This Charter was produced by a coalition of organisations committed to pursuing global democracy and co-ordinated by the One World Trust. It was published as an open letter to all peoples and governments worldwide and presented to the United Nations representatives at the UN Millennium Assembly and Summit 2000.
Charter 99 calls for international accountability, equality, justice, sustainable development and democracy. Since its launching, about a year or so ago, it has gained worldwide support, from two Commonwealth Secretary-Generals and parliamentarians to groups and individual activists.
The Charter founders suggest that in many ways we already have a world government but that it is not to be found in the United Nations: the real business of world gowernment is done elsewhere, behind closed doors by exclusive groups such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organisation and others.
The Charter´s foremost aim is to make the already existing processes of world administration and governance accountable; all decisions must be compatible with public criteria of environmental sustainability; the UN must ensure that its core mandate,´to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war´, applies equally to all the peoples of the world; global governance must be compatible with the principles of equality, human rights and justice, includaing social and economic justice;
All this will not be easy to achieve and "a joint effort of learning and negotiation, of trial and error, will be needed". The Charter founders acknowledge that the creation of democratic global governance may be complicated but say that the need for it is urgent, and the United Nations is "the only arena in which all countries sit side by side. For all its weakness, it retains an unmatched legitimacy in world affairs."
Charter 99 defines 12 areas for urgent action. Supporters are not asked necessarily to agree with every single proposal, but it is the founders sincere belief that active attention on all the issues mentioned in the following 12 points will lead to constructive solutions for humanity:
Strengthen democratic accountability and participation in international decision-making:
1. Open all international institutions to democratic scrutiny and participation
2. Monitor and regulate international corporations and financial institutions
3. Give UN institutions additional and independent sources of revenue
4. Make the UN Security Council fair, effective and democratic
Maintain international peace and security:
5. Strengthen the UN peacekeeping and multilateral global security
6. Reduce armaments, ratify the Landmines Ban, and outlaw weapons of mass destruction .
Uphold fundamental human rights:
7. Create equal world citizenship based on the Human Rights Declarations and Covenants
Strengthen justice under international law:
8. Ratify the International Criminal Court and strengthen international law
Promote social progress and better standards of life:
9. Strengthen international mechanisms to promote prosperity and protect the environment
10. Create an International Environmental Court
11. Take urgent action on climate change as a global security issue
12. Make poverty reduction a global priority and cancel the unpayable debts of the poorest nations.
While calling on the governments of the world, all world institutions including the United Nations to become more democratic, Simon Burall, One World Trust Executive Director, reminds us all that "the pro-democratic movement must itself become more democratic and inclusive".
Contact: One World Trust, c/o 18 Northcumberland Avenue, London, WC2N 5BJ, UK.