Open Letter To UN At 73: An Agenda For Permanent Peace In The Middle East —Intersociety
An Agenda For Permanent Peace In Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Calling For “Two-Lands-In-One-State”
International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Intersociety) is a registered nongovernmental and nonprofit human rights and pro good governance group based in Nigeria; advocating for promotion and advancement of democracy and good governance, civil liberties and rule of law and citizens’ security and safety. See our website for more details at: www.intersociety-ng.org.
Our writing Your Excellencies is in recognition of the need for the UN System under Your Excellencies to wake up from its present slumber and rise to the occasion by truly ensuring world peace and security including protection and advancement of democracy and human rights all over the world.
Writing Your Excellencies is also in furtherance of our commitment to ensure that the annual General Assembly session of the UN is not permanently turned into talk show or an assemblage of the good, the bad and the ugly of the global community or an annual gathering for legitimization and escalation of the global tragedies.
We want an engaging and thinkable UN which is why we resolved to present for Your Excellencies’ attention and immediate action our own “Agenda for Peace” in the Middle East (i.e. State of Israel and her Arab neighbors such as Palestine).
In 1992, Your Excellencies, Dr Boutros-Boutros-Ghali (as he then was), then Secretary General of the United Nations wrote and presented a seminal document, called “An Agenda for Peace”, otherwise referred as “New Concept for Peace Building”, which he defined as “actions to identify and support structures which will tend to strength and solidify peace in order to avoid a relapse into conflict” and that “such actions are also needed to rebuild institutions and infrastructures torn apart by civil war and strife as well as tackling the deepest causes of the conflict: economic despair, social injustice and political oppression”.
Late Prof Boutros Ghali’s “Agenda for Peace” or “Peace Building” further gave rise to a hybrid concept known as “Peace Support Operations” involving conflict prevention, conflict management, conflict transformation as well as peacemaking, peacekeeping and peace enforcement operations; all chronicled as “Peace Building”.
Prof Boutros Ghali’s famous “Agenda for Peace” of 1992 was in response to a request by the UN Security Council for an “analysis and recommendation” to strengthen peacemaking and peacekeeping operations or activities of the United Nations around the world especially in conflict afflicted areas.
In 1994, Your Excellencies, another milestone was recorded when the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) released a report, called “Human Security”, unfolding a new concept and approach to global security. The seminal Report called for people-centered and multi-disciplinary understanding of security.
The Human Security Report specifically called for insuring “freedom from want” and “freedom from fear” as the best path to tackle the problem of global security. The UNDP’s Human Security further identified the following seven thematic areas as its core backbones: Personal Security, Food Security, Environmental Security, Health Security, Community Security, Economic Security and Political Security.
The Special Report informed the world that the totality of these when put in place, would bring about negative peace or absence of personal violence and positive peace or absence of structural violence.
The UNDP’s Human Security was also defined thus: “the concept of security has for too long been interpreted narrowly as security of territory from external aggression, or as protection of national interests in foreign policy or as global security from a threat of nuclear holocaust.
It has been related more to nation-state than people….forgotten were the legitimate concerns of ordinary people….for many of them, security symbolized protection from the threat of disease, hunger, unemployment, crime, social conflict, political repression and environmental hazards” (UNDP Human Dev Report; 1994: 22).
These two developments, Your Excellencies, immediately became remarkable and a reference point in the life of the United Nations especially from the 1990s to early 2000s; sharpening the organization and leading to a couple of achievements it recorded.
The few achievements of UN have become short-lived since mid-2000s till date with the world body wobbling and fumbling irretrievably and turning its annual general session into “a talk show” where its 193 world leaders gather annually for empty talk and lavishing of their countries’ hard earned resources; with little or no solutions to mountainous threats to world peace and security.
Your Excellencies’ attention is respectfully drawn to a two-part public statement issued by our organization on 21st and 22nd September 2017 and titled: At 72: UN Is Gravely Taking The World Back To The Cave (1 & 2).
The links here contain the details of the said two-part statement:
We had in the statement expressed deep dismay and sadness over the mounting challenges facing the global organization presently in the care of Your Excellencies. We make bold to say, Your Excellencies, that the rising failures of the world body in discharge of its duties is a collective threat and endangerment of over 7.44billion people of the world.
We were further saddened by the fact that the annual General Session of the UN had since mid 2000s turned into a “talk show” and an assemblage of world leading tyrants and regime atrocity perpetrators with attendant serious threats to global peace and security.
Our position and criticism above are strengthened by the fact that the United Nations has existed for 73 years with only ten years of consolable achievements, recorded between 1992 and 2002 leading to award of the Nobel Prize for Peace to same in 2001; which coincided with the Nobel Peace Prize Organization’s centennial or hundred years anniversary same year.
The total absence of structural and social reforms at UN have also seriously affected the quality of its “international personalities” since mid-2000s especially the great minds that are endowed with intellectual riches and capacities of “seeing tomorrow”.
The present UN is in dire need of the reincarnated likes of Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman, Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Anna Eleanor Roosevelt, Charles De Gaulle, Chang Kai-shek, John Locke, Winston Churchill, Alfred Nobel, Karol Józef Wojtyła (Pope John Paul 11), Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa, Mahatma Gandhi and other international peace personalities and statesmen.
We had also in the referenced statement demanded for replacement of the United Nations with another international or global body capable of tackling the world’s myriad of social challenges especially internal conflicts ravaging many of the world’s 193 independent states in Africa, defunct Soviet bloc and the middle east.
A new “world order” anchored on “the Agenda for Peace” and “Human Security” is direly needed to replace the United Nations; unless the UN decides today to wake up from its chronic slumber and rise to the occasion.
The failure of the United Nations especially since the peak of its few achievements in 2001/2 has menacingly affected the works of its affiliated bodies including the World Food Program, UNDP, UNESCO, the Int’l Atomic, Denuclearization and Disarmament Agencies, World Health Organization, ECOSOC, UNSC, UNHCR, UN Human Rights Council, Int’l Criminal Court, to mention but few.
The non-determination of sovereign status of the 64 Non-Self Governing Territories (NSGTs) around the world, inherited by the United Nations from the defunct League of Nations since 1946, is also identified here as one of the failures of the global organization.
Beyond the “UN Declaration on Non-Self Governing Territories” as contained in the Chapter X1 of the UN Charter which mandates the UN to “protect the interests of the occupants of the NSGTs and the member-states of the UN in control of such territories to submit to UN annual information reports concerning the development of those territories”; the final sovereign status of such territories ought to have been determined by the United Nations through peaceful and democratic processes of referenda or plebiscites.
The failure of UN in this regard has heightened tensions around the world including eruption of armed conflicts in some and violent state crackdowns on defenseless populations in others.
Apart from the 64 known NSGTs placed under UN since 1946, there are also dozens of other emergent pro-independence territories seeking for separate homelands to escape their existing governments’ political and economic repressions.
Some of them have endured such repressions with agonies and other peaceful means while others have resorted to armed resistance including insurgency or guerilla warfare.
Totality of these has worsened or escalated global insecurity including “complex humanitarian emergencies” or intractable armed conflicts in many parts of the world especially in Africa where as much as 30 States are in ruins either in part or in whole.
It is therefore an irrefutable fact, Your Excellencies, that the greatest threat to global peace and security remains the unresolved Israeli-Palestinian/Arab Conflict, which is the major, if not the highest failure of the present United Nations.
The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict has also remained a poser of greatest threat to world peace and security since the end of the cold war in 1991. The conflict is further responsible for endless armed conflicts such as insurgencies and terrorisms as well as arms race including proliferation of small arms and light weapons and “nuclearization” of the Middle East.
The Conflict has further caused havocs, deaths, depopulation, forceful migration, hunger, diseases, injuries, fears and under-development. It has as well led to age-long leadership logjam and display of negative or illegitimate power play at UN.
The present UN and its Security Council is specifically measured negatively on account of its inability to resolve the age-long Conflict once and for all.
Had the global body carried out sweeping reforms being demanded for decades or blessed with the above named international thinkers and peace personalities and charismatic leaders, the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict would have long been a thing of the past with the arch disputants and their neighbors living in permanent peace.
Instead, UN sessions and diplomatic actions over same have remained “calls without affirmative solutions”.
We, therefore, are compelled by these circumstances to present to Your Excellencies our own “Agenda for Permanent Peace in the Israeli-Palestinian/Arab Conflict”.
The Two-Lands-In-One-State” peace deal under recommendation was arrived at following extensive geographical and demographic investigations cutting across Middle East, Australia, Europe, North America, former Soviet bloc and North Africa; all done in search of permanent solution to the decades long devastating conflict.
Defining Two-Lands-In-One-State Peace Deal
Unlike the former “Two-States-In-One-Land Solution” suggested by some western leaders, the “Two-Lands-In-One-State” Peace Deal is aimed at retention by the Israelis and Palestinians of their respective ancestral lands in their possession with boundary adjustments ceding a part of East Jerusalem to Palestinians to make up what they already have including West Bank and Gaza.
It also uniquely involves founding of “New Israel” and “New Palestine” in new lands to be donated by the duo of Algeria (for Palestine) and Canada (for Israel) whereby the “New Palestine” and the “New Israel” will form part of the existing Sovereign State of Israel and State of Palestine in making.
In other words, the lands to be donated or willingly ceded to the duo will become their “second homelands”; involving returning and resettlement of exiled and overseas Palestinians and Israelis, etc. This is further aimed at dousing tensions and freeing their present ancestral lands from over population and violent antagonism, etc.
This will also require shifting of grounds and concessions by the authorities of Palestine and Israel and their allies including USA, EU, Russia, China, UK, Arab League, Iran, Organization of Islamic Conference, etc.
Our investigations also covered the religious and cultural affinities of Israelis and Palestinians with others (i.e. Palestinians and Algerians; and Israelis and Canadians).
Other findings are the nautical and road distances between Palestine and Algeria (City of Gaza to Algiers) and Israel (Tel Aviv to Ottawa or Montreal) Canada, homeland and outside-homeland populations of the duo; landmass, population and religious compositions of Canada and Israel as well as Palestine and Algeria.
Climatic and terrestrial conditions were not considered a threat; on account of the abundance of human and science and technology adaptabilities of the two distinct populations (Israelis and Palestinians).
Other Findings of Our Investigations
(1) Claims over lands and roots of origin and resultant religious divisions and bickering are the central cause of Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
(2) There should be retention by Israel and Palestine of their present lands with concessions by Israel allowing for boundary adjustment to cede part of East Jerusalem to Palestinians to add to their Gaza and West Bank landmass; measuring only 6,220 square kilometers as against Israel’s total landmass of 20, 770 square kilometers (size of Denmark or slightly lower than size of the US State of New Jersey).
(3) Israelis have homeland population of 8.9m-9m and 7m others living outside the country mostly in US and Europe; totaling over 15m excluding “assimilated” and “lost tribes of Israel”.
(4) Palestinians have 5.8m citizens living in Israeli occupied territories, West Bank and Gaza and out of this number, 1.9m live in Gaza with small landmass of 365 square kilometers or 5000 people per square kilometer; making it the third most densely populated city in the world.
(5) Global Palestinian population are put at 12.7m-13m with over 6m living in Arab countries and 700,000 others scattered in other countries including Europe and Americas.
(6) Totality of these clearly indicates acute shortage of large and space for the citizens of the two ancient tribes.
(7) Kazakhstan was found to be the Muslim country with largest landmass in the world measuring 2.73million square kilometers (more than three times Nigeria’s 923,000 square kilometers quartering its human population of over 180m).
(8) But the Kazakhstan’s odd side is its over 26percent Christian population and 70% Muslim population, as against Algeria’s 2.38m square kilometers of landmass (more than two-and-half size of Nigerian landmass) and 99% Muslim population. Algeria is home to only 100,000 Christians.
(9) With this, the Islamic Republic of Algeria is favorably disposed to be approached for land donation to the Palestinian People. This is in addition to age-long cultural, political, economic and religious affinities between Algeria and Palestine dating back to 1950s.
(10) Algerian population of 42.1m (2018 UN estimates) and its growth rate was not found to be threatened even in the next 10,000 years; in case it is persuaded to donate a land to Palestine, as it can harmlessly donate as much as 300,000 square kilometers of landmass to Palestinians in our “land-donation-for-peace” recommendation and appeal.
(11) Canada, on the other hand, is the most favorable and friendly to be approached for land donation to the State of Israel. It can harmlessly donate as much as 500,000 square kilometers of landmass to the State of Israel.
(12) We say this because Canada is the second Christian or non-Muslim country with largest landmass in the world, after Republic of Russia. While Russia has a total landmass of 17.1million square kilometers (roughly twenty times more than the size of Nigeria’s 923,000) with human population of 144.3m (World Bank estimates 2016), Canada has total landmass of 9.98m square kilometers with human population size of only 36.95m (2018).
(13) Area distance between Canada and Israel is measured at 8,850 kilometers or 4,776 nautical miles; meaning 9.8hrs flight from Tel Aviv to Ottawa or Montreal.
(14) Area distance between Palestine (Gaza Strip) and Algeria (Algiers) is 2,923 kilometers or 36.7hrs by road on 80km per hour and 4.9hrs by air.
(15) While Canada as a Christian country shares a lot in common with Jewish State of Israel, Islamic Palestine also shares a lot in common with the Islamic Republic of Algeria.
(16) Possibility of future conflicts along social, economic and religious lines between Algeria and Palestine; and between Canada and Israel was found to be very minimal, if not totally absent.
(17) Unfavorable natural climatic or terrestrial conditions such as cold or desert was also not considered a threat as they can be constructively and developmentally managed and transformed with examples being transformation of desert-infested Islamic Republics of UAE, Oman, Quarter, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait (members of the Gulf Cooperation Council) as well as the Muammar Al-Gathafi’s “desert sea” or “8th wonder of the world”, etc.
Therefore, Your Excellencies, it is our recommendation that plans should immediately be set in motion to actualize the recommended “Agenda for Permanent Peace in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict (Two-Lands-In-One-State Peace Deal)” so as to find the permanent solution to the decades long Conflict.
Under this, there shall be a joint committee of experts to be set up by the Offices of the UN Secretary Gen, the President of the UN General Assembly and the President of the UN Security Council to swing into action; with the expert committee’s terms of reference including consultative meetings with the authorities of Israel, Palestine, OIC, Arab League, Iran, EU, five permanent members of the UNSC as well as Governments of Canada and Algeria (recommended land donors).
Once the deals are agreed upon by all the parties involved, a new permanent peace agreement between the State of Israel and its allies including US and EU and the State of Palestine (in making) and its allies including the Arab League, OIC and Iran shall be signed.
This shall be followed by treaties of cession and possession between the Governments of Canada and Israel on one hand and the Governments of Algeria and the Palestinian Authority on the other; signaling the ceding and possession of the donated lands; to be followed by their ratifications by the Parliaments concerned.
The new permanent peace agreement will include granting Palestine a full independence with either West Bank or conceded part of East Jerusalem as its new capital.
All anti Israel’s domestic and foreign Islamic insurgency groups such as Iranian funded Hezbollah, Sheik Omar Hadid Brigade, Al-Quds Brigades, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and scores of others stationed in Lebanon, Syria, Iran, Iraq, etc. shall be disarmed, demobilized and disbanded.
The permanent peace agreement will also include granting of peaceful access and visits by Palestinian Muslims and other Muslim faithful as well as Israeli Jews and Christians and other Christian faithful and tourists; of designated holy sites in Israel including Islamic Dome of the Rock completed in 692AD, Al-Qsa Mosque built in 705AD, the Wailing Wall (for Jews) built in 19AD and Church of the Holy Sepulchre consecrated on 13th September 335AD (etc); all located in Old City of Jerusalem in present-day State of Israel.
Part of the permanent peace deal will include provision of financial and development incentives to Israelis and Palestinians for the development of their newly acquired lands or for their “New Palestine” and “New Israel” Projects and signing of treaties of nonviolence between Israel and Palestine and donors of their new lands.
They should also be made to enshrine and adhere strictly to the principles of democracy including political inclusion and popular elections and limited tenures of office as well as upholding human rights and rule of law.
A new aid package including trade concessions and development assistance should be packaged for Algeria and Canada, if the latter desires same; as a reward for donating their lands for peace and permanent end of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.
Backup Statistics: The “Two-Lands-In-One-State” Peace Deal is globally tenable. Throughout history and in the world over, lands can be donated freely or acquired monetarily or annexed militarily.
The concept of “two-lands-in-one-state” is also globally tenable and is exercised through absolute or delegated sovereignty; or in the context of “overseas territories”. The fate of globally existing 46 Non-Self Governing Territories (NSGTs) under the mandate of the UN and their superintendent sovereign entities is a clear case in point.
The Great Britain, for instance, presently maintains “14 British Overseas Territories (BOTs)” including the Falklands Islands near Argentina.
Yet, under the new concept of “two-lands-in-one-state” being recommended, the new lands, when donated or willingly ceded, shall become the “new homelands” part of the existing sovereignties of the State of Israel and the State of Palestine (in making).
Another clear case in point was the purchase of the US State of Alaska from then Russian Empire on 30th March 1867. The Alaska Purchase cost the US treasury $7.2million and was ratified by the United States Senate and signed by President Andrew Johnson.
The negotiation for purchase of the Land started way back in 1859 between US Foreign Secretary, William H. Seward and the Russian diplomat, Eduard de Soeckl and was sealed on 30th March 1867. The US Senate approved it on 9th April and President Johnson signed the treaty on 28th May 1867.
Alaska became a State in USA on 3rd January 1959. The US State of Alaska is the largest State in the country measuring 1.71million square kilometers of landmass or roughly twice the size of Nigeria’s 923,000 square kilometers.
Also the 1848 post interstate war Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo forced and brought about Mexican Cession of northern territories of “Alta California” (now US State of California) and Mexican breakaway Republic of Texas (now US State of Texas).
The US also agreed to pay $15m compensation for physical damage of the war and assumed $3.5m debt already owed by the Mexican government to US citizens.
The American-Mexican War lasted for a year and nine months or between 25th April 1846 and 9th February 1848.
The areas ceded by Mexico to USA in their 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo are composed of the present-day US States of California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona; about a quarter of Colorado and a small section of Wyoming. [Credit: Wikipedia]
These are to mention but few.
Calling for Holistic Reforms or Disbandment of UN:
The present UN must be urgently and holistically reformed or disbanded and replaced. Our position is strengthened by reasons outlined in our special two-part statement of 21st and 22nd September 2017 issued on the heels of the 72nd Anniversary of the United Nations.
We have further thought it wise to seize this special opportunity of the 73rd Anniversary and annual session of the UN opened since 18th September in New York, USA and ending on 1st October 2018 to make this special appeal for the global body to be resurrected from its long lasted slumber.
This special letter of ours is also timed to coincide with the “special address session” of the body’s Heads of its Member-States which start tomorrow, 25th September 2018.
The reforms of UN under demand must include:
(1) Neutralization of the Veto Power wielded by five Permanent Members of the UNSC especially whereby one permanent member uses same to hold the entire world to ransom on account of negative exercise of same. A clear case in point is in Syria where such has cost the death of over 300,000 defenseless citizens and total ruination of the country on account of negative power display or exercise or fear of exercise of veto power by a permanent UNSC member.
(2) If Veto Power must be retained at UNSC, then single veto power must be eliminated and replaced with collective veto power of the five permanent members; to be exercised collectively alongside majority votes from the entire members of the UNSC. Example is whereby a majority votes can temporarily be put on hold by the collective veto powers of the five permanent members of the UNSC so as to iron out issues warranting such collective exercise of veto powers before rescinding same.
(3) Alternatively, Veto Power principle should be totally eliminated at UNSC and replaced with “four-fifths” or “two-thirds” majority votes of the UNSC members as case may be.
(4) Membership of UNSC should be expanded, strengthened and attached with universal limited government or democracy benchmarks including member-state’s full compliance with respect for human rights, observance of rule of law, periodic democratic elections including political inclusion, limited tenure of office (i.e. maximum office term of eight or ten years), attainment of economic advancement, regular redemption of contributions to UN and its peace building operations and honoring of international laws obligations.
(5) Any member-state of UN undergoing internal armed conflict should not be made a member of the UNSC so as to allow for impartial assessment and intervention by the UN’s Peace Support Operations or Peace Building in such member-state internal conflict.
(6) Membership of UN General Assembly should also be strengthened and attached with limited government or democratic universal benchmarks including a member-state’s full compliance with respect for human rights, observance of rule of law, periodic democratic elections including political inclusion, limited tenure of office (i.e. maximum office term of eight or ten years), regular redemption of contributions to UN and its peace building operations and honoring of international laws obligations.
(7) All dictators and tyrants that have overstayed the universally legitimized office tenures should be banned from attending the UN General Assembly sessions and addressing same; likewise those with industrial scale rights abuses hanging around their necks such as the current President of Nigeria.
(8) All UN member-states must be made to adhere strictly to the body’s founding principles of democratic freedoms, human rights, peace and security.
(9) UN should expand, strengthen and protect the membership and works of its bodies and affiliated others such as the World Food Program, UNDP, UNESCO, the Int’l Atomic, Denuclearization and Disarmament Agencies, World Health Organization, UNHCR, UN Human Rights Council and ICC, etc.
(10) The sovereign fate of the 46 Non-Self Governing Territories of UN (NSGTs) which has been hanging since 1946 or in the past 72years should be determined by allowing and aiding them to decide through referenda or plebiscites to either become independent states or be merged with their sovereign superintendents or independent states administering their affairs.
(11) In a like manner, the fate of others agitating for separate homelands or independence statehood especially those using nonviolence; but steadily passing through excruciating persecution and other forms of regime atrocity crimes (i.e. People of old Eastern Nigeria) in the hands of their existing host governments should also be looked into and protected.
(12) Instruments of international justice, democracy and human rights including peace building involving peace support and anti terrorism operations, ICC and regional criminal courts; democratic and periodic elections and political inclusions should be expanded and strengthened by UN around the world.
(Research Credit: Emeka Umeagbalasi: September 2018)
Yours in the Service to Humanity,
For: Int’l Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law (Nigeria)
Emeka Umeagbalasi, Principal Head
Mobile Line/WhatsApp: +2348174090052
Chidinma Evangeline Udegbunam, Esq.
Head, Campaign & Publicity Department
Ndidiamaka C. Bernard, Esq.
Head, Int’l Justice & Human Rights Program
Obianuju Joy Igboeli, Esq.
Head, Civil Liberties & Rule of Law Program
Chinwe Umeche, Esq.
Head, Democracy & Good Governance Program
The letter was copied to:
- H.E., Maria Fernanda Espinosa (Ecuador)
President of the United Nations General Assembly
The Ecuadoran Permanent Mission to UN
- H.E., Antonio Manuel de Oliveira Guterres (Portugal)
Secretary General of the United Nations
- H.E., Ambassador Nikki R. Haley
Outgoing President of the UN Security Council (USA)
The US Mission to the United Nations, and,
- H.E., Ambassador Sacha Sergio LIorentry (Bolivia)
Incoming President of the UN Security Council
The Permanent Mission of the State of Bolivia to UN