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  • AllHumanity Network is proud to announce the addition of our social media team.  Mitchell Savin, Ryan Pomper and Jake Counselbaum, led by Craig Savin and Javier Hernandez round off the creative consortium of talent.  2018's AllHumanity Group/Network Social Media Platform is aggressive and bold.  Stay Tuned. 

  • How to make the United Nations fit for purpose in a new globalized era

    The United Nations gets a rough ride, and not just from Donald Trump. The sheer magnitude of the problems the world faces, combined with the scale of activities the UN undertakes, means that there will always be failures even if those are vastly outweighed by successes. And failures make more exciting headlines.

    The UN addresses global problems that might range from human rights to controlling diseases or implementing technology. In truth, however, if we could re-imagine the UN for our fragile, globalised world, it would look rather different to the organisation that stands before us now. It is no surprise that one of the themes of this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos asks participants to consider how we might enable better systems for global cooperation.

    In 1945, the countries that created the UN sought to prevent another world war. The main powers were given to the Security Council, comprising the five countries deemed to be the victors in the Second World War. All have a veto on UN action which has caused paralysis on issues directly related to their political interests, as we have seen in relation to Syria.

    Recovering belongings in Aleppo, Syria. EPA/ALI MUSTAFA

    Peace out

    Currently, the strongest weapons in the UN’s peace and security arsenal are coercive measures and peacekeeping, both of which are deployed regularly but which have deep flaws.

    Sanctions and other coercive measures are problematic when trying to deal with threats to international peace and security. Leaders of rogue states, like Iran and North Korea, are rarely affected; the suffering inflicted is on their subjugated populations.

    UN Peacekeepers may only be deployed if a country allows them to enter its land. In many conflicts, countries simply refuse to allow the UN access. The 1993 “Black Hawk Down” incident in Somalia, among others, dissuaded countries in the global north from committing their troops to peacekeeping missions. This has now become a rather lucrative business for states in the global south who get more than $1,000 per soldier from the UN while paying out far less in salaries. There are too many stories of poor training or failure to engage.

    Peacekeepers on parade. EPA/FRANCIS R. MALASIG

    Without a “standing army” (which the UN creators had envisaged), there is little more that the UN can do. Perhaps the best way forward would be to scrap the veto powers of Security Council permanent members, to expand membership to be more representative, and to create a global peacekeeping force that can enter any territory without requiring consent. But in reality those are pipe dreams. Any such proposals would be vetoed at the Council – a Catch 22 if ever there was one.

    Rights and wrongs

    Beyond peace and security, the UN’s two other pillars – human rights and development have problems of their own. The great hope from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 was that states would no longer be able to oppress or subjugate their citizens. It was a great idea, but one that remains out of reach. While most countries have signed up to the human rights project, violations continue everywhere. UN human rights guidance and information is taken on board by states that want to comply. But without enforcement powers, countries that care little about human rights simply ignore those mechanisms.

    The one intergovernmental human rights body – the Human Rights Council – can do little more than shout from the sidelines given its status as a subsidiary body with no powers, and not even a direct reporting line to the Security Council or Secretary-General.

    Development goals

    Development activities have similarly been based on strong ideals rather than concrete outcomes. With little oversight from member states, there is significant duplication between different UN activities. The UN Development Programme, in particular, has become so bloated that it is difficult to justify its existence in its current form. The Millennium Development Goals fell rather flat, and the Sustainable Development Goals are likely to go a similar way.

    The themes are too broad, and there are too few concrete aims that can be implemented and monitored. The best work that country-teamsundertake is in supporting and strengthening local organisations, but there are too many situations like Haiti where the UN has been in the country for far too long, and with far too little success.

    Kofi Annan pictured in 2012. United States Mission Geneva/FlickrCC BY-ND

    Redesigning a system that would give powers to external human rights bodies is something that was mooted and rejected a decade ago during Kofi Annan’s reformist agenda. But a reformed UN, fit for purpose would have more streamlined and prominent human rights and development bodies.

    We know that human rights and development contribute significantly to international security. And we know that UN activities have produced mid- and long-term results – education is a good example. But too much money and time is wasted through grandiose ideas, duplicated work, and a bloated system that ends up creating dependencies in places like Haiti or Somalia. A review and improvement process would identify the gaps and duplications. It might upset those who want to hang onto their piece of the pie, but it would result in a leaner and fitter UN.


    Then, of course, we have the question of accountability when harm is caused, as we have seen in sexual violence by peacekeepers or when a UN peacekeeping operation caused a cholera epidemic in Haiti. The UN desperately requires mechanisms that enable individuals to seek redress and to hold accountable those who caused harm.

    That extends to whether member states should be accountable. The relationship between members and the UN remains somewhat fuzzy, despite attempts to clarify the laws. Yet the credibility and legitimacy of the UN hinges upon accountability issues being handled in clear and systematic ways.

    Some of this may be wishful thinking. And let’s face it, if nothing changes we still want and need the UN to exist, even in its current form. Ultimately, it has succeeded in preventing another world war, in advancing human rights, and in aiding development. But our world has changed and there are now clear reforms that would enable the UN to operate closer to its full potential.

    This piece has been published in cooperation with the World Economic Forum to coincide with its annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland. You can read more here.



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  • The UN can save itself by working effectively with outside partners

    The future of the United Nations (UN) is more uncertain today than at any time since it was created. Fairly or unfairly, its opponents rail against its bureaucratic ineptitude, ingrained politicisation, and poor performance against both urgent crises and long-term threats to shared prosperity.

    Such criticisms are a serious problem in today’s world, which badly needs a well-functioning international governance system. More than 65m people have been forced to leave their countries by conflict, millions more face violence and poverty at home, and epochal tests like climate change and inequality confront every nation. But with populism and nationalism on the march, the legitimacy of the international system itself is under threat.

    Like his recent predecessors, the new UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, has promised that reforming the institution he heads would be among his highest priorities. He understands that the UN is under pressure to prove it’s still valuable, and that it therefore needs to change. Fortunately, some paths forward have already been charted.

    The UN is modernising its role as a result of two major agreements: the 2030 Development Agenda and the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Both signal a move away from traditional top-down multilateralism among states and towards new ways of co-ordinating with businesses, civil society and other non-state actors. As laid out in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), “multi-stakeholder partnerships” are meant to be pragmatic, solution-oriented ways of working to achieve shared aims at a time of squeezed budgets and scarce public resources.

    The UN has been moving towards models of standard setting, service providing and knowledge sharing forms of engagement with non-state actors for some years now with initiatives such as Sustainable Energy for AllEvery Woman Every Child, and the UN Global Compact. The SDGs have ushered in new opportunities for targeted strategies to meet ambitious goals, from combating violence against children to eliminating forced labour and modern slavery.

    On paper, it all sounds very impressive – but such experiments in public-private governance have a rather chequered track record.

    Can Antonio Guterres take the UN in a new direction? EPA/Justin Lane

    Many past development partnership efforts have produced little measurable output or impact, and have gone ahead without clear rules to ensure accountability. A review of partnerships on health and educationsuggests there is often too little consistency on core principles and too little transparency on where donations have gone and how impacts are evaluated.

    When the SDGs were agreed, these problems were not fully addressed, and they remain far from solved. As things stand, the UN system doesn’t have a way to properly learn from its past experiences; it needs additional private funding, but at the same time has to ensure it can stay independent and co-operate responsibly with non-state actors. So how can it strike the balance?

    Incubator and broker

    First up, the UN must be more strategic in partnering with national governments in ways that empower people and address inequalities head on. The risks of getting this wrong are serious: if development partnerships aren’t properly managed, they can actually reinforce existing power imbalances within societies. And if governments focus only on the goals of most interest to the private sector – on infrastructure, for example – other critical problems might be marginalised. For example, youth employment and decent jobs are critical for social stability, but need public and private sector muscle working on their behalf with meaningful participation of communities and those most in need.

    If UN agencies and programmes want to get their work with outside partners right, more must be done to foster the right sort of institutional culture. This means helping staff develop the skills they need and setting clear terms for partnership initiatives, beginning with adherence to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. In 2016, the World Health Assembly adopted a new framework for working with outside partners; other parts of the UN system need to do the same.

    The UN’s member states also need to agree on principles for accountable, transparent and effective partnerships, and they need to give the secretary general and his team stronger support rather than expecting them to do all the work without adequate resources.

    Development partnerships aren’t easy to master, and they won’t solve every problem – but they nonetheless offer the UN a lifeline. If it can prove it’s capable of real leadership - as an agenda setter, facilitator and evaluator of collaboration around agreed goals - not just among states but among non-state organisations too, it will have found a path toward meaningful reform. The rest of the world is forgetting how relevant the UN can be at its best. It needs to get to work.

    Number of people displaced by conflict 'equivalent to UK population of 65m'
    Report by World Bank and UN highlights the scale and economic impact of displacement caused by conflict worldwide
  • The SDGs won’t be met without active citizens fortified with new knowledge

    Outside a courthouse in Cape Town in South Africa demonstrators performed a short skit to draw attention to the dangers of a “secret nuclear deal” that could cost the country more than a trillion rand and indebt citizens for many decades to come, while no doubt enriching a handful of well-connected elites.

    The performers acted out well-known corruption scenarios, and then invited discussion among the protesting spectators.

    A week later, the same performance, this time in a community hall, formed part of a popular education workshop where experts interacted with citizens, focusing on the pros and cons of nuclear, solar and wind energy. 75 people, young and old, participated enthusiastically. Most had never learnt about different sources of energy – despite the fact that energy prices and environmental concerns are very much their business.

    The workshop was organised by the Popular Education Programme and the South African Faith Community Environmental Institute. Both are part of a coalition of organisations united under the #StopCurruptNuclearSA banner. It’s trying to stop the deal from being pushed through without proper citizen engagement and participation.

    The initiative recognises the opportunity that the nuclear deal gives to engage large number of citizens in education, experimentation and debate about various energy scenarios. It aims, literally, to put power in the hands of the people.

    It also shines an important light on the relationship between lifelong learning and its essential role in achieving the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The link is this: the SDGs are unlikely to be met without the active participation of ordinary people. But for that to happen, communities need to learn a range of new skills, understandings and attitudes. That can only happen if they’re in a constant cycle of learning – whatever their age.

    Sustainable development is everyone’s business

    The UN has adopted 17 SDGs, each with specific targets to be achieved by 2030. The goal is “to end poverty, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new sustainable development agenda”.

    Sustainable development is about using the world’s resources in a way that doesn’t permanently destroy but regenerates them. It’s about society consuming and producing in a way that recognises the world’s limits.

    The SDGs are contested. Some critics argue that sustainability can’t be achieved without tackling capitalist growth – the fundamental cause of poverty and ecological crisis.

    Whatever way you look at it energy issues are at the heart of the sustainable development question. This is reflected in SDG 7, which aims to ensure access to “affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”. The UN website states that

    Energy is central to nearly every major challenge and opportunity the world faces today. Be it for jobs, security, climate change, food production or increasing incomes, access to energy for all is essential.
    Energy solutions profoundly affect the economy, politics and the environment - from agriculture to waste management, food security, sanitation, transport, housing, health, jobs and forms of governance.

    These issues affect all citizens. And it is low-income communities and communities on the periphery that tend to be the most seriously affected by polluting and costly energy systems. They are, of course, the vast majority.

    The fact is that citizens can’t depend on governments alone to make the right decisions. The way that the South African government, along with other vested interests, is pushing for nuclear energy is a perfect example.

    Of course SDGs need to be engaged at the level of the UN agencies and governments. But it’s essential that they are also engaged on the ground – by social movements and organisations of women, men, girls and boys across social class, age and geography. It’s here that new knowledge is often created through participating actively in the struggles for social and environmental justice.

    As University of Pretoria professor Lorenzo Fioramonti argues in his book Wellbeing Economy, “participatory governance is key to achieving sustainability and well being”.

    For this to work the majority of people need to be educated about energy options so that they can participate in decisions that affect their lives. But to be able to do this they need to be fully informed and engaged in the issues at hand, regardless of age or formal educational background.

    This is consistent with SDG 4, which stresses the need to:

    Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
    Rethinking lifelong learning

    The UN’s commitment to lifelong learning certainly sounds hopeful, but the responses of governments and funders to similar commitments made in the UN’s Millennium Development Goals were underwhelming. For the most part, lifelong learning has been understood in a very limited way. The focus has been on young people and anyone not at school, college or university is often discounted, unless they pay for it themselves.

    This means that the majority of citizens are left out. What this adds up to is that socio-economic relations will remain the same and the SDGs are unlikely to be met.

    Instead, we need adult and popular education to be accepted as integral to lifelong learning and essential to the empowerment of local communities.

    This can be achieved if more pressure is brought to bear on governments and funders to support, for example, mass popular education programmes in which experts and grassroots people of all ages engage actively on issues that matter.

  • Universities must act now on sustainability goals

    In an unpredictable and insecure global political scene, the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are intended to tackle pressing global challenges.

    Agreed on by all participating countries, including Australia, the SDGs set 17 goals and 169 targets to promote economic prosperity, social inclusion and environmental sustainability.

    The goals cover a wide range of complex and interrelated challenges. Addressing them will require changes in how societies and economies function, and how we interact with our planet.

    Universities are uniquely positioned to assist with implementing the SDGs. They are essential for providing the knowledge, innovations and solutions to underpin implementation. They are also essential for creating current and future implementers, and for providing cross-sectoral leadership in local, national and global implementation.

    It is crucial that universities’ role in achieving the SDGs is nationally recognised and that universities are at the table in discussions about them. This is particularly important as the Australian government prepares to present its first Voluntary National Review of progress in implementing the SDGs to the United Nations next July.

    Many universities are already looking at ways they can contribute. However, there is little guidance available on what this looks like in practice.

    We prepared a guide – “Getting Started with the SDGs in Universities” – to provide practical assistance to universities that wish to engage with and implement them. The guide is a joint initiative of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network and Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability. It has had input from many universities across Australia and New Zealand.

    Engaging with the SDGs will benefit universities by helping them demonstrate impact, capture demand for SDG-related education, build new partnerships, access new funding streams, and define what a responsible and globally aware university is.

    University SDG Guide
  • Please sign and share



                                    Why it is important and how it is achievable?



                      Many complicated questions confront the world’s leadership and all leading religious instructors who thirst for a unanimous conclusion for global security in the current predicament of nuclear proliferation, terrorism and war, within the context of the moral crisis in political ethics and religious conflicts.



    1. Is our world leadership united and coherent enough to combat the sources of terrorism and war given the rise of scientific insights that continue to design and manufacture lethal weapons for mass killing (that is, nuclear weapons)?


            (In fact, the effect of our genetic nature had always forced us to use whatever we have created for individual conceptions of safety and peace)



     2. Is it possible for the world’s leadership and all the religious instructors to uproot the sources of religious conflicts that erupt in the blood of massacre?


                (No! They are enthralled in the strictures of their own religious tradition. It is impossible for them to surrender their own religious profession to transcend their own faiths to fill in the religious gaps that divide human perception)



    3   Do UN bureaucracies and administrations have enough potential to lead the global community on the path toward peace and propel those in positions of leadership to overcome complicated political issues, humanitarian crises, and religious conflicts?


                      ( No! The UN embodies potential political ethics are beyond the reach of the general public)



    4   Are we safe neglecting these larger issues that force us to an unnatural end?


                                                ( No ! Never!! )



    5        Do we have ample, sufficient, and appropriate ideas and resources to combat those masterminds that have converted humankind into “lethal bombs”


                          ( No ! The current world’s political race is based mostly on professional issues, neglecting the true fact that separates the existence of humankind, within the mazes of religious and political views)



                     To solve these contemporary controversies’ of this current human race armed by lethal Nuclear weapons, We’ve tried to approach the world literate community, beyond their inherited political and religious thoughts, to help the United Nation to overcome the perils of terrorism and war, by developing a basic contemporary MORAL education system within the scientific and professional academic resources.


               Here H.E Mr. Antonio Guterres  (Secretary-General United Nation) is our basic source to address the world leadership constructively. This petition is designed to support the world’s leadership and all leading religious instructors who thirst for a unanimous conclusion that would help them to overcome the perils of hate religious campaigns, without defaming the belief of any humankind, within the context of the moral crisis in political ethics. We believe, it is the only one way to empower the UN bureaucracies and administrations by the potentials of common people.  (Would be glad to share the proposal in detail if needed)


    Sign the Petition
    Define the MORAL academic system, by revealing all the religious definitions in one notion,within scientific insight
  • Despite the set of Global Compact, in my opinion the main challenges of monitoring and assessing progress to achieving the SDGs could be summarized as follows: (i) finalization by States of their achievement towards the MDGs targets in 2015 as  well as lessons learnt from implementation of theirs  MDGs programs and projects  (ii)  timely preparation and validation of  baseline core SDGs ‘s indicators at states level, (iii) standardization of core indicators and common approach for collecting reliable  information and data allowing to define SDGs ‘s indicators, (iv)   allocation by States of sufficient financial resources for M&E of  progress and achievements of their SDGs targets (v) Strengthening capacity of national frameworks in charge of Monitoring & Evaluation ( M& E) of  progress and achievements of States, (vi) define the way International Community will assist States in improving progress and achievements towards their SDGs ‘ commitment, (vii) Set up a Joint Monitoring Framework (JMF)  within the United Nations (UN) dedicated to the  coordination and support to the implementation of SDGs programs and projects by States.

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