Full Manifesto in English

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Mission Statement

The purpose of UN-aligned is threefold:

  1. To create a virtual and alternative United Nations
  2. To create a platform for discussion and the dissemination of knowledge
  3. To create an international political party with worldwide constituencies that will strive for the creation of a federal world order

1. The Alternative UN

Humanity has evolved from violent and selfish beginnings, but civilisation has often transcended its cruel heritage and accomplished marvellous achievements in the arts, sciences and social order. It continues to do so despite some primitive characteristics that it still needs to shake off and some new challenges that it has not had the will to face adequately. Many of the world’s ills are manmade and countless individuals, no doubt, live as though violated by these primitive, state sponsored, anomalies that continue to plague society. Although we may feel powerless in the face of practices that are entrenched in the current structures of international politics, there is nothing to stop us from creating a virtual world order that will serve as beacon while, adding momentum to the promotion of harmony and well-being.  Participation will help assert where one stands and embolden one’s position through the cooperation of like-minded people, but crucially, such a movement should, with the support of its members, spill into the real world as a force for change. 

This is the first aim of Unaligned, and it revolves around a few basic principles. Ideally, these principles should be the norms that govern the United Nations (UN) but, well into the second decade of the 21st century and over seventy years after its foundation, the UN is still burdened with anachronisms that seriously limit its effectiveness. Much has been written about the shortcomings of the UN and these are often discussed at the General Debates, as well as other political forums, but too many of its member-states are self-serving for steady and significant progress to ensue. The UN has contributed enormously to peace and progress, despite these limitations, but UN-aligned hopes to achieve even greater ones as it is not bound by the fetters that strangle the former, such as the complex and self-serving interests of the permanent members of the Security Council. Members, or member-states (should it come to that), will have to agree to espouse basic rights and responsibilities and abide by them. UN-aligned will be virtual until it can be actual. It does not have to include super powers or their money. There will be no hiding behind vetoes, nor will despotic regimes be able walk through these doors for an aura of respectability. UN-aligned does not have to court participation through dubious compromise. It is not the number of people or states that will make UN-aligned a beacon for change, but the integrity of its ideals and intentions. Of course, a greater amount of voices would be heard more easily, but this would be pointless if what was being said was vague, uninspired, or compromised. 

Conditions for membership

Conditions for membership are listed in the following articles which constitute basic ethical norms. They must not be violated by democratic votes, referenda and national constitutions, as they transcend these.

2. Structure and Functions

The structure, which may change according to the needs of the organisation, will consist of:

I. Worldwide Parishes

II. A Central Office that will supervise these various Parishes.

I. Parishes

Every parish will be responsible for its own administration according to the following requirements:

  • Parish Leader
  • Parish Administrator (optional)
  • Parish Information Officer (optional)
  • Full Members
  • A parish data system

Parishes are simply membership hubs. They may spring around different commonalities, such as language, nationhood, special interests and established networks. Parishes may register with the central office as soon as they have 5 or more adherents with full membership. Parishes may split into smaller Parishes for practical reasons when the numbers may warrant this, although the lead coordinator and information officer may be supported by their own teams, if needed to cope with increasing numbers.

-Parish Leader

The Parish Leader will be a self-appointed person committed to the principles of UN-aligned. Their role will be to administer and oversee the activities of the Parish, such as information sharing, forums, data and liaison with the Central Office. Generally, the Parish Leader will be the person founding the particular parish. For the sake of convenience, parishes should be given a name.

-Full Members

Full members are those who belong to a parish as primary members. Individuals, however, may also join other Parishes as Guest Members, for the sake of widening their network or sources of information, for instance. Membership is fluid and people may withdraw and join again whenever they choose, by informing the Administrator. A member will need to sign up to the principles of UN-aligned and give his or her name and email address, as well as, should they wish to do so, information on age and nationality (to assess the status of potential political parties).

-The Parish Data System

Data will be stored securely and confidentially, even though it will only consist of the three to five pieces of information submitted at registration: commitment to UN-aligned principles, name, email, date of birth and nationality. This information will be passed on to the Central Office, so that overall membership may be calculated, as well as national membership, since when enough members from a particular country exist, the mechanisms for launching a political party may be triggered according to the laws of that country. Should a member wish to leave, their detail will be deleted at once.

II. The Central Office

The role of the Central Office will evolve with the growth of the organisation. Initially its functions will be threefold:

  1. To maintain and monitor membership records and parish achievements
  2. To promote global UN-aligned events, interactions and vision
  3. To represent UN-aligned in official forums

The office will be staffed by two coordinators who will appoint a support team that will include an information officer and an administrator. With the growth of the organisation, funds will become will become more and more helpful to its activities; treasurers and fundraisers, therefore, will also be required. All accounting will be transparent and will be published on a monthly basis.  

The first coordinators will consist of the two founder members, for a period of five years, after which they will be replaced by elected coordinators for a term of four years. The coordinators will be responsible for the management and support of their team in the carrying out of the above functions. Coordinators would only be expected to serve for one term. After their mandate, they will automatically (if they so wish), become advisors. Advisors will form an advisory committee that will support incumbent coordinators. These committees can include experts who will be invited, as and when needed, to help shed light on specific issues.

-Lead Coordinators

Coordinators are elected individuals that serve a period of five years in office. Their main role is to lead the Central Office and oversee the activities and development of the organisation.

-Administrator

The Administrator is directly appointed by the two Coordinators for an unlimited amount of time. His/her main responsibility include:

The day to day administration of the UN-aligned Central Office and the appointment of an Information Officer

-The Information Officer

The Information Officer will be responsible for the Parish website, blog or other media; as well as canvassing and the dissemination of information, although every member may choose be involved with these tasks. Aside from the basic principles, people will have different opinions on day to day matters and these must not be presented as the view of the whole organisation. The tone of communications will always be professional, accurate and well-mannered.

3. The International Political Party

The principles of the party will be the same as the articles (1-22) with the added goal of a federal partnership consisting of all states. Details and other agendas will be added according to regional needs in the spirit of the said articles. Once a national branch has enough members and resources to take the leap from the virtual to the real world, this will happen with the support of the whole organisation. Should two or more national parties be elected in government, these may join into a federal partnership for the duration of their mandate in accordance with the UN-aligned manifesto.

Nations that are not currently recognised by the United Nations, but that have a functioning government and electoral system will be considered as independent, for the purpose of membership, because the federal ambitions of UN-aligned will outweigh nationalistic secessionist sentiment. Some countries do not operate free and fair voting systems and when this is the case, special considerations will need to be taken.

It is likely that there will be a threat of persecution towards UN-aligned members at certain times and in certain places, and these must be dealt with as each situation would demand.

Once the vision of a global federation starts to take hold in the real world, a new form of government will have to be devised in order to deal with the changing circumstances for a unified world order based on respect, wellbeing and harmony.

Articles:

Article 1: Clarifying and upholding human rights is a fundamental duty of states and citizens.

Reasoning

The dignity of humanity is linked to each individual’s rights to self-determination and cannot be violated by the state, the employer or any other dominant power. Though individual, rights are interactive and must take into account the rights of others; it is very dangerous, however, to supress them, even temporarily, for the sake of security or some other expediency. Also, rights are not static and they develop in line with progress. Primarily, they represent what is accessible to an individual, when unobstructed. However, society has increased what can be attainable, through government, cooperation and taxation, for instance. So, free health care or education, for example, could be considered human rights in those countries where these could be provided with relative ease. Protecting the former category of rights and developing and providing the latter, incurs an expense. National budgets may not have the resources to protect and provide for the rights of people beyond their borders, or to outsiders entering them. This creates a bizarre anomaly, whereby human rights are no longer human rights, but national rights. This can result in a situation where the primary rights of individuals are disregarded for the sake of secondary rights of citizens. Thus, people may be prepared to let refugees or migrants die, if helping them would jeopardise their own exclusive rights to free public transport or university. Upholding human rights, therefore, involves acknowledging the universality of primary rights and working towards the transnational standardisation and availability of all other rights.

The political party will commit to:

  • monitoring the safeguarding of human rights, particularly essential ones like safety and health, as well as those that have been historically suppressed because of religious or cultural bias, such as those related to race, gender and sexual orientation
  • involving citizens in the decision-making process with regards to their priorities, so that tax revenues will be spent according to the wishes of those who are contributing to them. With the technology that is now available, this should not be difficult
  • working towards a federal alliance of nations so that human rights can cover all humanity and not the privileged alone
  • finding ways of supporting global human rights even when constrained by national borders.

Article 2: Borders should not deprive people of the right to free of movement.

Reasoning 

If we cage the world around us, the truth is that it is we who are in the cage. Currently, most of the borders of the 21st Century are of this mould; they are like rigid bars that mostly aim to keep “foreigners” from settling where they wish. Territory is not property and people should therefore be at liberty to flow freely. The European Union has set a good example regarding the abolition of borders, although the scenario was one of fairly similar, affluent and peaceful nations. Citizens from countries that are more troubled, therefore, will require more stringent procedures, since the flow of people will not always be reciprocal and could also consist of asylum seekers and refugees attempting to flood into more stable countries, which could cause difficulties, if not managed properly. Whatever processes are put in place, they must always reflect the fact that freedom of movement is a human right.

The political party will commit to:

  • abolishing borders between UN-aligned member states, following a similar pattern to the European Union, while working to improve it
  • negotiating reciprocal long-term tourist and work visas with individual non-UN-aligned states in order to allow free movement in both directions with fewer restrictions
  • ensuring consular personnel are trained and equipped to deal with visa requests from people wishing to emigrate to their country in the most respectful and efficient way possible.

Article 3: Governments have the responsibility to support the resettlement and when appropriate, the repatriation of refugees.

Reasoning

Countries are not open prisons; hence people should not be forcibly confined within their borders. Oppressive regimes, always closed to the international principles of decency and cooperation, are generally to blame for citizens wishing to flee or abandon their countries in droves. Often these people find themselves in a double prison: with bars on the inside and bars on the outside. Having escaped the former, they should not be impaled by the latter. Support should be given to refugees in centres as close to their place of origin as possible. The more effective these centres become in terms of reallocating refugees, the more, perhaps, every sort of migrant will try to exploit their services. The latter should not be demonised for wishing to seek better opportunities in more affluent countries, although priority should be given to genuine refugees, fleeing danger and deprivation. Other migrants, should therefore seek assistance from national embassies within their own countries, which should be equipped to deal with these requests.

The political party will commit to:

  • working, both internationally and bilaterally, to resolving the problems responsible for the exodus of people from their countries, be they economic, political or environmental
  • cooperating internationally towards the eradication of exploitative migrant routes, replacing them with safe and dignified support centres as close to the place of origin as possible, which will assist in the reallocation of refugees within reasonable timeframes
  • allocating quotas and resources in order to be able to meet the nation’s responsibilities towards refugees in the fairest and most feasible and effective way possible
  • ensuring refugees permitted to enter their country are assisted to integrate and find meaningful employment so that they can be self-sufficient
  • supporting people to repatriate, if they wish to do so, when conditions within their own country have improved
  • legislating so that refugees breaking the law or undermining the values of the host nation will be repatriated as soon as possible.

Article 4: Eradicating the promotion of violence, intimidation and discrimination should be a priority of government.

Reasoning

Legislating against discrimination, intimidation and violence can help in combatting these social evils, and many developed countries do so; however, positive action is also needed in order to tackle the root cause of these problems, which often involve ignorance and the greed that exploits it. Sometimes intimidation is linked to religious norms which may threaten all kinds of punishments, including eternal damnation, for natural or innocuous acts, such as masturbating or consensual sex. Children are particularly vulnerable to this sort of harassment, which constitutes a form of child abuse.

The political party will commit to:

  • ensuring laws governing hate crime are well defined, reasonable and comprehensive
  • promoting social harmony through education, art and policies that promote social cohesion
  • nationalising or strictly regulating the arms industry in order to circumvent the motivation such industries may have in disseminating conflict
  • protecting children from institutionalised intimidation and all kinds of bullying.

Article 5: Censorship is not compatible with a civilised state, therefore freedom of speech shall be respected, as long as what is said, written or promulgated is not designed to intimidate, spread misinformation or undermine civil liberties.

Reasoning

The state has no right to limit ideas, access to information or art, unless these break the laws relating to hate crime. In fact, the state has a duty to promote all forms of education. Journalists and teachers, therefore, should not only be free to carry out their various activities, but should be given the necessary protection to do so and where appropriate, impartially supported with the necessary resources.

The political party will commit to:

  • supporting a free press and as far as is possible, the safety of journalists around the world
  • guaranteeing a wide and unbiased curriculum in state schools
  • regulating private schools and educational establishments in order to ensure that where these indulge in propaganda, this is lawful and clearly stated.

Article 6: War must be criminal offence.

Reasoning 

War is an unacceptable way of resolving differences, or crimes committed by one country against another. It should not be glorified with epithets like ‘just’ or ‘holy’; nor should it be legitimised with conventions aiming at damage limitation. Differences between nations need to be arbitrated in accordance with international law, just as personal or municipal conflict is now subject to national laws. Crimes committed by one nation against another should therefore be dealt with by international law enforcement officers or police. Combatants on the side of the aggressor will be criminals. Countries can no longer be allowed to use the term ‘soldier’ or ‘patriot’ to justify the deployment of people to commit crimes. Until the international order will have the means to deal with aggression according to established laws, nations will probably have to defend themselves as far as it is possible for them to do so. This perpetrates the scenario where countries compete against each other for stockpiles of weapons. It is therefore imperative that the international order, with a force capable of deterring aggression within law enforcement perimeters, be set up as soon as possible. Also, since we have no guarantees against extra-terrestrial attacks or potentially destructive phenomena, defence and research in these areas must be ongoing, though not to the detriment of more immediate issues.

The political party will commit to:

  • updating and refining the Kellogg-Briand pact that made war illegal
  • working towards the creation of an international police force to protect nations from hostile acts emanating from rogue nations
  • restructuring, redefining and developing the nation’s defence force
  • promoting, supporting and developing the functions of the International Criminal Court

Article 7: Whilst basic duties may (and in certain cases, should) be enshrined in the law, the law should aim to be as unobtrusive as possible.

Reasoning 

Every citizen should respect life, property, nature, transactions and the culture of the area they are living in, or visiting (unless this culture violates human rights – Article 1). These responsibilities are generally enshrined in national laws. Duties, however, do not merely consist in refraining from doing harm; national governments have a collective responsibility to promote harmony and wellbeing, including the protection of biodiversity and the planet, through education and public information channels. National and international laws generally already provide a basis for social behaviour, although education around these issues is sometimes limited or muddied by doctrines, nationalistic or religious, that equally encourage violent behaviour towards other humans or animals. Education around ethical, social and global issues should be provided according to universal norms. Often, the most fundamental duty of all, that is, the responsibility of individuals to respect and cultivate themselves, is the biggest problem of all, but many would agree that it is not within the remit of the government to issue legislation forcing adults to care for themselves. Nevertheless, taxes could be levied on the products or services involved (such as casinos and drugs) to counter the costs to society when the repercussions of these failures affect other civilians or national budgets, through healthcare or policing, for instance.

The political party will commit to:

  • cleansing legislation from unwarranted government interference in the personal lives of its citizens, whilst upholding and developing those that genuinely protect  
  • promoting harmony and wellbeing, including the protection of biodiversity and the planet, through education and public information channels
  • devising and implementing a fair tax system that will not penalise prudent citizens with the expenses incurred by those who choose to live dangerously.

Article 8: Religion cannot be used to promote violence, bigotry and intolerance.

Reasoning

Many religions developed in the milieu of violence and intolerance and most have not rid themselves entirely from the anomalies of this historical context. All too often religious leaders are silent regarding the atrocities or prejudice committed in the name of their religion, but even more sinister is the fact that some actually advocate hatred and its ramifications. Promoting injustice towards people or animals is unacceptable and religious leaders of this mould should not be recognised as legitimate religious representatives. Religious leaders have a duty to promote harmony, if they do not, then they are fakes and should be dealt with according to hate laws, since religion cannot be above ethical conduct.

The political party will commit to:

  • combatting indoctrination though primary and secondary education, as well as through appropriate support and information services
  • highlighting religious doctrines or attitudes that contravene human or animal rights and ensuring laws are robust enough to deal with these abuses.

Article 9: Democracy is not beyond justice.

Reasoning

Sometimes ‘democracy’ assumes that the majority knows best; or that, even if it does not, it has the right to get its way anyway. Cultivation is an arduous task, so the reality is often that it is the minority that is in a better position to judge. Democracy can also be a hindrance to continuity, as one government reverses the policies or development of the former. In order to safeguard justice and development, therefore, restrictions need to be placed on democracy, so that the basic principles of liberty, fraternity and equality (equal rights) are not jeopardised. Basic principles of governance are already enshrined in many constitutions, although often these have been drafted from a limited and nationalistic point of view. Ideally, all nations need to revise their constitutions or laws to reflect a more international and inclusive perspective of human rights that cannot be dismissed at the ballot box.

The political party will commit to:

  • a declaration of human rights, animal welfare and environmental protection that cannot be supplanted by the ballot box
  • processes and policies that will facilitate joint parliamentary decision-making in order to strengthen the prospect of long-term planning
  • promoting sensible democratic principles around the world.

Article 10: Governments have the duty to promote education, research and the arts.

Reasoning

Education is an important part of human progress and impacts self-development, economic improvement and global security. Apart from working towards an excellent, ongoing and inclusive education system, governments have an obligation to provide free education and ensure that the sciences and the arts are supported in their development. With the onset of the digital age, means and methods of education could be so much more innovative and effective. It is important that those with the responsibility for education have the vision to transcend traditional teaching, in safe and creative ways.

The political party will commit to:

  • cautiously overhauling the education system, with regards to methods, curricula, venues, resources, uniformity and objectives
  • sponsoring scientific research
  • supporting the arts and working towards making various art forms more accessible and sustainable

Article 11: Governments have a duty to promote good communication.

Reasoning

Communication is what enables individuals and societies to share their knowledge and feelings and enrich their potential. Language is an important feature of this exchange and individuals and nations should promote the learning of a lingua franca to facilitate international communications.  English seems like an obvious choice as it is already widely spoken as a first or other language.

The political party will commit to:

  • promoting the international acceptance of a language that will be taught in schools in every country as a first or other language
  • Supporting an efficient, free, accessible, and minimally regulated internet.

Article 12: Adults have a responsibility to care for children.

Reasoning

The way of bringing up children is changing and same sex parents, or single parents, for instance, are becoming more widespread. Sometimes the change is brought about by pressures on traditional lifestyles, by industrialisation, for instance, as in the case of the Mosuo People in China. Whatever the scenario, however, children must be cared for with regards to their physical, emotional and educational needs. This responsibility starts before parturition, as soon as science, or conscience, recognises the unborn child as an individual. The government also has the responsibility with regards to child care, as there are many cases where parents or guardians can no longer cope or, are incapable of providing for the safety and development of the child. Also, though scientists may determine, to the best of their knowledge, a point in a foetus’ development where it may be classed as an individual and therefore a person with rights who must not be killed indiscriminately, no one should never be forced to have, or perform an abortion.  

The political party will commit to:

  • refining and strengthening legislation that helps parents care for their children
  • ensuring laws regulating abortions are fair and flexible
  • protecting children from bullying, abuse and violence through legislation and support mechanisms that can be easily accessed by children
  • setting limits to the amount of homework and study hours children are forced to do
  • banning genital mutilation of children (including circumcision), except for medical reasons.

Article 13: Governments have the duty to ensure the wellbeing of its citizens, and that health services and social care are available to all.

Reasoning

The health, safety and wellbeing of citizens must be the priority of governments; they must guarantee and uphold the standards of service to which individuals are legally entitled, respect pensioners and support those who face hardships or cannot work. Governments should be proactive since prevention is better than cure; for instance, day care for some elderly people could postpone or prevent residential care; but better still, government could support people to create their own social, self-help and amusement networks.

The political party will commit to:

  • researching the best way to support citizens and sponsor scientific and technological progress in these areas
  • cooperating with other countries in order to share expertise and where appropriate, facilities
  • guaranteeing free or affordable health care and social care
  • working proactively in order to support individuals to be as independent and self-sufficient as possible  
  • promoting healthy lifestyles and where necessary subsidising sports and entertainment
  • ensuring communities have access to parks, libraries, museums, public toilets and necessary services
  • ensuring that health and safety laws are comprehensive, but reasonable and not overbearing.

Article 14: There are many occasions when certain individuals or groups find themselves in difficulty; it is the duty of those in a position to help, to do so in proactive and pre-emptive ways.

Reasoning 

Society and nature are far from perfect and many of the tragedies and troubles people face are often beyond their control. Sometimes, suicide presents itself as the only way out and its power to do so comes from a disgraceful lack of support mechanisms. Suicide is one of the most common causes of untimely death and too little is done to deal with the problem. Links that are both professional and informal in nature could provide a network that guarantees a certain security for people when things go wrong. Generally, social, medical, governmental or voluntary services are so limited in their scope, that they cannot deal with the wide range of human ills. A more flexible structure must be set up to be able to support individuals whatever their problems may be.

The political party will commit to:

  • highlighting the issue and the support mechanisms that are available
  • developing a range of help centres specialised to deal with the specific triggers; for instance, those linked to a person’s environment, financial situation, traumatic experiences and physical and emotional wellbeing
  • dealing with social issues that exacerbate the problem, such as bullying, prejudice and bigotry.

Article 15: The penal system must be rehabilitative not vindictive.

Reasoning 

Society is based on trust and when people breach that trust through crime, the trust invested in them will need to be appropriately curtailed for as long as is necessary. This may, in extreme circumstances, involve confinement. We now have the technology to curtail certain freedoms more cheaply and humanely. These should be proportional to the risks involved, both with regards to extent and to duration, but should also discourage potential criminals from taking their chances on illegal activities. Imprisonment has been inflicted for a number of reasons, the main ones relate to punishment, deterrent and safety. In more advanced societies, there is a fourth reason, which is rehabilitation. Revenge for its own sake serves no useful purpose, other than, perhaps, being gratifying for some of the victims of crime, but in a civilised society the latter should be supported to cope in more positive and productive ways.

The political party will commit to:

  • rehauling the penal system, so that
  • criminals are given opportunities to serve their communities, particularly in those areas that they have violated the law
    • more productive methods than incarceration are used whenever possible to discourage people from reoffending
    • professional staff are employed and regularly trained to rehabilitate offenders and help them for as long as is necessary to lead crime-free lives
    • victims of crime are compensated as far as is possible, by the perpetrator of the crime or by other means
  • ensuring that the education system is pre-emptive with regards to crime, both with regards to school curricula and the identifying of antisocial behaviour so that support can be provided at an early stage of a child’s development
  • phasing out the practice of suing people: people either break the law and compensate, or they do not
  • ensuring the penalties stipulated by the law discourage crime in a fair and creative way
  • establishing clearer guidelines for judges to follow when sentencing
  • developing comprehensive mental health assessment and support to individuals facing the judicial and penal systems.

Article 16: Governments and individuals have a duty to protect the environment and biodiversity.

Reasoning

The earth does not belong to the human species, to use and abuse for its selfish designs, but even if it did, it would not be in humanity’s interest to deplete its resources and destroy the balance of nature. Many people have already lost their lives because of pollution and it consequences, as have many animals and species. The situation will only get worse unless more stringent measures are taken.

The political party will commit to:

  • reducing our carbon footprint through various means, such as:
    • international accords
    • the introduction of schemes to limit the need of packaging
    • improved recycling methods
    • investment and research into clean energy
    • regulated farming
    • tax incentives
  • taking all necessary measures to ensure remedial action is adopted in order to address the damage that has already been done
  • implementing and promoting legislation to protect the planet from further indiscriminate exploitation.

Article 17: Animal Rights must be respected.

Reasoning

Being the dominant species on Earth does not give us the right to exploit all other life forms for food, fun or fashion, especially now that we have the means and the understanding to avoid this. Animal welfare is closely tied with our wellbeing in the ecosystem. Moreover, although the practices of the meat industry vary from place to place with respects to levels of cruelty, all have three clear things in common: 

  1. Objectifying and massacring animals for our pleasure
  2. Consuming vast amounts of resources for very limited returns (compared to the abundance vegan or vegetarian options would bring)
  3. Contributing in dangerous proportions to the pollution of our planet and the health of its citizens

We have evolved through the ages on the “blood” of others, especially other life forms, and phasing out this dependency will take time, both with regards to changing our mindset, which generally disregards the rights of other species, and in implementing alternative food sources and livelihoods.

The political party will commit to:

  • educating people on the rights of animals and other lifeforms
  • subsidising cruelty-free products
  • supporting people in the meat, fisheries and similar industries to diversify into cruelty-free and environmentally-friendly alternatives
  • prioritising the protection of endangered species
  • tightening existing laws on animal cruelty
  • banning all sports that trample on animal rights
  • protecting natural habitats of animals and marine lifeforms.

Article 18: Individuals and governments have a duty to explore, unravel, exhibit, publicise and preserve humanity's cultural heritage, while at the same time respecting the sacredness of particular sites.

Reasoning

Whilst every effort should be made to explore and expose our cultural heritage, this should not be done to the detriment of the values and intentions of our ancestors. Too often we plunder tombs and sites that were once considered holy without the slightest respect or regard towards the people who created them.

The political party will commit to:

  • exploring and preserving historical sites
  • working, both nationally and internationally, towards the protection of the holy sites of indigenous peoples and the dignity of the remains and burial sites of past civilisations
  • returning, as far as is possible or practical, stolen articles to the countries from which they were stolen.

Article 19: Hoarding wealth must have its limits.

Reasoning 

People will always have greater or lesser wealth depending on a number of factors, such as good or bad fortune, abilities, expertise, priorities or effort, but everyone should have the opportunity to have enough and more. This involves a competent use and development of resources, but also requires limits to the amount individuals can hoard in unimaginative and unproductive coffers. Apart from the limited commodities gold can be converted to, at the end of the day, as the story of Midas taught us, gold remains gold and we cannot eat, drink or breath it. Money is the same, it is primarily useful when it is in circulation, and as close to the good old transactions of the past: so many apples for so many pears. Of course, we all need money for “a rainy day” or future projects, but billions of dollars in bank accounts hardly qualify for that. Indeed, banks play with the investments they hold, so investments are not totally idle, but apart from the reckless risks bankers sometimes take, money can easily be invested in nefarious products and causes. So, banks should be nationalised, to ensure investments are used for ethical aims, but also to limit the amount any one person can deposit, that is, a sum that can be reasonably spent in a lifetime.

The political party will commit to:

  • working towards a fairer distribution of wealth (methods will vary from country to country and involve distribution across countries)
  • nationalising banks
  • limiting the amount of money people can hoard.

Article 20: National resources must take account of international needs.

Reasoning

It would be obscene for half a country to live in luxury, while the other half is plagued by poverty and starvation. Similarly, parts of the globe should not languish in deprivation, when enough resources are available to resolve this deplorable state of affairs.

The political party will commit to:

  • ensuring that it is involved in and committed to international efforts to eradicate poverty, tackle climate change, defeat terrorism, promote justice and in deal with other issues that require global solutions
  • promoting public awareness regarding global issues and the responsibility individuals and governments have in resolving with them.

Article 21: Governments have a duty to invest in their nation’s infrastructure.

Reasoning

Certain services and projects relating to a country’s infrastructure can be beyond the means of ordinary individuals or organisations, and when this is the case, governments should ensure that systems are in place to provide these, while not necessarily excluding the private sector from providing similar services.  

The political party will commit to:

  • providing an efficient, comprehensive and well-maintained road network
  • providing an efficient, comprehensive and well-maintained public transport system
  • providing an efficient and reliable postal service
  • facilitating international travel, while taking into account environmental factors
  • ensuring that essential utilities, like water, electricity and clean energy, are provided at the lowest possible cost to the consumer for reasonable levels of consumption and at the fairest possible cost after that.

Article 22: Trade between nations should be promoted and facilitated

Reasoning

Whilst it may be desirable for a country to produce a range of goods, so that in an emergency it could be self-sufficient, supporting ‘lost leaders’ is not the best way of achieving this and imaginative approaches that do not jeopardise free trade should be considered. Equally, import and export taxes may help support the infrastructure of nations and their international obligations, but these discriminate against goods merely because of their origin and adds an artificial cost to products. Imported goods already incur extra transportation costs, they should not be penalised on top of this. However, progress on free trade requires international agreements, as unilateral action in favour of it, would be more likely to encourage rogue leaders to flout decency for personal or nationalistic gains.

The political party will commit to:

  • fostering free trade and abolishing protectionist laws, where these exist
  • abolishing import and export taxes through bilateral and multinational agreements

Article 23: Companies and multinational corporations must be regulated fairly.

Reasoning

Corporations often get away with murder. Many laws allow them the pillage and exploit, without even giving anything back to the communities they devastate. Often, they pollute to murderous extents and are happy to factor in the fines that would ensue. The pharmaceutical and fuel industries, for example, are notorious for shattering lives and environments, while corrupt governments are happy to let them, as they ignore the plight of masses of their own people. Rigorous legislation must be in place, both at national and international level, to protect people and the environment.

The political party will commit to:

  • changing national laws, and working to improve international ones, in order to protect people, indigenous communities and the environment from companies that ignore their corporate social responsibilities by putting profit before decency
  • ensuring that the self-regulation of companies is never a replacement for external monitoring that aims to protect in a thorough, informed and effective manner
  • making people responsible for crimes they commit in the name of their company, or the company commits in a cloud of veiled responsibility
  • Legislating so that all companies contribute to the wellbeing of the communities they are operating in.



Conclusion

The world is changing rapidly. Advancements in science, such as virtual worlds, wonder drugs and artificial intelligence may alter the very fabric of our existence. These articles will therefore be subject to change and development. The spirit of UNaligned, however, will remain the same; they are based on the core principles of a shared humanity and a shared planet that require respect, cooperation and freedom from bigotry.