Do The Freakin Math

Liberals and conservatives alike frequently rely on limited evidence, personal experience, religious beliefs or gut emotions to determine solutions for complex problems. From immigration to global warming - taxes to terrorism - or health care to free trade - analytical study is rare. Science based policy making isn’t the way of Washington. And the consequences are catastrophic. Change is urgently needed. Just do the freakin’ math.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

5 steps for a more useful UN

Today from BEIJING (AP) — The United Nations' incoming secretary-general said Monday that he wants U.N. peacekeepers to be better trained and more respectful of human rights, amid pressure on the organization to address a series of sexual abuse allegations.  (Four steps are at the bottom)
Antonio Guterres, who takes over from Ban Ki-moon on Jan. 1, also said the U.N. needs to be more nimble and less bureaucratic.
He spoke after meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing. China is one of the U.N.'s largest financial backers, and Guterres said it could be an important peace broker in conflicts around the world.
Guterres told a news conference that he wants to make sure the different parts of the U.N. "work for the same purpose" without duplicating efforts. He said they also need to be subject to independent public evaluation.
The U.N.'s peacekeeping forces need to be better equipped and trained in order to avoid violating the rights of women and children, Guterres said. They also need to be able to better cooperate with regional organizations such as the African Union, he said.
The United Nations has been in the spotlight over allegations of child rape and other sexual abuses by its peacekeepers, particularly in Central African Republic and Congo.
Guterres, a former prime minister of Portugal and head of the U.N.'s refugee relief agency, said the world faces challenges from enduring conflicts, climate change, population growth and water scarcity that are "making more and more people suffer in different parts of the world."
"We see that economic progress and technological progress have not been able to reduce inequalities and inequality is becoming an important factor in instability in the world," he said.
Wang said the 193-member U.N. needs to be more efficient in its governance and better able to respond to emergencies.
China is the biggest contributor of U.N. peacekeepers among the five veto-wielding permanent members of the Security Council, having sent more than 30,000 on 29 separate missions.
President Xi Jinping said last year that China would also set up a permanent peacekeeping standby force of 8,000 troops to be deployed whenever necessary.
He also said China would provide $100 million in military assistance to the African Union over the next five years to support the establishment of an African standby peacekeeping force and to bolster the AU's ability to respond to crises.

1.  Make words matter.   the phrase “Peace Keeping” should be reserved for efforts after civilian mass murder has stopped.  What’s needed most now is a “Slaughter Prevention Rapid Deployment Force”. 
2.   Prevention saves lives and money.   If money really matters global investments in UN efforts focused on prevention would be the priority.   UN efforts to prevent conflicts, terrorism, genocide, pandemics, water scarcity and climate change would save the world hundreds of billions of dollars, make us safer and protect our freedoms.   A global tax on carbon emissions, arms sales, cross border financial transactions, and/or air travel could offer a reliable source for desperately needed funds to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.  And Sustainable Development Goal 16 would be the most important goal for ensuring a new democratic structure could be created to approve, collect and manage distribution of such a fundamental need for global crisis prevention efforts.  Governments and corporations can pay now via a global tax…or they can go further into debt crisis's by continuing their reactionary mode of resisting such a wise principle and paying endlessly for the multiple crisis’ now predictable given so many factors the UN body is unable to effectively respond to and nations are unprepared and unwilling to address. 

3.  Transform the UN.   If the UN was really important to the world it would be democratized and given the resources and the decision making capacity to prevent crisis.  Instead, governments debate solutions to crisis while they get worse, while hundreds of thousands of civilians are being murdered, millions dying of preventable hunger and disease, or tens of millions of people are displaced by war, climate disruption, genocide or corrupt failing state governments.
4.      National sovereignty can’t protect us from any of these global threats. And the US military responses can exacerbates some while helping address others they couldn’t prevent.   Only universal cooperation in protecting human rights instead of the rights of nations to do as they please can yield the most savings and US protection by prevention.
5. Human rights over state’s rights.  If the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights were enforced through just means, most threats would be prevented and those that couldn’t, would be that much easier to address.   This is the justice ‘we the people’ of the world want and while most governments are resisting.   We in wealthy democratic nations have the most to do if we want this to change.  With the evolution of technology empowering individuals more than nation states, the old idea of ‘peace through strength’ must be replaced with ‘security through justice’.   That was the original intention of the UN and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.   Our US Constitutional “Bill of Rights” has kept us from war between the states since it was altered to enforce the fundamental principle in our Declaration of Independence.  The universal idea that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights…to life, liberty…and justice for all.


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