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Peace News
Saturday, 23 August 2008 03:41
Obama's Vice President: Guidelines for Choosing a Democratic Running Mate

PEJ News
- Joan Russow - Global Compliance Research Project ­- Obama claimed that he was going "to chart a new course for America". Throughout the years, and throughout the globe, there has been no shortage of proposals for real change in the United States. If Barack Obama is serious about "charting a new course for the America", perhaps he could consider the following proposed actions that would assist him in choosing a Democratic running mate, and in moving the United States away from its years of militarism. corporatism, and fundamentalism.

Potential Guidelines for Choosing a Running Mate for Charting a New Course for America:

Obama's running mate should be someone who has over the years encouraged the United States to pursue the following:

1. To reduce the US military budget and reallocate military expenses and transfer the savings into global social justice as undertaken through numerous UN Conference Action Plans and UN General Assembly Resolutions.

2.To abandon the pre-emptive/preventive policy that has resulted in aggressive attacks on sovereign states and that has been in violation of the UN Charter Article 2 and international law, and is the 'supreme' international crime of a war of aggression.

3.To withdraw immediately from any military involvement and occupation of sovereign states, including Iraq and Afghanistan.

4.To end the practice of mollifying public opposition by couching aggressive acts in euphemistic "operations" such as "Operation Just Cause", "Operation Iraqi Freedom", "Operation Enduring Freedom", etc.

5.To undertake to sign and ratify all Geneva Protocols, including Protocol V, which requires the removal of remnants of war.

6.To no longer perceive justice in terms of revenge through military intervention and to instead seek justice through the International Court of Justice.

7.To no longer misconstrue Art 51 (self-defence) of the Charter of the United Nations to justify premeditated non-provoked military aggression, or use various pretexts for invading other sovereign states.

8.To not engage in and to oppose any attempt to undermine the international resolve to prevent the scourge of war; this would include not engaging in intimidation or in offering economic incentives in exchange for support for military interventions.

9.To be willing to be judged by an international tribunal for any actions that might be deemed to violate international law, to be crimes against the peace, to be war crimes or genocide.

10.To not misuse UN "peace-keeping" to clean up aggressive acts of destruction and occupation of other states.

11. To close and convert to peaceful purposes US foreign military bases in sovereign states around the world.

12. To undertake to respect the mandatory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice and to abide by its decisions.

13. To end the circulation and berthing of nuclear powered or nuclear arms-capable vessels throughout the world.

14. To no longer engage in "war games" or "military exercises" such as Exercise Trident Fury and Exercise Amalgam/Falcon Dart.

15. To discontinue propping up and financing military dictators.

16. To abandon the practice of targeting or assisting in the assassination of leaders of other sovereign states, and of engaging in "regime change" or covert destabilization of democratically elected leaders of or any leader of a sovereign state; to end the interference in the democratic process through US government funded non-governmental organizations.

17. To invoke Chapter VI ­ the peaceful resolutions of disputes - and be prepared to be judged by the International Court of Justice.

18. To abide by the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and immediately implement Article VI of the Treaty, (Article VI: commits all parties to pursue negotiations in good faith on measures to end the nuclear arms race and to achieve disarmament) and to end the production of all weapons of mass destruction such as nuclear, chemical, and biological, as agreed to in UNCHE in 1972, and in specific conventions; to be equally critical of all the states, including Israel, that possess nuclear weapons, and to recognize the destabilizing impact of the Middle East as a result of the possession of nuclear weapons.

19. To reaffirm the obligations under the 1967 Outer Space Treaty to ensure that exploration and use of outer space, incuding the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries, irrespective of their degree of economic or scientific development, and shall be the province of all mankind [humanity]; and to discontinue the research, development and installation of Ballistic Missile Defence technology.

20. To make a full commitment to disarmament and to oppose the continued profit-making from the sale of arms, to implement obligations to reduce the trade in small arms and, in collaboration with the ILO, to fund a fair and just transition program for workers currently working in the arms trade; to end the destabilization of states and regions through the sale of arms, including through the guise of "foreign aid".

21. To end the production of land mines and to sign and ratify the Convention for the Banning of Landmines, and affirm a commitment of funds and continuous effort to remove land mines from all areas of the world where land mines are known to exist.

22. To suffocate the production of uranium, to phase out the use of civil nuclear energy, and prohibit the use of weapons such as depleted uranium and cluster bombs that would be prohibited under the Geneva Protocol II.

23. To oppose NATO'S first strike policy, and support the disbanding of NATO, NORAD and NORCOM.

24. To abide by the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of civilians, and respect international human rights and humanitarian law.

25. To abide by the Convention against Torture through Cruel, Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and end the practice of rendition of citizens and to abide by the Geneva Conventions.

26. To eliminate cruel and inhumane punishment such as capital punishment, which violates accepted international norms.

27. To abandon institutions and agreements which promulgate globalization, deregulation and privatization; these institutions and agreements undermine the rule of international public trust law, and condone and actively facilitate corporations benefiting and profiting from war.

28. To oppose the promulgation, globalization, deregulation and privatization through trade agreements, such as the WTO/FTAA/NAFTA etc. that undermine the rule of international public trust law, and to support global fair trade.

29. To disband the WTO, to abrogate NAFTA and to end negotiation of the Security and Prosperity Partnership Agreement.

30. To oppose all proposals such as those in the Security and Prosperity Partnership, which will result, through the practice of harmonization, in standards and regulations not achieving the highest tenable principles, but arriving at the lowest common denominator.

31. To abandon the IMF structural adjustment program which has led to the violation of human rights, has exploited citizens in the developing world and has adversely impacted on vulnerable and indigenous peoples around the world.

32. To oppose the privatization of public services such as water, sewage and health care, to increase funding to universities, to counter the corporate funding of education, including the corporate direction of research and declare that research must be arms-length and not tied to government or corporations.

33. To finally implement the long-standing international commitment to transfer .7% of the GDP for overseas aid, and to cancel Third World debt.

34. To no longer subsidize and invest in companies that have developed weapons of mass destruction, that have violated human rights, that have denied social justice, that have exploited workers, and that have destroyed the environment.

35. To implement the commitment made to ensure that corporations, including transnational corporations comply .. with international law, and that they pay compensation for any previous health and environmental consequences of their actions.

36. To revoke charters and licences of corporations that have violated human rights, including labour rights, that have contributed to war and violence, and that have led to the destruction of the environment.

37. To support Mandatory International Ethical Normative (MIEN) standards and enforceable regulations to drive industry to conform to international law, and to oppose corporate "voluntary compliance".

38. To enforce the provisions in the Convention to prevent disasters, and to not embrace the acceptance of weaker proposals which would result in "reducing disasters".

39. To ban substances and activities that contribute to environmentally-induced diseases, to address poverty-related health problems and ensure universal access to a publicly-funded not-for-profit health care system.

40. To end the production of toxic, hazardous, atomic waste, and to prevent the transfer to other states of substances and activities that are harmful to human health or the environment as agreed at the UN Conferences on the Environment and Development, 1992.

41. To ban the production, approval and promotion of genetically engineered foods and crops which have led to a deterioration of the food supply and to loss of heritage seeds; and to oppose all proposals such as to supply genetically engineered food and crops to address the issue of poverty, or to contribute to the mitigation of climate change.To promote organic agriculture, and to institute a fair and just transition program for workers and communities affected by the conversion to organic agriculture.

42. To protect biodiversity by signing and ratifying the Convention on Biological Diversity and oppose "megadiversity" - resulting from genetic engineering.

43. To be forthright in acknowledging that the Biosafety Protocol is a disguised trade agreement, and serves to promote the acceptance of genetically modified living organisms.

44. To accept the warnings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and to no longer disregard obligations under the Framework Convention on Climate Change and its protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and to preserve carbon sinks.

45. To urge the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to investigate and estimate the full impact on greenhouse gas emissions by the military and demand that each state release information related to the greenhouse gas emissions from the production of all weapons systems, military exercises, from war games, weapons testing, military aviation, environmental warfare, troop transfer, military operations, waste generation, reconstruction after acts of violent interventions etc.

46. To counter the deniers of the issue of climate change by citing the precautionary principle contained in the legally binding Framework Convention on Climate Change, which reads that where there is a threat of climate change, the lack of full scientific certainty should not be used as a reason for postpone measures to prevent the threat [a paraphrase].

47. To oppose any suggestion that civil nuclear energy is the solution to climate change. [in violation of the principle that a solution should never be equally bad or worse than the problem it is intended to solve].

48. To end the misappropriation of agricultural land for the growing of biofuel.

49. To oppose the practice by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of promoting civil nuclear energy as a solution to climate change [in violation of the principle that a regulator should not a promoter be].

50. To support a Forest Protocol to be linked to the Convention on Biological Diversity and to the Framework Convention on Climate Change.

51. To repeal the Patriot Act because it violates civil and political rights and results in racial profiling, to end the obsession with the war on terror and to open up a full investigation of the events surrounding September 11, 2001.

52. To clearly distinguish legitimate dissent from criminal acts of subversion.

53. To abandon the "no-fly" list and the FBI list of activists.

54. To tear down the wall between Mexico and the United States.

55. To oppose "slap suits" against public participation, and to no longer target, intimidate and discriminate against activists on the grounds of political and other opinion (a listed ground in the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights).

56. To end all discrimination on the following grounds:
- race, tribe, or culture;
- colour, ethnicity, national ethnic or social origin, or language; nationality, place of birth, or nature of residence (refugee or immigrant, migrant worker);
- gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, or form of family, [including same-sex marriage];
- disability or age;
- religion or conviction, political or other opinion, class, economic position, or other status.

57. To end the discrimination against immigrants and refugees, and to sign and ratify the Convention for the Protection of Migrant Workers and their Families and the Convention on Refugees.

58. To offer amnesty to all those who were war resisters.

59. To fully abide by the ILO Convention related to indigenous rights, and to no longer engage in practices that destroy the lands of indigenous people or that are deemed to be inappropriate.

60. To adopt the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

61. To respect women's reproductive rights, and abide by commitments made under the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform, and to sign and ratify the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women, and its Protocols.

62. To ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

63. To sign and ratify all the ILO Conventions, including the provisions related to the right to strike and the right to equal pay for work of equal value.

64. To support the institution of an International Court of Compliance linked to the International Court of Justice; The Court of Compliance will hear evidence from citizens of state non-compliance.

65. To support the establishment of an International Court of Compliance, where citizens can take evidence of state and corporate non-compliance, and where, in the absence of compliance, charters and licences of corporation can be revoked.

66. To discharge obligations incurred through conventions, treaties, and covenants and act on commitments made through conference action plans related to common security - peace, environment, human rights and social justice.

67. To sign, ratify and enact the necessary legislation to ensure compliance with, or respect for Common Security, International Conventions, Covenants and Treaties.

68. To affirm a commitment to multilateralism and oppose unilateral actions that undermine global common security.

69. True security is not "collective security" or "human security", which has been extended to "humanitarian intervention" and used along with the "responsibility to protect", with a view to justifying military intervention in other states. True security is "common security", not as defined in the SPP, but in documents prepared by Olaf Palme, and which entrench peremptory norms.

*to promote and fully guarantee respect for human rights including labour rights, civil and political rights, social and cultural rights - right to food, right to housing, right to a universally accessible, not-for-profit health care system, right to education and social justice; to this end, to ratify the International Covenant on Social Economic and Cultural Rights.
* to enable socially equitable and environmentally sound employment, and ensure the right to development [as per Convention];
* to achieve a state of peace, social justice and disarmament; through reallocation of military expenses and eradication of poverty;
* to create a global structure that respects the rule of law ; and
* to ensure the preservation and protection of the environment, respect the inherent worth of nature beyond human purpose, reduce the ecological footprint and move away from the current model of over-consumptive development.

70. To oppose religious extremism and proselytizing, including the spread of Evangelical Christianity around the world, which has undermined local indigenous cultures, instilled fear through the dangerous belief in the "rapture", "Armageddon" and "left behind", has promulgated a dispensationalist "end times" scenario, which has serious irreversible consequences, and has led to the denigrating of other established beliefs and practices.

71. To no longer undermine the notion of democracy by couching a plutocracy/theocracy in democratic notions of "freedom".

72. To reverse the practice of the United States' undermining years of international obligations incurred through treaties, conventions and covenants, of international commitments made through UN Conference Action plans, and of international expectations created through UNGA declarations and resolutions. 

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Last Updated on Saturday, 23 August 2008 03:41

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