Nations Must Change

The sovereignty of nations is one of the root causes of wars and environmental destruction and many other global evils in today’s world order.

Internally, at the sub-national level we have a nested hierarchy of  municipal and provincial governments. The actions of these are limited by enforced national laws and therefore there is peace inside a well governed nation.

Externally however, the nations still cling to the 17th century Peace of Westphalia notion of absolute sovereignty. — Sovereign nations catch whales when the world community wants to protect that species, they build nuclear reactors and weapons without asking their neighbours for permission, they pollute and plunder the global commons when it brings economic benefits, and they make war when they feel like it. — The time has come to limit the actions of nations by enforced world law. Nations may keep internal sovereignty, but their relations with other nations and with the global commons must be governed by a global authority.

This is not a revolutionary idea, nor is it ‘rocket science’; it is just an extension of the existing multilevel governance system with all its problems and advantages to the global level. A good global government must establish a legal framework within which the nations are free to act. The UN must be given legislative, juridical and executive powers in order to function as a global government.

The main mandate of a good global government is to solve only problems of global scope, essentially to put an end to war and ecocide. It must not interfere in the internal affairs of nations. –The crisis of the  European Union is largely due to the Union interfering in  member nations’ internal affairs by asking them to take in refugees, which they do not want. Similarly, the UN’s Responsibility to Protect individuals is to be applied with extreme caution, because it may be abused by outsiders to interfere in local affairs. – The Iraq war, the Middle East conflict and the liberation of Libyans from a dictator demonstrates the risks of outside interference in the internal affairs of nations.

Helmut Burkhardt, Toronto, 2015-09-16