As the United Nations (UN) complete 75 years, commemorating the many achievements of the multi-national body, the UN website said that “There is no other global organization with the legitimacy, convening power and normative impact of the UN.” While this is true, has the UN truly made use of that power to set things straight in the world?
The organization has received much flak in the past score of years for its Security Council´s failure to maintain global peace and security. These include their failure to stop the US and its coalition forces from entering Iraq, as well as Syria´s ongoing conflict. On top of that, the current pandemic has added fuel to fire, by revealing the UN´s inability to unite world leaders.
A supra-national organization, not representing interests of individual governments, but rather representing the shared mission of preserving humanity
“A supra-national organization, not representing interests of individual governments, but rather representing the shared mission of preserving humanity,” he says.
He points out that the Council´s intergovernmental architecture lies at the heart of the Council’s shortfalls, as it has become ´a bargaining forum for nation-states´ to negotiate selfish interests, deviating from the initial intention of addressing issues that impact humanity at large.
He also emphasizes the need to conceive an organization that reflects the reality that problems such as nuclear fallout, infectious disease, and greenhouse gasses know no political boundaries and affect all of humanity the same.
He proposes the building of a new Global Governance Grid that will remain above and independent of the Council, in the coming decades.
The Global Governance Grid
Waslekar breaks down the Grid’s structure into three bodies: a steering committee, a Parliament of Humanity, and a conflict resolution forum.
The steering committee is to be responsible for protection from calamitous warfare, pandemics, climate change-related disasters, and other imminent threats, without interference from daily international affairs.
The Parliament of Humanity will highlight those threats to humanity that the Steering Committee should take care of. It will also act as a bridge between the Committee and the global populace by informing both sides of decisions and feedback.
We may not have the luxury of surviving the next cataclysmic event
The conflict resolution forum will focus on disputes referred by the resolutions of the Parliament of Humanity or by countries that are affected. This will include affected third party countries and groups. The forum will be a platform to engage parties in exploring a common ground rather than behaving like the International Court of Justice.
For the Greater Good
Waslekar concludes that such a structure might seem far fetched and utopic in a world where currently nationalism seems to rule general sentiment. However, he refers to several examples in history when countries and world leaders ceded some sovereignty for the greater good.
While the proposal itself is refreshing and doable, one hopes that it knocks the doors that matter. The route that nations are taking so far seems to echo what Waslekar warns against, “we may not have the luxury of surviving the next cataclysmic event.”