Participants: James T. Ranney, Dr. Terence P. Amerasingh, Lord Reinhart, Dr. Glen Martin, Eugenia Almand, Fernando Ortiz Monasterio,
Jose Luis Gutierrez Lozano, Luan Perez Quijada, Carolina Latorre, Yellow Horn, Leslaw Michnowski,
Doug Everingham, Peter Bentley, Rob Wheeler
James T. Ranney
Global Constitution Forum, Inc.
1. GLOBAL CONSTITUTION FORUMSee James T. Ranney file for Papers and participation in several issues.
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Dr. Terence P. Amerasinghe
President, Institute on World Problems
President, World Constitution & Parliament Association
Bar-at-Law and Member of Grey’s Inn
and executive member of a large number of other world class organizations (Sri Lanka)
See Dr. Terence P. Amerasinghe file for Papers and participation in several issues.
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Dr. Reinhart Ruge
World Constitution & Parliament Association
Vice-President for Government Affairs
Institute on World Problems (Mexico)
See Lord Reinhart file for Papers and participation in several issues.
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Dr. Glen Martin
Professor Philosophy and Religious Studies, Radford University
President, International Philosophers for Peace... (IPPNO)
Chair of the Peace Education Department at Radford University, Virginia
Vice-President and Treasurer for Academic Affairs
Institute on World Problems
Secretary General and Treasurer
World Constitution & Parliament Association (US)
See Dr. Glen Martin file for Papers and participation in several issues.
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Executive Director, Institute on World Problems
Secretary, Provisional World Parliament
Deputy Secretary General, World Constitution & Parliament Association (US)
Web administrator for the Institute on World Problems
See Eugenia Almand file for Papers and participation in several issues.
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Fernando Ortiz Monasterio
See Fernando Ortiz Monasterio file for Papers and participation in several issues.
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Jose Luis Gutierrez Lozano
Fundacioy Ahora A.C.
Member of the World Social Forum (WSF)
See Jose Luis Gutierrez Lozano file for Papers and participation in several issues.
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Luan Perez Quijada
UAMI - Iztapalaper M.D.F.
See Luan Perez Quijada file for Papers and participation in several issues.
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Fondo Capitalizacion Solidaria SCL
See Carolina Latorr file for Papers and participation in several issues.
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Native American Risk and Resiliency
Charles Sturt University Australia
Sessional Lecturer, Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary
web site: www.mosquitopoint.com
See Yellow Horn file for Papers and participation in several issues.
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Member of the Committee of Prognosis “Poland 2000 Plus”
by the Presidium of the Polish Academy of Sciences, and the Polish Association for the Club of Rome
Chairman of Sustainable Development Creators'Club
The Polish Federation for Life
See Leslaw Michnowski file for Papers and participation in several issues.
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See Doug Everingham file for Papers and participation in several issues.
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Director, Environmental Protection - IAEW
Mt. Warning Bed & Breakfast Retreat "Maya"
Northern NSW Ecotourism Association (NNETA), and
Wildlife Tourism Australia (WTA)
See Peter Bentley file for Papers and participation in several issues.
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Coordinator, Coalition for a World Parliament and Global Democracy
What issue(s)? Creating a Participatory Model of Global Governance and including a much more active role for organized civil society
Means of establishing the World Parliament and of gaining mass support
Scaling back the discussions to a manageable level of content until hundreds of thousands or millions of people begin to support the initiative
See Rob Wheeler file for Papers and participation in several issues.
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
Global Dialogue 2005
Letter sent by Germain Dufour to the Honourable Prime Minister of Canada, Paul Martin.
Dear Honourable Prime Minister of Canada, Paul Martin, and Canadians,
This is a proposal that part of our sovereignty, our nation power, should be made available to be passed on to a sovereign body of a global nature, this body being the Earth Government. Canada has the potential to be at the forefront of a global initiative to create the true ideal of a global sovereign made of, and working for, all nations on the planet.
If Canada as a nation was to take such a stance, it would in fact establish our maturity amongst other nations. We would be taking a step to ensure a greater global unity and hence a greater global freedom through the protection of nations and their populations' rights by Earth Government. On reaching maturity, we as a nation should be willing to make a pledge to become a Global Community nation. All of this is to achieve a greater order and freedom defined through global law.
This would be a step forward to forming a Global Community of nations, with a global sovereignty. The simple principle on which this should work is that we as a nation are sovereign over our action unless we cause harm to another nation.
In essence, the only freedom a nation has to relinquish to Earth Government is its freedom to harm another nation. This of course would require that a global constitution be defined for Earth Government. It must define the extent to which that Earth Government may interfere with the affairs of individual nations under particular circumstances that fit within the above bounds.
Taking this notion forward to the concept of forming a society of nations, it is clear that humanity has worked out a lot of the principles behind the formation of social groups. To look at this from a global perspective there is a need to:
a) allow nations to truly express and maintain their individuality,
At present there is no global body such as Earth Government. We have a global bureaucracy - the United Nations (U.N.). However this body has no means of enforcing the rights of an individual nation. An individual nation would need to relinquish some small part of its autonomy to belong to a more central global body defined by a global constitution that would uphold and protect its rights as an individual nation.
It may be thought that the U.N. is a governmental structure – but in reality it does not have power. The position it plays out is more of a bureaucratic nature. The UN was established to bring unity to nations. This has been of great benefit to humanity. However, in the current world situation, its structure and role are insufficient and inadequate. We are proposing here a replacement global entity to the U.N.
The role of Earth Government should be to oversee member nations and act as the bestower of power to them. In the event of there being a difference or conflict, Earth Government should step in to unify and resolve issues. If at worst the situation does require the removal of power, it would have that ability.
What powers should Earth Government have over member nations? Take Canada as an example. What powers has the Governor General of Canada over the provinces, over any Canadian institutions or even over Canadians? Very little if any at all! The simple and clear power that the Governor General has is made more obvious during election time. Post an election a party taking office is given power to act initiated by the Governor General. On dissolving the 'parliament' for re-election the Governor General has right to assign power to the body it sees fit to govern as an interim government prior to election results. For most situations this is the operative process. However, another aspect of this power should be the ability to dissolve a government if it is found to be in breach of the constitution or if there is an unworkable deadlock in the legislative government. Those are the kind of limited powers Earth Government should have over member nations.
The office of the Governor General of Canada resembles better the powers of Earth Government more closely than does the US presidential role. The president has power over the bureaucracy whereas the Governor General does not. In simple terms, apart from the standard role of delegation of power to an incoming government and the return of that power prior to elections, the Governor General only has power to dissolve a government if there is seen to be unresolvable conflict in the chambers.
If we were to take these national aspects of our Canadian governing bodies and parallel them on the global scale, the body that would hold the global power would most probably be of global selection. The range of power would be limited to a range similar to our Governor General's powers. It should have no right to interfere in the United Nation's policy making but it would have the power to dissolve it if were found to be in breach of its constitution. Further, it could have the ability to dissolve the government of a nation for re-election if it were found to be in breach of a global constitution defining the bounds of harmless action between nations or within a nation.
Should the office of Earth Government be democratically elected or not?
An ideal presidential form of Earth Government should be objective and non-partisan. On electing any entity from within the nation it would inherently create a subjective form not an objective one, the latter being what we are striving to do. A global body would be less partisan than any individual or group within the nation itself. It is a necessity though, that the global constitution be defined to support a non-partisan and objective treatment of any situation that may arise.
The nations that have the greatest power at present would find it hardest to join Earth Government, as they would need to give over a part of that power. Hence it is best that less powerful nations such as ours, Canada, go about instigating it, to provide the path for others to join.
We, as Canadians, have the opportunity to implement the new definition of Earth Government such that Canada would move easily to this new global reality. Not only would we be supporting a global societal structure but Canada would also simplify the decision process we would have to go through.
We are in a position to show ourselves as a nation with heart and one with higher ideals. Often Canadians have proposed and promoted many higher ideals that have been implemented through the UN. We should continue in this role and provide initiative towards a higher principle being practically implemented.
Historically, the origins of the political philosophy which defined the structure of our Canadian system were brought about through the definition of the liberty of the individual within a society. The rights of the individual were that the sole end for which mankind are warranted, individually or collectively, in interfering with the liberty of action of any of their number, is self protection. The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant. The only part of the conduct of any one, for which he is amenable to society, is that which concerns others. Hence the use of the:
A point to be made here is that as a group of nations, at some point it is necessary for us to define a structure for this symbiotical relationship of nations beyond its current undefined status. We need to view the relation of the individual to the governing body. We can consider a symbiotical relationship as the microcosm. To view the same relationship on a macrocosmic level, we could see a nation as an individual and Earth Government as a governing body. Again, it is the symbiotical relationship between these two entities that is the key. The relationship between the national body and a global entity should inherently have the same qualities as that of the relationship of a person to the national body. The quality of the relationship is that of a symbiotical relationship.
The symbiotical relationship would be such that a member nation has absolute right of independence except when that it is in breach of the rights of another and causes harm to them. At that point only, does the Earth Government has right to exercise power to restrict the rights of the member nation.
In accepting this concept and that we have a group of nations, it would follow that at some point it is necessary to have a global sovereign entity that only has right to exercise power over a nation, if that nation is in breach of another nation's rights. The destruction of the global life-support systems is also included here as an action harmful to others.
A recommendation of the composition of Earth Council would be a small independent group appointed by Global Parliament. The resolution of matters brought to Earth Council would be by consensus, the method used is similar to that of the Sociocratic Method of Decision Making
As stated earlier, the role of Earth Government is to force a nation to re-election if it is found to be in breach of the rights of another nation or its own people. Earth Government should eventually be able to delegate the definition and application of its power to the triple structure of a basic democracy: Legislature, Judiciary and Executive.
Canada has an opportunity to be an example to other nations by:
1. expressing a willingness to relinquish a part of our national sovereignty to a global body,
Canada could do this by way of a National Referendum on the Global Constitution. Our own Canadian Constitution would have to be amended during this process and eventually the new document ratified during a meeting of all federal, provincial and territory leaders.
Looking simply at the framework – the global constitution - to be set up for Earth Government, its purpose would be to:
1) define the threshold upon which Earth Government may in any way impinge on the sovereignty of a nation:
The United Nations is a potential body to be involved in the formation of Earth Government. Because of the short falls of the United Nations in its current form we are putting forward several propositions for change within this body.
a) Independence of the representatives within the chambers of the United Nations. They must be independent of the governments of the nations they are representing.
Global Parliament, the Legislature
There is a need for a simple set of laws to be defined that the judiciary do not have the power or scope to define. At some point a legislative assembly would need to be defined under Earth Government to allow the courts to act on legislative rulings not just common law rulings.
The activity of Global Parliament is one of resolving problems by working out the definition of law. This is reflected in the party structure - Government versus opposition, where one is proponent of a concept, the other opponent.
It is necessary to define within the global constitution the simple right of Earth Government to act to protect freedom of nations. It is also necessary to create a global body whose role, empowered by Earth Government, would be to define the laws within the domain in which Earth Government constitutionally has the power to act.
A key point to be made, considering our current dilemmas, is that there is a need to have independently elected people in the roles of the legislature. The representatives within the two assemblies of the UN today are directed by the governments of their nations and simply play the role of diplomats. Hence they conform to the agenda spelt out by their national government.
To take an analogy of this as represented in our own Canadian federal system, it would reflect as provincial governments directing ambassadors as representatives in the national parliament. Would it be right to have representatives in the federal parliament defined by the provinces? It would certainly not be. Federal matters need to be dealt with on a federal level (i.e. trade and immigration issues etc.). Similarly global matters need to be dealt with independently on a global level.
In Canada all provinces are often in opposition to the federal government. That is part of our democratic process. In going through the election process, different issues are addressed on a federal level than those on provincial levels. Regardless of these differences the structure still works well and addresses the issues on the differing levels.
The simple implication of this is that there would be a need for an election process for positions in Global Parliament. They must involve the proposal of policies by candidates. Global Parliament with no party structure is one end of the spectrum, a two party preferred structure is another end, and there are many options in between. Having a Global Parliament with no party structure is a start, but evidence on national levels with too many parties involved is that it creates difficulty in moving proposed legislation through.
If a party structure were to be considered then some bounds would need to be defined: that a party should not be based on separative agendas involving religion, race, revenue or region. Ideally they should be based on principles such as progress, equality and freedom to inspire the legislators to act on principles that reflect higher ideals. They should also be based on the protection of the global life-support systems and the Scale of Human and Earth Rights.
It is the structure for the development of right social response. This is the mechanism for discerning right action relative to the law defined by Global Parliament.
The judiciary is not there to define a breach, but it is there to put to trial those who have been indicted as being in breach of laws originating from the power of Earth Government. As stated above, this power should eventually be further defined by Global Parliament, accepted by Earth Government, implemented by the bureaucracy and later referred to and refined by the Judiciary.
In order for the global judicial system to truly function, it must be recognised that it is structure to work on a global level. It is the nation first that is accountable for its actions, the individual/s involved are secondary. Without the recognition of Earth Government, the global Judiciary's purpose will not be so clear. The purpose of the global Judiciary should be to try the nation (or global corporation) for an alleged crime. On a ruling against the nation, it must be made to release for trial the individuals who instigated the harmful action. On release:
* the individuals involved should then be processed individually through the court, andHence we see that the relation of Earth Government's delegation of rights is via the judiciary to carry out justice. The governing body of the nation needs to be held accountable such that any breach can be tried. Only if it refuses to relinquish power and be tried, can armed force be used to restrict the power of that governing body. Further, if a ruling is made against it and access to the individuals involved is denied, similar force can be used.
Earth Council, the Executive
Earth Council is the active mechanism for the implementation of order defined by the law. It manifests the structures which implement the laws. It is that which ideally evolves and progresses to meet the needs and circumstances surrounding it.
As stated above, the UN in essence does play the international role of the executive side of a government overseeing a bureaucracy. It is striving to bring order via treaties. It would be wise to support the role it has played as a tool of the Executive. This can be developed over time to reflect more truly the mechanisms used on national levels once the scope of the global sovereign and key bodies are defined and put into place.
The UN does have two houses of representatives – the main chamber and the Security Council. However these representatives are the diplomats of member nations whose interests lie on a different level to that which it is working. These diplomats are largely expressing the ideals of those member nations on their own lower level. This does not encourage any unity on principles that are above the workings of these individual nations.
Hence it could be suggested that, as a precursor to the implementation of a legislature, the bureaucratic side of the UN should be clarified and defined as an independent body separate to these chambers and the form of the executive defined.
Looking at the executive side as the various departments that exist within the UN, another aspect to be considered for change is its peace keeping force. Currently there is a provision for the UN to work with peace keeping forces from contributing nations. Nations supplying armed personnel are reimbursed from contribution funding. The function of these forces is to act on a peace keeping agenda, minimally armed.
This has only partially achieved the desired outcome. A change to this is necessary. The definition of Earth Government without any provision for this would render it powerless. There must be some provision within the global constitution for empowering an element of the executive body to take this role.
The Executive not only dispenses the honors, but holds the sword of the Global Community. The legislature not only commands the financing, but prescribes the rules by which the duties and rights of every global citizen are to be regulated. The judiciary, on the contrary, has no influence over either the sword or the financing; no direction either of the strength or of the wealth of the society; and can take no active resolution whatever. It has judgments and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of its judgments.
A proposal for this would be to define that a nation joining the Global Community under Earth Government must contribute armed forces when called upon to provide them. This would not be considered as a gift or paid for by this body, but it would be mandatory. The nation must provide the contributing force if called upon to support an action taken by Earth Government.
Further, management of the armed forces should inherently be carried out by a strategic group defined for Earth Government in the global constitution, initiated and maintained by the executive. The size of the force a nation must contribute when called upon, should be defined. An option could be to use a formula involving GDP in ratio to population.
Such a body with access to national forces would ensure Earth Government has some power to act. It would be hoped that this should eventually become more of a global 'police force' of a similar nature to our federal police in Canada, the RCMP, rather than an army.
A key note to this is that the cost of arms to individual nations would inherently be reduced. In the long term it would be far less expensive for a nation to provide a smaller force, which when combined with other nations would be equally or more powerful, than the current excessive spending on arms by individual nations. Instead of spending billions of dollars on building a STAR WAR system of defense and more weapons of mass destruction, it would be much cheaper and more efficace to form Earth Government and work through it for the security of all Peoples.
To give examples of the kind of action to be made by Earth Government
A) In the case of Serbia versus Croatia involving Slobadan Milosovich, the crime was not so much the individual actions - massacres - as it was the war. It was the nation Serbia that was committing the crime of war, although individuals were eventually held accountable for certain actions. In this case it was at a later date that the US used influence to get Serbia to indict the criminals. Rather than an individual nation initiating this, it should have originated as a dissolution of the government (an 'arrest'), by the power of Earth Government, enacted by Earth Council. Through trial and a ruling by the Earth Court of Justice of the nation carrying out a crime, the nation would have been sentenced to relinquish that part of it that was the initiator of the crime, the individuals responsible. On release of these, the nation would have been considered as having been brought to justice. A new parliament would then be allowed to convene. When given over to the Earth Court of Justice, those involved would be held accountable through the legal processes being set up at present.
B) In the case of Zimbabwe, we would need to connect the action of Mugabe directly to the slaughter of the innocent. The case against that government should be simple – massacre has occurred in the nation – hence the power of the governing body should be withdrawn through dissolution of the government and an interim body put in place. This will allow investigation as to the source of the offending action and the key parties found to have instigated it then are able to be brought before the international courts. Again as outlined above force should be available to enact this if necessary.
C) Indonesia in its current state would be well below the threshold of dissolution of government by the global body. Some of its territorial policies have in the past, been deplorable, but by such a constitution they should not be interfered with because it has changed government and at present it is not physically harming members of its population en masse or invading other territories. However, in 1975 with the invasion of East Timor, the global body would have been well within its bounds to threaten dissolution of the government if the Indonesian troops were not withdrawn. The government of the time would have been held accountable.
D) In the case of Iraq a similar dissolution could have been carried out for its invasion of Kuwait as well as when clear evidence was found of the Iraqi government having bombed the Kurds and harmed the population between the Tigris and the Euphrates. It is a nation's harmful action, not its possession of arms that is operative.
E) Looking at Rwanda and Burma the perpetrators of the murder and oppression that have been occurring are not easily identified from outside these countries. These examples show the need to indict the government for action that has occurred rather than wait on longer processes needed to offer reasonable proof to allow the indictment of individuals.