Should We Change The UN Before It Allows World War Three?
The first point to consider with respect to this question is why the UN has been notoriously unable to stop war, to protect human rights, or to prevent serious environmental decline on the Earth during the 75 years of its existence. It is not because of a lack of effort or concern. So much is clear. The failure lies in the fact that the United Nations are not truly “united.” They never have been and, in principle, cannot be united under the UN system as defined by the UN Charter.
The second point to consider is why the many people who have been trying to reform the UN system since 1945 have failed. Indeed, there were already many thoughtful persons in 1945 who saw this system as entirely inadequate for addressing the world’s needs and entirely inadequate for stopping the “war-system” that comprises the collection of militarized, sovereign nation-states. The UN system was designed to perpetuate and protect itself, to preserve a world dominated by the five permanent members of the Security Council. The Charter has no provisions for becoming an evolving document keeping up with our evolving human condition.
The third point to consider is the wisdom of Albert Einstein and many other insightful persons declaring that you cannot solve a fundamental problem on the same level of thought that created the problem in the first place. You must move to a higher level of vision, organization, or comprehension in which the problem vanishes because its roots at the lower level have been transcended. Hence, eliminating the veto of the five permanent members of the security council, or creating a second, parliamentary assembly, or developing weighted general assembly voting schemes will not solve the problem. The system that resulted in World War I and World War II remains in place. Reorganizing the deck chairs on the Titanic will not prevent the Titanic from disaster.
Fourth, clearly the root problem of the international war-system, of the endless violation of human rights in countries around the world, and of the inability of the nations of earth to unite in the face of climate destruction, is the principle of the so-called “sovereignty” of nearly 200 individual territories comprising the surface of the Earth. Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, the Indian Vedas declare: “the world is one family.” One family is by definition united. Dividing the Earth’s surface into some nearly 200 mostly militarized sovereign entities is by definition fragmented, fractured, inherently a war and competition system, unable to deal in a united way with our lethal global problems.
The UN system operates on the level of sovereign territorial nation-states. It does not and cannot prevent militarization, not even the existence and proliferation of nuclear weapons. To prevent World War III, we must move to the level of humanity, the level of the whole, which entails the rightful sovereignty of the people of Earth under the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. Nations retain their identity and boundaries, becoming political and administrative units within global democratic government. All nations as well as people around the planet send representatives to the World Parliament. A peace system, human rights system, and sustainability system begins for the Earth, thereby preventing World War III and solving, in an integrated way, all global problems that transcend national borders.
The United Nations has many worthwhile agencies, a vast infrastructure around the world, and many concerned world citizens staffing its widespread activities. All of this needs to be preserved and empowered by being integrated into the governing bodies provided by the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. We will only prevent World War III and solve our other planetary crises if we replace the UN Charter as the so-called “governance” document for our planet. We rise to a higher level of integration in which the problems created at the lower level (such as an impending World War III) are solved by the higher level of vision and organization itself.
The UN Charter was written by the victors in World War II who never intended to change the world system that caused that war in the first place. It was written before the Earth understood the population explosion. Before the Earth was aware of the climate crisis. Even before WMDs had spread around the world. It could not possibly address problems that it could not then anticipate. Only a truly united world, politically and economically, can address these lethal problems that transcend the system of militarized sovereign states.
The Earth Constitution is designed to address all these global problems. It institutionalizes the higher (planetary) level of organization that is absolutely necessary for the survival and flourishing for future generations. It is from this planetary level, and from this level alone, that World War III can be prevented, that human rights can be protected worldwide, and our planetary environment restored. The most practical and effective action we can take is to ratify the Constitution for the Federation of Earth. www.earthconstitution.world