Friday, March 23, 2007

To The World's Billionaires
Memo No 2

Yesterday I downloaded the list of the 946 world's billionaires in the Forbes recent mag. Maybe it had to do with a naive incredulity mixed with a vague sense of mission. In any case, I wanted to see the actual names. It took over 2 hours to print out the 38 pages, one by one.

Certain names stood out: Steven Spielberg, ($3b), Steven Jobs, ($5.7b), George Soros, ($8.5b), Rupert Murdoch, ($9b), Henry Ross Perot, ($4.4b), Richard Branson, ($3.8b), George Lucas, ($3.6b), George Mitchell, ($2.6b), Jeffrey Skoll, ($4.2b), Gerald J. Ford, ($1.7b) (He has a World Passport).

Only twenty-two are older than me (85) though many ages are left out. As to countries, the USA has 415 billionaires; Russia is next with 53 billionaires worth $282 billion. India has 36 worth $191 billion; Japan has 24 worth $64 billion; the UK with 26, Hong Kong with 19 and so on.

As I viewed each billionaire's "Rank," "Name," "Citizenship," "Age, "Net Worth $BIL," and "Residence," a dawning realization came into sharp focus that these bare paper notations were not merely of two-dimensional cardboard cutouts but of real flesh and blood people, our fellow humans! Amazing! Our planetary neighbors not some alien species in a far-off galaxy. Moreover, like us, husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, etc. as well as captains of industry and stewards of immense largess. Were they reachable given the right message and channels? Because as the figures of their worth in billions were revealed in page after astounding page, I began to realize the mind-boggling POWER they possessed, that is, financial power. If "Power follows property" as the proverbial axiom states, the inevitable question fairly screamed at me: Why doesn't that immense global financial power-$3.2 trillion-translate into its requisite political power? Obviously if it did the world would not be in the mess it is in.
What's the missing link?

If indeed the nuclear sword, WWIII and environmental devastation is hanging by a thread above all our heads-billionaires to the contrary notwithstanding-there is an overwhelmingly disastrous lack of GLOBAL systemic coordination in spite of the Universal Postal Union, flights to Mars, instantaneous communication-like this blog-and the "flat world" permitting giants like Walmarts to prosper.

Then it became transparently obvious, at least to me.

These 946 billionaires are as yet unaware that they desperately need us!

To save them!

And by "us," I mean, WE WORLD CITIZENS.
We have the experience and programs for survival!

But don't take my word for it. Read excerpts from an August 23, 1970 speech to a World Congress of World Federalists in Ottawa, Canada from former UN Secretary-General U Thant who, contrary to his "establishment" duties to Member-States, also witnessed the global scene from his privileged perch:

he sense of belonging to the human community must now be added to, and become dominant over other allegiances. Man has not only the possibility but the necessity for recognizing and for demonstrating his essential unity. This has always been the vision of the great religious teachers, philosophers, sages and wise men of the past. Today it is a basic requirement for progress. For mankind cannot proceed, or even survive at all, as a divided and warring species. If we accept this concept, then there is no aspect of world affairs and national affairs that does not require the attention of world citizens as they work steadfastly to usher in the new world order. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has set a planetary norm for the treatment of human beings. (Emphasis added).

While on another and deeper level, Eckhart Tolle's
The Power of Now. reminds us that "The most common ego identifications have to do with possessions. Since the ego is a derived sense of self, it needs to identify with external things. [It] needs to be both defended and fed constantly. People will often enter into a compulsive pursuit of ego-gratification and things to identify with in order to fill this hole they feel within, a deep-seated sense of lack or incompleteness, of not being whole, constant feeling of not being worthy or good enough. It will only be felt indirectly as an intense craving, wanting and needing. So they strive after possessions, money, success, power, recognition, or a special relationship basically so they can feel better about themselves. Feel more complete, But even when they attain all these things, they soon find that the hole is still there. That it is bottomless. Then they are really in trouble, because they cannot delude themselves anymore."

My bottom line is it is shamefully apparent that our world's billionaires are not yet cognizant of the founding, evolution and practice of our 54-year-old world government since not one of them has yet proffered any appropriate financial support to it.

Is that about to change?

Well, YES!

The reason is obvious. We need each other in order to survive.


A Humanitarian Crisis

One disastrous result of the phony Iraq war is the more than 2 million Iraqis who have fled their land seeking asylum because of its violence to civilians both from the U.S. military and the Shia-Sunni civil war. Flooding into Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Iran as "refugees," (More than 18,000 are now seeking asylum in Europe, half in Sweden). As "aliens" they face a life without resources of health care, education, work security or basic life support. "Washington and the U.N. do not acknowledge the magnitude of the humanitarian crisis," according to Ken Bacon of Refugees International.

Even procuring a passport to leave Iraq has become a frustrating and even dangerous problem. Sebastian Usher of BBC News Middle East reports that "The desire to get out of Iraq increases in line with the violence." New nationality cards are required in order to apply for a new passport series. Lines in public places and delays are long often requiring bribes to unscrupulous Iraqis. Usher concludes that "For those struggling to find a way out of the most violent areas in Iraq, the passport obstacle course is not just a cause for frustration but potentially a matter of life and death."

Since its inception in 1954, the World Service Authority has been issuing its human rights documents to individuals in the Middle East as in the rest of the world. From its inception, all national governments have been advised of its documentary service to refugees and stateless persons. (See "Documents" section in main web site). But the World Passport has a precedent.
The history of the Nansen Passport, the original "refugee" passport, is little known today. But Norwegian explorer Fritjof Nansen, Norway's delegate to the League of Nations, was commissioned in 1918 to open a passport office for refugees, mostly "White Russians" who had fled to Europe following the 1917 Communist revolution in the Soviet Union.

With the League's sanction the passport was recognized by all European countries proving an indispensable identity and travel document for hundreds of thousands of refugees, and stateless persons, up to 1939 when WWII started thereby scrapping the League of Nations itself.

Its successor, the United Nations, however, failed to continue Nansen's mission, (he received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1922) yet the refugee population had expanded exponentially following the war. Instead it proposed a treaty to be signed by Member-States defining refugees rights. This effectively placed the refugee within the jurisdiction of each state adhering to the treaty. But paradoxically, even before the treaty went into effect, 1956, the UN in 1948 proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a "common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations."

Article 13(1) provided that "Everyone has the right to freedom of movement and residence within the borders of each state" while article 13(2) provides that "Everyone has the right to leave any country, including his own, and to return to his country."

There was no UN document publicly issued identifying these human rights concerning freedom of travel and residence. The WSA was therefore born out of sheer necessity in 1954, fully two years before the Convention on the Rights of Refugees was finally ratified in 1956 by the requisite number of nations for it to be effectuated. The first World Passport was designed, printed and obtained its first national visas by this writer in 1955 on my trip to India at the invitation of Nataraja Guru, a South Indian sage. (The full story is in my first book,
My Country Is The World, (Putnam, 1960, see "Catalogue," WG site).

The 4th edition of the World Passport conforming to the identification codes authorized by the International Civil Aviation Organization in Montreal for travel documents began issuance on January 1, 2007. Upgraded information has been sent to all UN Member-States on a specially-edited CD-Rom disc also available to the general public. (See "Catalogue" in WG site).

The new refugee population fleeing Iraqi's civil war once again exposes the dire anarchic condition dominating the entire world community despite lip service to fundamental human rights by national leaders.

We at WSA continue, however, to serve the general public as our slender means permit, a further reason for increased and major funding to cope with the immense and desperate problems the world's refugees face in increasing numbers.


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