United Nations Forum for the Transition

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Consensus Model (UN Reform 2007)


Brief an die ständigen Vertreter der Staaten der Afrikanischen Union (AU). November 2005 (per Fax). Please click here.

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Movement for UN Reform 2007

Centenary of the Second Hague Peace Conference

»To serve the Peace of the World «

 

 

PRIORITIES FOR UN REFORM:  

1.   PERMANENT PEOPLE’S ASSEMBLY

2.   PERMANENT SEAT FOR ‘GLOBAL SOUTH’

 

Since a consensus to reform the world body has not been reached, for the time being it will do to initially give just one permanent seat to one prominent member of the 'Global South', which is not represented at all so far. This country could be India, which might also be able and willing to push hard for nuclear and general disarmament under effective international control.

Alongside, an advisory ‘People’s Assembly’ should be established as a subsidiary organ under Article 22 of the UN Charter. This would ensure that the UN will be democratic and able to directly relate to the peoples of the world. By involving civil society and NGOs, giving them an institutional basis and an agenda, governments will obtain the necessary backing required to “establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and … social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom” can be promoted. Furthermore, with the help of NGOs and civil society, properly instated as a ‘People’s Assembly’ besides the UN General Assembly, it might be possible, again in the words of the UN Charter’s Preamble, to “ensure … that armed force shall not be used, save in the common interest, and … international machinery for the promotion of the economic and social advancement of all peoples” can be successfully employed. Some interesting thoughts and proposals by well-known scholars may be accessed via (Reform Series Publication)

More comprehensive UN reforms could be scheduled for a second stage in the reform process, say five years from now, when the resolution of some of those issues vital for preserving world peace, like genuine disarmament initiatives and the pacific settlement of disputes, as well as the solution to some of the pressing economic, social and environmental issues have been brought well under way.

Since a large number of countries including China and Russia seem to favor India, initially giving India a permanent UN Security Council seat might also be a way toward finding common ground between Japan and China. A great number of benefits could be listed that would ensue if such a measure were adopted, requiring little change in the UN Charter text.

In addition, countries like the Republic of Korea or the Federal Republic of Germany might consider 'seconding' Article 9 of the 1947 Japanese Constitution, which is in effect a 'motion' on the part of the Japanese to abolish war as an institution. I keenly feel we should revive interest in the McCloy-Zorin Accords, supported by Kennedy and Khrushchev, and unanimously adopted by the UNGA in 1961! Ideally, the European Union would take the initiative in supporting and implementing the far-reaching plans which the McCloy-Zorin Accords envisaged.

Concerning Article 9 I have the following story:

The Principle of Sovereign Equality (in the UN Charter) is like a house, in which all the windows must be closed at all times, so as not to let in the winds of change. But once you start opening windows, change becomes inevitable. The Japanese Article 9 is like a single window opened. By itself it does not bring about any change. If a second window were opened, just beside the first one, you will get a little draft. This is what would happen if a close neighbor like the Republic of Korea, for example, were to adopt the position of Article 9. If a window is opened at the opposite end of the house (say in Europe), you will get a great draft. The result will be that soon the winds of change are moving everywhere.