TOWARD A DEMOCRACTIC UNITED NATIONS FOR THE 21st CENTURY
JUNE 24-27, 2004
SAN FRANCISCO STATE UNIVERSITY


I am attending the conference at State University here in San Francisco at the invitation of the Unity Foundation. I am on the Board of the Foundation and hope to do some little justice by my presence. I was born in Nairobi, Kenya - have traveled all over the world and can now with all the experience I have gained - perhaps contribute in some little measure to the deliberation at this unique conference on the United Nations. I now live in San Francisco and fight for the Muwekma Ohlone. The First People of San Francisco and the Bayarea.

In the gathering I met Dr. Robert Muller. He has a sacred pendant given to him by the Hopi and do so I. For a long I have been waiting to see this sacred pendant on another and have been told that certain people are honored when given this pendant. I saw it on Dr. Muller when I met him and his friends not really knowing that I was in the presence of the one the greatest Assistant-Generals of the United Nations, Chancellor Emeritus of the University for Peace in Costa Rica.

As luck would have it Dr. Muller was the first speaker and I thought his contribution to world peace is worthy considering every single day of his life he contributes to peace in some way or the other. Among his doings - every single day he writes one idea to bring about peace and has thousands of ideas to bring this about.

I also had the honor of meeting Sheshrao Chavan a life long Gandhian and Chairman of Aurangabad, the largest cultural and educational center in India.

Andrew Strauss, Professor of International Law, Widner University spoke about novel ways to bring about world peace by drastic changes in which we look at the present set up of the United Nations. People assemblies - millions of liberals from all over the world having representation on world issues affecting each and every human being.

Similarly millions of conservatives are representing conservative values. The same for those who are independent, and other categories that we could figure out as we delve into the inner being of millions to tap into genuine human resources to bring about human change and affect the daily politics and governance of people all over the world.

Bill McCarthy introduced the guests as the Master of Ceremonies. Colin Farish my good friend played the piano and made some great music.

The "World Café" allow hundreds of people to break up in small group and focus on some topic of interest. I happened to stick as the facilitator of my group - stuck on my table while the other rotated for three rounds. This exercise permits an open discussion allow each person to speak one's mind while the others listen. " Let's Talk America" some how focused on the United Nations and how this aging organization could bring about innovative changes to serve humanity in peaceful ways.

ROUND 1
In July of 2003 Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that recent multiple crises "force us to ask ourselves whether the institutions and methods we are accustomed to are in need of radical reform." What would you envision as the optimal United Nations, one that included the voice of " We the people"? What would that look like?

ROUND 2
What are the most effective means to strengthen and democratize the United Nations? How would you get there?

ROUND 3
What can we do as individuals and community to achieve these goals? What role can we play?

ROUND 4
RELECTION: What have you heard and learned? What surprised or challenged or touched or inspired you? What is the question you are leaving with?

Susan Partnow - Partner Coordinator for Lets Talk America, facilitated this process: www.letstalkamerica.org.

I will try to do justice to our group as I was the facilitator and got stuck in my chair for all the four rounds.

In the First Round we started by giving the indigenous the honors. We mentioned about the basic elements Fire and associated that with Family Values and reverence. Water and linked that element with Wisdom and Ways of bringing about change. Land and associated Mother Earth with Love and learning ways to love. Air and associated that with Accountability, Honor, and Solidarity.

Others during round one felt good that we could trust one another and express ourselves in a frank manner. One member who had spent time with the indigenous people in Mexico reflected on the symbol of corn and the role it plays in the culture of the people who revere that symbol.

In Round Two we felt that Spirituality should spear head our dealings with each individual and in smaller groups. The structure of the Bahai Faith was brought up. Another felt that one needs a set of principles to lead a meaningful life. It is a good idea to make efforts to change one's attitude and bring about change. Find solutions to issues and give it our best. It was important to address population growth, share resources, and aim at creating a world government.

In Round Three it was felt we should study mutual reverence and learn to communicate with everyone in the world. We cannot achieve goals without information at every level affecting the world population. It was important one person felt to get rid of the Security Council. Focus on small group to build consensus. These small groups when they further gather in larger assemblies will be able to have a greater consensus or at least the ability to arrive at solutions having resolved some basic issues through dialog.

Round Four allowed anyone to speak and some of the comments I heard was that it were time to sue those who sold arms as a means to punish those who did harm. Another felt it was fine to brainstorm and come out with ideas but difficult to put them in practice.

More action less talk. It was mentioned that those gathered have some of the best ideas to change the United Nations and looked forward to the best to come.

The session began at 4 p.m. and ended way past 9 p.m. June 24, 2004.

Unity Foundation


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