In Larger Freedom

“Founding of United Nations 1945”, a mural inside the San Francisco Grace Cathedral authored by John De Rosen, a World War II war refugee from Poland who emigrated to the U.S. in 1939. The mural describes the inner workings of the U.N. and heroically portrays people in different countries/nations working as one for the betterment of all.

… to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom. 

This is the fourth and last determination of the Peoples of the United Nations as expressed in the UN Charter’s Preamble>>. 

The UN Charter that was finalized and approved unanimously in San Francisco on June 26, 1945 expresses the determination of the peoples of the United Nations “to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.” The purpose for this new international organization was renewed by Secretary General Kofi Annan in 2005 in his proposed priorities for development, security, human rights and reforms of the institutions in the document entitled In Larger Freedom. 

The lack of political will of country representatives, especially from the United States, prevented this proposed reform from going into effect. Today, it is time to reconsider the proposed course of action to promote “Freedom from Want” through the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 2015-2030) that succeeded the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs 2000-2015). We need to have a resolute will to promote global security and effective peacekeeping based on human security beyond national interests. The “Freedom from Fear” that emerges from conflicts and human insecurities requires proper funding and protection mechanisms for refugees and forced migrants who escape violence, persecution and systemic threats to their existence and future. The “Freedom to Live in Dignity” is about promoting adequate justice systems for the respect of rule of law based on human rights, diversity, equity and inclusion in countries, institutions, communities, organizations and families.  The final proposal to strengthen the United Nations system particularly with the Security Council reform, should also be expected to its mandate for fighting climate change and promoting a common good for future generations. We call this “Freedom from Vulnerability” in relation to the notion of sustainable human security. 

The 2005 Kofi Annan report was divided into four sections.

The first three set out priorities for action in the fields of development, security and human rights. The last dealt with global institutions – mainly the United Nations itself.

The first part, “Freedom from Want” asked every developing country to adopt a comprehensive national strategy to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. The report also asked every developed country to support these strategies, by increasing the amount it spends on development and debt relief. It also asked Member States to agree that scientific advances and technological innovation must be mobilized to develop tools for mitigating climate change, and that a more inclusive international framework must be developed for stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions beyond 2012. The report also requested the setting up of a $1 billion voluntary fund to allow rapid and effective relief to the victims of sudden disasters, whether natural or man-made.

The second part of the report, “Freedom from Fear” asked all states to agree on a new security consensus, and asked Member States to agree to establish a Peacebuilding Commission.

The third part of the report, “Freedom to Live in Dignity” urged states to agree to strengthen the rule of law, human rights and democracy in concrete ways. In particular, to embrace the principle of the “Responsibility to Protect” as a basis for collective action against genocide, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity; and to agree to, and within their means contribute to, a Democracy Fund at the United Nations.

In the final part of the report, on “Strengthening the United Nations”, started with proposals for the revitalization of the General Assembly, and to make the Security Council more broadly representative of the international community as a whole, as well as of the geopolitical realities of today. It also requested that the Economic and Social Council, to play a leading role in making and implementing coherent United Nations policies for development.

It also asked for the creation of a new Human Rights Council, and proposed reforms for the UN Secretariat.

Read the entire report In Larger Freedom >>



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