Some times the New York Times does
the right thing. This morning the Editorial (December 1, 2009) condemned
the Swiss referendum vote to prohibit the construction of minarets on
Mosques throughout the country.
And on the Op. Ed. Page Bob
Herbert quoted Eisenhower,
“I hate war, as only a soldier who has
lived it can, as one who has seen its brutality, it futility, its
“and 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
And especially thank you Professor
Chossudovsky for this opportunity to speak in Montreal. And to
listen, and to learn from audience reaction and comments.
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
behavior and treatment for all... and not double standards as of now.
The New York Times Editorial of 21 November suggested that readers
should not be too critical of President Obama’s recent visit to China...
as he still trying to restore America’s moral authority!
My first thought was: Restore what moral
My second was: that the 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 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 restoration - let’s look at how the
UN is viewed today:
First - there is the UN of people’s unrealistic expectations - how we
want the UN to be, to act, to represent us caring people! - a UN to
bring good will, and wellbeing to people-kind everywhere.
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 neighbors, 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... as we
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
The Second perception 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. The five States that have corrupted the UN
Charter. And corrupted the work of the UN.
Applying double-standards, and disregard for
law - they have made the organization primarily serve their best
interests rather than serve its mandate.
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
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!
Perception number three: 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, Programs and organizations. This is the so-called UN System
that takes instructions from the member states - the share holders -
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 my personal experience in Iraq when I headed up the UN
Humanitarian Program - or via Member State boards, councils, assemblies,
I can argue this is proper - the stake holders have rights! What it does
however is remind us that despite the words of the Preamble to the
Charter... “We the peoples” - the UN is an organization of States, NOT
people. 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 (except for Canada of course!)...
but with the sensitivity only of self-interest, power, and ambition.
This-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 - 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!
And now we have President
- who wants to work with the United Nations and be a player rather than
to dominate and control.
Sounds good - we await the reality as he
expands the war in Afghanistan, keeps Bagram airbase prison full of the
tortured and uncharged, 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 now
militarily threatens Iran!
Not exactly the sort of new player we had
hoped for perhaps! But let’s keep our fingers crossed...
Let me add in the context of UN perception number three - that the
Programs, 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 - such as:
the unwillingness of the World Health
Organization 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
There is world movement afoot; the
OR the weak mandate and capacity provided for the UN Environmental
Program to anticipate, manage
world wide. We know about the disappointments of Kyoto, and now
Copenhagen looks 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 Copenhagen is to be
different from 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 allowed no role at all!
OR when the
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 share holders - not those in most need.
Or lack of attendance at the recent FAO meeting in Rome on “food” -
in a world where now over
one billion face starvation and
billions more face constant hunger - something that should shame us
all. It does shame us all.
From our OECD countries - the rich and the
richer - the only leader in attendance was - Mr Berlusconi, Prime
Minister of the host country!
The Pope made the best statement.
Where was the leadership of the
Where were the Big Five?
Is food shortage - not an issue of
humanity, of peace and security?
In an environment of less fresh
water, declining food production in the South, the dangers of
genetically altered seeds and new agro-imperialism - why were we
not represented at the highest levels?
Is it because we are busy looking
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, good intentions although limited budgets. They work
with NGOs and civil society all over the globe, particularly in the
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
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 Program 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
The politics of the Council makes a mockery
of the Charter.
How very good it was recently to see China refuse Obama’s request 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 Sec. of State Clinton 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
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.
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 - 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! Article 51 which allows for rightful defense to imminent
threat - 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 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?
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
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,
Since then, the UN Security Council 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.
Professor Chossudovsky and I met with an Al
Jazeera cameraman - Sami Al Haj - 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
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! And its continuation - as we meet here in warm and safe
Montreal - as winter arrives in Gaza crushing the children of Gaza.
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 strangled hold, the control that the Five Permanent
seats-with-veto-power - provide.
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.
As for Roosevelt, it now appears to many that he so wanted to join
Churchill in the war that the attack on Pearl Harbour was “facilitated”
in order to trigger American entry into the war in Europe.
Despite the reservations and finally the resignation of the Admiral of
the Pacific Fleet, US warships remained vulnerable out in the middle of
the Pacific. The Admiral begged Roosevelt to withdraw the fleet to
California. Intelligence was available on the impending attack.
Churchill celebrated when Pearl
Harbour was hit.
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 midwives of this questionable
The damage to the credibility of the
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? -
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!
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.
The Government examination that has recently started in London - while
better than nothing - has no authority.
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.
compensation to be paid, or reparations? ... nyet!
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. Capitalist greed for Iraqi
oil, and opportunity for war, the desire for strategic presence in the
Region - set that peaceful possibility aside real quickly. And like the
UN Gulf War of 1991, state terrorism again, atrocities committed and the
terror of military occupation and killing began, and continues.
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. 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 Guantanamo
Bay. The Prosecutor has little power. Otherwise he would be knocking on
10 Downing Street!
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 threw it. I have already - from the start tonight - 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 Srebrenica, 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
Meantime, I understand Rwanda has become
English speaking! Strangely the same outcome that war had in
Cambodia and Viet Nam!
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. 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. The Security Council is
being bulldozed yet again into acquiescence. 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 be made, as per a deterrent. 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
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. 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? ... 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
gives up its nuclear weapons. And demand 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
For a number of years I have been proposing at University and public
meetings reform of the SC. 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... 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
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
Thus you can visualize 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
Do you think that influence over the
World Bank, IMF would not be more people-friendly?
More developmental and less
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. And our potential
friend and player President Obama has recognized that the G-20 format
must stay in place. That means the South has been acknowledged properly
for the first time.
To see Argentina, Brazil, Nigeria and South
Africa, India and Indonesia and other represented - all formerly
colonial subjects - that is something revolutionary.
Now some of you are unhappy because the G-20 is the rich G-8 all over
again... just bigger. Yes... it does have the rich countries of the
South on board. 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 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 represented - both geographically and in terms of North/South
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
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. 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. Full NGO and civil society representation must be
integrated. 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.
The War Crimes Commissions and Tribunals in which Michel
Chossudovsky and I participate would be redundant if the double
standards protecting those in the US and UK were found to be
unacceptable and 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.
The Peoples Courts - the Tribunals of
Russell, Brussels, Dublin and Kuala Lumpur - are the only substitute we
have to show the criminology of leadership. 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, but in closing I
want to mention
Perdana - the Criminalization of War, and everything to do with
Without taking away the right of defense, which Gandhi and Perdana
respect - this philosophy calls for the achievement of peace through
promoting peace and not glorifying warfare.
by declaring that killing in war is
the same as in peace and deserves prosecution, including leaders
who take nations to war
by establishing that all commercial,
financial, industrial and scientific activities that support war
should be considered criminal
by fully accepting the principles of
the UN Charter for peaceful termination of disputes
by ensuring that public servants and
those in the medical, legal, scientific, and educational fields
promote peace and campaign against war
by demanding that the media oppose
war, its glorification and promote the ethos of non violence
by requiring all religious leaders
to condemn warfare and promote peaceful solutions
That is Perdana.
The reformed and restored Security Council must be bound by the same
philosophy. Any decision to use sanctions or other kinds of military
force compatible with the Charter should be firstly recognized as
failure to apply Articles 1 and 2.
Secondly, the decision must be forwarded by
the Security Council to the GA, and approved by two-thirds of the
General Assembly before implementation. Even the new expanded Council
would need the constraint of majority approval by a revitalized General
Assembly, well stocked with civil society representation.
If we can reform the Security Council as described above, there will be
progress and change. But if the UN member states cannot accept the
Perdana philosophy to promote peaceful coexistence, the UN is
doomed. If the UN is there to benefit only the few - it is not a valid
The United Nations must change quickly to
serve the best interests of all.