What Good Is The United Nations? – Part One

United Nations
Does the United Nations actually help in our crisis-laden world?

Can they actually do anything that counts—anything that addresses humanity’s ills and facilitates solutions?

From Forbes: A Real Election Choice On The United Nations “U.N. reforms proclaimed with fanfare in recent years have fizzled.”

From the New York Times: U.N. Blocked From Pulling Workers Out of Congo “…the peacekeeping troops were overstretched in trying to protect the civilian population, which is caught in the middle of vicious fighting between a rebel group and the Congolese Army.”

From The Hindu: Give developing nations a say in financial crisis talks “A day before the United Nations meets to discuss its taskforce on the global financial crisis, ActionAid, along with more than 400 civil society organisations across the world, has issued a statement demanding that developing nations be included in crisis talks.”

This post will present some of the most pressing international concerns as discussed in a major document presented to the United Nations on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of its founding in 2005. It was presented by the Bahá’í International Community, a Non-Governmental Organization registered with the UN. The document is called The Search for Values in an Age of Transition. It is not casual reading and there’s also a detailed Study Guide to help understand the issues and solutions it provides.

I’ll give you the essence of the issues dealt with in this post and the solutions they present in the next post.

One of the most powerful statements in this document is: “The great peace long envisioned by the peoples and nations of the world is well within our grasp.”

Quite a statement, eh? How in the world can an organization make such a statement when we have issues like these to deal with:

“The advancement of men and boys at the expense of women and girls has sorely limited the creative and material capacities of communities to develop and address their problems…”

“…the neglect of cultural and religious minorities has intensified ancient prejudices setting peoples and nations against one another…”

“…an unbridled nationalism has trampled the rights and opportunities of citizens in other nations…”

“…weak states have erupted in conflict, lawlessness, and massive refugee flows…”

“…narrow economic agendas exalting material prosperity have often suffocated the social and moral development required for the equitable and beneficent use of wealth.”

One of the most stunning issues brought up for consideration is the growing importance of the role of religion in discussions of global crises:

“The existing debate about religion in the public sphere, however, has been driven by the voices and actions of extreme proponents on both sides—those who impose their religious ideology by force, whose most visible expression is terrorism—and those who deny any place for expressions of faith or belief in the public sphere. Yet neither extreme is representative of the majority of humankind and neither promotes a sustainable peace.”

Here are a few more snips from the first part of the document:

“…the question of values must take a central place in deliberations, be articulated and made explicit.”

“…the search for shared values—beyond the clash of extremes—is paramount for effective action.”

“…we can no longer be content with a passive tolerance of each other’s worldviews; what is required is an active search for those common values and moral principles which will lift up the condition of every woman, man, and child, regardless of race, class, religion or political opinion.”

This is, no doubt, a challenging document but these are, certainly, challenging times.

You may also be interested in my post, Sweet Words Are Crying Out for Potent Action, one of the most popular posts on this blog, which has the text of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In the next post, we’ll look at some of the changes proposed for the United Nations, to transform it into the global peace-promoting organization it was created to be.

Spiritual Quote:

“No social body, whatever its form, has power to maintain essential human rights for persons who have repudiated their moral obligation and abandoned the divine endowment distinguishing man from beast. Civil definitions of political and economic status, if devoid of moral value and influence, are not equivalent to essential human rights but express the expedients of partisan policy. An ordered society can only be maintained by moral beings.”
Bahá’í International Community, 1947 Feb, A Bahá’í Declaration of Human Obligations and Rights, Presented to the first session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

Please leave your thoughts and feelings in the Comments.
Let’s have a conversation !

You can also explore and discuss the ideas of this post at
Our Evolution‘s Forums.

Make It Easy !
Get a Free RSS or Email Subscription
For FREE Subscriptions to our monthly newsletter just send us an email at amzolt{at}gmail{dot}com

Path Toward Peace – Step Seven

equality of sexes

Eliminating the denial of the equality of women & men


If you’re a man, do you treat women as complete and full equals?

I you’re a woman, are you willing to help men understand the benefit to themselves  of treating women as equals?

From the Champaign, IL, News Gazette: Normal school district named in sex abuse lawsuit

From the Macau Daily Times: Vietnam women break silence on domestic violence

From the Turkish Daily News: Women launch campaign to ensure gender equality in politics

Most people are aware of the issue of equality of the sexes. Many are striving to attain a consciousness of total equality; yet, many still harbor attitudes that perpetuate disunity, though attempting to act as if they support equality. Some still blatantly proclaim that men and women never were and never will be equal.

Until a person knows in their heart that women are just as capable, just as intelligent, just as human as men, that person will contribute to an evil that cripples humanity…

I mentioned women helping men understand the self-benefit of achieving equality. There is a document that spells out the role of men and boys in achieving gender equality. Perhaps women could read it and pass it on to the men in their lives. Perhaps a dialogue could ensue.

Perhaps I’m dreaming…

Well… Yes! I’m dreaming a dream of Reality—the fact that men and women are equal even when human actions attempt to thwart that unity.

Spiritual Quotes:

“In this Day the Hand of divine grace hath removed all distinction. The servants of God and His handmaidens are regarded on the same plane. Blessed is the servant who hath attained unto that which God hath decreed, and likewise the leaf moving in accordance with the breezes of His will. This favour is great and this station lofty.”
Adib Taherzadeh, quoting Bahá’u’lláh, The Revelation of Bahá’u’lláh v 4, p. 200

“Divine Justice demands that the rights of both sexes should be equally respected since neither is superior to the other in the eyes of Heaven. Dignity before God depends, not on sex, but on purity and luminosity of heart. Human virtues belong equally to all!”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 162

“The emancipation of women, the achievement of full equality between the sexes, is one of the most important, though less acknowledged pre-requisites of peace. The denial of such equality perpetrates an injustice against one half of the world’s population and promotes in men harmful attitudes and habits that are carried from the family to the workplace, to political life, and ultimately to international relations. There are no grounds, moral, practical, or biological, upon which such denial can be justified. Only as women are welcomed into full partnership in all fields of human endeavour will the moral and psychological climate be created in which international peace can emerge.”
The Universal House of Justice, Compilations, Lights of Guidance, p. 618

Please leave your thoughts and feelings in the Comments.
Let’s have a conversation !

You can also explore and discuss the ideas of this post at
Our Evolution‘s Forum.

Make It Easy !
Get a Free RSS Subscription
For FREE Email Subscriptions (to daily posts and/or our monthly newsletter) just send us an email at amzolt{at}gmail{dot}com

Naked In Eden

Robin Easton

Robin Easton: Author . Speaker . Environmentalist . Musician . Adventurer

Today I honor women by honoring a woman–that’s how it starts: honor the ones you know and it spreads–a sea of acceptance and support.

I published the major portion of this post back in April but I’ll lead with a few fresh news items:

From Cleveland Indy Media Center: Towards Women’s Liberation

From the Rebel Yell: Self respect is crucial for women’s equality

From the American Thinker: They Hanged Her for Teaching Love

I’ve done, as a man, many things “only” women do: cry, have deep concerns, love flowers, hug trees, and leave my ego behind to relate to children…

Robin Easton, as a woman, does many things “only” men do . . .

Here’s the link to her blog.

Check out her Immense Spirit !!!

“Ere long the days shall come when the men addressing the women, shall say: ‘Blessed are ye! Blessed are ye! Verily ye are worthy of every gift. Verily ye deserve to adorn your heads with the crown of everlasting glory, because in sciences and arts, in virtues and perfections ye shall become equal to man, and as regards tenderness of heart and the abundance of mercy and sympathy ye are superior’.”
‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 182

Please leave your thoughts and feelings in the Comments.
Let’s have a conversation !

Like this Blog?
Get a Free RSS Subscription
For Email Subscriptions, Contact Me At amzolt{at}gmail{dot}com

The Girl Effect . . .

image credit

Both images (the same person) are from National Geographic. The one on the left taken in 1984, the right in 2002, in Afghanistan.

The woman was interviewed in 2002. Here’s an excerpt:

Had she ever felt safe?

“No. But life under the Taliban was better. At least there was peace and order.”

Had she ever seen the photograph of herself as a girl?

“No.”

She can write her name, but cannot read. She harbors the hope of education for her children. “I want my daughters to have skills,” she said. “I wanted to finish school but could not. I was sorry when I had to leave.”

Education, it is said, is the light in the eye. There is no such light for her. It is possibly too late for her 13-year-old daughter as well, Sharbat Gula said. The two younger daughters still have a chance.

This is a story repeated far too often in our world but there is strong reason for hope!

One among many reasons for hope is a site called The Girl Effect and I can’t urge you strongly enough to click that link and at least watch the really awesome video !

Here is a PDF file of their Fact Sheet and here’s an excerpt from that Fact Sheet:

The Ripple Effect

• When a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children.

• An extra year of primary school boosts girls’ eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent. An extra year of secondary school: 15 to 25 percent.

• Research in developing countries has shown a consistent relationship between better infant and child health and higher levels of schooling among mothers.

• When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man.

Population Trends
• Today, more than 600 million girls live in the developing world.

Girls Count !

Here are two videos from their site:

19-year-old Shumi from Bangladesh

18-year-old Addis from Ethiopia

“The world of humanity has two wings — one is women and the other men. Not until both wings are equally developed can the bird fly. Should one wing remain weak, flight is impossible. Not until the world of women becomes equal to the world of men in the acquisition of virtues and perfections, can success and prosperity be attained as they ought to be.”

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 288

As long as women are prevented from attaining their highest possibilities, so long will men be unable to achieve the greatness which might be theirs.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 133

Bloggers Unite for Human Rights

Disunity is a danger that the nations and peoples of the earth can no longer endure; the consequences are too terrible to contemplate, too obvious to require any demonstration. “The well-being of mankind,” Bahá’u’lláh wrote more than a century ago, “its peace and security, are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established.” In observing that “mankind is groaning, is dying to be led to unity, and to terminate its age-long martyrdom”, Shoghi Effendi further commented that: “Unification of the whole of mankind is the hall-mark of the stage which human society is now approaching. Unity of family, of tribe, of citystate, and nation have been successively attempted and fully established. World unity is the goal towards which a harassed humanity is striving. Nation-building has come to an end. The anarchy inherent in state sovereignty is moving towards a climax. A world, growing to maturity, must abandon this fetish, recognize the oneness and wholeness of human relationships, and establish once for all the machinery that can best incarnate this fundamental principle of its life.”

The Universal House of Justice, 1985 Oct, The Promise of World Peace

//everyhumanhasrights.org/images/photos/roosevelt.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Sign the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Read the Declaration

just a few recent Human Rights Stories from around the world

The abuse of human rights councils and commissions

Human rights and motherhood

More children living in fear

Human rights group threatens to sue Chevron

Morocco: Sham Inquiry Highlights Impunity for Police Abuse

Stop blocking a UN human rights monitoring mission in Sri Lanka

Germany: Press for Human Rights Reform in Russia

~~~~~~~~~

READ

A BAHA’I DECLARATION OF HUMAN

OBLIGATIONS AND RIGHTS

Presented to the first session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

February 1947

~~~~~~~~~