Media Type: News / Op - Ed
Author(s): Arnold Byron
Categories: Independent Publications
Do you think mankind will ever be able to solve the existential problems it faces? If you answered “yes”: What do you propose should be done to reach that goal? Should everyone run willynilly trying to make way with their own ideas and projects or should there be one entity to choose the best ideas and projects, then organize these ideas and projects, with the help of experts, to find solutions? Solving all of the existential problems will be a huge undertaking. Name the international organizations that you think could take on such a huge undertaking. Did you think of the United Nations? I hope you did because the United Nations will play an important role in finding the entity we are looking for.
Without question the United Nations is the most highly placed international organization. Do you think the United Nations has not been able to do as much as it should be doing to solve global warming and other existential problems? How busy is the United Nations? Does the United Nations have too many other issues to deal with to focus on the huge undertaking of solving global warming and all the other existential problems? What would you think about an idea of having two highly placed organizations? One is the United Nations whose mission is to help people gain favorable living standards and to make peace among nations. The second, which I have chosen to call United Nations Two, will have as its mission the huge undertaking of solving the existential problems?
United Nations Two will have equal standing with the current United Nations. A big difference is that United Nations Two will not have a security council veto. Its mission is narrower than the United Nations and all people on Earth must work together to solve these existential problems.
My goal is to suggest steps that leaders of the United Nations might follow as they set up an international authority that will be in charge of solving the existential problems. I have struggled with finding a name for this entity. Sometimes I call it ‘a special confederation of nations’, ‘or a special confederation with a global office’, or simply ‘a global office’. For this writing I will use ‘United Nations Two’ as its name. United Nations Two will be organized into three main departments: a special confederation of nations, an association of colleges and universities and a global office.
WHAT MUST OUR LEADERS DO?
The following are my suggested steps that current United Nations leaders must take.
- Reach out to persuade the leaders of all of the nations to join together to create United Nations Two by first creating a special confederation of nations and an association of colleges and universities for the purpose of establishing a global office. The global office will be the agency within United Nations Two where the work to solve the world’s existential crises is done.
- Promote the idea that a second United Nations will be equal in standing to the United Nations.
- Reach out to the most prominent and respected people in the world to begin persuading leaders of individual nations about the seriousness of the need.
- Work with colleges and universities around the world to establish a worldwide association of colleges and universities to leverage the intellect and creativity inherent to our institutions of higher learning for the purpose of doing the hard work to create a special confederation of nations which will be United Nations Two.
- The leaders of the United Nations will be able to rest after their job has been done. They will be proud to have created United Nations Two, a sister organization that will be given the responsibility to lead the world in solving the existential problems.
United Nations Two will be organized into three main departments: a special confederation of nations’, an association of colleges and universities and a global office. United Nations Two will be of equal standing with the United Nations and will not be burdened with a security council veto.
I can think of no other way to formulate some entity to be in charge of the work that needs to be done to solve the existential problems facing mankind. This plan will not happen if people of high position everywhere in the world do not begin putting pressure on other leaders, worldwide. Young people, teenagers, high school students, college students, undergraduate and graduate, can contact leaders to make them aware of programs that will work, such as this program, A Plan for the Nations.
I’m eighty on my next birthday. Will it be old guys like me or the small children of today who will experience a socioeconomic collapse brought on by the existential problems that we are facing? Can a socioeconomic collapse be avoided? I believe it can if the current leaders of the United Nations begin working to establish a second international organization with equal standing. The United Nations and United Nations Two will each have their own functions and responsibilities.
THE IPPC AND THE UNITED NATIONS
In October of 2018 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change, a committee of the United Nations, submitted its report. Their assessment was that the world has until 2030, a mere twelve years, to begin to show that mankind is capable of reducing global warming; of reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere; of reducing ocean acidification; and of reducing the loss of ecosystems. That was two years ago.
What have we done in two years? Some countries have continued to work on the seventeen sustainable development goals. More solar panels have been installed. More windmills have been erected. There has been much talk about a Green New Deal. But these things have happened piecemeal: some in one nation; some in another nation; but none under the auspices of one single, global authority.
Over the years, the United Nations has held numerous climate accord meetings. It has laid out work for the nations to do. The United Nations has tried as hard as it can, yet nothing seems to be getting done. There has been little coordination or cooperation among the nations and the United Nations doesn’t seem to have the power to compel the nations to do the things they have agreed to do.
In my opinion climate change issues should be serious enough to compel our leaders within or without the United Nations to begin to change the way they look at things. I implore leaders everywhere especially those associated with the United Nations to change their perspective and embrace the idea of  removing current attempts at solving climate change and related problems from the current United Nations,  creating a second world wide authority, a United Nations two, and  give that authority the sole job of solving those problems.
THE UNITED NATIONS AND UNITED NATIONS TWO
My PLAN FOR THE NATIONS is based on separating the United Nations into two parts. The United Nations will transfer its authority to work at solving climate change and other existential problems to another authority which will be named United Nations Two. They will be separate entities but equal in authority.
There will be two world authorities:  the United Nations to focus on ending hunger and poverty; to advance healthcare and education; and to promote human rights and peace and  United Nations Two to focus strictly on solving existential global problems such as climate change; desertification; deforestation; water shortages and clean water; reducing fossil fuel use; increasing renewable energy use; reducing the population to maintain sustainability; protecting nature and ending the current extinction of species; controlling the nonproliferation and phasing out of nuclear power plants and nuclear arsenals; and eliminating plastics waste and the degradation of products made from plastic.
Let me give a better picture of how I see each of these entities.
The United Nations
- Has a Secretary General:
- All of the nations are a part of the United Nations:
- Every nation is represented by an ambassador or delegate of some kind:
- There is a General assembly where ambassadors vote on issues and set the agenda for participation by all of the countries. The General Assembly is the governing body of the United Nations.
- There is a security council veto available to certain rich, powerful countries:
- It is hoped that the United Nations will be around forever.
The United Nations Two
- Will have a Secretary General:
- A Special Confederation of Nations will make up United Nations Two. There is probably no way to expect that all of the nations will sign on at first. I would hope that all of the nations will sign on in time. Just as all of the nations taken together is thought of as the United Nations, a Special Confederation of Nations could be thought of as United Nations Two.
- Every nation in the Special Confederation of Nations will be represented by an ambassador or delegate of some kind.
- There will have to be a general assembly of some kind where ambassadors and delegates can meet and confer. The Confederation of Nations is the governing body and will be responsible to provide direction to the global office.
- The association of colleges and universities will be a part of United Nations Two. It will have a short-term responsibility to set up the special confederation of nations and the global office. It will have a long-term responsibility to advise and guide the Confederation of Nations and the global office. This means that the association of colleges and universities will have to continue its function until United Nations Two is disbanded.
- The global office will be set up to make decisions and do the work of solving global problems. It will be comprised of one head office, three or more regional offices and hundreds of local work stations. Because the existential problems affect humanity so severely and solutions to these problems so important the global office will be given authority over the nations when required. The association of colleges and universities will write the appropriate powers into the constitution of the special confederation of nations. The work of the global office will be completed regardless of the dissent of any nation.
- United Nations Two will be temporary and will be disbanded when its work is completed. This will happen when the nations determine that humanity is safe.
I call on the leaders of the current United Nations to use their expertise and position to open the way for national leaders to accept a second United Nations organization which will be charged with the responsibility of solving – and indeed will work on solving – the problems listed above.
AN ASSOCIATION OF COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES
So far, I have iterated an idea for a second United Nations whose mission is dealing with the existential problems. How does this idea become a reality? Some person or committee will have to sit down and begin writing charters and agreements among nations; new rules and laws will have to be promulgated to establish governance; ratification documents and elections will have to be devised; and even more work than that will have to be done. Who will do all of this work and organization on a worldwide scale?
If I had to choose the organization that has all of the intellect and creativity needed to put such a scheme together, I would ask the colleges and universities worldwide to accept the challenge. Would they accept the challenge? According to IPCC, time is short. Everyone must always keep this in mind.
In my opinion colleges and universities have a responsibility to mankind. Fulfilling that responsibility ought to be a given, especially as mankind is facing threats of collapse, hardship, harm, and death – even a possibility of extinction. If all of the colleges and universities acted together as one unit, then they would have an incredible amount of strength and power. Strength is in numbers. An association of colleges and universities, worldwide, would have strength. Such an association would be listened to.
Once United Nations Two and the global office have been created and are up and running, the association of colleges and universities will be available to provide continuing assessment, inspiration and guidance to the confederation of nations and to the global office as well. Colleges and universities are the repositories of intellect and creativity for the world. Colleges and universities need to be the central force in mankind’s efforts to return humanity and the planet to a place of stability and sustainability. Finding solutions to these existential problems will require expertise in science and engineering, religion and humanities, law, business, and government. An association of colleges and universities could supply talent in those fields as needed. Colleges and universities need to step up and lead.
THE GLOBAL OFFICE IS THE WORKHORSE OF THIS PLAN.
What will the “GLOBAL OFFICE” look like?
- United Nations Two will designate one head office located somewhere in the world.
- There will be three or more regional offices located in various places in the world.
- There will be hundreds (perhaps a thousand or more) local offices aka workstations located throughout the world.
- The global office will approve goals, plans and proposals; send plans and proposals to the regional offices for action; and provide funding and other wherewithal that will be needed by the regional and local offices.
- The regional offices will develop the plans and proposals into actual solutions: educate and supervise local offices and workstations on the actual hands on work they are expected to do to meet the requirements set forth by the regional office; and to supply the wherewithal so the local offices and workstations will be able to carry out their duties.
- Local offices and workstations will take instruction from the regional office and do the work as required.
Who will run the “GLOBAL OFICE”? It seems obvious that the head of an office that has a global jurisdiction should not be an autocrat. Allowing someone to become king of the world is silly even though it could happen if care is not taken. The global office and the regional offices will not be headed by one person. As a failsafe action they will be headed by committees.
- The head office will be a committee of twelve people elected as follows. Six of the people will be elected from the science departments of colleges and universities, worldwide; and six of the people will come from the humanities/comparative religion departments. They will have term limits. Elections will occur periodically. They will be elected from among their peers by their peers. Everybody running for office will meet together for several days so they get to know each other and can evaluate each other. Then they will choose the best among them, by ranked choice voting or some other form of winnowing the group. Committee members elected from the science genre will be elected at a separate time and place than the committee members from the humanities/comparative religion genres.
- The regional offices will be run by committees. The committee that will run a regional office will be hired by the head office. This will be a committee of twelve people: three with backgrounds in physical science, engineering, biological science, and agronomy; three with backgrounds in social science, psychology, and medicine; three with backgrounds in business; and three with backgrounds in government.
- The managers at local offices and workstations will be hired by the regional office. Regular employees, who will generally be local people, will be hired by local managers under the auspices of the regional offices.
This discussion about United Nations Two and how it will function is my idea that I call A PLAN FOR THE NATIONS. A second United Nations can be put in place by the leaders of the United Nations. The United Nations own agency, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, should easily accept the challenge of presenting this PLAN FOR THE NATIONS to a larger administrative assembly in the United Nations.
If the United Nations will not do this then the people must. People of every age can get involved with an effort or movement to encourage the United Nations to act. Colleges and Universities, worldwide, are an integral part of this plan. Bringing all of the colleges and universities together as an association with the authority to help the nations create a special confederation of nations to establish a second United Nations may need to become a movement or student action. Students may be the strongest force to confront the colleges and universities to accept this responsibility to find some way to begin working on solutions to the existential problems facing mankind. The work of putting this PLAN FOR THE NATIONS together will require the skill level of professors and graduate students. These academics will be the heroes of the worldwide effort to solve the problems and to return humanity and the planet back to the place where sustainability and adequate resources prevail.
This is my PLAN FOR THE NATIONS. This is a plan to put people in charge of developing actual work that will solve the problems facing mankind. It is global and it is doable. I solicit your comments. If there is any other way of getting the same job done, the leaders of the world need to know, so they can plot the best way forward. The IPCC report is vital and time is sort.
I have been writing and blogging about my PLAN FOR THE NATIONS for up to three years. You will see that names and descriptions may change from writing to writing but the concepts remain much the same. I finally decided on using the names The United Nations and United Nations Two to distinguish one agency from the other. A different name for United Nations Two may need to be invented.
Arnold J. Byron