1. Introduction and abstract
The League of Nations was founded in 1919 in the wake of World War I with the goal of preserving global peace and security, limiting the spread of armaments, and resolving conflicts through negotiations and international arbitration. Following World War II and the failure of the League of Nations to achieve its goals, the United Nations was created in 1945.
The creation of the UN was undoubtedly one of the most far-sighted, civilized, creative, and enlightened initiatives in human history. It was and remains one of the most powerful, momentous, and influential organizations in the lives of states, peoples, and individuals. This colossal international organization was conceived as working to regulate international relations, maintain and protect the rights of peoples, and spare innocents and civilians the blight of war and armed conflict by entrenching freedom, democracy, and the equality of nations, as peoples and individuals, men and women alike, regardless of race, color, or religion. It also sought to firmly establish instruments for non-interference in the internal affairs of others, give peoples the right of self-determination and spur them to emancipation and independence, support human life and social welfare, and promote the rule of law, justice, and respect for obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law.
The idea of creating a new, ideal international administration may be currently unimaginable, but this will doubtlessly be the goal of coming generations. Against the failure of the first global experiment (the League of Nations), the second experiment (the UN) perhaps seems more mature, experienced, and entrenched than its predecessor, despite the clear flaws and dysfunction in many of its mechanisms of operation, particularly the clear dominance of the Security Council and its permanent members over UN proceedings and decisions and over the policies of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The UN granted permanent members of the Security Council functions and absolute authorities over its other members in Articles 24 and 25 of Chapter V of the UN Charter. It is perhaps clear to all now that the UN Charter lacks any clear method by which to hold the Security Council accountable for mistakes.
In addition, the unseen poles of the financial and banking system have benefited from spread of war, and the government and individual debt has grown. Indeed, the budgets of most states have been overburdened due to military spending and fiscal problems resulting from the greed of bankers and the dominance and control of the financial system. For the first time in human history, we have an amorphous, shapeless financial system that seems like a phantom. This runs counter to human values, common sense, and the values of ethical action. We now see atrocious images arising from extreme levels of debt, both among countries and individuals, as well as the high levels of poverty, unemployment, migration from south to north, the collapse of the social and moral system, the spread of political and financial corruption, environmental changes, and an unprecedented increase in the planet’s temperature. (The opaque nature of the financial system is evidenced by the fact that most countries, though they are not all indebted, do not know and cannot clearly identify their creditors.)
The monetary system suffers from the same centralized control as the political system. The failure of the IMF and the World Bank to manage the monetary and financial aspects of the world is clearly demonstrated, especially in their failure to achieve economic prosperity and a dignified life for countries and individuals. Numerous countries around the world are burdened by heavy debt and debt service, even to the point of bankruptcy, as a result of heeding the counsel and prescriptions of the IMF and its inequitable conditions. The world, especially poor and developing states, are led by a band of anonymous bankers who care nothing for the lives of peoples and individuals, their long suffering, or environmental and climate change, absent any authority or oversight. “Practically speaking, the recommendations of the IMF and its authorities have annulled democratic practices in most countries’ parliaments, for most financial and economic bills are simply the translation and application of IMF recommendations. Parliaments vote for IMF resolutions and recommendations under threat of state bankruptcy.”
In addition to the above, the UN Charter contains no provisions for the prevalent financial system (the IMF Articles of Agreement preceded the UN, and the relationship between the UN and the IMF is unclear), although IMF policies have caused the biggest problems faced by humanity, the environment, and the climate on the planet.
Seventy years after the UN was founded, it is therefore necessary, indeed incumbent, to introduce some changes and reforms to the structure, goals, and instruments of this important, venerable organization. These reforms and amendments must promote the financial and political independence of the UN and extend to it the capacities and prerogatives needed to play its role in influencing all member states without exception, discrimination, or bias, regardless of the financial, political, and military power of member states. The goal is to enforce UN resolutions for all member states through a clear, fair, honest, and impartial mechanism. In addition, a review and assessment of UN accomplishments and performance over the preceding period must be conducted, as well as a review of the UN Charter and the IMF Articles of Agreement, to enable the organization to function positively and effectively, meet new challenges in the spread of global peace, and develop its work in economic, financial, environmental, social, cultural, and human arenas.
Despite this bleak picture, there must be a third “white revolution” [Translator’s note: a radical reform] in order to create a new world that looks toward a fairer, more equal, and more secure and peaceful future. This should build on the strengths of the UN as an imposing international edifice, benefiting from the cumulative experience of its various agencies, arms, divisions, and branches and drawing on this 70-year human legacy.
1.2 Summary of amendments and reforms
This study was based on two options: one focusing on the establishment of a new international organization and another on the reform of the existing UN. After thoroughly assessing both options, especially as concerns the impact of establishing and joining a new organization and the conflict with the existing organization, the two options were integrated to produce this study. Here it must be noted that the future design of the UN must be centered around the following plan of reforms and amendments:
1- Abolition or restriction of the right of veto.
2- The requirement of the approval of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for all non-procedural resolutions related to war, peace, and economic blockades.
3- An increase in the number of permanent members of the Security Council.
4- The need to provide for a standing international force to maintain global peace and execute decisions of the ICJ.
5- Establishment of a UN women’s parliament.
6- Reform of the IMF.
Title: Global Governance
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