[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
FW: Charter 99
From: Mrogelj@aol.com [mailto:Mrogelj@aol.com]
Sent: Sunday, September 12, 1999 5:27 PM
Subject: Charter 99
Dear colleagues and friends,
This is a lengthy e-mail that is proposing an ambitious progressive vision
for Global Democracy and the strengthening of the UN system. I offer it to
you for consideration in the light of our discussions in New York. Please
contact the organisers if you want to get involved in promoting it in your
Charter 99 - Charter for Global Democracy
This is the start of a grassroots movement to put democratic reform of
international decisions at the top of the political agenda, particularly in
the G7 richest countries of the world, by September 2000, when the UN meets
for a special Assembly in New York. The reason for this is set out in the
Charter itself, which follows this letter.
This Charter can make a difference: In Britain in 1837, the Chartists
published a demand for democracy in Britain: they got 15 million signatures
and won six out of seven of their demands, without the benefit of the
internet. - It took them 90 years: with email we can do it in less. Charter
77 in Czechoslovakia helped build the movement which brought democracy to
Easter Europe and its leader, Vaclav Haval is now President of the Czech
Republic. Charter 88 put constitutional reform on the British political
agenda, and in ten years has made more progress than in the previous 100.
Now it is time for Charter 99 - a Charter for Global Democracy.
The Charter will be published simultaneously and independently in the
national press in Australia, Britain, possibly South Africa, Germany and
Finland, as well as anywhere else in the world someone joins us, on UN Day,
24 October. We aim to publish it with a list of as many supporters from all
over the world as possible, individuals and organisations.
Within less than a month there are Charter 99 supporters in 29 countries,
including Argentina, Australia, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Germany,
Ireland, Kenya, Lebanon, Nepal, Norway, Philippines, Sweden, Tanzania, UK,
USA, Ukraine, Uruguay, as well as Connecticut, Florida, Illinois,
Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, Virginia, Washington, Washington DC, -
aim is to get at least one supporter in every country of the world and every
US state. Can you help?
A few minutes of your time will make a real difference. Please communicate
this message to everyone you know who is concerned about the future of our
The time is ripe. GLOBE International, the organisation of Legislators for
the Environment is using the Charter as the basis of their policy. A growing
number of people have put their name to it (see below). It is supported by
the President of Parliamentarians for Global Action. People are sending
unsolicited donations. Groups in Australia, Brazil and the US are
spontaneously organising round it.
But for people to support it, they have to see it.
That's where you come in.
Global democracy is a huge goal, but you can help by doing something very
1) sign it yourself, by returning the form at the end of this message;
2) get famous names to sign up: we want people to notice, hey, this is
3) seek supporters in EVERY SINGLE COUNTRY of the world, and in every state
of the US
Publishing the Charter in the national press with a long list of names will
have a big impact (just as Charter 88 did over ten years ago).
And if you also know people who can help translate the whole Charter into
other languages, that would be great, or can contribute money or time to
promote the Charter in your area, or create a website, or publish it in
countries other than Britain, Australia and South Africa on 24 October, that
would be absolutely wonderful.
The Charter will be launched publically on 24 October, so we do not want
press coverage about it before then, although it would be great to see more
discussion of the issues addressed by the Charter.
Finally, just one word about the Charter itself: hundreds of people have
involved in drafting it. We have tried to touch on all major issues that
to be dealt with at a global level. We know that many other points could
been included, and that not everyone agrees with everything in the 12 points
for urgent action. The main thing about the Charter is not the particular
points, but the simple message that we want openness, accountability,
and democracy in international decision-making. We want to get support from
across the political spectrum - green, red, blue - to demand an end to the
exclusive, secretive system of global minority rule.
Please join us - sign and spread the word.
Thank you for your attention.
for Charter 99,
Westminster United Nations Association
Association of World Federalists
The Charter is attached. It may also be visited & signed at:
A Charter for Global Democracy
Our Call for International Accountability, justice,
sustainable development and democracy
In September 2000 the United Nations will hold a special Millennium Assembly
and Summit on the future of the world.
Dear Representatives to the Millennium Assembly,
This Charter is addressed to you and all the governments and peoples of the
world you represent. It is a demand for global democracy.
Throughout the century now coming to an end there have been well meaning and
sometimes eloquent calls for world government; calls which pointed to the
unfairness, inequality and injustice of the present distributions of wealth,
power and policy making - which mean that today one in five of us lives in
absolute poverty; calls which emphasized the dangers to peace and even to
human survival. If only we could work as one world, then we could solve the
world's problems together.
If only! Sometimes with a sigh, sometimes with contempt, these calls have
been dismissed as impractical.
But during the 1990s, demands for international government have taken on a
new energy and precision:
·The Commission on Global Governance made an unprecedented international
effort to draw up a framework for global politics.
· The Earth Summit in Rio, Agenda 21, The Earth Charter, the Real World
coalition, Earth Action's Call for a Safer World, Global Coalition World
Democracy 2010 and many other declarations are uniting people's efforts for
global democracy and sustainable development.
· The Hague Agenda for Peace represents a world-wide coalition committed to
replace the causes of war with a culture of peace.
· The campaign against land mines successfully changed international law,
although much remains to be done.
·International conferences at New York, Vienna, Cairo, Copenhagen, Beijing
and Istanbul have made world issues of gender equality, family and social
· Jubilee 2000 has co-ordinated a world-wide campaign to cancel the
debts of the world's poorest countries.
·The International Commission on Rights and Responsibilities made a
distinguished and expert attempt to codify Human Duties and
· After fifty years of campaigning, a statute to create an International
Criminal Court was adopted at Rome in 1998 to reinforce international
· The Human Development Report 1999 recommended an agenda for action
including a more coherent and more democratic architecture for global
governance in the 21st century.
In addition, a growing scholarly literature on all aspects of globalisation
has begun to explore how governments can regulate and democratise
There are now detailed, practical measures which set out an ambitious agenda
for democracy in international decision-making, now increasingly known as
'global governance'. We believe that there is a profound and important
reason for this historic shift.
It is that in many ways we now have world government.
It is not to be found at the United Nations. Rather, the UN has been
sidelined, while the real business of world government is done elsewhere.
Global policies are discussed and decided behind closed doors by exclusive
groups, such as the G8, OECD, the Bank of International Settlements, the
World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organisation
others. These agencies are reinforced by informal networks of high officials
and powerful alliances. Together they have created what can be seen as
dominant and exclusive institutions of world government. All too often they
are influenced by transnational corporations which pursue their
own world strategies.
These agencies of actual world government must be made accountable. If there
are to be global policies, let them be answerable to the peoples of the
We call on you, therefore, to start the new century by initiating the
process of democratic global governance following three fundamental
· openness and accountability
· environmental sustainability
· equality and justice.
The first aim is to make the already existing processes of world
administration and governance accountable. We want to know what decisions
are being taken and why. We want the decision takers to know they are
answerable to the public in every country which feels the breath of
international bodies. Then we want all decisions to be compatible with
criteria of environmental sustainability.
Finally, if most ambitiously, we want them to be compatible with the
principles of human rights, equality and justice, including social and
What we want from the Millennium Assembly and Member States is decisive
action to put these principles into practice. We do not think they will be
easy to achieve. We do not have all the answers. But we believe the
difficulties can and must be overcome. In our era everyone is linked through
our shared environment, trade and communications. We live together as
neighbours, and as neighbours we must respect the rights of all persons to
address common problems. A joint effort of learning and negotiation, of
and error, will be needed.
Many vital issues can best be tackled effectively at a global level, such as
the environment, biodiversity and climate change; international security and
disarmament; international trade, finance and labour rights; epidemics;
communications; and international crime.
The first question is where should we start? We believe that the answer has
to be at the United Nations. The inadequacy of the UN is well known. All
around we see the principles of the UN subverted, sidelined and suppressed.
Since the UN Charter was signed, more than 30 million people have been
in war, most of them unarmed civilians; millions more people have been
slaughtered in genocide and ethnic conflict; over 100 million people have
fled their homes due to conflict or persecution, with over 20 million
remaining as refugees today; permanent members of the Security Council have
armed belligerents and engaged in war; governments have invested more in
preparing for war than in strengthening peace; human rights have been
violated with little redress.
Nevertheless the United Nations as an institution can hardly be blamed for
the appalling behaviour of its member states. Without the UN, wars would
been even more frequent; they would have gone on longer; there would have
been a greater number of victims, and many more refugees living without
The UN is the only arena in which all countries sit side by side. For all
weakness, it retains an unmatched legitimacy in world affairs.
The UN's founding Charter mandates you to achieve international co-operation
in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural or
humanitarian character and to be a centre for harmonising the actions of
nations (Article 1).
We therefore call on you to create effective mechanisms to hold every
of actual world government to account. These include international economic
alliances, military alliances, and agencies for environmental, financial,
social, sporting, or other activity: All should have to answer regularly for
what they have done and intend to do, for their impact on the world
and for their adherence to the UN Charter and international law. We want
action to start the process now.
The creation of democratic global governance may be complicated. But the
need for it is simple and urgent. Global problems will only get worse if
international decision-making is left in the hands of the present
undemocratic, exclusive institutions. Therefore we will press for action and
to call on public support around the world.
World-wide campaigns have led to the end of apartheid in South Africa, to
Statute for an International Criminal Court, to the ban on land mines and
some debt-reduction for the world's poorest countries. The time has come to
make democratic reform of international affairs our priority, both as an end
in itself and as a means of solving many serious social and economic
Many reforms are needed. The following 12 points are a summary of the many
demands and proposals being made across the world for better international
As an urgent first step we call on you to set in motion a rigorous process
hold all agencies of global governance to account and democratise
international decision-making according to the principles set out in this
12 Areas for Urgent Action:
Strengthen democratic accountability and participation in international
1. Give the UN General Assembly powers to scrutinise the work of UN agencies
and other agencies of global governance; create an annual Forum of Civil
Society; open international institutions to increased participation by civil
society and elected representatives from member countries; bring the WTO
the UN system and strengthen co-operation between all international
under the UN system.
2. Create within the UN system an accountable, equitable and effective
mechanism to monitor, supervise and regulate transnational corporations and
financial institutions; and require transnational companies to adhere to an
international code of conduct covering agreed principles concerning human
rights, the environment and core labour standards.
3. Give UN institutions an additional and independent source of revenue such
as taxation of foreign exchange transactions, aircraft and shipping fuels,
arms sales and licensing use of the global commons.
Maintain international peace and security:
4. Reform the UN Security Council to open all decision-making to public
scrutiny; phase out the single country veto and permanent membership;
establish equitable representation from each region of the world; set up a
high level early warning system; and provide effective authority to mediate
and intervene in disputes at an early stage, within national boundaries
5. Establish a permanent, directly recruited UN Rapid Reaction Force to hold
the peace in a crisis, police gross violations of human rights and support
multilateral defense against aggression and genocide;
6. Make the UN register of arms mandatory; ratify and implement the Land
Ban Treaty; outlaw all weapons of mass destruction; initiate programmes to
control the arms trade, convert the arms industry to peaceful production and
cut military spending world wide; strengthen accountability to the UN of all
international military action; and reduce the size of national armies as
of a multilateral global security system.
Uphold fundamental human rights:
7. Strengthen world citizenship based on compliance with and respect for the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights and all international instruments on
Human Rights, including the six core treaties on economic, social and
cultural rights; civil and political rights; racial discrimination;
discrimination against women, children's rights, torture, and the
on genocide, refugees and labour standards.
Strengthen justice under international law:
8. Ratify the Statute of the International Criminal Court; accept compulsory
jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice, the International
Criminal Court and the UN Human Rights Committee; increase the Courts'
of enforcement; open the ICJ to individual petition and protect the judicial
independence of the ICC.
Promote social progress and better standards of life:
9. Establish a strong UN institution for Economic and Environmental security
to promote international prosperity, protect the global commons and secure
10. Establish an International Environmental Court to enforce
international treaties on the environment and protect the global commons.
11. Declare climate change to be an essential global security interest and
establish a high-level international urgent action team to assist the UN
Conference of the Parties on Climate Change to set a scientifically based
global ceiling on greenhouse gas emissions, to allocate national shares of
permissible emissions based on convergence to equal per capita rights, and
work with governments, companies, international agencies and NGOs to cut
emissions of greenhouse gases to a sustainable level.
12. Make poverty reduction a global priority: secure universal access to
safe drinking water, health care, housing, education, family planning,
gender equality, sustainable development and economic opportunities, and
strengthen the capacity of development agencies to eliminate malnutrition,
preventable diseases and absolute poverty through conservation and equitable
sharing of global resources. Cancel the unpayable debts of the poorest
nations and institute measures to prevent severe debt burdens from ever
building up again.
These are just some of the most important issues crying out for urgent
action by the world community. To make them happen, we need a determined
effort to hold all agencies of global governance to account and democratise
Using the Charter
The Charter aims to build public support and political will to create a
democratic and inclusive system of international decision-making by:
· setting out key principles and priorities for transforming global
· urging national parliaments, town councils, state and regional bodies,
trade unions, women's groups, political parties, churches, companies, other
organisations and individuals to debate these issues and develop the ideas
set out in the Charter;
· encouraging people to discuss, study, publicise and lobby round the
· getting individuals, organisations and representative bodies to sign
· presenting the Charter to the Millennium Assembly of the UN in
September 2000 and to member governments
We are inviting signatures from public figures and all countries of the
for a public launch on UN Day, 24 October, as an insert in the press in
Britain and Australia. We can provide artwork to anyone in other countries
planning a similar launch, but we do not want press coverage before that
date. We do want help in gathering supporters. We would like every country
the world represented when we publish the Charter.
Dr Hon. Douglas Nixon Everingham, Former federal minister
Brian Jenkins, StopMAI Coalition, Western Australia
Titus Alexander, author & educator
Rt Hon Lord Peter Archer of Sandwell, QC
Anthony Barnett, author and founding Director of Charter 88
Lord Beaumont of Whittley,
Simon Burall, Director, One World Trust
David Chaytor, MP
Barry Coates, Director, World Development Movement
Tony Colman MP, All Party UNA, GLOBE UK
Terry Davis, MP
Anthony Giddens, Director, LSE
Bernie Hamilton, President, Leo Kuper Foundation
Alexandra Jones, Westminster Foundation for Democracy
Barry Jones, MP
Lord Frank Judd, Commission for Global Governance,
Glenys Kinnock, MEP
Ken Livingstone, MP
Peter Luff, Director, Royal Commonwealth Society
Linda Malvern, author,
George Monbiot, writer and campaigner
Sir Shridrath Ramphal, Commission for Global Governance,
Anita Roddick, founder, Body Shop
Allan Rogers, MP, President, Parliamentarians for Global Action,
Jane Talyor, Director, Positive News
Alan Tuckett, Director, NIACE
Joan Walley MP
Bowen Wells, MP, Chair, International Development Select Committee
Ted Wheatley, UK-Association of World Federalists
Dr. Jane Bluestein, President, Instructional Support Services, Nebraska
Robert Reasoner, President, International Council for Self-Esteem,
Irv Stolberg, UNA-USA, Connecticut,
Association of World Federalists
Commission on Global Governance,
Global Commons Institute,
New Economics Foundation
Royal Commonwealth Society,
UK- All Party Group for World Government
Westminster United Nations Associations
World Development Movement
To add your support, please send the following to: firstname.lastname@example.org
To the Representatives to the Millennium Assembly,
I support the Charter for Global Democracy and we call on you to set in
motion a rigorous process to hold all agencies of global governance to
account and democratize international decision-making according to the
principles of accountability, equality, justice, sustainable development and
ORGANISATION (if any):
Please make cheques payable to the Account No. 61181602, Sort Code: 40-02-06
United Nations Association Westminster Branch,
Central Hall, Westminster
London SW1P 3AS
email: to email@example.com
This is the OPIRGfirstname.lastname@example.org list. Announcement only please.
To unsubscribe, send email to email@example.com, and put
"unsubscribe" in the body.