Justice For Peace
United Nations 2.0
Aren’t You Tired of Pretending We Can Beat Hate (Terrorism) With Hate (War)?
Wouldn’t It Be Great To Spend Far Less & Be Far More Safe?
Helping People In Extreme Poverty & Fighting Injustice Can Bring Peace & Prosperity
(more details coming this week)
Worldwide, wars and conflicts cost about $14.3 trillion each year, 100 times more than rich countries spend helping poor countries develop.
Wars disable and kill people, pollute the environment, and damage systems for health care, food, water, and sanitation.
Isn’t it time to stop our incredibly wasteful, destructive wars, stop flooding our world with military weapons, and turn our beautiful, blue-green fragile world into a prosperous, peaceful paradise?
Extreme poverty and injustice are important causes of war and terrorism. The only effective way to end these problems is justice: a strong focus on human rights. Prevention is much better and far, far cheaper than trying to end conflicts and wars after they arise.
The UN has been far too focused on military intervention when bad situations explode, rather than on the simple human needs that, when ignored, lead to hopelessness, conflict, and violence.
We already have enough food to end hunger worldwide. We know how to provide basic healthcare worldwide, using trained paraprofessionals to lower costs. We have experts in economic development who know how to grow national economies with basic services, education, and jobs.
We already have the expertise, laws, treaties, & courts to end war crimes. We just have to make offenders face consequences for their war crimes.
We have experts who know how to help failed nations create peace agreements, transition governments with power sharing and national dialogue, and then new constitutions and democratic elections.
Yet we don’t fund the UN enough to successfully promote human rights, economic development, or help set up local governments in failed states. The US, Russia, and other countries have regularly fallen hundreds of millions of dollars behind in their promises to support the UN!
We tend to rebuild schools or clinics but not pay salaries to teachers or health workers. We don’t fund UN peace missions enough to reform governments and police systems or to develop economies. We need to reintegrate former soldiers and rebel fighters with education and skills training.
We hurry through the phases of building governments for failed nations, using powerful, competing local groups, instead of taking our time with outreach and developing input from broad local grassroots religious leaders, women, minorities, youth, private businesses, labor organizations, and civil societies.
Because of this hurried approach, new elections often result in powerful elites dominating the process, the suppression of votes, or renewed violence.
We should rebuild failed nations more carefully, relying more on citizens already working to improve local conditions, like teachers and those providing medical aid, for leadership positions.
The Fatal Flaw In The United Nations
The UN Security Council is dominated by the completely undemocratic veto power of the 5 permanent members (5P) of the Security Council: the US, Russia, China, England, & France.
This arrangement, a relic left over from the great powers after World War II, no longer reflects global political realities. The veto power of the 5P prevents the UN from solving problems.
The veto sometimes means the UN fails to act on war crimes and crimes against humanity. It makes the UN unfair and undermines the legitimacy of its authority. Nations with large economies like Germany, Japan, India, and Brazil and nations contributing money and troops want more say.
The 5P blocked action in the Middle East or on Southern Africa 237 times. Because of their veto power, the UN took no action when Russia invaded Czechoslovakia, Afghanistan, Georgia, and Ukraine and the US waged war in Vietnam.
Russia and China regularly veto resolutions against Iran and against Bashar al-Assad’s violence and use of chemical weapons in Syria. They blocked resolutions about Bosnia’s massacre and condemning political repression in Myanmar. Russia vetoed resolutions against its annexation of Crimea and against its shooting down of Korean air lines flight 007.
The US often uses its veto to prevent resolutions demanding a halt to Israel’s illegal settlements in Palestinian territory and criticizing Israel’s human rights violations (apartheid) against Palestinians. This just keeps tensions inflamed in the Middle East.
England and the US often vetoed resolutions about apartheid in South Africa before their racist government fell. The US also blocked resolutions against its invasions of Grenada and Panama and its illegal support of Contra rebels in Nicaragua.
Other nations rightfully complain that the P5 nations use double standards to act in their own interests, enforcing resolutions very inconsistently or even ignoring or violating international law.
For example, why did the UN intervene in Haiti but not in Rwanda, Angola, or Nigeria? Some believe it was simply because the US didn’t want a flood of Haitian refugees. The US and other Western governments also blocked action when Indonesia invaded East Timor and massacred civilians.
Even the threat of a veto often weakens or ends responses. The dominant 5P nations often force the withdrawal of a resolution or force changes in resolutions by threatening a veto, which is called the “pocket veto.”
Many have proposed ending the veto on matters of genocide, limiting its use to vital national security issues or international aggression, requiring two or more states to agree on a veto, or completely abolishing it.
The P5 often has informal meetings in total secrecy, with no minutes or reports. They may make decisions greatly affecting other countries, perhaps with sanctions or great floods of refugees, with no input from them at all.
This is very unjust, the exact opposite of a democratic process.
Nations become angry when their own peacekeeping forces must deploy based on Security Council decisions without any consultation or input from them. In fact, the US and Russia provide no troops at all to the UN.
But changing the rules is very difficult because in order to make a change, the P5 must agree and these nations don’t want to end their dominant power in the UN.
Migrate To A New United Nations 2.0 For Justice For Peace
So what can we do? Nations all over the world could leave the existing United Nations and migrate to a Justice For Peace United Nations 2.0, with far better funding.
Why not give all the power to those nations, organizations, and experts who are working to improve the world? We could structure this UN 2.0 to better fund justice and world peace.
This UN 2.0 could require rich nations to spend 1.5% of GDP on humanitarian foreign aid in order to vote. Sweden spent 1.4% of their gross national income on developmental aid in 2015 but dropped to .94% in 2016.
Norway, the United Arab Emirates, and Luxembourg all spent over 1% of their gross national income on aid in 2016. Countries like Turkey, Denmark, Germany, the United Kingdom, and Netherlands spent between .75% and .65% of their income on aid in 2016.
Other developed countries spent between .26% up to .53% of their income on aid in 2016, while the US only spent .18% of our income on aid.
The US spends more on aid than any other country because of our huge population. But we are actually stingy in ratio per person, compared to most developed countries.
Military leaders understand the great importance of aid in preventing wars and terrorism. Over 120 retired admirals and generals sent a letter to Congress in February 2017 arguing against cuts in foreign aid.
Even retired General Jim Mattis, President Trump’s Secretary of Defense said, “If you don’t fully fund the State Department, then I need to buy more ammunition.”
Requiring developed nations to spend 1.5% of their gross national incomes on humanitarian and developmental aid would transform the world and save us far, far more money by reducing the need for military spending.
The US could cut its military budget by 40% or $300 billion each year and still have as strong a military as we did under Presidents Eisenhower, G.H.W. Bush, Nixon, or Clinton.
We could then use that money here at home for free health care, free college and vocational skills training, more and better housing for the homeless and poor, free addiction treatment, etc.
The UN 2.0 could also require poor, failed nations to melt down military weapons in order to get far more humanitarian aid (clean water, infrastructure, food, basic health care & housing, education) and in order to vote in the UN.
Read our peace petition to see how very cheaply we could provide the world with clean water, basic health care, education, and food, doubling food production and ending all hunger.
We could do all this with less than 4 months of US military spending. We can provide education in a culturally sensitive way, reducing costs even further using satellites and the Internet.
Later on, as nations see the great financial and peace benefits of aid, we should be able to reduce military spending even more and constantly increase the target for humanitarian and developmental aid to 2%, 4%, 6%, 8%, and perhaps eventually 10% of gross national income.
For Justice & Peace, Give Power To Democratic Countries & Experts in Human Rights & Economic Development
We could give far more voting power to nations with functioning democracies, low corruption, free speech, religious freedom, free college, & universal health care and far less voting power to dictatorships, nations with high corruption, torture, repression of dissidents, & war crimes.
Expertise from established humanitarian agencies could rate these things in order to establish the voting structure.
We should greatly increase diplomacy and strengthen the UN Economic and Social Council and International Monetary Fund. The UN should work more closely with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), large established charities, nonprofit, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and world financial and trade organizations like the World Bank.
We already have the humanitarian and legal expertise to draw up very specific, concrete rules to apply about when to intervene in conflicts, when to sanction nations, and when to end an intervention or lift sanctions.
Clear, consistent rules would be far more effective. Countries would know how to avoid problems and exactly how to change their behavior to lift sanctions. Instead of bullying by powerful nations, clear, consistent, fair rules set in advance would bring far more respect to the UN and international law.
With better funding, this Justice For Peace UN 2.0 would far more effectively fight to end famine, war, human trafficking, injustice, and climate change, to improve global health, to eliminate nuclear, chemical, & biological weapons, and to protect the environment.
It would sanction torture, war crimes, human trafficking, & criminal money flows. Sanctions have worked to de-fund al-Qaeda, cripple murderous militias in Africa, slow nuclear proliferation, and protect innocent civilians from slaughter.
Because the average refugee is out of their country for 10 years, we must house, settle, and educate refugees. Otherwise, some of them will end up becoming terrorists.
The Justice For Peace UN 2.0 would encourage science-based drug & criminal laws & capture criminal money flows with more transparent banking regulations.
It would create model trade laws protecting workers, unions, & indigenous peoples as well as model laws requiring more balanced journalism showing both sides of controversies and using more scientists in media. It would encourage all nations to use religious, arts, music, media, and sports leaders to promote all these causes.