually have limited input—sometimes via NGOs affiliated in a variety of ways. The bottom line however – is the State – your State and my State. And mostly States think not with heart or mind, or guided by any moral standard but rather by the Realpolitik calculus of so-called “National Interest” which all too often proves to be the much narrower interest of the ruling elite or the ruling class out of which it emerges (except for America of course!)… but with the sensitivity only of self-interest, power, and ambition. This so-called “self interest” reaches a high art form when it comes to the five Veto Powers of the Security Council. And self-interest is not endorsed in the UN Charter!
As Bill Clinton and Madame Albright liked to say in selling the UN programs in this chamber – the United Nations is there to further the best interests – of US foreign policy. However, to be fair, other States undoubtedly see it much the same way, but are more discrete!——And lack ambitions and military capacity for global empire!
I would be a false friend to America and the American people if out of politeness and courtesy for the honor of speaking to you today I were to ignore its faults. During the present administration we have seen unabashed neglect and even hostility towards the United Nations, including the flaunting of its authority in the invasion of Iraq without the authorization of the Security Council. We now hear the voices of the present outgoing administration’s opposition who want to work with the United Nations and be a players rather than to dominate and control. Sounds good – we await the reality as the future successors of this administration in all probability expand the war in Afghanistan, keep Guantanamo and untold prisons full of the tortured, finishes off the destruction of Iraq, refuses to end the occupation of Okinawa, has the thick skin to criticize China for human rights abuses when America itself has a deplorable record, and promises to militarily threaten or attack Iran! Not exactly the sort of new player we hope for perhaps! But let’s keep our fingers crossed…
Let me add in the context of UN perception number three – that the Programmes, Agencies, bodies of the UN do good work everyday all over the world – WHEN not instructed by the Masters of the Universe to do otherwise. This includes appalling intereference in their work by the political arm-twisting of the Big Five such as the unwillingness of the World Health Organisation to deal honestly with the appalling dangers of military usage of Depleted Uranium. I am sure you have seen the latest data from Fallujah?—Where child mortality has sky rocketed and birth deformities – two heads, no limbs – are increasingly common. Women are now afraid to get pregnant. Believe me, the horrors of Fallujah today will be faced by the rest of us tomorrow – if we do not ban the use of Depleted Uranium. There is world movement afoot; the website is www.bandepleteduranium.org…..
Or the weak mandate and capacity provided for the UN Environmental Programme to anticipate and manage environmental/climate calamities world wide. We know about the disappointments of Kyoto, and now Bali and Copenhagen look very tough going. Although we now see movement from China and the US, the UN – needs independent oversight authority re climate change policies and implementation if the future results from Bali and Copenhagen are to be different from the disappointments of Kyoto.
Or the IAEA – the Atomic Energy Agency – whose objective expert advice is too often set aside by the Security Council when military aggression is more politically attractive, or simply ideal for empire building. Or in respect of some nuclear states – such as Pakistan, Israel and India – IAEA is astoundingly allowed no role at all!
Or when the IMF/World Bank bullies the poor and indebted countries to further diminish their expenditures for education, social services, housing, health care – the very basic human rights of us all. The critical expenditures if poor countries are ever to strive to catch up, for human equality and wellbeing. Who do the WB and IMF serve? – their limited shareholders—-in effect the financial elites of the dominant member governments, not those in most need.
However, as I have said and despite this political interference and negligence – good work happens everyday! These UN technical organizations are staffed with good minds, and with good intentions although limited budgets. They work with NGOs and civil society all over the globe, particularly in the developing countries.
Regarding UN humanitarian assistance – UNRWA in Gaza feeds some 80% of the entire population as Palestinians struggle, and often fail to survive under the genocidal blockade of Israel. A blockade the US supports, and the EU and the Arab states enable – as they stand by and watch life and expectations come to an end.
Despite UN Agencies – UNICEF, UNWRA and others on the ground – the human catastrophe grows as Egypt blocks the exit at Raffah as they did earlier this year when thousands of refugees tried to escape civilian bombing with white phosphorus, DU. And today they block Palestinian students going out and food and other basic supplies coming in.
The Security Council? It has fiddled as Gaza and its people literally burned. And still is unwilling to demand that Gaza be opened to world-wide assistance, freedom, democracy, hope, opportunities. A glaring failure to act. A glaring failure of corruption of its mandate – a Council held hostage by a few. Let us hope that the Free Gaza Movement ships can soon break the Israeli stranglehold, and allow Palestinians to breathe, work, live and grow.
And soon let’s hope the UN Security Council reads the Goldstone Report, and has the courage to act upon it, and accepts its responsibilities for protecting the Palestinians of Gaza – the victims of what has been described as a “perfect” genocide. Whether it is Gaza, or the work of the World Food Programme which now feeds countless millions every day – the self-serving UN of the Security Council is always a political danger.—The danger of resorting to Sanctions, or military aggression, before peaceful resolution, proper dialogue, is sincerely attempted. Politically driven R2P is mockery of humanitarian needs. The politics of the Council makes a mockery of the Charter.
How very good it was recently to see China refuse the requests for war on Iran and suggest instead non-violent resolution – via dialogue and negotiation. Sadly, on Friday last, the news indicated that Russia and China were coming around to the idea of imposing UN sanctions. I trust they would not support the “crippling sanctions” that America wishes to have imposed – having have learned nothing from the deadly UN sanctions on Iraq, it appears.
Crippling or otherwise – UN Sanctions on Iran and the people of Iran would constitute “collective punishment”. And collective punishment is in violation of international law. Sanctions are a form of warfare – that can kill communities – that kill children – slowly as those of you familiar with Iraq are aware. There is no justification – there never can be justification for killing the people of Iran.
Maybe your perceptions are not the same as mine. But that is my experience and perception of the UN at work today. Good, very good, and very bad; very dangerous and absolutely unacceptable. A Charter corrupted; self-interest dominant. The very few in control. UN failure in peace and security only too common. International Law in the service of some, not all. History will judge which of us is more correct.
We all remember the day the UN Security Council under US/UK leadership refused to allow the Arms Inspector Hans Blix finish his work in Iraq, because the opportunities for war, the very smell of profits, was too much for Bush and Blair to resist. Such is leadership in democracies which are manipulated by capitalism. Often led it seems by the Christian born-again who have forgotten their man—Christ—-was a socialist who spoke of love, not warfare
To enable the Iraq invasion – the Charter was abused and misinterpreted. No one bought the Bush/Blair nonsense about defense. Forty-five minutes from London! Weapons of mass destruction indeed! Article 51 which allows for rightful defense to imminent threats – clearly did not apply.
And now the UN Security Council is faced with expansion by Britain and the US, and maybe the reluctant NATO – of the war on the people of Afghanistan. I expect no action by the Council, but expanded war raises a question: when the majority of citizens in a democracy are opposed to war or expanded warfare, is it legitimate?
And who is responsible? How can the citizens of a democracy be held responsible – as they must be – when democracies determine to undertake a war of aggression? Many would say there are no non-combatants in a democracy pursuing aggressive warfare. Otherwise what is the shared responsibility of democracy all about? And the golden word ‘Democracy” is proffered as a crusade with the promise that the extension of our systems of bourgiouse democracy to the four corners of the world will eliminate forever the threat of war—a hope not entirely empty I am sure. But what are we to conclude when it is the democracies themselves that foment the aggressive wars?—even as in the days of Pericleian democracy in Ancient Greece? Are the invasions by the armed forces of these democracies—the United States, Britain, Israel cancelled out by technicalities, excuses or far-fetched claims of self-defense or appeals to ideals in the sky? Must we not at least ask ourselves candidly whether or not our assumptions and hopes on this score not indeed exaggerated?
As war expands again, how did we reach this state of weakness, failure in the Security Council. When did the rot start? We could begin in 1945, but allow me to take you back to the 1920s, when Churchill and his man Harris set about frustrating Kurdish dreams of independence. Using bi-planes they decided to employ “terrorism” (you know – as in “Shock and Awe” on Baghdad in early 2003 and the anonymous impact of the missiles from pilotless drones across the Muslim world). They decided to bomb civilians in the Kurdish towns and villages of northern Iraq. As you well know, Churchill and Bomber Harris continued these infamous tactics when they killed hundreds of thousands of civilians by firebombing Hamburg, Berlin, Dresden etc later.
Since then, the UN Security Coucil has watched passively as matters have further deteriorated. Now we see military regimes kill civilians with sophisticated aircraft, or Predator drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Gaza – using massive bunker busters, cluster munitions, white phosphorous or depleted uranium on children, women and men. They bomb the media – such as Al Jazeera offices in Baghdad and Kabul. I met with an Al Jazeera cameraman recently in Malaysia as he described 7 years of abuse and torture in the Guantanamo cages – to a “peoples” war crimes Commission.
In Gaza, civilians and UN staff members have been attacked and killed. Along with UN food warehouses, schools and health clinics. I learned last week from a UN colleague in Jerusalem that – having completely destroyed the American International School from the air – the Israeli army found it necessary to bulldoze the playground – swings and slides – of the Primary School. Is that not incomprehensible violence and punishment of children? Extraordinary! And equally extraordinarily, the UN Permanent Members of the Security Council made sure nothing was done… nothing… to stop the killings. Genocide can be astonishing in its thoroughness!
Why did I mention Churchill? Because he – together with Stalin and Roosevelt – were the authors of the UN Charter. It was they who demanded the strangle-hold, the control that the Five Permanent Seats-with-veto-power – provide. While we all remember some admirable deeds and qualities of those members of the “Big Three” we should not be unmindful of their faults, the perversions of their ideals and the evils resulting from the systems which they were parts of.
Do I need to tell you about Stalin? No – let’s not go into his human rights record – you are all familiar with his brutal and deadly ethnic cleansing practices. After some twenty million lost in the war itself, many millions more killed in the Soviet Union. A human catastrophe that is difficult to envisage.
In short, we had these three very hard men in 1944-45 to which we can add Chiang Kai Chek and Charles de Gaulle – to make 5. They led the same 5 countries that created and hold to this day – some 65 years later – veto power, and permanent seats, that control the UN Security Council. Let’s look at the consequences of having such midwives of this questionable caliber: The damage to the credibility of the UN; how it functions, or fails to function has been huge. How it is perceived around the globe, particularly by those not represented in any way by the Magic Five is often negative. And often confused – UN or US? – unclear—which is which!
I refer primarily to the South, the poor and the poorest. The majority. And I refer to some sovereign states unlucky to sit on oil, mineral wealth and perhaps water and other resources that are required by the rich, and the militarily powerful. Some of us are ruthless in the manner we gobble up the natural finite resources of other sovereign states. The “somewhat” or theoretical democracies seem able to justify to themselves wars of aggression, plus exploitation, rape, and pillage – of course they may prefer to use words like development, investment and trade and protecting and preserving world order and world peace! The UN Security Council delays, compromises, and ultimately acquiesces to Big Five wishes.—As happened during the lead in to the totally illegal invasion of Iraq by American and British forces in early 2003. And the UN? – compromised and further diminished. Those States which could have vetoed that invasion did not make the gesture of rejection as required by the Charter. The Charter was ravaged, but the US and UK got away with it. No censure. No suspension from the Security Council. No compensation to be paid, or reparations? … Nyet!….Nada!
What about the application of double standards? Iraq illegally invades Kuwait and all hell breaks lose, although Baghdad was ready to negotiate a peaceful retreat when cornered by force. Capitalist greed for Iraqi oil, and opportunity for war, the desire for strategic presence in the Region – set that peaceful possibility aside real quickly. Meanwhile, Iraqi reparations to Kuwait so far has reached some 60 billion dollars and continues. Meanwhile Viet Nam waits for its first penny! Reparation payments to Iraq? Don’t think so! – again that is double standards at work.
I lived and worked for the UN in Baghdad under UN Sanctions in 1997-98 – and it was a safe city, at least if you did not run afoul of the government. Today following massive bombing, occupation and a puppet Government – assassination and ethnic cleansing is a daily event! And some 100,000 American mercenaries run wild – killing outside of both domestic or international law. Has the Council spoken? … no.
So if the Security Council is “fixed”, where is the UN International Criminal Court? – it is hog-tied like prisoners en route to Guantanimo Bay. The Prosecutor has little power. Otherwise he would be knocking on 10 Downing Street and 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue! The US failed to ratify ICC and Blair still awaits domestic prosecution. The Old Boys of the Big Five are protected. So ICC works on Taylor and Vladovic, and other small war criminals. Again that is a double standard at play – the familiar Achilles heel of the United Nations. The list of Security Council failures is long, and I do not intend to drag you through it. I have already – from the start today – touched in passing on the consequences of self-interest, inequality amongst member states, and the profits of war, and consumption of natural resources. I take it that we all remember, how in Srebrenicia, UN peacekeepers stood by as the massacre of some 7,000 Muslim men and boys took place. The Council failed to prevent ethnic cleansing.
In Rwanda, none of us can forget the massacres that took place as a few thousand UN troops were in the country forbidden by the Council to lift a finger. Although some did assist under a courageous Canadian General who has described it in detail. Who set off the genocide? Still an open question. In Afghanistan, we have witnessed an invasion and occupation, with endless civilian loss of life – grow out of hysteria in the days after 9/11. The UN Security Council endorsed revenge on the people of Afghanistan. But were they involved? I don’t think so. I do not recall that the money, the pilots, the brains behind this terrible act of defense – came from Afghanistan. Were Afghans flown out of the US by Bush within hours of 9/11? Not that I recall. Perhaps their banks accounts were insufficient or in the wrong banks and they were not intimate with the appropriate first families? Unfortunate Afghanistan – just another opportunity for war?
The country of Iraq has been destroyed, as in Fallujah that I mentioned already – in terms of cultural, social, economic and infrastructural integrity and wellbeing. What more can I say? The Council kept quiet. In Gaza this very year we have witnessed similar total destruction. Again the UN Security Council has failed to halt violence. We cannot pass without expressing concern over the rise of NATO as a new and dangerous aggressive force outside its region. And we have to regret the UN role in expanding NATO capacity and reach.
And we cannot neglect the threats to Iran of attack. Without solid evidence of military intentions for nuclear power, Iran is under threat of military attack from Israel and the USA—incredibly even after America’s CIA reports that Iran had abandoned its tentative plans for nuclear weapon development and al-Baradei opines that they would still be many years away from a single bomb even if they had that direct intention. The Security Council is being bulldozed yet again into acquiescence. And this in the context that Iran is reacting primarily to the threatening possession of nuclear weapons by Israel to which the Security Council egregiously turns a totally and unjustifiably blind eye. The similarity to the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq is frighteningly familiar. The pre-emptive concept is again in play and there is no provision for that ‘game’ under international law. Iran regardless of its internal struggles is a sovereign state with the right to defend itself. It is currently surrounded by American and Israeli nuclear war heads. Were Iran to seek nuclear defensive weapons, a case could well be made, it would do so as a legitimate deterrent against the threatened nuclear attacks of Israel and the United States. But not by me. To expect a sovereign state of such vulnerability and dignity to accept the UN/EU demands that its nuclear fuel be processed overseas by the very countries now threatening its security and sovereignty – is of course unreal.
The Security Council must recognize Iran’s perfect right to nuclear power and to ensure via the IAEA that such power is only for peaceful purposes. While Iran is a signatory of the Non-Proliferation Treaty of course other nations and the Council has every right and interest in assuring its compliance. Nonetheless, of course you could ask why should Iran be inspected when the US refuses to be inspected? And Israel denies any knowledge of its nuclear arsenal and refuses to be inspected? … could that be double standards again! The Council needs to demand and make conditional for Iran’s inspection compliance that the Americans and Israelis stand down, and that Israel ultimately acknowledges, takes responsibility for and ideally gives up its nuclear weapons in exchange for the de-nuclearization of the surrounding Middle-East including Iran. And demand in the long-run that all nuclear powers disarm – including the Five Permanent Members – another crime of omission by the Big Boys – well, of course – they are the one and the same! A little conflict of interest – you might say!
OK what can we do about changing the UN, and the Security Council in particualar? For a number of years I have been proposing at University and public meetings reform of the SC in addition to my support for Professor Sartorius’ Committee’s proposal for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. Discussion to this end in the GA has been ongoing for some 15 years. Changes made have been miniscule and growth of real power has been limited to proposing Germany, Italy and Japan be promoted to Big Boy status. That is ridiculous. Why? Because the Council is already dominated by the North, and I include China in the North. What the Council needs is balance – that is, balance between the North and South. We need the majority of the world’s people to be represented. Is that rocket science? Don’t think so but quelle horreur! I can hear that old colonialist Churchill spinning in his grave … at the very thought!
And is it appropriate for the Permanent Five to select the States they fancy? Don’t think so. My view is that Council representation should be Regional, not country and that each Region should select its representative State to sit – five years before turnover to another, and independent of Big Five control. And the selected country would speak for, on behalf of the whole – the Region itself. This would seem to require within-region consultation before major decisions – and why not? Consultation might prevent the errors of haste – as in the Council’s approval three days after 9/11 to endorse invading Afghanistan.
Thus you can visualise for Central and Latin America, Costa Rica might be selected – small with no military power – but when small Costa Rica speaks on the Security Council – the world would know that Latin America and the Caribbean is speaking.–Now would have clout. That would mean something. That would be the voice of the South.
Or closer to home, lets consider North America – Canada, United States and Mexico. One permanent seat – rotating membership. Do you think that Canada could represent the US and Mexico – why not? We would be ahead, unless of course Canada now has plans to take over the world! Might not be a comfortable seat for Canada, but it would force DC to talk to Ottawa before any hyperventilation.
The same model would work for Sub-Sahara Africa; North Africa and the Middle East; South East Asia and Australia/NZ; South Asia and so on. Europe – the EU -now with two Old Boys would drop to one rotating permanent seat. With this globally representative system, with the loss or at least reduction of Nuclear Powers and the inclusion of the majority – the countries of the South – I believe we would see different decisions. Do you think South Asia and North Africa and Middle East permanent seats would have endorsed the invasion of Afghanistan? or the destruction of Iraq. I do not think so! With this Reform, do you agree that pressure to disarm and destroy Nuclear Weapons might be greater? Do you agree that pressure to address climate change, rising waters, would also be greater? With poverty represented around the table would you not hope that the rights of the poor and poorest would be properly addressed for the first time. Do you think that Food, Food Security, Human security would be better considered and solutions found? Do you think that influence over the World Bank, IMF would not be more people-friendly? More developmental and less punitive?
The possibilities for enhanced decision making are endless. There would be new ownership of the United Nations, and hope and perhaps a new beginning. Less self-serving control, less presence of the military powerful and less corruption of international law and the UN Charter?
I know, you think I am some crazy aging optimist! Am I sincerely hopeful? Yes, because we have seen a change recently accepting the ascent of the G-20 format in place of the neo-Colonialist G-8. That means the South has been acknowledged properly for the first time. To see Argentina, Brazil, Nigeria and South Africa, India and Indonesia and others represented – all formerly colonial subjects – that is something revolutionary.
Now some of you on the progressive side are unhappy because the G-20 is the rich and powerful Big Boys Club—the G-8 all over again… just a bigger and wider elite. Yes… it does have the rich countries of the South on board instead of a cross-section. But I reckon the additions to the G-8 bring in more than 4 billion human beings. Now that is positive change!
My interest is to use the G-20 breakthrough for the purposes of UN Security Council reform. And why would the Five Old Boys accept this kind of dilution of power in the UN Security Council? Because it is their interest to do so. They are beginning to recognize power in the South, and they know the UN is becoming irrelevant, and to sustain the Security Council – the same South must be seated—with or without a veto. Maybe the veto system will have to be given up or abandoned as the EU has done with its supermajorities replacing unanimity, or maybe a co-veto requiring two or more vetos to be effective. But in the long run it will be unsustainable to keep the changing balance of power out of the calculus. With new seating in the Council, I believe double standards as of now will be much less likely. I see the provisions of the Charter and international law being respected. Because second class countries, and second class peoples would be no more. There would be full representation on matters of Peace and Security – for the first time ever!
The little countries that the Big Boys like to bully, even invade and to sell the rubbish of weapons… will now be around the table. That may constrain the arms dealers, the empire builders and those who feel able to steal the sovereign rights and natural resources of those not militarized. That is good stuff.
But again, let me ask why would the five Veto Powers agree to reform? Because they understand that Geo-political power has already moved away from the Council to the G-8. Now they have seen the G-20 enhance that geo-political power and further diminish the role of the Council. They fear that critical global initiatives in the coming years will not come from the UN but from the G-20 where the world is better represented – both geographically and in terms of North/South balance. Meantime, the Council is becoming largely reactive – dealing with individual country issues rather than global concerns which are intimately linked to Peace and Security. Their very mandate is in danger! Fearing redundancy and irrelevance, old Europe has become the new EU which has grown into the largest economic block on earth. More important, despite the dangers of NATO, Europe with a history of war has become a Europe at peace—a momentous change and a model for hope despite its egregious flaws. Meantime, the SC has been stagnant and is in danger of being set aside unless it becomes representative, and dare I suggest it: democratic – no more veto power – but a new sense of responsibility, supported by the goals but within the constraints of the Charter and international law. No more double standards of approach.
To complete this revolution we would need to have real people represented more in the UN dialogue and halls of consideration, and participation. That is where Professor Sartorius’ Committee’s great proposal for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly comes into play. Full NGO and civil society representation must be integrated with a permanent Parliamentary Assembly in the United Nations. We would need to see greater respect for international law, human rights, rights of the child amongst other legal provisions.
For war crimes of the kind we have seen in recent years – I refer to the invasions of Afghanistan, Iraq and Gaza. And the internal crimes being committed in Sudan and the Congo – the UN needs to make the ICC work. Prosecution of domestic leadership war crimes, crimes against humanity should be pursued by domestic laws and courts. However, failing that the machinery of the International Criminal Court must be used. If the ICC had teeth, dictators or democrats, leaders must understand and accept that they must govern within the provisions of domestic and international law. Until the ICC functions properly, leadership will feel above the law and that is unacceptable.
I know I am pushing my luck and testing your patience, and I know that to many in this room my views are shocking and seemingly outrageous and radical beyond reason. In good conscience, however, I must utilize this opportunity to bring them to your attention, with the faith that some good will come of them. Thank you gentlemen.
Chairman PALL. Thank you Mr. Moynihan. Though I disagree with you I thank you for your candor. Now I will call for a vote on the motion to approve HR 247 and report it out of this Subcommittee for further consideration by the full Committee on Foreign Affairs and the full House. The clerk will collect the ballots and certify the count…………………………Mr. Fortescu?
Mr. FORTESCU: The vote is three votes in favor and five votes against.
Chairman PALL. The proposed Resolution is defeated. The clerk will enter a notice into the record that this Subcommittee has disapproved the Resolution and has acted to prevent any further action in this body for the remainder of the term. Hearing adjourned.
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Panel in Washington D.C. debates Global Parliament
During its annual meeting March 19-21 in Washington D.C., Citizens for Global Solutions (CGS) presented a plenary session to discuss the topic, “Is the World Ready for a Parliamentary Assembly?” organized by CGS’s think tank, the World Federalist Institute. The panel consisted of four speakers: Faye Leone, Program Officer for International Democratic Governance at the World Federalist Movement; Jeffrey Laurenti, Senior Fellow and Director of Foreign Policy Programs at the Century Foundation; Andrew Strauss, Professor of International Law at Widener University’s School of Law; and Fernando Iglesias, Member of Parliament, Argentinian Law Chamber. The moderator for the session was Joseph Schwartzberg, Professor Emeritus in Geography at the University of Minnesota.
Ms. Leone gave a brief history of the movement to create a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) and pointed out the key tension between the size of a parliamentary assembly and the size of the constituencies represented. Then, Mr. Laurenti expressed his skepticism about a global UNPA being successful. His key objection was that if more than half of the world operates under non-democratic regimes, what authority would a UNPA possess and why should serious policy makers even participate?
Dr. Strauss stated that the international status quo does not represent people and therefore lacks the authority to deal effectively with global threats like nuclear annihilation. Acknowledging Laurenti’s point that initially a UNPA would lack decision-making power, Strauss argued that by representing citizens it would acquire more authority which would ultimately lead to political power. Pursuing the same logic, Mr. Iglesias used the Spanish word “parlamento” which is derived from the Latin root “to speak,” to emphasize that parliament is a place where discussion occurs, even if action cannot immediately follow. He then recited several cases in history when social change seemed impossible, such as the eradication of slavery, but eventually was achieved through public debate and political pressure.
“Global Action to Prevent War” joins Campaign for UN Parliamentary Assembly
The International Steering Committee of “Global Action to Prevent War” (GAPW) has voted to endorse the proposal for a UN Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) and to join the international Campaign. GAPW is a global coalition of more than 20 non-governmental organizations and research institutes which have united their efforts to develop a program for the sustained, integrated, worldwide application of government resources and knowledge to stop war, genocide and internal armed conflict. “As the UN is playing an important role in war prevention, it will be essential to take steps to assure the impartiality of decision-making in this organization on matters of war and peace. One important step to make the UN more democratic and responsive is the creation of a Parliamentary Assembly. This is why we support the Campaign for a UNPA”, says GAPW Coordinator Waverly de Bruijn.
 For a copy of this insightful article see: http://www.hawaii.edu/aplpj/articles/APLPJ_01.1_sheppard
 See also: Appendix II, of this book, Spiritus Mundi, for a the full text of this document and a complete discussion of the concept of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly.
C Copyright Robert Sheppard 2011 All Rights Reserved