Overview: Enabling Measures

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Five Enabling Measures: Outline of Contributions

Enabling Measures (EM) are broad indirect measures that are required to activate the proposed twenty Platform for Survival policies. In this sense they are unlike the twenty planks that are designed to directly address five existential threats. The EM are, therefore, more complex and less precise in their formulation. They may describe clear policy change, but they are also inevitably about large-scale framework adjustments and structural shifts.

For example, whereas plank #9 calls on all states to “adopt norms and procedures for the production, recovery, and recycling of materials”, the related enabling measures could include #21, financial institutional support for a recycling transition, #22, civil society involvement in stimulating and monitoring governments, #23, cities and provincial/state level articulation and implementation of policy, and #24, activist shareholders pressing for changes to corporate standards. There are even broader security implications that relate through EM#25, including a durable global survival ethic.

Not every policy proposal among the core twenty (#1-#20) contemplates collective transformation at the “enabling” level (#21-#25), but the latter are integrally linked with each other and all the existential threats. Global change will require both a practical and philosophical shift in governance and public attitudes. Similarly, publics will affect and be impacted by governments.

The five enabling measures cover wide swaths of categories and were developed to collect and integrate dozens of individual proposed “measures” into coherent groups. This effort was not without some controversy, but the logic of the resulting “five” is worth thinking deeply about. They are, paraphrased, covering these constituencies: Sustainable finance; civil society influence; sub-national governance; investment decision-making; and security. All have bottom up and top down relevance and implications, but citizens must encourage (by voting, through activism and advocacy) and governments must act (on their own, by leading, and in cooperation with others at the local, regional and global levels.)
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Related Videos and Podcasts

69. Peace and Nationalism
https://youtu.be/bhXKTohvijM
• Nigel Young Professor Emeritus of Peace Studies, Colgate University.

62. Beautiful Trouble
https://youtu.be/xKUjfWM2Oa4
• Nadine Bloch, Puppet-maker, peace educator, and author of Beautiful Trouble and SNAP (a guide to nonviolent resistance).

61. Creating Real Security
https://youtu.be/E53xmsp5K0E
• Paul Maillet, Col. (ret.) Canadian Forces; President, Civilian Peace Service Canada

60. Peacebuilding
https://youtu.be/ax3rHLuszgs
• Kai Brand-Jacobsen, Director of Peace Operations, Peace Action, Training Research Institute of Romania (PATRIR)

57. Gandhi: Justice, Technology
https://youtu.be/yKJC4HpW-h0
• Anand Mazgaonkar, National Alliance for Peoples Movement, Ahmedabad, India
• Carl Kline, Satyagraha Institute
• Yeshua Moser-Puangsuwan, Nonviolence International

52. The Right to Assist Nonviolence?
https://youtu.be/ewrq1nrgLEg
• Maciej Bartkowski, Senior director of education and research, International Center on Nonviolent Conflict.

48. U.N. and Peacekeeping
https://youtu.be/F5eZg2czW3c
• Walter Dorn, Professor of Defence Studies, Canadian Forces College

45: Gandhian Sustainable Development Goals
https://youtu.be/SQbbxLa4N50
• Jill Carr-Harris and Rajagopal, co-leaders of the Jai Japal march from India to Geneva, starting in October 2020.

43. Nuclear Divestment
https://youtu.be/PHCddyuBhZw
• Alyn Ware, Parliamentarian Network for Nuclear Disarmament

35. Active Nonviolence
https://youtu.be/ltX1zNlnk64
• Jamila Raqib, Director of Albert Einstein Institution

34. Popular Resistance
https://youtu.be/tQ6qfp4YNx0
• Kevin Zeese, Baltimore lawyer and movement organizer

31. The Corporation as Criminal
https://youtu.be/Qgh6fiZsvso
• Harry Glasbeek, Professor Emeritus, York

27. Assessing Risk of Global Threats
https://youtube.com/watch?v=vf4mzBTGBXw
• Mark Sedra, Adjunct Professor, Balsillie School

24. Faith Communities
https://youtu.be/oRcf5oifVXA
• Karen Hamilton, Organizer, Parliament of the World Religions

23. Globalization and Separatism
https://youtu.be/IFToJ_zWSNs
• Robert Schaeffer, Prof. at Cal Poly U.
• Thomas Ponniah, Prof. at George Brown College

20. Humanitarian Aid and Singing
https://youtu.be/M5ZDAXqB5G8
• Mary-Wynne Ashford, MD. Past CoChair, International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW)

17. Project Ploughshares
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• Cesar Jaramillo, Executive Director, Project Ploughshares

15. Basic Income
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• John Mills, Advocate of Basic Income
• Tom Cooper, Director, Hamilton Round Table on Poverty Reduction

12. Peace studies
https://youtu.be/KAGED2W_DYs
• Susana Barnes, Adjust Professor of Anthropology, University of Saskatchewan.
• Christopher Hrynkow, Professor of Religious Studies, U. of Saskatchewan
• Florence Stratton, Retired Professor of English, University of Regina
• Peter Venton, Former Economist for the Government of Ontario, Toronto

11. Reforming the United Nations

https://youtu.be/GC-OxH9cdko

• Robin Collins, Group of 78, Canadian Pugwash Group, and World Federalist Movement.
• John Trent, Retired Professor of Political Studies, University of Ottawa
• Fergus Watt, Executive Director, World Federalist Movement of Canada

10. UN Emergency Peace Service
https://youtu.be/GkMqDIvCbZI
• Robin Collins, Group of 78, Canadian Pugwash Group, and World Federalist Movement.
• Timothy Donais, Associate Professor of Political Science, Wilfrid Laurier University
• Peter Langille, author of Developing a United Nations Emergency Peace Service (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015).

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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24. Investors and regulators shall compel all businesses to comply with the U.N. Global Compact.

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I. Move the Nuclear Weapons Money

Rapporteur: Alyn Ware

Over the next 10 years, governments plan to spend a staggering $1 trillion on nuclear weapons globally. That’s $100 billion annually. Meanwhile the core budget of the UN is just $5 billion. Peace, health, education, climate protection and sustainable development are all underfunded while nuclear weapons budgets continue to rise.

Move the Nuclear Weapons Money is an international campaign which aims to reverse this. It brings together national and international organisations, that have been working independently for a number of years, to promote cuts to nuclear weapons budgets, divestment from nuclear weapons and reinvestment in socially responsible and ethical investment.

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23. Sub-national governments and non-state actors shall exercise leadership in solving global problems.

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Rapporteur: Metta Spencer

Nation states are the political entities that supposedly make the vast majority of decisions about urgent matters of global importance. Nations have armies. Nations make treaties with other nations to regulate travel through their skies. Nations make the rules for trading with each other. Nations police their borders and decide who may cross them. It is nations that have votes in the United Nations and other multilateral global institutions. Indeed, it is easy to assume that only nations can determine how the climate will be managed.

That would be a mistaken idea. Other polities also have influence over the temperature of our planet. States and provinces build expressways, for example, as well as control electric grids; enact laws about the emission standards for cars; and maintain forests and waterways. A complete list of provincial powers would fill pages.

Municipalities also exercise great political control over the practices prevailing locally. For example, it is city councils and their agencies that run cities’ buses and subways; choose the type of bulbs to be used in street lights; collect and dispose of trash; enforce building codes; maintain sanitation standards of restaurants; run public schools, libraries and hospitals; purify the tap water; and decide whether or not a proposed casino or race track may be built.

Indeed, subnational governments may have as much control over the factors behind global warming as national governments. Admittedly, it would be foolish to underestimate the importance of nation states in regulating the environment and setting tax rates that incentivize the crucial activities of individuals and businesses. When Donald Trump declared that the United States would quit the Paris Agreement, there were huge consequences. On the other hand, he has not been able to do as much damage to the environment and climate as he intended. Why not? Because, whereas foreign and military policy are decided by the nation’s top executives, the environment is greatly influenced by local practices that provinces and municipalities regulate.

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22. All multilateral institutions shall heed the demands of international civil society alliances for justice.

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Rapporteurs: Robin Collins, Karen Hamilton and Fergus Watt

Some Takeaways:

  • Civil Society should concentrate on informing the public, to pressure governments
  • International Campaigns are influential when they are credible, expert and sophisticated
  • There is a place for both CSO activism, and CSO collaboration with governments
  • Civil society alliances must understand how multilateral institutions make and alter policy
  • Observe: Interconnectedness of issues.
  • Democracies have obligations to listen to civil society. What about autocracies and undemocratic governments?
  • International civil society, working with small and medium governments through the UN General Assembly, has the ability to drive change, even without big powers.
  • >The international system is still based on sovereign governments as the primary actors. A good idea without a critical mass of governments in support won’t get very far.
  • Civil society can mobilize public and political support across boundaries and with various stakeholder constituencies in ways that governments can’t.<
  • Civil society organization is much more effective when there is a high degree of prior agreement among constituent CSOs on the outcome(s) being pursued. The more focused the campaign, the more effective the outcomes.

This overview focuses on multilateral institutions that relate to existential threats such as war/nuclear war (peace and disarmament) and climate change.

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21. All states shall support SDGs, tax wealth and financial transactions, and redistribute funds equitably.

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1. SDGs and the Redistribution of Wealth for “Saving the World in a Hurry”

Is a Higher ‘Quality of Life’ a Bulwark Against Disaster?

Rapporteur: Shane Roberts

The six threats of the Project to “save the world” are described as “causally inter-dependent” and requiring “systemic change”. This points to a complex world, where any problem, cause, effect or solution related to each threat may be given a simple label that masks an underlying complexity, e.g. in a mesh of chicken-and-egg dilemmas about where to start: everywhere at once?

So it is with the Project’s roster of solutions, wherein ‘plank’ #21 in part states that “All states shall support SDGs” and in so many words arguably calls for a redistribution of global wealth. Between the SDGs and the notion of redistributing wealth, we have landed in a sea of complexity – theoretical and practical. To start with, what are the SDGs, and what might one mean by “wealth” and mechanisms for its redistribution?

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