Since the UNO promised after the Second World War to “free mankind from the hostage of war” we have experienced more than 200 wars. Our eternal arms race is nothing but incessant murder of the hungry and wretched of our time.
So how do we realize the ancient dream of humanity, a world without war and violence? A world without discrimination against women?
On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2023, UN Secretary-General Guterres said, “According to the latest projections, if we continue like this, it will take us 300 years to achieve full gender equality.” There are only three percent women who have won a Nobel Prize in scientific categories since 1901. It’s time for a world without role stereotypes and sexist hate online. Globally, every ten minutes a woman or girl is murdered by her partner or a family member, and every two minutes a woman dies while pregnant or giving birth to her child. The challenge is to break down the barriers of discrimination around the world. Women’s rights are not a luxury that can wait until we solve the climate crisis or defeat poverty.
For a global constitutional change
So the world needs a global constitutional change. That means nation states should surrender some of their sovereignty and cede it to a world authority – a world parliament regularly elected in free elections, a world executive, and a world judiciary. In this way, the world could put itself in better shape and reduce fear of each other. In this way we could abolish bombs, tanks and missiles and replace them globally with ballots.
Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, which points in this direction of a better world order, is the eternal voice of nature, enlightenment, reason, love and heart. Through a world government, wars and the arms trade could be stopped, totalitarian and authoritarian states could be prevented, the violation of human rights could be ended, terrorism could be eliminated, hunger could be effectively fought, and the world climate could still be saved through a world government and a world parliament. Only in this way will we ultimately have the opportunity to leave a better world to our children. The military UN missions of the last 30 years, called “peacekeeping”, have almost all failed, mainly in Africa.
The modern means of communication are a great help for the urgently needed reform of the UN. This is a huge opportunity to shape world domestic politics and to learn that we are one humanity and live on one earth under one sun. We do not have a second earth. A better ordered world is possible in principle. My friend, the pacifist, Christian and humanist Rupert Neudeck, put it this way: “We must create peace first and foremost by abolishing national armies, by giving up the arms industry, by establishing a strong UN blue helmet army as the world police.” Just a nice utopia?
Yes, as long as the UN Security Council does not agree. And there Russia has a veto right like the other four permanent members – the USA, China, England and France. This veto power is the Achilles heel of today’s world order.
But: We have overcome slavery and colonialism, why not war and the war economy, discrimination against women, poverty and environmental destruction?
Today, for the first time in history, we have the opportunity to create a world civilization in which all people are networked and connected through modern media. If everything is globalized – climate heating and climate refugees, atomic bombs and financial crisis, hunger and terror – then we also need some kind of global government. In the 19th century, many individual states in North America renounced parts of their previous sovereignty and united to form the USA, likewise at the beginning of the 20th century in Australia – a similar process began in the second half of the 20th century in Europe, why should this not be possible for the whole world in the 21st century? We should not wait until the world is in ruins to do this.
If the powerlessness of the world community in the face of dictators like Putin in Russia, Xi in China or Kim in North Korea is not to continue for another hundred or two hundred years, then we need a reformed UN that can function as a world government. This must be a world authority created by free elections. As long as this world authority does not exist, we will see again and again pictures like today in Ukraine. For a better world, all states would have to renounce part of their sovereignty, as 28 states in the European Union have already done. The 141 states that have condemned Russia’s war against Ukraine in the UN could make a start.
In his book “World Order – By transnational constitution to guarantee peace” former Chancellor of the University of Trier and jurist Ignaz Bender suggests that Germany make a motion to that effect at the UN: “The Federal Republic of Germany is willing to become part of a world political community guided by the principles of freedom, democracy, the rule of law, respect for human rights, independence of the judiciary, subsidiarity and solidarity, if the national parliaments of at least two-thirds of the states of the world adopt a similar resolution.”
Ignaz Bender also suggests, “As soon as the first seven states have taken such a decision through their national parliaments, a world constituent assembly should begin to deliberate the constitution for the world.” (Footnote: Luxembourg Word, December 10-11, 2022, page 13). This could be the beginning of a world that no longer spends more than six billion dollars a day on nuclear weapons, war preparation, wars and destruction, but on peaceful, social and ecological projects. This new world of the United Nations would still need a moderate arming of a world police force to defend against terrorism. What an opportunity!
A new age of the spirit
Or just a hopeless utopia? Real change will only be possible when many people are seized by a common spirit, by a “spiritual disruption,” says philosopher Christoph Quarch (read more: www.akademie-3.org).
In human history, all transformations came about only when many people were inspired by a vision. This is true for the Renaissance as well as for the French Revolution or for the “miracle” of the peaceful German reunification in 1989. Nothing is needed more in today’s time of crisis than this divine spirit: in the economy, in politics, in the churches, in schools and universities, in each and every one of us. We need this divine spirit of vitality, the healing, holy spirit, this “spirit of encouragement” (Friedrich Hölderlin).