Solving the global crisis, this is the key
- An open letter to the United Nations
We are now talking about global warming, Human society under urgent threat, and exploring solutions to protect the ecological environment. I think this is to avoid reality and not to the point. If regional conflicts continue, military exercises are frequent, oil fields can be blown up, forests will burn, so-called Energy Security Strategies "Give up the near seeking the far" will increase the pollution, popularization of environmental protection technology will encounter various obstacles……then how can we talk about environmental protection?
In today's world, all kinds of contradictions and crises are emerging one after another. Even if we have an organization like the United Nations (UN) that is aimed at handling these issues, it cannot solve all the problems in its current state. Moreover, some Member States have begun to form their own interests beyond the UN, preventing the UN from fully realizing its role and its function.
Issues, such as maritime disputes, territorial disputes, climate change, geological disasters, socioeconomic inequality, application of technology, energy efficiency, and terrorist threats, are among the many responsibilities that the UN has been tasked with; however, these have not been solved. In plain terms, the main reason is due to lack of money, which is the key to solve the global crisis.
Addressing the feasibility aspect of the argument, let us briefly brainstorm a few ways the UN could receive funds.
- Membership fees, which currently exist as contributions from the Member States.
While some countries pay more, or less, these funds are still insufficient. Furthermore, we also need to take into account that countries could withhold or delay payments in order to influence the decision making processes in their favor.
- Donations, similarly to how churches, charities etc. are funded.
If the United Nations can ultimately solve the world’s pressing issues, it can use its credibility to receive donations from corporations and individuals, which can be a substantive amount.
- Generating their own income through its own management team, tentatively called the United Nations Economic Development Corporation (UNEDC), which can arguably allow for the most impartial budget.
The first two do not appear to be sufficient for our scope. To expand on the third point, we can take a look at one potential way to earn income.
There is no doubt that the ocean is a vast pool of a common resource that individual countries highly value for its economic and strategic purposes. A growing number of territorial disputes cannot be solved by United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, which brings forth different interpretations of “exclusive economic zones up to 200 miles offshore” and “the natural extension of the continental shelf”.
A similar problem arises in the Arctic regions, where Arctic countries claim sovereignty over Arctic land, which was not inhabited until modern times and thus should belong to us all.
Thus, one income-generating possibility would be for the UN to establish UNEDC. Of its many responsibilities, one would be to oversee the development and utilization of unclaimed or disputed territories, such as the polar regions or doubly claimed marine areas.
There are also opportunities for the UNEDC to cooperate with island nations or for-profit firms to realize projects. Ideally, profits would be distributed according to an agenda that both weighs individual countries’ contribution to them and the needs of the entire world. By developing those regions and sharing their interests based on (investment and labor) contributions by individual countries, the UN could ease the contradictions in territorial assignments and thereby foster peaceful neighbor relations.
If we continue with the assumption that the UN would be able to sufficiently and independently fund itself, we can set a stage for a discussion on what such an approach would allow us to achieve:
- The funds could increase the efficacy and reach of UN’s peacekeeping forces. Along with the support of other countries, the UN could become the main force to combat terrorist activity and other crimes. This would provide a universal framework for dealing with violent conflicts and would help maintain world peace. At the same time, an effective peacekeeping unit can reduce pre-emptive measures by countries to go to war, which would allow countries to shift resources from the national defense budget towards other important needs. Additionally, it would make the military groups formed by various regions and interest groups non-meaningful.
- Technology, that would usually be too expensive for deployment, such as those for environmental protection, could be purchased by the UN to protect the environment where the market would otherwise fail. These purchases would simultaneously spur investment and innovations in these fields (solar, wind, nuclear power etc.). In this way we can achieve carbon neutrality as soon as possible, and effectively control global warming to save our common planet.
- To prevent and treat diseases, the UN could use its income to purchase the rights to the most advanced and effective drugs. In doing so, life-saving, but expensive, medicine would become affordable for everyone.
- The funds can also be used to purchase knowledge and technology in agriculture so that it can be shared with developing countries. The use of new technologies and new equipment could increase global agricultural output, prevent agricultural disasters, and ensure a stable food supply.
- The UN could also foster scientific research to forecast and protect against natural disasters (such as earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, forest fires, etc.). Moreover, with its status, it can mediate the exchange of information and technology between countries to extend its reach to a global scale. When taking the Amazon forest fires as an example, it can be said that protecting the Earth's "green lungs" is a responsibility that we as its inhabitants all share.
- We could also set up international coordination and collaboration for effective deployment of the Earth's resources, the search for alternative energy sources, and the use of nuclear energy, which would guarantee the energy supply of all countries. This would allow us to avoid inefficient use of existing energy transmission pipelines that are shaped by political forces and national security issues. If the United Nations can guarantee the energy supply for every country and coordinate the energy transactions between countries based on proximity, it will certainly be supported by energy exporting countries and importing countries.
- The UN could centralize space research and exploration to avoid excess resources spent on researching identical things. The space race is against time, not each other. Our goal is to avoid redundant satellites, garbage generated in space, to work together to combat the asteroid impact, and to complete the quest to access other planets reliably: such as landing on the moon and flying to Mars.
- The UN could coordinate work in the desalination of seawater, protection of glaciers, prevention of desertification, and afforestation.
As is commonly known, lack of water is a significant threat to human survival. To avoid a desperate war and ensure the survival of the Earth, we must look for solutions, such as desalination of the seemingly inexhaustible seas. Other methodologies include drip irrigation technologies that can turn desert into oasis. To encourage afforestation, the UN could issue the “Earth Green Lung” bonus to award and encourage countries to maintain their forests, to the benefit of everyone.
- Let the status and influence of each nation depend on a nation’s contribution to mankind, not military strength and intimidation.
- Achieving these goals would bring us closer to living harmoniously together.
Each of the points raised here are more complex than they appear, but they hopefully provide a starting point for further discussion and would allow us to move closer to a more sustainable life on Earth.