21st century is the age of globalization. It is not possible for any nation to survive on its own, secluded from the rest, no matter how powerful it is. Every nation in the world today is interdependent. Territorial boundaries have failed to counter this intermixing among nationals of different countries. In this century language is not a barrier anymore. People all over the world are celebrating the same festivals, eating the same food, listening to same music, dressing similarly. National boundaries do not hold any relevance in this era. In such a context, dividing ourselves on the basis of something as pointless and trivial like nationality does not serve any purpose. It is high time that we unite ourselves as a species and surrender a part of our sovereignty to an all-encompassing body like a world government. Our species is on the verge of an existential crisis. We are in the middle of a now or never situation. Religion, ethnicity cannot save us from the massacre. It is time to concentrate on the bigger picture
The concept of a world government.
World government is a concept “of a common political authority for all of humanity, yielding a global government and a single state that exercises authority over the entire Earth”. This notion of a world government is not that new. We find this idea in a much subtler form in the works of great thinkers like Dante, Francisco de Vitoria, Hugo Grotius, Immanuel Kant etc. Karl Marx also envisioned a stateless society as the ultimate goal of communism. All these thinkers were farsighted enough to apprehend the threat associated with a system where states are divided on the basis of abstract and incoherent ideas like nationality. The two world wars have proved how unerring they were. Our civilization has advanced enough to opt for an all-encompassing world body- a world government. Nation states divided on the basis of ethnicity, culture, religion or language really does not hold any relevance in this modern world.
The need for a world government.
The 21st century is inflicted with just too many problems. Climate change, refugee crisis, terrorist activities, civil war across so many countries are just to name a few. The world is getting too complex. With each passing day newer kinds of problem are cropping up which have never been experienced before. Nation states are not just equipped enough to tackle the problems. The humanitarian crisis of this new age is far too tangled.
Poor states in Africa like Congo, Liberia etc depend entirely on world bodies like United Nation to provide them with the minimal funds required for survival. They are not even in a position to provide their citizens with the basic minimum necessities. These states are poverty ridden and are inflicted with all kinds of humanitarian problem. Without enough food and money, the inhabitants of these regions are forced to involve themselves with terrorist groups to survive. Terrorist organisations like Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Ansar al-Sharia (Libya), Ansar al-Sharia (Tunisia) etc are using the problem of acute poverty in this region to carry on their agenda. These groups are not only a menace for the African countries but for the whole world. A joint, concentrated effort is required to curb their influence. Action by just one country won’t be sufficient. A strenuous effort by a strong unified body is exactly what is needed.
Terrorism is a problem not only in this part of the world. The middle west of the Asian continent has also fallen a prey to terrorism. In the last 5 years the ISIS (Islamic state of Iraq and Syria) which had its birth in this region, has literally ravaged Syria and Iraq. The world saw another ethnic cleansing, this time of the Yazidi tribe. Some of the states in the world instead of combating the terrorist organization had kept on using them for their own gains. State sponsored terrorism is a new trend of the 21st century. There is no world authority to check on the activities of the states that they have been pursuing in the name of their own internal security. Innocent lives are lost in such proxy wars.
The developing and the underdeveloped countries of the world are being economically exploited by the developed countries of the world. Their resource, labour force have been wringed by the economically dominant countries. The presence of a world body is urgent under such circumstances in order to protect the economic interest of the weaker states.
Human rights violation is another major problem of the modern era. In the absence of an uniform, legally binding, codified fundamental human rights, the interest and the basic rights of citizen in many parts of the world are violated. In countries like North Korea, Myanmar, Sudan, Libya(etc) basic human right are violated to such an extent that they have been normalized. Economically powerful countries like China are not lagging too far behind in the list. The ethnic cleansing of Uyghr muslims pursued by the Chinese government is shameful and condemnable. A uniform and codified human rights bill which will be legally binding on all the countries of the world can be the only solution to this problem.
The refugee crisis is another grave problem that needs to be tackled. Refugee children are losing their childhood, with their future also at stake. Except a few countries, no states are ready to take the refugees in, for their own security concerns. Syrian refugee crisis, Rohingya refugee crisis are just to name a few. Such stateless persons have no place to live in a territorially divided world. Their only hope is a world without any national boundaries. That might give them a chance to live and survive even after not possessing a country specific citizenship.
The greatest and the most critical problem of the 21st century are climate change and global warming. Our whole existence is at stake. If under such circumstances we are unable to work together as a unified whole, it is really difficult to say how long our species will survive in this planet. If we continue to give more significance to myopic issues like nationality or ethnicity, then it will just be a matter of few decades for our species to get extinct from the face of earth. And not just our species, the very life of this planet is threatened. No trace of urgency regarding this issue can be noticed among any statesmen in the world. Some are busy constructing walls, while some are busy building statues with no concern whatsoever. An united effort on the part of states has been successful once. The Montreal Protocol implemented in almost all the countries of the world had successfully managed to counter the problem of ozone depletion. And on the same page the Kyoto protocol failed, as many states backed out. The Paris Agreement of 2015 is going for a similar fate, as countries like United States have withdrawn from the deal. All these unsuccessful agreements lack one essential component. They are not legally binding. Countries are free to walk out of the deal whenever they feel like it. A country specific perspective to reduce greenhouse emission, as the Paris Agreement envisioned, can never solve the problem of environmental crisis.This is why it is so important and urgent to form a body with the authority to make legally binding decisions, which all the states will be bound to follow and cannot just walk out at their own free will. We really need to act before it is too late.
A hypothetical structure of the World Government.
The idea of a World Government would have been considered as a utopia just a few decades back. But our experiences have made one fact crystal clear- the dire need of a World Body. Attempts were made after the 1st world war to create such a supranational body called the League of Nations. This body was weak and lacked authority. Great power like the United States did not join this body. The league was actually created to seek revenge on Germany and its partner states. The member states were just not ready to commit to the principles of internationalism. Negative nationalism was still very much alive among the states. As a result, one states after another walked out from the body gradually, which ultimately led to the fall of the League of Nations.
The world saw an unprecedented level of barbarism in the 2nd world war. The United Nations was formally created on 24th October, 1945 “to maintain international peace and security, and to that end: take collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace” (Article 1, United Nations Charter)
The United Nations is the closest thing we have to a World Government in a very loose sense of the term.
From its inception the organization has been used by the major powers in the world to serve their own specific interest. Though the United Nations was formed on the principles of mutual respect and the equal right of every member to take part in the decision making process, the reality shows something very different.
The General Assembly considered to be the legislative organ of the UN,lack the very power to take decisions on any matter. It is just a deliberative body meant for discussions and debates. The real power lies with the Security Council, in the hands of its five permanent members. They have the authority to make decision in practically every matter of international concern. It won’t be any exaggeration to state that the other agencies of the UN functions in tune with the Security Council. This biased character of the organization thwarts it from achieving its ultimate aim of international peace. Moreover like its predecessor League of Nations, United Nations lacks authority in real sense of the term. Its decisions are not legally binding, member states can walk out at their own free will, stop sending funds or can just ignore the decisions of the UN in accordance to their own interest.
A Reformed United Nations–
The most essential thing that is required to be done at the very outset is to ameliorate this world body. The very essence of the UN, its charter should be made legally binding over all the member states. This reformed United Nation would be a federation of states, where member states would be partner to an indestructible union. They cannot just walk out of the organization at their own sweet will. In order to give legitimacy and authority to this body, a part of the sovereignty of the states is required to be surrendered to achieve something much more extensive. A uniform Human Rights code should be formulated. Every states should contrive their laws in tune with the Human Rights code. In a similar way a uniform environmental policy should be engineered that would be legally binding on every single states of the world.
The agencies of the UN especially the General Assembly should be granted greater autonomy. Each and every state of the world should have the right to vote and make decisions. It should not just function as a deliberative body but like a legislative organ in the real sense of the term. The Security Council should be completely done away with to free the organization from its biased character. All executive functions should be vested on the Secretariat. The principle of equal representation should be followed, where each and every state would possess equal rights no matter how economically powerful a state might be. The interpretation and the judgments delivered by the International Court of Justice must be legally binding over all the states. The trusteeship council should be reinstated again to make poverty ridden and war ravaged states self- sufficient and to provide its citizens with a basic standard of living. But these states should be under the direct patronage of the United Nations not under the care of any other states, as the case had been with the functioning of the former trusteeship council. To solve the problem of funding, it should be made mandatory for every nation to endow the organization with a certain amount of finance that would further be determined in accordance with the GDP of the states. This funding should be made compulsory. To give the organization a democratic character, the Secretary General should be elected. But having a direct election to the office of the secretary general on a world scale is next to impossible. Indirect election to the office can be a solution to this problem. Moreover, a direct election would make it the most powerful office in the world. The power of the Secretary General would be unchallenging. Authoritative tendency might gain ground. To counter this problem, the judicial organ must be given a greater authority over all the agencies. A government without army is a body without teeth. The United Nations should recruit the army for peace keeping purposes, on its own, instead of being depended on its member states.
The formation of such a world body is really a difficult task. Keeping in mind how identities like religion, race and ethnicity still plays a vital role in world politics. Bloody wars are still being fought over identity issues like religion or nationality. But we have to understand that as a species we are much more than that. We should stop identifying ourselves on the basis of our ethnicity or nationality. At the end of the day we all are the same, sharing the same fate. We should rise above these petty matters, to aim for something bigger and extensive. We need to be aware of the fact that such identities are artificial construct which does not hold any good. Instead they have been the reason of numerous wars. The only identity we need to be aware of, is our identity as a human being. This is the only thing that matters. We need to act unitedly against the humanitarian and the environmental crisis that the world is currently facing. And what better way than to act jointly under one single government free from all kind of prejudices. It’s true that such a world order still needs a few more decades to come into existence. But preparations for that order should be initiated immediately. We need to start acting before it gets too late, before identity and environmental crisis pushes us on the verge of extinction. For the sake of our survival we need to act jointly . Just as the old saying goes, “united we stand, divided we fall.”