By Roger Kotila & Suchismita Pattanaik
In the bustling San Francisco Bay Area, countless corporate executives perceive airline travel as indispensable. However, it’s crucial to acknowledge that commercial, private, and military jet travel significantly contributes to pollution, exacerbating the issue of global warming. While completely abandoning air travel is impractical, we must explore alternative approaches to mitigate its environmental impact.
The alarming global crisis of climate change must be dealt with effectively, yet the superpowers USA, Russia and China are making the crisis worse with their wars and threats of war. We are told that nuclear war could break out at any time. Meanwhile, the world is experiencing extreme weather events such as floods and heat waves from hell.
If the superpowers can’t save us, what about the United Nations? After all, global problems call for a global solution. Alas, the UN too, is inadequate for the global crises we are experiencing. Why? The UN Charter is wrong. It is undemocratic and lacks enforceable Law. Each of the 193 nations do their own thing — national self-interest over world public interest. The superpowers refuse to obey international law. They do whatever they want. The result is war after war. Dealing with climate change is secondary.
A “new UN” is necessary
So what is so important about The San Francisco Promise? To save our world, a “new UN” is necessary. The “Promise” is a legal one placed in the Charter in San Francisco in 1945 under Article 109 (3). It requires a review to update the obsolete Charter’s faults and deficiencies. This is the (legal) “promise,” agreed to in San Francisco, which has yet to be fulfilled.
Doctoral research on the UN Charter (S.M. Sharei, 2016) and 5 years of team research at the Center for UN Constitutional Research (CUNCR) provide a solution: “Constitutionalize the UN,” CUNCR advises, “starting with Charter Review under Article 109(3).”
Only the UN is potentially strong enough to restrain and overcome the superpowers who prioritize territorial war games over responding effectively to global warming, poverty and human rights.
Let’s visualize an entirely “new UN,” one which is more effective, legitimate, and accountable. This is crucial for a world grappling with persistent conflicts and the urgent challenge of extreme climate change, necessitating transformative measures.
Track II diplomacy and Charter Review
CUNCR, an NGO think tank based in Brussels, seeks support as it prepares to reach out to the UN with Track II citizen diplomacy for Charter Review. CUNCR has developed an iGreen platform to provide a financial source to support the campaign that is being planned to mobilize the nations and world community to unite for the urgently needed Review.
The iGreen platform, born from the inspiration of CUNCR’s Youth Climate Ambassadors (YCAs), allows individuals and business sectors to contribute towards carbon offsetting. By utilizing the iGreen website or mobile app, users can calculate their carbon emissions generated from air travel, land transport, or household activities. A corresponding financial contribution is calculated which helps support tree and mangrove plantations— nature-based solutions that combat climate change. What sets iGreen apart is its commitment to executing these plantation projects all over the world giving special emphasis to the global south. This strategic focus ensures that the benefits of carbon offsetting projects reach communities that are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, while also promoting economic growth and youth empowerment.
Furthermore, the greening projects supported by iGreen have far-reaching implications for biodiversity, conservation, land restoration, and sustainable livelihoods. The Global South, with its rich natural resources and diverse ecosystems, plays a crucial role in mitigating climate change and ensuring a sustainable future for all. By channeling resources towards these regions, we can create a positive ripple effect that transcends borders and contributes to global climate action.
The success and impact of iGreen’s greening projects heavily rely on the support and commitment of individuals and organizations who recognize their responsibility as privileged members of society. By actively participating in and supporting initiatives like iGreen, we can collectively address the urgency of climate change and foster a more equitable and sustainable world.
The importance of CUNCR’s The San Francisco Promise cannot be understated. Launching a review of the UN Charter will open the door to the changes urgently needed to make the UN truly effective for the purposes it was created for in the first place. The World Constitution & Parliament Association has waiting in the wings the Earth Constitution, designed over a period of 30 years to serve as a guide and model for the establishment of a “new UN” with the capacity to end war between nations, and to unite the world in dealing with climate change.
Roger Kotila, Ph.D. Psychologist. Board member, Center for UN Constitutional Research – Brussels, Belgium. President, Democratic World Federalists – San Francisco.
Suchismita Pattanaik, Ph.D., Environmental Biotechnology. Post-doctoral Fellow, CSIR-Institute of Minerals and Materials Technology, India. Resident Fellow, Center for UN Constitutional Research – Brussels, Belgium.