In marking the 95th birthday of former President Jimmy Carter most praises of his leadership failed to emphasis his wisdom in putting the protection of human rights globally at the top of US foreign policy priorities.His 1980 bipartisan Presidential Commission on World Hunger was unanimous in predicting the increased lethal and costly global problems that would threaten our national security if we failed to eliminate the worst aspects of global hunger and poverty by the year 2000. We failed, and the threats just keep coming. Even the US military and intelligence agencies agree that global warming exacerbates many of the elements it considers in defending our freedom and security.
With all the attention the UN, progressives, and wise conservatives are giving Climate Change it does appear that the UN is more devoted to “Saving the planet, not the people: The U.N. places climate above all” as a September 2019 Washington Times editorial asserts.
But most Americans (liberal and conservative) fail to understand (or remember) that the UN was created purposefully with a limited capacity to put the protection of national sovereignty above all else. It remains a confederation of states with no power of enforcement.
When the US federation of states originally gained the power of enforcement if erred in putting the sovereignty of states rights over human rights which resulted in a bloody civil war that killed more American than all the wars our nation has fought in since then…combined. The past codification of that profoundly flawed principle continues to haunt our nation today in spite of its national correction.
Modern International law’s incapacity to enforce any human rights is perpetuating multiple threats.
It’s unfortunate that the mainstream media offers zero mention of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that the nations and hundreds of organizations of the world have agreed upon. It remains the only comprehensive approach to nearly every threat that humans, the environment, and nations face today.
Each of these goals deserve the greatest sustained attention from every government, corporation, political party, media source, and UN agency until they are achieved on or before the 2030 deadline.
Only by putting the protection of human rights and the environment above the rights of nations will we be able to protect our cherished freedoms and our own national security.
The SDGs are effectively the only comprehensive approach that can addresses the root causes of nearly every injustice that fuels the threats we face. The only other option is to take the chance of creating a global bill of rights and give the UN the capacity to enforce it.
Otherwise, as General Mattes suggested, “we need to buy more bullets”. And anyone with at least one functional brain cell knows that bullets won’t stop pandemics, cyber-bioweapons-drone attacks, extreme weather conditions, species extinctions…and ultimate our own existence as a civilized species.