Sunday, January 11, 2009

Assembly of Peoples

Instead of or in addition to a United Nations Assembly of nations, there could be an assembly directly elected by people.

Each person could self-identify with a group, and that group could be proportionately represented in an assembly.

This would give representation to people who are ethnic minorities, and thus largely left out of the selection process by many nation states. For example, the Kurds could have representation.

The Assembly of Peoples could have authority to appoint governing bodies, such as a Council of Elders. It might also make decisions such as approval of rules and guidelines for action by international military or international satyagraha teams.

Council of Elders

There could be a council of highly respected people as one layer in the peace enforcement governance process.

Examples might be Desmond Tutu, Aung San Suu Kyi, Jimmy Carter, Thich Nhat Hanh, and Nelson Mandela.

One possibility would Nobel Peace Prize winners. However, that would politicize the selection of future Peace Prize winners.

Another possibility is former United Nations Secretary Generals.

Perhaps this council could be the body that appoints the overall commanders of the peace enforcement brigades.

Perhaps this council of elders could be elected by a larger body which was in turn democratically elected by the people of the world. One possibility is an Assembly of Peoples.

How do we govern an international peacemaking force?

I think an international peacemaking force needs to be governed by institutions with at least the following qualities:

It needs multiple layers as checks and balances on each other.

It needs to have a small governing body with authority to make rapid decisions during a crisis.

The decision-making body needs to be appointed by a larger governing body or bodies.

The appointing and governing processes need to have a healthy infusion of democracy.

On the other hand, there needs to be elements in the process to avoid pitfalls of democracy, such as:
Demagoguery - political opportunists whipping up negative sentiments in populations to achieve political power.
Buying votes - wealthy elite and other special interests getting their way by buying advertising and giving away favors.
Tribalism - each ethnic group voting their own interests at the detriment of neighboring groups.

There should be layers of governance that consist of people with experience and respect for their diplomatic ability and sense of justice.

There needs to be both regional layers and world-wide layers as checks on power.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The United Nations is not an effective peacekeeping organization

The United Nations is not an effective peacekeeping organization.

The makeup of the Security Council gives too much power to the permanent members.

The Security Council has no authority to intervene when military dictatorships remove elected governments. There is no authority to protect governments from rebels. The majority of wars today are internal within countries, and the Security Council has no authority to stop these wars.

The United Nations has no military of its own. It must depend on national armed forces to supply troops.

How could the United Nations be restructured to overcome these problems?

This blog connects to the Peace Thinking website

This blog is a medium for people to comment on issues presented on the Peace Thinking website.

Specifically, this blog is for the page How Should the United Nations be Restructured?