Bringing the Goals of the UN Home to San Francisco
How do we do it? We build a coalition to persuade the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to establish a United Nations Goals Advisory Committee. See the excellent draft resolution ready for the Supervisors to consider.
The United Nations Charter was signed at the Veterans Building just across the street from San Francisco City Hall. The date was June 26, 1945.
The Preamble to the Charter gives us a moving overview of the goals of the United Nations:
WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom...
The Role of Voices of Humanity
Voices of Humanity (VoH) is a social medium designed to promote a heartfelt sense of human unity that also supports diversity. VoH is a project of Collective Communication, Inc., (CCI) a California 501(c)(3) located in San Francisco. CCI has five Directors. Bronwyn Galloway is President of CCI. Roger Eaton is Executive Director. For more information, including Board minutes, see https://intermix.org/cci.htm. You can try the Voices of Humanity online forum as a Visitor without having to sign up at https://voh.intermix.org.
Voices of Humanity enables communities to elect collective messages. To succeed in promoting human unity, VoH must become a massive global network. The technology is smart and there is no question that humanity needs a sense of global consciousness that also supports the nations and religions, but the truth is that until VoH attracts a few thousand users, no one will be that interested. This is called the "network effect" and is the major hurdle confronting VoH.
Important to know, there are six Voices of Humanity: the voice of Women, Men, Youth, Middle-aged, Seniors and the voice of Humanity-as-one. Gender equality is built into the process, and the women's movement has much to gain by adopting VoH for its communications.
Voices of Humanity "Apart & Together" feature (A&T) is up and running. Briefly, A&T alternates between a) a group of communities electing messages together to represent their unity and b) each community electing its own messages to maintain its separate identity. The plan is to establish an A&T conversation between the cities of the world, starting with San Francisco.
Each UN Goal will have its own collective voice. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are not on track to succeed by 2030, and one of the reasons is what is called the "silo effect". The SDGs are awesome, but each one tends to have its own set of supporters, who talk with each other but not with supporters of the other SDGs. Then, too, there are the original goals of the UN which have been left out of the SDGs: peace and disarmament, particularly nuclear disarmament. By including these original goals with the SDGs the Voices of Humanity SF UN goals project will use the Apart & Together technology to build the coalition we need, first for San Francisco, and then reaching out to the Bay Area and globally.
The SDGs are coming down to the city level in any case via Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs) and the SDGs Cities Challenge. Here is an excellent March 2022 article covering city/sdg involvement. More coordination is clearly needed. Importantly, cities are nuclear targets and do not themselves have nukes, so cities already support nuclear disarmament. A global network of cities can add disarmament and peace to the list of SDGs, and when you come to think about it, disarmament and peace must occur along with SDG progress if we are to have the international cooperation we need. Nuclear weapons in particular are so dramatically horrifying that their very existence is prima facie evidence that the nations would be foolish to trust each other. How can the nations cooperate on the SDGs if they cannot trust each other?
So it makes sense for San Francisco to adopt the Goals of the United Nations. The difficulty will be to find the first few dozen coalition members. And maybe it is not that difficult after all. We will find out.
So How is it going to work?
We need to build a government/civic/business/academic coalition. The coalition will develop its own leadership. Here at Voices of Humanity, we very much hope to be the communications medium for the coalition, but be assured that we are not expecting to call the shots. Not that we won't be adding our thoughts to the process. The next step in our plan is to build a largely women’s A-team to take charge of outreach and marketing. We believe that if women take the lead, the men will follow and the coalition will come together quickly and smoothly.
Please see our proposed draft resolution for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (BoS). Outreach to the Board of Supervisors before the pandemic about the draft resolution went well.
The Big Picture
The world, our world, Planet Earth is in trouble, a trouble of our own making. Humanity, by a combination of population growth and an ever more powerful technology, has overstepped Nature’s limits. Civilization as it goes is not sustainable and will collapse, and in the non-linear way of things, all too likely sooner rather than later.
The peaceful transition to a sustainable world requires global trust and cooperation between the nations and religions, and also the active support of the people everywhere. We love our nations and our religions, and won’t give them up, so in this shift to a larger sense of unity, we need to be thinking how we can motivate the nations and religions to be willing partners.
Voices of Humanity Will Bring in the Nations and Religions
The six voices of humanity will create the global consciousness that is the sine qua non of the transition to a sustainable civilization that we need. At the global level, messages from these six voices will be extremely likeable in the Facebook sense but more than that, they will be important because so many people from all over the world will read them. Because love, wit and spirit are what everyone appreciates, we can expect the six voices of humanity to be consistently kind, intelligent and upbeat. Narrow minded and hateful messages will always draw a large negative vote from one segment or another and so can never be selected to represent humanity as a whole. The ever wise and gentle humor of the voices of humanity will redefine the “other”. We can even hope to deliver a salutary shock as the participants realize one by one that the human race is on their side.
As the VoH network grows, unified voices for the nations and religions will develop. Dare we imagine a voice of America and of Russia, India and Pakistan, Israel and Palestine? A voice of Islam and of Christianity? It might seem a foolish project, but when we realize that the nations and religions are being unified and strengthened within the context of a unified humanity, then the true genius of the Voices of Humanity project becomes apparent. It is by supporting the nations and religions that we motivate them to be willing partners in the unification of humanity.
Consider the hardliners’ dilemma when deciding whether to participate in a Voices of Humanity discussion. If no, then they lose all influence within the discussion. If yes, then they are legitimizing the notion that we have a common humanity. At first, the hardliner hawks will shun the VoH discussions, and that will create a safe environment for the doves to get things started. Then, as the process takes off, the persuadable moderates will join in and by “trying on” the global perspective, learn to like it.