Original article:

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Constitutional Plan for

 United Non-Governmental Organizations (UNG)

 

 

 D. Mizani*, F. Haj-Fathali

 *Corresponding author: D. Mizani: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Abstract

The current paper proposes the establishment plan of United Non-Governmental organization (UNG) which has been originally registered at National Library of Iran in 2004. The idea is to unite the Non-Governmental Organizations across the world into one integrated international organization. This unified organization is created with the goal of establishing welfare, security, better democracy, suitable relations among different nations, and finally stable peace in the world. UNG can be viewed as the backbone of the world structure, where mankind, regardless of age, gender, religion or nationality, can turn to for help. UNG is created without the interference of governments and their many restrictive rules. It consists of groups of human beings, in the shape of non-governmental organizations, wanting to help another human being for the sake of helping, and not for personal gain. This paper is written with the hope of gaining worldwide support in establishment of UNG, since any international decision needs international support to happen.

 

1. Who should rule the world?

From the very beginning of life on earth, mankind has tried to establish his power over others. Leadership was reserved for positions such as king/queen, ruler, judge, law-maker, president, etc. With the increase in the world population came the growing number of powerful individuals. Ergo, the authority shifted to those who could gain the support of more powerful persons. Examples of such cases are the authorities with vast military forces or those with relations to powerful individuals in key positions of a government.

Some societies were able to pass this course and enter into a new phase in which the opinions of philosophers and reformers led to the formation of parties. Here, the sovereignty was given to the party which has gained more votes in (apparently) free elections. The problem with conducting parties is that in most cases, the political interests of the members of the party are deemed more important than the interests of the people involved. At the beginning, the sovereignties were centered locally and covered small areas. Gradually, local governments were replaced by larger states. At the end of the 18th and more rapidly in the 19th centuries, countries with central governments were shaped. 

At the 21st century we witness the formation of powerful non-governmental institutions whose duties are supervising and supporting the rights of countries and human beings. Over the years, the coverage of some organizations went further than nations/regions to include the entire world. A fine example of such organization is World Trade Organization (WTO). WTO regulates the international trade and almost all countries in the world comply with its policies due to the necessity of being recognized worldwide. Another example is the Human Rights Watch (HRW) organization which is an international non-governmental organization that conducts research/advocacy on human rights. Most countries try to protect their international image on human rights by complying with the policies of this organization. Given the reluctant and shaky cooperation of countries with current international organizations, a question arises that in today's era of rapid growth of science and technology, who should be in charge of leading and supervising international matters? Does world sovereignty belong to a specific nation, ethnic group or religion? Does it belong to those with stronger military, economic and technology powers? Should we choose a highly outstanding individual or a qualified reformist philosopher to oversee the world's matters? Assuming we find such a person, what happens after his death? Should we look for another person, after person, after person? Obviously none of the alternatives mentioned above are appropriate since the domination of a fistful of people on majority is not acceptable nowadays.

In national and regional levels, parties hold the governmental positions. However, can political parties make acceptable decisions at international level? Naturally, political parties of different nations/groups have little in common regarding their goals and viewpoints. Mostly, when there is a gathering of political parties, each one tries to increase its own power by handing out promises and potential services (never to be fulfilled). Ergo, the gathering turns to a battle field of different parties which rarely achieves any lasting agreement, even at national level. Now, the problem becomes much worse at international level where each nation has its own culture, beliefs and goals. Ergo, an international gathering including one-political-party-per-country never ends well or fruit tangible results beyond talks and hollow promises.

Thus, it becomes obvious that the political parties and governmental groups of different countries are not competent enough to make international decisions that impact the whole world.

Again, we return to the question that who is qualified enough to take leadership and offer strategic plans for the entire world? What are the required qualifications and strong points of such a person or group?

We propose that the leadership should be given to a group (not an individual) with the following characteristics:

1. In this international group, collective wisdom should be used where the members of different nations and ethnic groups can participate in leadership.

2. The members of this group should always prioritize the international interests over their personal and/or national interests.

 3. The members should be chosen among those with no political or leadership ambitions whose sole aims are to render services to people and to establish suitable strategies to improve the world.

In such a group, goals should be defined small and precise and their results should be beneficial to the entire world. Naturally, to meet such goals, first they should be accepted and respected by all nations, religious groups, and races. Examples of such common goals across the world are protection of children/women, finding cures for specific diseases, protection of the environment, protection of national and cultural heritage, justice, equality, human rights and dignity, etc.

An obvious question is where can we find such selfless people? And as the time goes on, what if these people change their beliefs/goals and become more biased toward their personal gains? The answer to the latter question is that a group of highly distinguished people can even out the effect of one rotten apple. The answer to the former is that, contrary to the common belief, there are people in the world that despite their differences in language, culture, religion, and lifestyle, are one in heart and soul. Day-by-day, these people try to improve their corner of the world with the aim of leaving this world a better place than when they first found it. 

Many of such people can be seen in non-governmental organizations. Ergo, in our opinion, a group consisting of non-governmental organizations (NGOs), is the one organization qualified to deal with international problems. NGOs are basically non-profit organizations, funded to help the human race to survive and live in a better world. Their aims are clear and simple which can be easily presented with few words in any language. They are comprehendible in different cultures and by people of different mental capacities. In NGOs, misuse of power and the probability of major mistakes are low since the groups are full of wise people and the authorities are continuously shifting.

 

2. Why did we write this paper?

After graduating in medicine from Shiraz University, while I was performing my service in Konarak of Chabahar which is one of the least developed parts of Iran; I witnessed a lot of hard events. A very bitter experience I had witnessed in Chabahar was of a 20-day newborn girl whose fingers up to the palm were eaten by a mouse. The mother has left the kid in the cottage to fetch water, and the baby was left alone when the horrible accident had occurred. In the same place, another child was brought to me that was suffering from severe diarrhea, water deficiency, and thirst. These are some experiences I had seen firsthand and looking at the WHO statistics (2003), they are not even a grain of the horrible things the world is going through every year. According to WHO, every day 30,000 people die of starvation. Each year 600 thousands women die in childbirth (99% of them, in developing countries). At 2004, 123 million children were deprived of going to schools and 105 million children suffered from AIDS. Each year 45 million people including 13.5 million children die of starvation or malnutrition and 1,000,000 girls in the world turn to prostitution. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), 250 million children are working without acceptable level of education, health, and essential liberties, 120 million of which are in age group 5-12 years. Moreover, ILO statistics show that each year 1.6 million individuals lose their lives throughout the world from violence.

This paper is written in the hopes that it can be noticed, criticized and be the beginning of a lot of talks and debates toward a path where the world is controlled by small, active, and operational units, in which rapid and direct services are offered to mankind, regardless of their nationality or cultures. Thus, in the long-run, no person, group, or nation can prevent them from presenting their humanistic services. We believe that the future of this world should be made step-by-step and with cooperation of every single person in the whole world.

 

3. Necessity of unified NGOs

The universe is created with balance. Thus, if we witness intense poverty in some places, it is because immense wealth is stored elsewhere. Merely in the recent ten years, the world foreign investment has increased from 130 billion dollars to 1900 billion dollars in 2007. Statistics from a few Asian companies in recent years emphasize this fact.

 

  • Mitsubishi holdings has the profit of 126,570 billion USD and ranks first in Asia and 9th in the world.
  • Sony, with annual profit of 66.150 billion dollars ranks 11th in Asia and 39th in the world.
  • Samsung with 38,490 billion dollars, is 22nd in Asia and 92nd in the world.
  • The publicity cost of Japanese companies in 2001, amounted to 30 billion dollars (682.3 billion Yens).

 

It is noteworthy to compare the net profit of these companies with the foreign currency income of an oil-rich country such as Iran which is the second big oil producer member of OPEC. The comparison indicates that the profit of these companies are several times more than a country (e.g. Iran) where the oil production/transfer is considered a major investment. Another example is in regard to the people of the USA who have donated 245 billion dollars to charity organizations in 2003. This figure is equal to 2.2 percent of USA national income. Ergo, there is lots of money in the world, amassing in developed countries. These countries grow in wealth and welfare because they invest in and thrive from mass and/or innovative production. Naturally, every produced item needs a consumer. By definition, consumer is a person who can pay for a product/service. In order to do that, a consumer should first work and earn the required money. Thus, the economists are gradually reaching to the conclusion that employment and consequently income should be provided for the people right along the mass production, or else the consumer markets will diminish in time. Now, for the following two reasons the world’s inclination is toward paving the way for capital creation/transfer:

      1.            Increasing the consumption behavior and sales market

      2.            Narrowing the gap between the developed countries and developing countries

Nowadays, the world’s trend is toward elimination of poverty. Most developed countries believe that poverty of underdeveloped or developing countries makes developed countries more vulnerable. For instance, Tony Blair said: "Save the poor of the world to make your countries safe". Bill Clinton said: “We have to create a world in which the potential terrorists are less and willing-to-cooperate parties are more. The burden of this task is on the shoulders of the wealthy nations to share with others the benefits of a calm world. Poor countries have to start improving their territories so that progress becomes a possibility.” He also declared that:” In order to fight against terrorism, U.S.A. shall not only focus on military action but also on more expansive world problems such as poverty, AIDS, climate change, and cultural differences between Islam and the West.”

Certainly, if the First World countries resolve to promote the economic power of the Third World countries, this promotion is first and foremost in their own interests. At this interval in history, in order to prevent the creation of new colonialism, a powerful international institution should be created to direct and defend the rights of deprived nations and to prevent the creation of new impositions. And now, for solving the universal problems, the great ideas and opinions should be especially noticed. Great strides towards great ideas are required. Faith is the soul of wisdom and wisdom is the method of faith. And again we witness that men of great intellect see no way other than justice and equality (and not fear or cruelty) to establish world order.

Mrs. Mary Robinson, the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, says: "Erecting a memorial for the victims of 11 September, 2001, has aroused many arguments, but for those who lost their lives no will or monument is more eternal that the commitment of the world leaders to select an open landscape on the background of security based on justice and equality." The president of Liu Investment Group in New York, Henry C. K. Liu, says: “Fearing the smart bombs or tactical nuclear weapons or economic sanctions does not lead to stability and order in the world. The only way to establish such a world is equality and non-colonial development, something which, in the current globalization there is no sign of. World is not a market but an organism in which illness and poverty in one of its constituents will gradually end the health of the entire body.” A few years ago, Kufi Annan, in his message to World Social Association, emphasized that instead of neglecting the world problems in framework of confrontation policy, everyone has to cooperate for changing the current situation.

It is necessary to point out that the mentioned quotes are chosen to demonstrate the world's inclination toward justice and poverty alleviation. Despite this tendency toward a better world, no clear and practical solution has been suggested yet. Due to difficulties in governments' administrative structures, changes in top levels, inefficiency of inter-governmental relations, presence of rigid laws in international relations, and even problems inside each nation, governments are unable to render services to their own citizens let alone help the people of other countries.

While governments cannot offer much in terms of international affairs, non-governmental organizations, small but energetic and highly-motivated entities, have high affectability and operational power world-wide. Due to their flexible structures, NGOs decide rapidly and find capacity for initiative, peaceful and humanitarian possibilities. Also, relations between NGOs can be deepened and expanded by flexible and face-to-face interactions, since they are not restricted by strict and time consuming laws/paperwork.

One of the most important roles that can be considered for NGOs is to provide necessary links between local, national, and international activities. NGOs are small but capable organizations that altogether, if untied, will have a power more than one powerful organization. Experts believe that by the end of 21stcentury, NGOs will take control of the world affairs and the role of governments will gradually weaken. Nowadays, globalization in economic, scientific, vocational, and even cultural fields has progressed but the same trend cannot be seen in the field of policy and balanced leadership of global village. NGOs, as elements of civil society, have a long history in internal politics of the countries. Appearance of International Non-governmental Organizations (INGOs) is among the phenomena of international politics. Since 1990, the number of INGOs has decreased by 29.4%, but their memberships have increased by 72%. In the world there are two groups that may give official opinion: governments and NGOs. However, there is no institution to be the voice of the people of the world (similar to the way that United Nations is the voice of governments). Currently, NGOs are so small and scattered that in spite of their many capabilities, their ideas/opinions are not heard. In the history, the only occasions in which the NGOs have been granted the right to give official opinions were in Durban climate change conference of South Africa and Women's Day gathering of China.

NGOs are capable of initiating confidence/respect and resolving suspicions between different parties. As a general rule, in exchanging views, confidence is the first prerequisite of any involvements.
An institution consisting of different NGOs can be seen as an expansive spectrum. On one side of the spectrum, there exists big international institutions such as International Red Cross Society. On the other end of the spectrum, there are small societies (such as rural orphan funding organizations, animal protection groups, environmental support groups, etc.). On the other hand, NGOs have also a lot of negative potentials. Most often than not, their activities have no special order and are not directed toward any specific goal. Hence, in some cases, they become out of control. NGOs should be organized and directed toward a common world-wide purpose and the abnormal, cancerous NGOs such as Al Qaeda should be eliminated.

 

The world is rapidly moving toward globalization especially in economy and culture. However, we see that globalization has no suitable place in politics. Hence, balancing the world leadership and taking strides toward developing and strengthening political cultures are necessary. To reach such a goal, people should directly participate in the world's improvement. In this respect, non-governmental organizations which are raised from the heart of civil society and common people, can be appropriate representatives. These organizations are people's symbol of attendance and participation in controlling the global village. We propose a plan that if it becomes operational, perhaps it can be a stride toward NGOs unity with the goal of solving many of the present problems of the world, creating relations between governments, nations, and organizations and serving the deprived nations of the world. This will be a linking chain between non-governmental organizations and helps in transfer of service to deprived nations. Unity in NGOs can also help immensely in times of world crises. Overall, NGOs can act as an executive tool in creating order, equality, and serving the global village. 

With the creation of a unified NGO, political globalization is facilitated. Attendance of powerful organizations such as United Nations (UN) in such a gathering is necessary if not sufficient. Aside from the UN, nowadays, the necessity of organizations which are made by common people of different classes of society, and in which such people can speak freely about their views and opinions has become more apparent. Ergo, the great responsibility of paving the way for participation of small, yet powerful and energetic organizations (e.g. NGOs) rests on the shoulder of the authorities in the world. One of the most applaudable characteristics of great managers is the ability to direct with purpose and to be open to new ideas and developments. Such managers are not restricted by traditional ways, they are creative and open-minded. And since they can see the potential in a plan, they can convince others of the possibility of its developments as well. 

 

4. Creating the United Non-Governmental Organizations

Considering the ever-increasing relations between the nations, globalization process and the increase in communication that shapes the structure of world village, the broadening of the scientific, economic, sanitary, welfare, and the gaps between the developed and developing countries, and with the hope of decreasing the differences between human kinds as much as possible, a movement is needed. This endeavor should be toward integration of the world and should help us fight against poverty, illiteracy, illness, terrorism, etc. These threats are worldwide and against all nations, whether they are developing countries (in respect to welfare, income, hygiene, and education) or developed countries (in respect to security, immigration, violence, transfer of diseases, and dissatisfaction). This movement should be toward democracy, friendly relations and peace.

We propose that the potential and vast capabilities of non-governmental organizations should be used for narrowing the gaps, increasing the social-political and cultural conscience in globalization and for preparing the nations in intervening in the affairs of the global village. Ergo we define the integrated institute consisting of NGOs as United Non-Governmental organization. 

United Non-Governmental organization (UNG) is an international organization whose membership is open to all non-governmental organizations of the world which may render services to the UNG or receive services from it. The main organs of UNG can be listed as follows:

  • Founding Board
  • Supreme Council
  • International Assembly
  • National Assembly
  • Committees formed by the Supreme Council and approved by the International Assembly. These committees will direct operations of specific fields such as affairs of children, women, diseases, hygiene, nutrition, security, educational, environment, etc.

4.1. Aim

Some of the most important goals of UNG can be summarized as follows:

  • Rendering better services to mankind regardless of their race, religion or nationality
  • Improving the relations among different nations
  • Establishing enduring peace through promoting the level of health, welfare, economy, culture, freedom, environment protection of the entire world.
  • Safeguarding the precious heritage and cultures which has been passed to us.
  • Protecting the limited resources for the future generations
  • Education and training of individuals, regardless of age, gender or nationality
  • Strengthening morality, family and human values
  • Supporting the rights of children and women

4.2. Main topics

The current plans are based on the following topics:

  • Endeavour toward poverty alleviation
  • Endeavour toward supporting the rights of children and women
  • Endeavour toward promoting the standard of living and the levels of income, culture, and health of people.
  • Endeavour toward the formation of new NGOs and encouraging the governments to help in their establishments.
  • Endeavour toward promoting democracy throughout the world without creating tension or interference in internal affairs of other countries.
  • Endeavour toward encouraging the NGOs to participate in international affairs, promoting their positive capabilities and preventing their negative effects.
  • Endeavour toward peace and prevention of national/regional controversy through strengthening the influence of national/regional NGOs.
  • Paving the way for participation of NGOs at international level.
  • Expressing opinions on different global world issues and helping to solve the issues using the influence of NGOs on local, national, and international levels.
  • Guiding the non-governmental organizations to improve their structures and activities
  • Creating suitable plans for transferring capital to developing countries through consultation and justification.
  • Guiding the developing countries to prepare the domain for using the borrowed capitals and methods of guaranteeing the returns.
  • Prior to transfer of immense capital, small individual investments should be given to developing countries. This transfer will encourage the investments of big companies and in the meanwhile prevents the domination of big investors on the organs of the country and local institutions.
  • Examining the capabilities of NGOs at international level and aligning education systems with global needs.
  • Attracting the aids of individual organizations, companies, governments, and transferring the aids to the places intended by the donors or to places determined by UNG if the donor has granted all rights to UNG.
  • Encouraging and following up the services and aids (financial or otherwise) to UNG and its local NGOs.
  • Endeavoring toward the recognition of UNG as a reputable organization across the world in a way that the governments, NGOs, and nations can trust and confide in UNG. This confidence can be used to solve issues through consultation, directing and mediation.
  • Identifying the needs of mankind in national and international level, announcing those needs to the world, and finding solutions to those needs.
  • Promoting the level of understanding, culture, and capabilities of NGOs and explaining the power of NGOs to their own workers.
  • Coordination with scientific, academic and professional centers with the aim of obtaining guidelines toward preventing problems and/or finding solutions.
  • Announcing the opinions of the Supreme Council and the International Assembly as official opinions of the nations to address governments.
  • Encouraging NGOs to comply with the Supreme Council.
  • Readiness for rapid mobilization of the NGOs when national, regional, or international crises occur with the goal of alleviating the effects of the crisis on humankind.
  • Coordinating the NGOs of the world with each other to act as one integrated unit when the international issues are involved.
  • Protecting the environment.
  • Protecting the cultural and historical monuments of the nations which have survived from the past.
  • Preserving and protecting the national and international resources for future generations.
  • Increasing communications between NGOs of the world, so that they can feel comfortable asking each other for help where help is needed.
  • Endeavoring for promoting relations between nations and creating stable peace around the world.

4.3. The supreme council

The Founding Board of UNG consists of three individuals, UNG founder, UNG planner and organizer and UNG executives. The Supreme Council is the highest executive organ of the UNG. The Articles of Association, all bylaws, organizational chart should be approved by the Supreme Council before any commencement of activities at international level. Supreme Council aims to persuade all NGOs to coordinate themselves with the UNG. The Supreme Council consists of 15 members: Thirteen distinguished and world-wide known persons from four continents (3 from Asia, 3 from Europe and Oceania, 3 from Africa and 3 from America), the Secretary General of the United Nations or his fully authorized representative and two members of UNG Founding Board. If the Secretary General of the United Nations does not wish to attend, a representative can be introduced or the Supreme Council can substitute him with an internationally-known distinguished person.

It is necessary to mention that the members of the Founding Board will remain members of the Supreme Council and may attend the meetings of the Council as long as they are alive and have not lost their qualifications. But after each 3-year period, one member of the Founding Board will lose his/her suffrage. In other words, none of the members of the Founding Board will be granted suffrage in the Supreme Council after 6 years but their right to attend the meetings and give their views are reserved. The members of the Supreme Council will be elected for the first four-year term by the Founding Board but for the next period, their election will be carried out by the following procedure:

  • As long as the National Assemblies have not formed in at least one third of the countries of each continent, the representatives of that continent in the Supreme Council will be elected by the Founding Board (of course, the Founding Board may rest this power to the Supreme Council). When more than one third of the countries of a continent have their own national assembly; the representative of that continent will be elected by the NGO National Assemblies of that continent.
  • The members of the Supreme Council will be elected for four years.
  • When a member of the Founding Board is no longer qualified, the members of the Supreme Council and/or the International Assembly may dismiss that member from membership in the Supreme Council.

4.4. International assembly 

The International Assembly is the highest member for releasing the opinions of the NGOs and depicting the Supreme Council’s movements. UNG should have specialized committees dealing with specific issues in fields of culture, services and support, economic, politics, etc. The National Assembly of NGOs of each country will introduce its representative in each of these committees. The introduced members of the professional committees are also members of the International Assembly. The resolutions passed to the International Assembly with approval vote of 80% of the members are resolutions binding to the Supreme Council to comply with and act upon. The representatives of the governments may attend in the International Assembly gatherings and express their opinions, if the UNG is officially recognized and approved in their respective government/parliament but no suffrage is granted to them at the International Assembly.

4.5. National assemblies of the countries

The NGOs of countries which have joined UNG will form one National Assembly in their countries. They will recognize their national problems through expert studies and should report their capabilities along with the identified problems to the UNG. The representative of a country in the professional committees will be introduced by the National Assembly of that country. The National Assembly of each country will elect members of the Executive and Operative Board of directors of that country and will introduce them to the Supreme Council. The Supreme Council will issue their credential after approving the nominations.

4.6. The permanent seat of UNG

The permanent headquarters of United Non-Government organization (including the Supreme Council and the International Assembly) will be proposed by the Founding Board to the Supreme Council after necessary expert studies and will be announced once approved by the Council.

For more information on UNG plans, please visit us at:

http://www.unitednongovernmentals.org