Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Index of Governance Update

This is the second of a series of occasional updates on the Index of Governance concept, the proposal that before the UN resorts to the use military force against states that are abusing the human rights of their citizens, it needs to have in lace a non-violent system that disables oppressive regimes. The Index of Governance will measure objectively the human rights performance of all states at UN level, and will later set a tariff of targeted sanctions designed to disempower the ruling elite of states that abuse their citizens.

I have taken motions to the spring conferences of the United Nations Association and Amnesty International UK. The result is that both organisations are now committed to evaluation the Index idea at Board level.

A motion on the Index was referred back by the Green Party Conference, so it will come back to the October Conference.

It will be discussed at the Medact conference later this month. Medact is for social and environmental action by people in the health professions.

The application for a Joseph Rowntree Visionaries support will be considered later this month.

An article on the Index will be published in the academic journal "Medicine Conflict and Survival" in July.

A paper has been published on the http://www.visionforum.it/mission_en.php website.

The tactic at present is to get the idea to be familiar in peace and human rights circles, before attempting the to get it in to the United Nations itself, using the Simultaneous Policy ( http://www.simpol.org.uk/simpoluk.php ) method. If this seems impossibly difficult, I would point to the example of Aubrey Meyer, ( http://www.gci.org.uk/ ) who is succeeding, through sheer persistence, in moving the Contraction and Convergence solution for global warming up the political agenda. "Civil Society" is a buzz word in UN circles, and the Index of Governance and C&C are definitely civil society initiatives.

The explanatory page on the index at http://www.greenhealth.org.uk/Index%20of%20Governance.htm is updated from time to time. The main change is that the International Criminal Court will be invoked to look at the worst offenders, replacing the concept of "automatic" sanctions for the worst performers.
Finally, a couple of sympathisers have objected to the title "Index of Governance" as too cumbersome and unfamiliar. Is there a preference for reversion to the title of "Index of Human Rights", or "International Human Rights List?"

For peace and justice

Richard Lawson

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