25. Social movements and states shall prioritize Sustainable Common Security to address shared global challenges.

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Dr. H. Peter Langille hpl@globalcommonsecurity.org ©

It’s time to pull together for Sustainable Common Security

Sustainable common security is an umbrella concept to help with the deeper understanding and cooperative action now urgently required to address shared global challenges, human and environmental needs. There are wider objectives, including to:

  1. revitalize idealism, a ‘one-world’ perspective and work for a better world;
  2. clarify the links between insecurity, the climate crisis, capitalism, militarism and inequality;
  3. build solidarity and cooperation toward a movement of movements;
  4. challenge constant preparation for more war as the central approach to national security;
  5. develop viable, sustainable policy options for peace and conflict, human rights and socio-economic justice, disarmament and development, military transformation and economic conversion, with a priority accorded to a global peace system and, arguably most important;
  6. encourage the substantive system shifts and transformations now needed.

Five global systems are now dysfunctional and failing. People need radical leaps from an unsustainable economic system to a Green New Deal; from a high-risk, high-cost war system to a global peace system; from a competitive, self-help sovereign state system to a caring and cooperative system of local and global governance.

The concept of sustainable common security is a synthesis drawing from both the imminent common security imperative of preventing worse and the sustainable security emphasis on the deeper causes. As an effort to address both immediate security needs while motivating and mobilizing for sustainable solutions, this is a modestly more comprehensive and broader umbrella for wider related effort. It’s also one to complement rather than diminish work on either approach. The emphasis is on ‘pulling together’ for a more just and safer world. In short, sustainable common security is a useful organizing principle for progressive internationalism.

The urgent need

In the words of the Dalai Lama, “your right to life, and the right to life of your children are no longer secure.”(1) Recently, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres wrote that, “… we are in a race for our lives, and we are losing.”(2)
People and the planet are in jeopardy. Five deeply integrated global systems are failing to deliver security.

The Eco-System

Climate change is accelerating.(3) Recently, the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change indicated a slim 12-year period is all that remains before devastating effects become irreversible.(4) Now, the commitments levels supported in the 2015 Paris Agreement(5) are clearly insufficient, but those are still not being met.(6)

Climate change is also described as the ultimate threat multiplier.(7) Already, it adversely effects not only the rising incidence of powerful hurricanes and cyclones, but entire regions and the survival of people. More refugees, fragile states and armed conflicts are early symptoms of worse ahead.(8) The economic system that drove most of the damage may deny responsibility, but that’s likely to come at a high cost too.

The results are evident: the extinction of living species(9); increasing temperatures for a decade(10); the increasing extremism of weather; destruction of habitat; a surge of 68.6 million forcibly displaced people world-wide(11); and a three-fold increase in civil wars.(12)

Joseph Stiglitz stresses the urgent need for a bold response writing: “the climate emergency is our third world war. Our lives and civilization as we know it are at stake, just as they were in the second world war.”(13)

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Climate change truly is the real enemy of the 21st century. The survival of humankind depends on it, yet so few people seem to recognize it.

Spend less on the military!

If governments were more cooperative, they could stop spending so much money on the military and weapons to protect themselves- this money could be used to invest in climate change mitigation/ research, to better the environment!

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, it’s becoming increasingly more obvious to me that we MUST revitalize the idea of “one-world”, and all work together. At the end of the day, pandemics don’t discriminate- anyone can get sick, and we all need to work together to find a cure.

How might we be able to build more solidarity and cooperation? I feel like as much as grassroots organizations try, when global leaders attack others and other countries and blame other countries for problems, it’s so hard to work together.

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The Freud-Einstein Correspondence: Theories of War

In 1931 Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein engaged in an exchange of letters comparing their theories about the sources of warfare. This article by Norrie MacQueen, “The Freud -Einstein Correspondence of 1932 Theories of War,” discusses the debate. The two men did not think alike.

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Green New Deals

On February 7, 2019, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York introduced in the United States House of Representatives a Resolution: Recognizing the Duty of the Federal Government to Create a Green New Deal. It demanded benefits Americans in the twenty first century lack that North West Europeans enjoyed back in the 1960s, and Americans seemed to be on track toward getting during the Roosevelt years. It demanded high wages, paid vacations, increasing life expectancy and universal access to high quality health care.

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A Shift to Sustainable Peace and Common Security

November 24, 2016:

Eleven leading civil society organizations today publicly launched their submission to the Defence Policy Review, entitled “A Shift to Sustainable Peace and Common Security.”

All members of Parliament and the Press Gallery received copies. The launch also featured an Op Ed in the Toronto Star entitled Why UN Peacekeeping is worth the risks (Peggy Mason, 23 November 2016).

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Last edited 2 months ago by Cameron

Americans celebrated Independence Day on July 4, 2019 in different ways. In Washington, D.C. Donald Trump ordered tanks to decorate the streets and mall and fighter planes to streak across the sky. In Liberty, Ohio there was the usual parade of vintage tractors down main street.

Which celebration better illustrates the meaning of sustainable common security?