Spiritus Mundi, Novel by Robert Sheppard: Setting, Style, Structure and Genre

  1. Setting———Locations of Novel’s Principal Action
    1. Global Setting

Significantly, the setting of Spiritus Mundi as a “Global Novel” or “Global Epic” takes in the virtually the entire globalized modern world, as is reflected in the Table of Contents as the chapter headings move from Beijing to New York to Geneva, Berlin, London, Washington, D.C., Tokyo, the Maldives of the Indian Ocean, Southern Africa, Mexico City, Jerusalem, Iran and Tibet.  This reflects the movement of the action of this Epic Novel of Modernity, centered around the quest to raise global consciousness and will for the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, an undertaking in modern dimensions equivalent to the siege of Troy in the Iliad or the quest to found the eternal city of Rome in the Aeneid. In essence it is also the story of the founding of a people, in this case the “People of the World” in their initial struggle for unity, reflected in the Preamble to the Charter of the United Nations: “We the Peoples….”

  1. Social Panorama

 

  1. Mythical Dimensions and Otherworlds

 

  1. Style, Point of View and Variety of Texts

Spiritus Mundi exhibits a wide variety of texts, styles and narrative Points of View. These include traditional Third-Person narrative interspliced with the First-Person Blogs of the three principal narrators, Sartorius, Eva and Andreas. In addition Sartorius’ Blog contains regular entries of his poems, included regularly in Book One. Several chapters have unique narrative styles and texts. Chapter 8, Frequentlhy Asked Questions contains a large section composed of semi-rhetorical questions and answers, reminiscent of sections of Joyce’s Ulysses. The narrative action is interspaced with “Newsfeeds” written in the style of Internet RSS Feeds and providing breaking news related to the Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. This enlivens the textuality of the book with the texture and feel of the New Media and is reminiscent of the news and “Camera Eye” and newsreels of Dos Passos, introducing the new media of the Internet into the text just as Dos Passos introduced the then new media of the motion picture and newsreel. Similarly the Blogs and Blog Journals of Sartorius, Eva and Andreas contribute the multiple-points of view and perspective associated with Faulkner, but also the contemporanaeity and intimacy of the Internet Age.  Chapter 20, “Cyclops” is written in the form of a Transcript of a Congressional Hearing, conveying the aura of historicity along with oral spontanaeity. It also, as its title suggests, in the tradition of Joyce recapitulates an episode of the Odyssey in the guise of modern life, allusively likening the curmudgeon Congressman Ron Pall to Odysseus’ Cyclops in the nativist unifocality of his limited vision of the wider world. Chapter 26 contains the “Naval Diaries and Ships’ Logs of Admiral Sir George Rose Sartorius” which provides another voice and first-person perspective, and constitutes, in effect, an embedded novella within the greater work with its account of Captain Sartorius’ shipwreck in the Maldive Islands and the romance of his encounter with the sorceress Lillith, “Sir She” and with the Sultan of the Sea of Stories.  Chapter 28, “The Volcano’s Underworld” of Book One, with its special treatment of the surreal adventure of the “Teatro Magico” in Mexico City, told uniquely in part in the Second Person, also constitutes virtually an embedded mini-novella within the greater work, and exhibits the unique stle and energy of drug-induced hallucination, alcoholic delusion and a surreal adventure into the imaginative underworld. Chapter 33 perform a Moibus-strip or M.C. Escher like trompe-l’oeil inversion of the book self-referentially writing itself as Sartorius sets out to compose the novel within the novel.

Book Two, “Spiritus Mundi: The Romance” as the title suggests indicates a shift of gears, that is from the focus of the genre of the Novel grounded in realistic mimesis and verisimilitude to that of the Romance, which asserts a greater degree of freedom to diverge from the mundane probable to the realm of the mythic, the cosmic and the fantastic. Its action includes abrupt historical crisis as well as a divergence into the mythical dimension of a voyage to the center of the Earth, the discovery of the Crystal Bead Game and the Magister Ludi, encounter with the Mothers and Fallen-angel Grigori, and the transit of the cosmic Wormhole to the Council of the Immortals in the Black Hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. Its tone is grounded in the realistic context of the characters but verges from there into the mythic and the archetypal.

At every juncture, the style is heavily allusive and intertextual, making constant reference and allusion to the classical works of World Literature in the tradition of Joyce’s Ulysses, including similarly parallel episodes of action and constant reference to Homer’s Odyssey, but also alluding to hundreds of various works in the canon of world literature. This parallels the significant theme of the novel, depicting and re-performing the rise of World Literature as such and deepens the reading experience and resonance of the work. 

  1. Genre—The Emerging Genres of the Global Novel and the Global Epic

Spiritus Mundi grounds sets the benchmark for the emerging genre of the Global Novel or Global Epic in English.  The Global Novel is distinguished by the global focus of its setting, themes, characters and action. Its structure is international and multi-cultural in nature, but transcends mere bi-lateral intercultural accounts to take a globalized perspective reflecting the emerging modern globalized unity of the world, transcending any particular clash of cultures. It most often addresses the underlying unity of human experience, genetic and ecological heritage, anthropological and historical development since the agricultural and industrial revolutions of the past ten thousand years, and the shared archetypes of the human collective unconscious transcending cultural differences. The Global Epic, as a sub-genre, extends the genre of the epic, focusing on the story of the history and place in the universe of a people, to the narrative of the emergence of the “People of the World,” on a global and transnational scale, with its attendant revolutionary emergence of global consciousness and will, and the emergence of new institutions to enable their realization in action. 

The emergence of the Global Novel in English is also seen as part of the globalization of the English Language as the lingua franca and international language of the world, Global English, whereby English and American Literature, or Literature in Global English is seen as not merely the language  and literature of its nation or origin or even of its multi-national community of native speakers, but increasingly as the common heritage of mankind. Just as the Classical Greek and Latin languages became the lingua franca and common heritage of mankind in which number of international literati dwarfed the numbers of native speakers, so Literature in English has become the principal medium through which the consciousness of the world expresses itself internationally, and the concerns of that World Literature in English must necessarily transcend the narrower concerns of English-speaking nations. Increasingly global writers will focus not primarily on writing “The Great American Novel” as much as on writing “The Great Global Novel.”  This also reflects the emergence of “World Literature” as the common heritage of mankind, building on the founding concepts of Goethe’s “Weltliteratur” in all languages.

Additionally, Spiritus Mundi embraces and embodies multiple traditional genres. It is at once a historical novel, a technothriller of espionage and intrigue, a blog-epistolary novel, a novel of sexual romance, a novel of ideas, a political novel, a novel including lyric poetry, a fantasy novel or novel of magical realism, a utopian or prophetic futurist novel, a surreal novel, and a panoramic novel of contemporary society. Like James Joyce’s Ulysses, Spiritus Mundi recapitualates, echoes and re-performs the major genres and literary models of the past, while setting a benchmark for the genres and literary models of the future. Like the major classics of political and social activism such as Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, The Octopus, The Jungle, or Disraeli’s Sybil, The Two Nations, Spiritus Mundi is an urgent call to action to all of its readers to join the crusade to create a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly to deal with the vast challenges of modern globalization, accompanied by a concrete “Action Plan” outlined in the Appendix 2 section of the book.  Additionally, within the overall unity of Spiritus Mundi itself are found its two constituent parts: Book One—The Novel, and Book Two—The Romance. This division is meant to be partially illusory, as the book formed by these two halves constitutes an overarching whole which transcends any artificial division into parts or genres. Nonetheless, the difference in emphasis in the character and tone of the two components justifies the reference to the two subordinate genres, the novel and the romance. The frontpiece to Book Two makes reference to the distinction drawn by Nathaniel Hawthorne in his Preface to the House of the Seven Gables between the two genres, pointing up the fidelity of the novel to not only the realm of the possible, and even to that of the commonly accepted probable in human affairs, while the romance is given a greater license, while still restrained by the laws of art and fidelity to the workings of the human heart, to stray into the realm of the improbable—–even to venture into that of the “Marvellous” or the palpably fantastic. This distinction is somewhat blurred in the modern phenomenon of “Magical Realism” to which tradition Spiritus Mundi also belongs in part. Thus in the course of the same overall work Spiritus Mundi in Book Two signals, as it were, a shift of gears while the same vehicle continues upward along the same narrative road, but perhaps with a greater torque of the imagination engaged to reach its furthest and steepest upward slopes of development and the denoument of its final destination. Acccordingly, the action shifts from the predominantly realistic realm of the panorama of present global society to the quantum leap first into geopolitical crisis and threatened nuclear war, then to a fantastic journey to the center of the earth and involvement in the Crystal Bead Game of the Magtister Ludi, and thence onward on the quest for the Seed Crystal led by Sartorius and his band of venturers to the cosmic nether realm of the Council of the Immortals.  While, like similar epic voyages of The Odyssey, The Aeneid, and Dante’s Divine Comedy, this transit involves elements of the fantastic or the worldly improbable, it nonetheless conforms convincingly to the the desiderata of the laws of art and the contours of the human heart made visible through the archetypes of the collective unconscious of all mankind.   

  1. Divisions and Structure of the Novel:  Books One and Two–Spiritus Mundi, the Novel and Spiritus Mundi, the Romance

 

Within the overall unity of Spiritus Mundi itself are found its two constituent parts: Book One—The Novel, and Book Two—The Romance. This division is meant to be partially illusory, as the book formed by these two halves constitutes and overarching whole transcending the two parts. Nonetheless, the difference in emphasis in the character and tone of the two components justifies the reference to the two subordinate genres, the novel and the romance. The frontpiece to Book Two makes reference to the distinction drawn by Nathaniel Hawthorne in his Preface to the House of the Seven Gables between the two narrative traditions, pointing up the greater fidelity of the novel to not only the realm of the possible, and even to that of the commonly accepted probable in human affairs, while the romance is given a greater license, while still restrained by the laws of art and fidelity to the workings of the human heart, to stray into the realm of the improbable—–even to venture into that of the “Marvellous” or the palpably fantastic. Thus in the course of the same overall work Spiritus Mundi in Book Two signals, as it were, a shift of gears while the same vehicle continues upward along the same road and common objective, but perhaps with a greater torque of the imagination engaged to reach its furthest upward slopes of development and the denoument towards its final destination. Acccordingly, the action shifts from the predominantly realistic realm of the present global society of Book One, in a quantum leap, first into global geopolitical crisis and threatened nuclear Armageddon, then to a fantastic journey to the center of the earth and involvement in the Crystal Bead Game of the Magister Ludi, and thence onward on the quest for the Seed Crystal led by Sartorius and his band of venturers to the cosmic nether realm of the Council of the Immortals.  While, like similar epic voyages of The Odyssey, The Aeneid, and Dante’s Divine Comedy, or of Verne this transit involves elements of the fantastic or the worldly improbable, it nonetheless conforms convincingly to the the desiderata of the laws of art and the contours of the human heart made visible through the archetypes of the collective unconscious of all mankind.

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Appendix to Spiritus Mundi, Novel: List of Principal Characters

II.                  Appendix 2:  Index of Principal Characters

Major Characters:

Robert Sartorius, Professor and principal leader and theorist for the Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, divorced father of Jack Sartorius who overcomes a life crisis of faith and attempted suicide to marry Eva Strong and push the Parliamentary Assembly campaign towards a successful conclusion, though Moses-like dying before its final implementation.  His travels in Book One echo those of the legendary Odysseus of the Odyssey, including the sea adventures of the Neptune’s Fury chapter, and the famous katabasis, or descent into Hell in the Volcano’s Underworld and Teatro Magico chapters; his later cosmic questing and travels in Book Two: Spiritus Mundi The Romance, including a voyage to the Great Central Sea at the center of the earth and discovery of the Magister Ludi of the Crystal Bead Game, the encounter with the mythical Mothers on the Island of Omphalos, and his transiting of the Cosmic Wormhole to the Council of the Immortals at the Black Hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy to plead for the rescue of the human race from extinction, echo those of Dante in the Divine Comedy, the Isra and Mi’ra of the Kitab al-Miraj and of Goethe’s Faust; his quest for the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly parallels the quest for the Simurgh in The Parliament of the Birds, by Farid ud-Din Attar.

Eva Strong, single mother and part-time employee of the Committee for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly in London, she first has an unsuccessful sexual affair with Andreas Sarkozy and then falls in love with and marries Robert Sartorius, later accompanying him in his campaign efforts and later questing adventures. She lives with her daughter Sarah and cousin Vanessa and Vanessa’s son Robby. Echoes Penelope in the Odyssey. In Book Two she accompanies her beloved Robert on the cosmic quest for the Missing Seed Crystal, the Silmaril on which the fate of the human race depends.

Andreas Sarkozy, Executive Director of the Committee for a United Nations Parliamentary “Assembly and the Global Appeal campaign leader and organizer, is a freedom loving and sexually adventurous ex-South African soldier turned idealistic international lawyer who has a temporary sexual affair with Eva Strong while hard at work for the Parliamentary Assembly campaign. In Book II he becomes one of the band of Argonauts accompanying Sartorius to the Crystal Bead Game and on the Quest to the Island of Omphalos and through the wormhole to the Council of the Immortals at the Center of the Milky Way Galaxy to save the world by recovering the Missing Seed Crystal, the Silmaril.  After Sartorius’ death he takes command of the Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly and with President Barret Osama and the new United Nations Secretary-General Clinton is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for the establishment of the Parliamentary Assembly.

Günter Gross,  German winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, is Sartorius’ longtime friend  with whom he collaborates in both his support for the Parliamentary Assembly campaign and in researching and writing a book on the rise of World Literature, building on Goethe’s idea of “Weltliteratur.”

Osiris,  erratic sex and drug crazed globally popular rock singer superstar who heads up the celebrities supporting the “People Power” Global Appeal campaign and telethon for the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. He later becomes the focus of a pulp media messianic religious cult, taking on the personal of the new Messiah until his asassination.  

Isis,  rock singing superstar and estranged wife of Osiris and member of their rock group, The Angels of Thoth. While estranged from Osiris because of his infidelities she strikes up a sexual love affair with Jack Sartorius, Robert Sartorius’ son. She works in support of the Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly and becomes involved in a Sufi cult at a Sufi Meditation Centre in London. In Book Two she has a religious conversion following the nuclear detonation in Jerusalem and the killing of Osiris and dedicates her life to spirituality as “Mother Isis.”

Jack Sartorius, estranged son of Robert Sartorius who grows up far from his father in the custody of his recently deceased mother following his parents’ contested divorce. He becomes a CIA agent assigned to counter-terrorism duties under the cover name of Jack McKinsey, and is assigned to work with the campaign and investigate its infiltration by terrorist cells. As a cover for his CIA activities he is employed as a top executive of Jung Communications, an international Public Relations, Media and Government Relations agency. Jack echoes the character Telemachus in the Odyssey. In Book Two Jack takes a central role as organizer of the Jerusalem telethon for the UNPA and as a CIA agent where he encounters Khlorindah and Tancredi.  He is captured with his father by the terrorists led by Mustafa and taken captive to Iran, where escaping, he becomes one of the Argonauts on a cosmic quest to save humanity from destruction by retrieving the Missing Seed Crystal, the Silmaril from the Immortals.

Etienne Dearlove, a British MI6 agent under cover as a Reuters/BBC journalist who organizes the “Nightingale” espionage project in Beijing which uses a planted computer Ghost Program to transmit records of secret Chinese Politburo meetings to British intelligence. Though having a wife and child in London, he is the lover of Yoriko Oe and in pursuit of his espionage ends involves her in a ménage-a-trois with Zhou Yuchun, office manager to Chinese Politburo member Minister Luo Chunwang. In Book Two, Etienne experiences the geopolitical cataclysm which leads to an incipient WWIII and the expansion of NATO to include Russia and Japan, and become the new “C,” or head of MI6 British Intelligence.  

Yoriko Oe,             is the Japanese East Asia coordinator for the Committee and daughter of a high executive of Toshiba. To escape her parents insistence on a traditional Japanese marriage she moves to Beijing in pursuit of her lover Etienne Dearlove and becomes involved in a bi-sexual ménage-a-trois with Etienne Dearlove and Zhou Yuchun. She also has a brief sexual fling with Andreas Sarkozy.

Zhou Yuchun, is the office manager for Chinese Politburo member Minister Luo Chunwang. In her study abroad in Tokyo she becomes primarily lesbian, though bisexual, which she conceals from her bosses. She falls in love with Yoriko Oe and has a lesbian cum ménage-a-trois affair with her and Etienne. It is through her that Etienne Dearlove as a British MI6 agent is able to install an espionage Ghost Program on her computers to transmit the records of the Chinese Politburo to British intelligence. At the end of Book Two, imbued with the Japanese bushido culture from her overseas studies, she commits ritual suicide on the collapse of her world.

Mohammad Ala Rushdie,  is an Egyptian former Cambridge student who with Mustafa heads the Mid-East section of the Parliamentary Assembly Committee. He becomes a mystic, novice and dervish in a Sufi order operating a Meditation Centre in London, all while under the surveillance of British MI5 as a falsely suspected terrorist. In Book II he is taken hostage with Sartorius in Jerusalem and held as a human shield in Iran’s underground nuclear processing facilities outside Qom and then goes on to participate in the epic Quest for the Missing Seed Crystal, the Silmaril in the Crystal Bead Game to save humanity. He is also a writer and while in captivity is invited to read his story “The Parable of the Supreme Leader and the Three Messiahs” to Iran’s Supreme Leader, which contributes to the Supreme Leader’s change of heart and abandonment of the Triple Axis Conspiracy with Russia and China to seize the Middle-Eastern oil deposits in Saudi Arabia. At the end of Book Two following the nuclear catastrophe in Jerusalem and his Sufi calling, he joins Mother Isis and the Global Progressive Spiritual Alliance in their quest for nurturing a global spiritual rebirth.   

Mustafa bin Salaman al Khalifa, is the son of a wealthy Bahraini family and former fellow student of Mohammad at Cambridge. While ostensibly managing his family’s investments in London and serving as the co-chief of the Parliamentary Assembly Campaign Committee, Mustafa is in reality an agent of the Iranian Quds Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards and the prime operative in executing the secret conspiracy of the reactionary factions of China, Russia and Iran to join forces in a new Axis to mount a surprise attack on the Middle-East oil reserves in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the Gulf. He is the primary organizer of the conspiracy to conceal an atomic bomb in a Chinese Teracotta Warrior which is detonated in Jerusalem along with the taking of celebrity hostages which provides the cover for a joint Chinese/Russian/Iranian attempt to seize the oil fields of the Middle East, precipitating an impending WWIII. At the end of Book II it is revealed that Mustafa is in fact a time-travelling fugitive from justice in the 23rd Century who flees into the past after a failed attempt to overthrow the democratic world government of the Republic of the United States of Earth, founded on the successful beginnings of the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly.

Julian Jung, founder of international Public Relations, media, advertising and government relations agency Jung Communications, is in charge of media strategy for the Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly and manages the careers and brand images for Osiris and Isis. He is a world renown “Spinmaster” and media manipulator who has even managed the public relations and political media campaigns of the British Prime Minister. He is married to the daughter of media supermagnate Rupert Madox.

Teddy Zhou (or Zhou Tieya),  is Sartorius’ fellow professor and best friend at Peking University in Beijing who saves his life by rushing him to hospital after his suicide attempt and subsequently is paid back when Sartorius in turn saves his life during their Scuba diving adventures in the Maldives.  Like Sartorius, Teddy Zhou comes from a seafaring family and like Sartorius’s ancestor Admiral Sir George Rose Sartorius, one of his ancestors was shipwrecked in the Maldives in the time of Zheng He’s Treasure Fleet. Diving on both wrecks is their common goal in vacationing together in the Maldives.

Admiral Sir George Rose Sartorius, is Sartorius’ ancestor who fought in the British Navy under Lord Nelson at Trafalgar and later suffered a shipwreck in the Maldives, which wreck Sartorius and his friend Teddy Zhou seek to visit and dive upon on their Scuba diving holiday en route to taking up residence in London. Sartorius discover’s the Admiral’s journal and reads of his adventures following the shipwreck, including accounts of his visit to the island of the Sorceress Queen Lilith, and his captivity on the island of the Sultan of the Sea of Stories, where he also crosses paths with Zheng He and Ibn Batuta, famous venturers from the East.

Orlando Tasso, (aka Orlando Tancredi) in Book II is an agent of the Italian intelligence service the AISE, (Italy’s Agenzia Informazionie Sicurezza Estema or “Italian MI6”) and former Carabinieri on loan to the NATO Joint Anti-Terror Team (JATT) and British MI6 in London and in Jerusalem. Under cover as the Italian rock singer Tancredi he falls hopelessly and recklessly in love with Khlorindah, causing conflict and professional ineffectiveness between himself and Jack. Tasso echoes the motifs of Gerusalemme liberata and Orlando Furioso.

Khlorinda Sofronia Darwah, in Book II is a beautiful Palestinian Rai music Chaba singer performing in nightclubs in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv with whom Orlando falls uncontrollably in love and who also infatuates Jack, leading the two into conflict; She proves to be a participant in the principal conspiracy organized through Mustafa to set off a nuclear device in Jerusalem and take former Presidents Carter and Clinton hostage as human shields to prevent American/Israeli attacks on Iran and enable the Triple Axis of China, Russia and Iran to seize the oilfields of Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the Middle-East, thus dominating the Eurasian and world balance of power with the West. She is invited by Jack to sing at the Jerusalem telethon in Teddy Stadium and then takes part in the hostage taking, flying with the hostage takers to Iran where she  Sartorius and Mohammad meet the Supreme Leader in the underground nuclear facilities at Qom.

                  Minor Characters:

 

Ambassador Buck Bolger,  the reactionary American Ambassador to the United Nations and Robert Sartorius’ former law school classmate from the University of California, Berkeley who blocks Sartorius’ initiative to create a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly.

The Secretary General of the United Nations, an old colleague of Sartorius’  with whom he worked as a low-level officer in the UN many years ago who while personally supporting the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly Project refuses to actively support the Parliamentary Assembly program because of the opposition of the United States and other powerful western countries who control his funding.

Christina Senghor, head of the African section of the Committee for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly.

Anna Maria Iglesias,  head of the Latin American section of the Committee and girlfriend of Pari Kasiwar.

Vanessa, the cousin of Eva Strong who shares Eva Strong’s house in London where they live with Eva’s daughter Sarah and Vanessa’s son Robby. She is a minor London stage and screen actress separated from her American film-director husband.

Sarah,  Eva Strong’s daughter who has just commenced studying at a girl’s boarding school in the English countryside and who is just breaking away from Eva trying to form her own identity.

Old Johnny Benn, is an older hard-Left Marxist former TUC labour union leader colleague of Eva’s in the London office of the Committee for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly with whom Eva has a discussion on the futility of struggling for idealistic causes seemingly doomed to failure such as Marxism and the Committee work.

Nicolas Oblomov, is a graphic artist who assists Eva in her work preparing matrials for the UNPA Committee and who regresses to a state of fatalistic laziness and infantilism, withdrawing from a disappointing world into the refuge of his bed.

Pari Kasiwar, of India is the South Asia coordinator for the Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly.  He and Sartorius have deep discussions about the emergence of World Literature and Indian Literature as Sartorius prepares his book on the subject. He and his girlfriend Jennie Zheng relate their experience of partly growing up Asian-American in the USA in Book One, and he introduces her to Indian culture, spirituality and the sexuality of the Kama Sutra. They pursue their spiritual growth and interests together with the Global Progressive Spiritual Alliance, culminating in their founding as spiritual soulmates an Ashram at the Dal Lake embracing “The New Kama Sutra of the Spirit” at the end of Book Two. 

Professor Dr. Wolfgang Spitzer,  professor of Sinology and Chinese Literature at the Free University of Berlin with whom Sartorius and Günter Gross discuss Chinese Literature and the emerging category and institution of World Literature, or Weltliteratur, in Berlin.

Myron Greenberg,  a young recruit at the CIA whom Jack Sartorius trains as his own replacement in the analytical department of the counter-terrorism section.

Jack McKinsey, is Jack Sartorius’ cover name and identity while working for Jung Communications while an undercover agent for the American CIA.

Admiral Orwell,  the Director of National Intelligence of the USA overseeing the CIA and other intelligence operations and directly under the President.

President Barret Osama,  elected as President of the United States in the course of the book is a liberal black president who succeeds the former conservative president following the World Financial Crisis.  When the Triple Axis powers China, Russia and Iran threaten to seize Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the Middle-Eastern oilfields he leads NATO’s resistance, and after the Chinese then attack Russian Siberia he invites Russia and Japan to join NATO which then defeat the Chinese invasion. President Osama then becomes the first man in world history to be awarded two Nobel Peace Prizes when he earns his second one for his support of the creation of the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly at the close of the book.

“C” is the codename for the head of Britain’s MI6 or Secret Intelligence Service headquartered at Vauxhall Cross in London.

Sir Endymion Needham, is the head of the MI6 China Desk and Controllerate and a former classmate of “C” at Cambridge. He has top secret clearance to translate and report on the secretly transmitted files and transcripts of the Chinese Politburo known by codenamed “Nightingale,” which reveal the secret conspiracies and war aims of reactionary factions of the Axis nations China, Russia and Iran. 

Minister Luo Chunwang, of the Chinese Politburo is a powerful minister overseeing the Chinese Ministry of State Security, or Chinese CIA, and a leader of the Taizi Dang, or Princeling Party a reactionary faction of the privileged sons of elite Party members. He is tall, athletic and vigorous, fluent in English having studied at the London School of Economics, yet highly nationalistic and aggressive.  He is the prime force behind the formation of the China, Russia and Iran Axis and its adventure towards seizing control of the Middle-East oil reserves and towards supplanting the West as the dominant force in Eurasia and in the global balance of power.

Joel Barlow, is the CIA Station Chief in London, and as such sits by unique custom on the British Joint Intelligence Committee, the highest coordinating body under the Prime Minister working intimately with MI6. He is mentor and supervisor to Jack Sartorius, aka Jack McKinsey in London and a senior channel of communication between MI6 and the CIA, NSA, Director of National Intelligence and the American President in Washington, D.C. He is married to Willa Barlow, a genteel Southern American lady who takes Jack under her wing as a mother-figure when he arrives in London.

Joel Mentes,  is a senior CIA controller working under cover as a Vice-President of Jung Communications in Washington, D.C. He is Jack Sartorius’ boss in the CIA Clandestine Service, or operational side, and he is also Sartorius’ boss and supervisor inside Jung Communications, managing Jack’s cover identity and role as Jack McKinsey.

Ambassador Turttow, is the reactionary American Ambassador to the Court of St. James in London under the former conservative administration who at a party at Winfield House criticizes Jack’s work with the Committee for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly and praises Ambassador Buck Bolger’s defeat of Robert Sartorius’ initiative at the UN.

Alexander Abramovich Medvedev, is a fabulously wealthy Russian billionaire oligarch and former KGB officer. Owner of the world’s largest private yacht, private jets, helicopters, football clubs and luxury cars he also a backer of the Committee for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly.  He entertains Sartorius, Jack, Andreas and other Committee staff on his yacht, the Omnimaw, for his lavish birthday party, and at the end of the novel is instrumental in assisting MI6 in warning Russia of China’s planned invasion of Siberia and of facilitating Russia’s entry into NATO to counter the invasion.  He is married to Fortunata, a nouveau riche Russian woman, with whom he uproariously celebrates his birthday on his yacht, the Omnimaw.

Earnest Huxley and Peter Townsend,  are a team of MI5 agents in London assigned to conduct surveillance of Mustafa and Mohammed, amoung others, suspected of involvement in Islamic terrorist operations or financing. They collaborate with Jack at MI5 Headquarters at Thames House in his counter-terror work with the CIA, including review of the files on Mohammad and Mustafa.

Candy Bryson,  is a high-priced London prostitute who is often hired by Mustafa and who also regularly informs on him to Scotland Yard and MI5. She also is hired by Russian billionaire Alexander Abramovich Medvedev to entertain his guests aboard his luxury yacht for his gala birthday party, including Sartorius, Andreas and Jack.

Peter Eumaeus, of Ithaca, New York and Washington, D.C. is a homeless US Marine WWII veteran who has lost his house and savings in the World Financial Crisis whom Jack Sartorius befriends and who counsels him to reconcile with his father before it is too late. Eumaueus echoes the role of the eponymous character in the Odyssey.

Elton Brown, world famous rock singer, songwriter, and friend of Princess Diana who has a brief homosexual affair with Osiris.

Joaquim,  a young teenage forced-child-soldier in Mozambique’s South African backed Renamo resistance to the Marxist Frelimo party who is befriended by Andreas Sarkozy when he is assigned there as a South African special forces soldier. Together they jump into the flooding Zambezi river to escape execution by Frelimo and Andreas helps him first to enter a UN Refugee camp and later to get an EU scholarship to study in England, during which time Joaquim visits Andreas at his university in Germany.

Hennie and Ferdie, two rustic Afrikaaner pilots flying for relief agencies who help Andreas and Joaquim on the run from the Frelimo during the Mozambique civil war and fly them to the Zambian border where Joaquim enters a UN Refugee Camp and Andreas resigns his commission in the South African army and emigrates to join his mother in Germany.

Mohammad’s Sufi Pir,  Shayk Mehmet Nâzım Adil is Mohammad’s Pir or mentor and Sufi spiritual master and head of the Sufi Order who meets and guides Mohammad at the London Sufi Meditation Centre of the Naqshbandi-Haqqani Sufi Order.

Yang Yanshen,  is a Chinese dissident survivor of the Tian An Men Massacre in 1989 who is interviewed by Etienne Dearlove for Reuters/BBC after his release after serving fourteen years of a life imprisonment sentence and finding his life destroyed.  Dearlove meets him at the a free rock benefit concert on behalf of the Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly at Beijing’s Chaoyang Park at which Osiris has a dubious religious experience under the influence of drugs.

Jennie Zheng, a student of Sartorius at Peking University who works a volunteer in China for the UN Parliamentary Assembly program and is interviewed by Etienne Dearlove for his Blog Live! Column in which she relates her experience growing up as an Amerian-Born Chinese(ABC), or Asian-American caught between two cultures and in search of her own identity.  Later in Book II after the nuclear detonation in Jerusalem and the trauma of war between the United States and China she turns inward spiritually, and together with her boyfriend from India, Pari Kasiwar, takes part in the Global Spiritual Progressive Alliance, founding an Ashram at Dal Lake and publishing her spiritual autobiography: “My Xi You Ji: A Personal Journey to the West via the East, or the New Kama Sutra of the Spirit.”

Swami Narendranath Ramakrishna, is the Hindu holy man encountered by Pari Kasiwar and Jennie Zheng in Beijing at the Holi celebration and who gives them guidance in their spiritual searching and development.

Lee Young Chul, a former bodyguard to North Korea’s Dear Leader who is brutally imprisoned and then escapes to China where he is interviewed by Etienne Dearlove for Reuters/BBC at the time Russia and China invade and occupy North Korea after chaos breaks out on the death of the Dear Leader.

Representative Ron Pall, Texas is a neo-isolationistist conservative in the United States House of Representatives and US Presidential Candidate who as Chairman of the House Subcommittee on International Organizations opposes Sartorius’ efforts to aid the passage of a Joint Congressional Resolution supporting creation of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. Pall is a constitutional  “strict constructionist” and crypto-libertarian who has earned the nickname of “Dr. No” for opposing almost everything the Federal government attempts to do, nationally and internationally, and for advocating the total withdrawal of the United States from the United Nations through the perennially introduced “American Sovereignty Restoration Act,” the return to the gold standard, the abolition of the Federal Reserve, abolition of the Income Tax. He sees the United Nations as the vehicle of a clandestine conspiracy to impose socialistic world government and thereby slavery upon the American people. Sartorius’ combat with Pall corresponds to that of Ulysses with the one-eyed Cyclops in the Odyssey.

Representative Keith Ellisha, one of the first Muslim US Congressmen and progressive politician and member of the Global Spiritual Progressive Alliance, who supports’ Sartorius and Sarkozy in their efforts to have the US House of Representatives endorse a Resolution supporting the creation of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly.

Padraig Moynihan, former Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, member of the Global Spritual Progressive Alliance, recipient of the Ghandi Peace Prize and three-time nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize. He supports Sartorius in his unsuccessful efforts to have the US House of Representatives pass a Resolution in favor of creating a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, though his views are more extreme and radical than Sartorius’ own.  

Richard Toynbee,  classmate of Etienne Dearlove who joins British MI6 with him and who later becomes a whistleblower exposing corruption and abuse of power in MI6 which leads to his dismissal. He files lawsuits and writes books critical of the SIS. Etienne Dearlove is later subjected to a lie detector test to determine if he has aided Toynbee in his dissident activities.

General Bill Winton,  the J-3, or Director of Operations of the American Joint Chiefs of Staff, who briefs the British Joint Intelligence Committee on the Russian and Chinese invasion of North Korea after the Dear Leader’s death.

Sir Alex Allworth, Permanent Secretary for Intelligence and Resiliance who chairs the British Joint Intelligence Committee meeting in COBRA, (the Cabinet Office Building Conference-Room A), that is the British ‘situation room’ attended by CIA Station Chief Joel Barlow on Russia and China’s invasion of North Korea.

Qwerty Quex Scrivener,  Chief Polygraphist for British MI6 is Etienne Dearlove’s nemesis as he tries to administer a lie detector test to prove that Etienne has aided his friend Richard Toynbee in whistleblowing and exposing corruption and abuse of power at the higher levels of MI6 management. Etienne foils Scrivener and the lie detector by clever strategems.

Sheik Doctor Nazim Hisham, is a bogus and mercenary Sufi sect leader who enlists the presence of international celebrities such as Isis and Osiris to amass personal wealth, self-importance and power.  With the aid of Isis’s money he opens a Sufi Meditation Centre in London which Jack and Isis attend, and builds a personal cult around himself. He is contrasted with Mohammad’s own Pir, or Sufi religious leader, who is authentic and non-exploitative.

The Dear Leader, of North Korea who lives a life of arbitrary power and luxury while his people starve and are brutalized, and whose death unleashes chaos in his country leading to the armed invasion of Russia and China on behalf of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization to restore order.

The Supreme Leader of Iran—or the Grand Imam, the religious and political head of the Iranian government who at first is complicit in the reactionary conspiracy to set off a nuclear device in Jerusalem and take hostage former American Presidents Carter and Clinton, Tony Blair, and the liberal President and Premiere of Russia and China as a pretext for a joing Chinese, Russian Iranian Axis invasion of the oil reserves in Saudi Arabia and Iraq. Later he calls off the conspiracy and invasion after he is visited in a dream by the Archangel Gabriel who commands him to “open the Gates of Ijtihad,” meaning to throw off the dead hand of fossilized authority and open Islamic tradition to updating, respiritualization and reform in light of the ongoing living spirit of Allah, 

Lilith, the Sorceress Queen, known also as “Sir She” falls in love with and takes captive Sartorius’ ancestor Captain George Rose Sartorius on her island in the Indian Ocean seeking through her magic powers to share immortality with him, but who instead suffers death herself.  Echoes Rider Hagard’s classic.

Princess Nooaysua, of the Maldives atoll on which Captain George Rose Sartorius was shipwrecked and with whom she misadventures to the island of the Sorceress Queen Lilith, and then travels with him to the palace of the Sultan of Male’ whom she is to wed. She then takes part in the endless marathon of story telling by the guests of the Sultan of the Sea of Stories.

Billali,  the elderly Arabic scholar who is tutor to Princess Nooaysua, and who accompanies her and Captain Sartorius on their voyages to the island of Sorceress Queen Lilith and to the Sultan of the Sea of Stories. He also introduces Captain Sartorius to the official records and accounts of prior shipwrecks in the islands, even going back as far as the time of the Chinese Treasure Ships of Zheng He, and shares his researches into the female Djinn Sorceress, “Sir She.”   Echoes Odyssey.

Captain Zhou Chenggong, ancestor of Sartorius’ friend Teddy Zhou who sailed as a a Chinese Treasure Fleet captain under Chinese Admiral Zheng He. He loses one of the last Chinese Treasure Ships in a shipwreck on the Maldives islands, which Sartorius and Teddy seek out in their Scuba diving holiday. He later crosses paths with Captain George Rose Sartorius in the palace of the Sultan of Maleh and of the Sea of Stories.

The Sultan of Male’ or The Sultan of the Sea of Stories, is the ruler of the Maldives Islands where Captain George Rose Sartorius is shipwrecked. He is the King of the Maldives before their conversion to Islam, which occurs in consequence of Ibn Battuta’s defeat of a Djinn ghoul saving the life of the King’s daughter. In return the King and his people convert to Islam and the King accompanies Battuta on his travels for ten years. Before leaving, Ibn Battuta plants a nut from the tree beneath which the Prophet Mohammad addressed the Ummah, and waters it with a vial of ZamZam Water.  The Tree blossoms forth leaves on every one of which is inscribed a poem or tale and at the end of each year the Tree sprouts a red leaf on which is written a verse of the Holy Koran. If the Sultan reads the verse aloud and passes it to his guests, and if an unbroken chain of the blossoming stories is told and retold, then neither he nor they shall age further that year.  It is thus that the Sultan and his guest Zhou Chenggong age no further since the time of Ibn Battuta and are alive three hundred years later to meet Captain Sartorius.  It falls on Sartorius, Zhou Chenggong and Princess Nooaysua to continue and refresh the “Sea of Stories” to forestall their own deaths and to preserve the immortality of the tree by reciting a daily story. Echoes Alf Layla Wa Layla,—The Thousand and One Nights.

Dr. Waheen, Vice-President of the Maldives arranges for Sartorius and Teddy Zhou to dive on the shipwrecks of their ancestors. He laments the fate of his nation which may be submerged by rising sea levels due to Global Warming and endorses the initiative for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly.

Professor Carlos Rivera, of the National University of Mexico (UNAM) is Sartorius’ host in Mexico City and a activist in the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly campaign in Latin America.  He is also an anthropologist and literary writer who discusses with Sartorius and Günter Gross the place of Latin American and Spanish Literature in World Literature and the anthropological context of the European conquest and ascendency over the Aztec, Mayan and Incan peoples of the New World after Columbus, delineating his theory as to why some civilizations advanced from their hunter-gatherer origins and others did not, resting ultimately upon the“Farmer Power” of food surpluses and the ensuing growth of population and division of labour of the Agricultural Revolution and a cross-fertilization of multiple-civilizations in Eurasia.

Pablo,  is a jazz saxophonist working part-time in Sartorius’ hotel in the Zona Rosa in Mexico City. During Sartorius’ alcohol and mescal binge he takes him under his wing and introduces him to the Mexico City nightspots the Café Chagrin and the Club Paradiso, where he also introduces him to the beautiful nightclub singer Maria, with whom Sartorius has sex.

Maria, is a seductive nightclub singer who sleeps with Sartorius in Mexico City when he is having an alcoholic breakdown. 

Tiresias/Teresa, is a bi-sexual nightclub singer and female-impersonator Sartorius encounters at the Club Paradiso in Mexico City while looking for Maria. He/She introduces Sartorius to the Teatro Magico—The Magic Theater—For Madmen Only! and accompanies him on some of his surreal adventures in the Psychoplex there, involving their defeat of the Lord Death from the Popul Vuh, incarnation as an Aztec Emperor and Sartorius’ incarnation as the master lover of all women. Sartorius’ alcoholic and drug induced binge in Mexico City ends in a ménage-a-trois involving Maria and Teresa. Tiresias echoes the role of the blind seer in the Odyssey’s Hades.

Imbunche—a legendary deformed being from Latin American tradition, maimed, castrated, blinded, and tended by infernal hags who bound and sewn in a bag serves as a perverse ultimate phallic symbol for use in occult fertility rites. Echoes the figure in the novel El obscene pajaro de la noche/The Obscene Bird of the Night by Jose Donoso. 

Lord Tlacaelel, is a character assumed by Sartorius in the first chamber of the Teatro Magico Psychoplex; he is the historical despotic Aztec ruler credited with developing the rites of human sacrifice by excision of the heart on a large scale and leading the Aztec Triple Axis to military dominance.

 Xbalanque and Hunahpu, The Divine Twins are characters assumed by Sartorius and Tiresias in the second chamber of the Teatro Magico Psychoplex; they correspond to the twin heroes of the Mayan epic Popul Vuh who travel to the underworld and defeat Lord Death, Xibalba.

Lord Death, Xibalba is Sartorius’ and Tiresias’ nemesis in the second chamber of the Teatro Magico Psychoplex. He is Death, the ruler of the Underworld who is defeated by the Divine Twins in Mesoamerican ball game, after which Death also dies.

 Xochiquetzal, Goddess of Love and Fertility is the goddess-lover of Sartorius in the third chamber of the Teatro Magico Psychoplex who promises eternal consummation and the possession of all women to him as long as he slays the former king and himself remains unslain by any challenging successor; She is an Aztec incarnation of the spirit of the corn and fertility rites delineated by Frazer in the Golden Bough. Sartorius slays her when she demands that he cut out Eva’s heart in human sacrifice a a condition of sexual union with her.

The Reverend Dicky Drake, marries Sartorius and Eva in the Church of St. John in Little Gidding, England the ancestral home of the Sartorius family and site of the spiritual community founded by Nicholas Ferrar referred to in T.S. Eliot’s The Four Quartets. He also performs the memorial service and burial of Sartorius’ remains in the family plot in the graveyard of Little Gidding’s church after his putative death.

Wole Obatala, is a celebrated African author from Nigeria who has also been elected as a member of the Pan-African Parliament and with whom Sartorius and Eva have an extended conversation on African and World Literature at the Pan-African Parliament in Midrand, South Africa.

Garry Bonoir, is an American Labor Union activist who advocates the creation of global labor unions and global collective bargaining as an important step in redressing the disadvantage of the global working  and middle class suffering from imbalanceed economic globalization. He also advocates a Global New Deal translating the social safety net and augmented balance of power between labour, capital and government attained in Roosevelt’s Depression Era New Deal at the level of the nation-state into a globalized 21st Century post-Westphalian setting, with the globalized economy re-balanced with the globalization of governmental and labour organizations. He meets Sartorius, Eva and Wole Obatala at the meeting of the Pan-African Parliament they both address and discuss the needed responses to globalization and the World Financial Crisis.

Professor Pieter Verhoven of the University of Witswaatersrand, is an evolutionary biologist and a member of the Pan-African Parliament meeting in Midrand-Johannesburg, South Africa who takes part in a discussion of African Literature and the evolutionary adaptive role of religion with Sartorius during the meeting in Midrand.

Johannes Wolfgang von Goethe the immortal poet of Faust is Sartorius’ guide and mentor in his journey through the underworld to Castalia,Middle Earth,  the Grand Katabasis of the work, and on the Quest to the Council of the Immortals in the Black Hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, the Grand Anabasis of the work, to seek the Missing Seed Crystal, the Sylmaril which shall save humanity from the fate of destruction. He is also Sartorius’ guide, mentor and inspiration at the scholarly level in pioneering the concept of “World Literature” or “Weltliteratur” which Sartorius is promoting and elaborating in his joint book with his friend Nobel Prize winner Günter Gross. He parallels the role of Virgil in Dante’s Divine Comedy. He is also a functionary of the “Illuminati” a Freemasonlike brotherhood of enlightened souls and geniuses spanning the centuries.

Sun Wu Kong, The Monkey King is the human-like monkey hero of the Chinese classic Journey to the West (Xi You Ji),an incarnation of the Trickster archetype, and who also appears originally as Hanuman in the Indian classic The Ramayana of Valmiki. Along with Goethe he is Sartorius’ and his colleague’s guide to the underworld leading them in their escape from the underground Iranian nuclear facilities, and subsequently guides and accompanies them to Castalia, Middle Earth, the site of the Crystal Bead Game administered by the Magister Ludi, and on the Quest through the Wormhole to the celestial Council of the Immortals to save humanity from extinction, completing the epic Grand Katabasis.  

Homunculus, is a miniature created man-figure contained in a glassed-bottle and radiant of intense light from Goethe’s Faust. He helps Goethe and Sun Wu Kong search for Sartorius in the underground caverns of Qom.

Captain Nemo, from Jules Verne’s immortal novel, he resurfaces in the present epic in a modernized Nautilus to ferry Sartorius and his colleagues through underground rivers and seaways to the Great Central Sea at the center of the earth, where is located Castalia, Middle Earth, the site of the Crystal Bead Game on which the fate of humanity on earth hangs, and to the central island of Omphalos where the Gateway to the Wormhole from earth to the Council of the Immortals within the Black Hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy is found.

Zheng He, Chinese Admiral of the Southern Seas appears as Captain Nemo’s  second in command and makes an appearance in the journal narrative of Sartorius’ ancestor, Admiral Sir George Rose Sartorius, who fought under Lord Nelson. He is the famed Chinese admiral and explorer who before Columbus in the 1400’s led a fleet of 200 immense Treasure Ships from China to India, the Middle-East and as far as Africa. 

Ibn Battuta, great Islamic traveler and explorer, sometimes known as the Muslim Marco Polo. In Captain George Sartorius’ Journal is recorded the story of Ibn Batuta’s conversion of the Maldives to Islam through defeating a bloodthirsty Djinn ghoul who feasted on the blood of virgin sacrafices, and his subsequent travels with the Sultan of Maleh.

David Epstein and Isser Diskin, appear in Book II as Mossad and Shin Bet/Shabak Israeli agents who cooperate with Jack Sartorius/Jack McKinsey of the CIA in counter-terror operations and in connection with arrangements for the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly Global Appeal telethon to be held in Teddy Stadium, Jerusalem.

Ami Giyalon, former head of Israeli Shin Bet/ISA security service who after a crisis of the heart has become a leader of Peace Now, the Global Spiritual Progressive Alliance and other left-spiritual movements in Israel. He helps Jack in his work on the Global Appeal for the UN Parliamentary Assembly in Jerusalem and gives Jack his views of the possible solutions for the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

The Global Spiritual Progressive Alliance, is a worldwide progressive movement that seeks to further many of the goals and values of prior progressive movements such as liberals, socialists and communists via new and more appropriate means in a worldwide movement embracing all religious faiths, nations and heritages and including dimensions of renewed spirituality and renewed ecological and environmental harmony and responsibility. In the era of globalization it is involved as an NGO sponsor of the Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly and of the Global Marshall Fund movement, and includes figures of the novel such as Ami Giyalon of Israel and Keith Ellisha, Muslim-American Member of the US Congress. After the detonation in Jerusalem it is active in forming the Brethern of the Common Life, ministering to the victims of the disaster, raising inter-faith global spiritual consciousness, and under the leadersip of Mother Isis, Ami Giyalon and Mohammad ala Rushdie in raising funds for the construction of the Spiritus Mundi Inter-faith Temple, an inter-faith centre for global universal spiritual re-birth and solidarity.

Armida Alcinah, in Book II is the cynical mother of the beautiful Palestinian Rai singer Khlorindah who gives a provocative Tarot reading to the love besotted Orlando when he comes to her house desperately looking for Khlorindah. Echoes  Gerusalemme liberata .

The Siloviki, the class of former “apparatchiki” of the Soviet regime, often associated with the former KGB/GRU and party elite who lost power with the fall of the Soviet Union but who have achieved successful “clawback” of their powers under recent central government reconsolidation. In the novel they and their reactionary allies, the Chinese Princeling Party and the Iranian Haghani Faction are at the heart of the “Triple Axis” conspiracy utilizing the Jerusalem atomic terrorist attack as a clever cover to turn back the clock on liberal reforms and achieve global and Eurasian dominance by decisively striking at the West’s oil and energy jugular with a surprise attack of Pearl Harbor proportions leading an invasion of Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the region by the three powers.

The Princeling Party or Tai Zi Dang, is an alleged group or faction of Chinese Communist Party officials who are the sons and daughters of the highest level Communist Party members of the last generation. They have generally grown up spoiled with Party priviliges, money from corruption, Western education and being placed in control of privatized state assets by virtue of their family influence. In the novel they lead a reactionary coup and conspiracy to push aside the liberal reformers and regain the displaced position of power of their parents or grandparents as a resurgent nationalist ruling elite, lost during the market reforms and to thereby push an emergent China into the role of a dominant nationalistic global power.

The Haghani Faction, or Haghani School is a reactionary political faction within the Iranian Islamic Republic centered around the alumni of the Haghani School under Ayatollah Yazdi which has succeeded in placing a great number of its members in positions of power in the Revolutionary Guards, the Quds Force, and in the government and militias. They correspond to the Stalinist Siloviki apparatchiki of the Soviet revolution, with whom they ally. In the novel they join with the Russian Siloviki and the Chinese Princeling Party in the central conspiracy of the book.

The Triple Axis,  in the novel is the alliance of China, Russia and Iran to achieve dominance in the Eurasian and global balance of power by a conspiracy to seize the “Asian Peak Oil” of the Middle-East and by decisively severing the West’s energy jugular to consign the West to its global strategic subordination under its domination. It also aims at achieving a “Concert of Eurasia” to “clawback” the market and libertarian reforms from the fall of the Soviet Union.

The Axis of Synarchy, conspiracy theorists attributed the influence of the Haghani School in Iran, the Siloviki in Russia and the Taizi Dang, or Princeling Party in China to a meta-conspiracy at a higher degree of cryptocracy, namely a shadowy elite, the alleged Axis of Synarchy, which was supposed to be the cryptocratic puppeteer behind all three phenomena. The Axis of Synarchy, according to this theory, sought to preserve the dominance of a cryptocratic elite in the name of a “harmonious society” as it was expressed in China, or God or Allah’s design elsewhere, and most particularly one which would forever counter the threat of liberal Western bourgiouse individualism and the associated threat of entropic “Anarchy.” The Axis of Synarchy at the close of Book II is shown to extend to the machinations of Caeserion Khannis, a time travelling fugitive from justice in the 23rd Century after a failed attempt to overthrow the 23rd Century democratic United States of Earth and its Senate and become the first dictatorial Emperor of the Universal Empire.

President Wen Jiabao, is the liberal and humane Premiere of China who is betrayed in Book II by his own intelligence service and the reactionary Tai Zi Dang Princeling Party faction under Minister Luo Chunwang to be taken hostage in Jerusalem and Iran as a pawn in a game to justify seizure of the Middle East’s oil by the Triple Axis countries Russia, China and Iran. He unwittingly delivers the terrorist bomb to Jerusalem concealed inside a Terracotta Warrior which he personally delivers to the Israel Museum in Jerusalem as a token of friendship between the two ancient cultures. He is held in Iran as a human-shield to prevent an American or Israeli nuclear attack, but later is returned to power after Luo and the reactionaries are dismissed after their plans to seize the Middle-Eastern oil and  Russian Siberia prove abortive are defeated. He later assists in implementing the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly.

President Medvedev, in the novel is the liberal President of Russia like his counterpart Wen Jiabao in China is sidelined and betrayed by the reactionary Siloviki in his own intelligence services and government and made a hostage in Iran as a gambit to justify the seizure of the Middle-East’s oil by the Triple Axis of Russia, China and Iran. After the plot of the Siloviki reactionaries is foiled he is returned to power and helps in the implementation of the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. 

Colonel Moussavi, in Book II the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Force Commandant of the underground prison and nuclear processing facility in which Sartorius and his colleagues are held captive near Qom, Iran. He is also aide-de-camp to the Supreme Leader and a former classmate of Mustafa’s at the madrassa of the Haghani School in Qom, which gives rise to the reactionary Haghani Faction which seizes control in Iran and plots with their counterparts the  Russian Siloviki faction and the Chinese Tai Zi Dang or Princeling Party Faction in forming the Triple Axis conspiracy. He is the author of several books advocating the philosophy of “Synarchism” and alleged by his detractors to be a leader of a global cryptocratic conspiracy, the “Axis of Synarchy.”

The Three Messiahs—the Mahdi, Christ, and the Maitreya, who appear before the fictional Supreme Leader in Mohammad’s short story “The Parable of the Supreme Leader and the Three Messiahs” but who are dismissed and sent away by him telling them they are no longer needed or desired and that it is only obedience to the mullahs which will make humanity happy in their unfreedom without spiritual choice or deliverance. The Koran predicts the coming of Christ in the end days and the Hadith refers to this coming shoulder-to-shoulder with the Mahdi, often associated with the Shia Occulted Imam. The Maitreya is a Buddhist parallel Messiah. Mohammad’s Parable draws upon the Parable of the Grand Inquisitor of Dostoyevsky in the Brothers Karamazov. Mohammad recites the story of his fictional Supreme Leader to Iran’s real Supreme Leader after their dinner together, somewhat preparing the ground for the Supreme Leader’s later change of heart and abandonment of the Triple Axis conspiracy.

Foreign Minister Tang, of China passively disagrees with Minister Luo’s Triple Axis conspiracy to seize the Middle-Eastern oil fields but goes along to avoid being politically isolated. Later after the adventure comes to disaster when NATO and the Russians expel China from Russian Siberia he joins Premiere Wen Jaibao in ousting the reactionary faction and reinstating the progressives, who aid in establishing the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly.

Marshall Li, is the reactionary, nationalist and aggressive head of the Chinese armed forces who joins with Minister Luo Chunwang in preparing the dual military adventures of the Triple Axis—the initial invasion of Saudi Arabia and the later fallback plan of a Chinese invasion of Russian Siberia. They are ousted from power with the ignominious defeat of those initiatives by the expanded NATO forces, now including Russia and Japan.

The Magister Ludi, or Master of the Game is the aged master of the Crystal Bead Game, which integrates all human knowledge and experience and which is conducted in the Grand Retort of Castalia, Middle Earth on the shores of the Great Central Sea at the Bay of Pellucidar at the center of the Earth. The historical destiny of the human race is mysteriously tied in parallel to the continuing outcome of this game, and when the game reaches a stalemate by which the human race may come to an end the Magister Ludi sets in motion a plan for saving man by sending Sartorius and his colleagues through a Wormhole from the center of the earth to the black hole in the center of the Milky Way Galaxy from the Council of the Immortals meeting there to retrieve the Missing Crystal which can break the stalemate. Echoes Hermann Hesse’s classic character. At the end of Book Two, the Magister Ludi is revealed to be a time traveler from the 23rd Century,  Senator Abor Linkin, who has returned to our present in pursuit of Caesarion Khannis, the leader of a failed coup attempt to overthrow the democratic United States of Earth and its Senate, like Julius Caesar, ending the Republic and ushering in a Universal Empire with himself as autocratic Emperor.

The Illuminati, are a Freemasonlike brotherhood of enlightened souls and geniuses spanning the centuries which inclcludes Goethe and the Magister Ludi, and into which Sartorius is inducted at the ending of Book II.

Caesarion Khannis, is a time-travelling fugitive from justice returning from the 23rd Century to our own time after being defeated in a coup attempt and civil war seeking to end the democratic Republic of the United States of Earth and replace it, like his namesake Julius Caesar, with an autocratic Universal Empire ruled by himself as Emperor. At the end of Book II it is revealed that Mustafa is in fact an alias and assumed identity of Caesarion.

The United States of Earth, is the successful world government which is built upon the foundation of Sartorius’ work in instituting the United Nations World Parliament. It comes into existence in 2084 through the efforts of Abor Linkin and gives rise to a “Golden Age” of two-hundred years until falling into corruption, moral decay, predatory imperialism and disintegration at the center of an oppressive empire within the solar system, echoing the “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” Abor Linkin successfully leads a civil war against Caesarion Khannis who seeks to overthrow the Republic, Senate and democratic Constitution and replace it with a Universal Empire under an autocratic Emperor similar to his namesake Julius Caesar. It is from this time that the two Time Travellers, the fugitive Caesarion Khannis and the persuing prosecutor Senator Abor Linkin make their Time Incursions into our present.

Albert Einstein, the reknown genius of the Theory of Relativity who in the novel works under the Magister Ludi in engaging in the play of the Crystal Bead Game within the Grand Retort and with Goethe attempts to explain something of the physics of the Crystal Bead Game, the Umbilical Wormhole and Spiritus Mundi to the uncomprehending Sartorius at the beginning of his Quest for the Missing Seed Crystal, the Sylmaril.

The Mothers, three immortal beings, Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos who shape and weave out the destinies of all humans from their primordial subterreanean womb of destiny, birth, death and transformation. They reside on the island of Omphalos at the center of the Great Central Sea at the center of the earth and are also the guardians to the Gateway to the wormhole to the celestial realm of the Council of the Immortals housed in an amphitheatre within the Black Hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy.  Echoes Goethe in Faust and conflates the Fates and Furies in Greek mythology.

Ogun, is the Yoruba God-Hero who joins Sartorius’s Quest for the Missing Crystal at the seat of the Magister Ludi’s Crystal Bead Game, Castalia, Middle Earth, becoming one of the journeying Argonauts. He is variously known as the “The Lord of the Road” or the “Way Maker,” hacking a path for the gods through the Primordial Chaos. Towards man he acts sometimes like Dionysius and sometimes like Prometheus, with the goal of bridging the gap between the human and the divine realms, as recounted modernly by Wole Soyinka. 

The Abiku, unborn spirit-children of African legend called upon by Ogun in Book Two on the chthonic Island of Omphalos to help clear a path for Sartorius and the Argonauts through the impenetrable jungle towards the portal of the Celestial Wormhole for their quest.  

Chiron, the wise and kind centaur of Greek legend who bears the pregnant Eva up the slopes of the island Omphalos towards the Temple of the Mothers and the Gateway to the Celestial Wormhole.

The Grigori, or “The Watchers, (Genesis 6:4 and Jude 1:6)  are a primordial race of fallen angels who lost their angelic powers after making love to earthly women. They are the “Guardians of the Doorways”  between the physical plane and that which is beyond. They are forced to open the Gateway at the orders of the Mothers after the Monkey King Sun Wu Kong steals the Mothers’ only eye and extorts their compliance.  They are assigned as the guardians of the Celestial Gateway leading from Omphalos at the center of the Earth to the Celestial Amphitheater within the Black Hole at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy and to the celestial realms beyond. The Grigori, the fallen angelic sons of God having had intercourse with the daughters of Man, who bore them sons:  the monstrous, hybrid and cannibalistic Nephalim, mentioned in Genesis and the Book of Enoch, and who are aided in their sentinel duties by this legion of their hideous offspring.  

The Grand Sphinxes—-Guardians of the Great Horizons,  assist the Mothers and the Grigori in guarding the Celestial Gateway on the Island of Omphalos in the Great Central Sea at the center of the Earth.

The Argonauts, or Warriors of Light in the novel constitute the small band accompanying Sartorius on his Quest for the Missing Crystal to resolve the stalemate of the Crystal Bead Game and save humanity from destruction, including Eva, Andreas, Jack, Mohammad, Ogun, Nemo, Sun Wu Kong and Goethe. Echoes the Questors of the Golden Fleece in the Argo under Jason.

Mephisto, the spirit of negation is the nemesis of Sartorius and the Argonauts who argues the case against Mankind’s survival in the Council of the Immortals and who attempts to kill them and steal the Missing Seed Crystal, the Silmaril by attacking Nemo’s submarine The Nautilus in his own evil craft The Baphomet, which is destroyed in a dramatic undersea battle in the Great Central Sea. Echoes Faust and scripture—“Ich bin der Geist, der stets verneint!”

Mundus, in the novel is a Subaltern of Mephisto, a personification of the Devil, a fallen angel, who serves as the principal general leading an ambush of Sartorius and the “Argonauts” who are returning with the Seed Crystal, or Silmaril to rescue human history and humanity in the crisis of the Crystal Bead Game in Castalia, Middle Earth.  Mundus leads and commands demons, phantoms, dragons, zombies and other underworld combatants, but is defeated by Ogun and Sartorius and meets his doom trapped in the liminal interzone between the Inner and Outer Doors to the “Otherworld” beyond the Umbilical Wormhole on the Island of Omphalos. In Roman mythology the Mundus stone is the stone which seals the portal to the Underworld or Hell, and is one of the two sacred stones, the Lapis Manalis, along with the Aqualicium, or rain-bringing stone. Mundus also appears in numerous Internet and computer game series sagas.  

Trismegistus, or “Thrice Great” Emperor of the Underworld Sea in the novel is a conflation of Pluto, the God and King of the Underworld and Chthonic Realm, Neptunus, the God and King of the Seas, and Hermes, also Hermes Trismegistus, the Messenger of the Greek Gods, Trickster, and God of Crossroads, conflated with Thoth, his Egyptian incarnation. Such conflation arises because of his presence simultaneously as God of the Sea, God of the Underworld and God of the Cosmic Crossroads in the quasi-Equatorial line-crossing or “Point Crossing Ceremony” at the “Still Point of the spinning World,”  or very center of the globe, undergone by the mariners, including Sartorius, Eva and the other “Argonauts” questing after the Silmaril Seed Crystal in the “Great Central Sea” at the center of the Earth.

Triple Hecate, in the novel is the triple wife or consort of the triple-persona Trismegistus—-that is a conflation of the Goddesses Perephone, wife of Pluto and Queen of the Underworld, Amphitrite, wife-conort of Neptune, God of the Seas and of Hecate, consort of Hermes, God of Crossroads. She appears as part of the Royal Court with Trismegistus at the “Point Crossing Ceremony” aboard the Nautilus in the Great Central Sea at the Center of the Earth.  

Davy Jones, is an embodiment of the demonic presence of the sea, or lost soul of the lost mariner like the Flying Dutchman or Wandering Jew, who in the Equtor-Crossing or  analogous “Point Crossing Ceremony” at the center of the Earth, serves as a Scribe to the Ruler Trismegistus, conflaqted with Thoth, scribe to the Egyptian deities. 

Peter Pembroke and Jude Friedlaw, are members of Isis and Osiris’s rock band, The Angels of Thoth who become leaders of “The Family” or the messianic cult surrounding Osiris and Isis following the nuclear detonation in Jerusalem and the military crisis and confrontation threatening WWIII and nuclear Armageddon which follows.

Al-Buraq, is the winged stallion which bore Mohammad to heaven in his “Night Journey” and which he tied to the Wailing Wall. Osiris sees him in a dream which he takes as a sign of his divine mission.

The Gates of Ijtihad,  Iran’s Supreme Leader is visited in a holy dream by the Angel Gibreel, or Gabriel, bearing a divine messate to “Open the Gates of Ijtihad;”—–meaning to throw off the dead hand of fossilized authority and open Islamic tradition to updating, respiritualization and reform in light of the ongoing living spirit of Allah, echoing the Sufi emphasis on the living spirit of Islam as opposed to benumbed compliance with the dead hand and letter of the law and tradition.  

The Silmaril—is the “Missing Seed Crystal” which is the object of the quest of Sartorius’ Argonauts to the Island of Omphalos in Middle Earth and to the Council of the Immortals in the Amphitheatre within the black hole a the middle of the Milky Way Galaxy in Book II. The Silmaril crystal is the key element which may resolve the Crystal Bead Game and thus rescue the human race from extinction. Echoes Tolkien’s Silmaril crystal which contains the unsullied light of the original creation and is the subject of multiple quests in The Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion.

Renovius St.Cosmo and the Chums of Chance—make a cameo appearance at Castalia, Middle Earth—Inner Shambhala, where their zeppelin, the Incommode, takes Sartorius on an aerial tour of the arcology of Castalia and the neighboring Bay of Pellucidar, having Rescued Princess Chthonia from attack by the Orcs and her rebellious subjects. Echoes Pynchon’s passage through the Telluric Interior in Against the Day.

Euphorion (“Euphy”) Sartorius, is the posthumous love-child born to Eva after Sartorius’s death. He is named for the joy of their love and after the love-child of Helen and Faust in Faust.

   .

© Copyright 2011 Robert Sheppard. All Rights Reserved.

Posted in Literary, Literary Criticism, Novel, Uncategorized, United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, United Nations Reform | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Appendix to Spiritus Mundi, Novel–On Creating a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly

APPENDIX 1:

COMMITTEE FOR A UNITED NATIONS PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY

A United Nations Parliamentary Assembly

Frequently Asked Questions

By Andreas Sarkozy & Robert Sartorius

Foreword

In September 2004 the Committee for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (CUNPA) published a strategy paper on the question of the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA), titled “Developing International Democracy – For a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations”. The paper has been widely distributed in print and was downloaded from CUNPA’s website several thousand times since.

Following the publication and distribution of the strategy paper, we’ve received a substantial quantity of feedback. Additionally, its content and conclusions have been presented to many different audiences and to individual decision makers all over the world.

In this compilation we have collected some of the most common questions which we have been

asked at our presentations, workshops and at other occasions. Some of the questions are very basic, others more sophisticated. We have tried not to repeat ourselves too much. Thus, this collection of questions and answers certainly does not replace the comprehensive overview and information given in the above mentioned strategy paper. It serves as an addition which makes it possible to get certain answers quicker and more directly. Anyone not familiar with the CUNPA proposal, however, probably should read the strategy paper first to get the big picture.

Not least, this compilation also intends to assist all those fellow activists who may be faced with similar questions themselves. We welcome any comments and feedback.

Contents

General questions………………………………………………………………………………………………….. ….1

1.1. What is a parliamentary assembly?…………………………………………………………………. 1

1.2. What is so important about a UNPA?………………………………………………………………..1

1.3. Since publication of the strategy paper, what new aspects did come up?……………….1

1.4. What is the Global Marshall Plan and what has it to do with the UNPA project?……..1

1.5. Don’t we have enough bodies and bureaucracy already at the international level?….2

1.6. What are the preconditions of a world parliament? Isn’t the idea simply an utopia?…2

1.7. Following the principle of subsidiarity, government should be brought as near to the people as possible and people should enjoy maximum freedom within the law to run their

    own lives. Would a global assembly really help to advance such freedom in any significant

way?………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… …3

1.8. Before we can elect an assembly for the world, the world should be willing to become

a governable entity. Instead of moving in that direction, it is becoming more fragmented

and polarized. Isn’t this obstructing the idea to set up a UNPA?…………………………………. 3

1.9. Doesn’t the Inter Parliamentary Union already fulfill the function of a UNPA?…………3

1.10. . What makes you think this would really work?—–Are there any successful real world experiences to draw upon?………………………………………………………. …………….…4

1.11. What’s the history of the idea of a world parliament going back to WWI and earlier, and why hasn’t it been realized since that time? ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 4

1.12. Wouldn’t international cooperation become even more complicated and ineffective if

a UNPA would have a say?………………………………………………………………………………….. 4

1.13. Not all UN politics are to the good of the people why then concentrate on the UN

at all?……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 5

Creation of a UNPA………………………………………………………………………………………………… 9

2.1. . Wouldn’t a UNPA be too hard to establish?  Is a reform of the UN Charter needed to establish a UNPA? Wouldn’t some big country just veto it?………………………………………. 9

2.2. Where will the UNPA be located?……………………………………………………………………. 9

2.3. Which are the steps to be taken for the creation of this new body?……………………….. 10

2.4. How much does a UNPA cost and where would the money come from?……………….. 10

2.5. Couldn’t civil society organize its own world parliament? Why draw upon national parliaments?…………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 11

Design of a UNPA………………………………………………………………………………………………………….12

3.1. How many members will each country have?……………………………………………………. 7

3.2. If such a planetary assembly would be popularly elected, a third of the seats would go

to China and India. What voice would people from smaller countries have?…………………. 7

3.3. How can one have free elections for the UNPA in countries that do not allow free

elections for their citizens at all?……………………………………………………………………………. 7

3.4. Are there other models than that recommended by CUNPPA? ………………………………..8

3.5. How can the ordinary citizen participate in the work of a UNPA?………………………….. 8

3.6. Why should the maximum number of delegates range between 700 and 900?……….. 8

Rights and functions………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 8

4.1. What would a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly do?—–What would the main functions of a UNPA be?………………………………………………………………………………………. 8

4.2. Would delegations of the UNPA have the right to participate in international governmental conferences? …………………………………………………………………………………. 9

4.3. Can you give some examples where parliamentary control of international action

would have been crucial?…………………………………………………………………………………….. 9

4.4. What is the ultimate aim of establishing a UNPA?……………………………………………. 10

Campaign for a UNPA…………………………………………………………………………………………………… 10

5.1.What can I do to support the campaign?…………………………………………………………. 10

5.2. Which governments support the UNPA proposal?……………………………………………. 10

5.3. Which parliaments support the UNPA proposal?……………………………………………… 11

5.4. Who else is supporting the idea?…………………………………………………………………… 11

5.5 What Testimonials and Statements of Support has the Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly received from Parliaments, NGO’s and notable individuals?

5.6. What are the views inside the IPU about the CUNPPA campaign? ……………………….11

5.7. What if the United States or another veto power does not support the proposal?….. 12

United Nations Parliamentary Assembly FAQ

General questions

1.1    What is a parliamentary assembly?

An international parliamentary assembly is a consultative body attached to an international

organization. It is usually composed of parliamentarians appointed by the parliaments of the organization’s member states. Examples of existing parliamentary assemblies include: The

Pan African Parliament, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie. A Parliamentary Assembly may also be constituted by direct international elections, as in the case of the European Parliament of the European Union, to date the most highly evolved example and model of a Parliamentary Assembly, and may and existing models may evolve into the future to assume the greater powers of a true constitutional Parliament.  However, as yet no parliamentary assembly exists onthe global level. For a fuller discussion of the concept of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Parliamentary_Assembly

1.2   What is so important about a UNPA?

Currently, the governance of the international system is a process exclusively between

governments. An international representation of citizens or parliamentary control of

international governmental action and international organizations as such, does not exist. A

United Nations Parliamentary Assembly would address this democracy deficit by introducing

the voice of the citizens into the United Nations and international politics. The membership of

the assembly would reflect the composition of national parliaments and thus would also

include members of opposition parties who are not participating in government. Furthermore,

in contrast to government diplomats, members of the UNPA would be free from instructions,

free to take a global perspective and to represent the world community as such. In addition, a

UNPA would be an important link between the citizens and the United Nations;

.step by step could be vested with information, participation and control rights and therefore

would act as body for international parliamentary oversight; could serve as parliamentary umbrella for international cooperation; By addressing issues concerning global governance and United Nations reform, could become a political catalyst for further development of the international system; eventually could be transformed into a principal organ of a reformed United Nations.

     Furthermore a Parliamentary Assembly is increasingly necessary as a matter of efficiency to provide a permanent and continuous forum in international treaty negotiations such as the Climate Change conferences in Bali and Copenhagen and to make them more democratic. The experience of the Climate Change, WTO and other specialized international conferences is that it is simply not workable to merely convene a treaty Conference every two, five or eight years for two weeks to deal with these subjects. There needs to be a permanent assembly with specialized committees working continuously on debate, consensus building and treaty drafting on these matters with continuous dialogue and feedback between governments and civil society to avoid the too sporadic, short and demonstration disrupted plenary conferences which are now far too slow and obsolete.

1.3   Since publication of the strategy paper, what new aspects have come up?

The strategy paper of the Committee for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (CUNPPA) on the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) was released

in September 2004 and published as paperback book in May 2005. The discussion on the recommendations included in the paper is an open ended process. At some point, the Committee will publish a follow up paper reviewing its strategy and considering enhancements and changes.

Important aspects which came up with regard to the basic concept are the inclusion of a

delegation of the European Parliament into a UNPA (being a directly elected parliament), the

possible inclusion of representatives of indigenous peoples, means to guarantee gender equality

in the UNPA and the question whether and how local decision makers may be included as well.

1.4. What is the Global Marshall Plan and what has it to do with the UNPA

project?

The Global Marshall Plan (GMP) has developed out of a nongovernmental initiative. It aims

at a better design of globalization and global economic processes a so called worldwide

ecosocial market economy“. The focus lies on an improved global structural framework,

sustainable development, the eradication of poverty, environmental protection and equity,

altogether thought to be resulting in a new global economic miracle“. The Global Marshall

Plan includes the following five core goals:

1)     implementation of the globally agreed upon UN Millennium Goals by 2015

2)  raising of an additional 100 billion US$ a year required to achieve the Millennium Goals, to

enhance worldwide development

3)     fair and competitively, neutral raising of these necessary resources, also by burdening global transactions

4)     gradual establishment of a worldwide ecosocial market economy “with an improved global policy framework through the interlinking of established rules and agreed upon

standards for economic, environmental and social issues (WTO, ILO and UNEP standards)

5)      new forms of appropriation of funds directed to the grassroots level, while at the same time

fighting corruption.

In the view of the Committee for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly the connection of the Global Marshall Plan and the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly proposal is twofold.

Firstly, the aims to enhance economic and political opportunities for the people are deeply

interwoven. Democracy embraces both, fair economic and political participation in a given

society. They are two sides of the same coin which cannot do without each other in the long

run. On a global scale, the efforts to establish a UNPA therefore cover the political side while

the GMP covers the economic one.

On an operational level a UNPA as independent and democratically legitimate body could

have a function to guarantee accountability of the GMP’s use of money. Administering sums

as large as 100 billion US$ a year makes effective control and oversight necessary. This could

be provided by an international parliamentary body such as the UNPA.

Links:

http://globalmarshallplan.org/

1.5. Don’t we have enough bodies and bureaucracy already at the international

level?

It’s true that the UN system embraces a multitude of programmes, funds, specialized

agencies, institutes and other entities (see chart: http://www.un.org/aboutun/chart.html).

While there certainly are opportunities for more efficiency and streamlining, one has to keep

in mind that the UN system is designed to take care of the wellbeing of 6 billion people on

the international level. Given the growing tasks transferred to the UN by its member states,

the UN Secretariat as the core of the system, for example, is very modest in size and budget.

In fact, it cannot fulfill its functions properly because it is not financed and staffed well

enough. It has a total staff of about 7,500 and a budget of about 1,4 billion USDollars.

The New York City Fire Department’s staff alone, for example, is more than two times larger. The combined expenditures of the complete UN system, including, for example, peacekeeping

operations, was at 12,3 billion US Dollars in 2001 – less than 2 US Dollars

per world inhabitant and year (figures: http://www.globalpolicy.org/finance/tables/tabsyst.htm). The City of New York, in comparison, currently has an annual budget of 52,9 billion US Dollars

and thus spends about 6,500 US Dollar per inhabitant and year.

1.6. What are the preconditions of a world parliament? Isn’t the idea simply an

utopia?

The idea of a world parliament directly elected by the world’s population with legislative

powers embedded into an effective system of global governance—–a true and comprehensive World Parliament in a legally constituted and fully functioning constitutional World Government certainly still is an utopia today and the Committee does not advocate or go so far at the present time, which would most likely be unworkable. Instead it advocates a first, but limited step in that direction, creation of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly of an advisory nature based on already proven models such as the European Parliament of the European Union. In practice the idea of a unified government of the world, or a “United States of Earth” would face insurmountable difficulties because of the extreme social and economic disparities and political differences in development and interests in the world which exist today.

Starting from a broad notion of democracy, encompassing both political and social

participation, the concept of international democracy cannot be reduced to merely establishing a new body. This approach could even corrupt the actual intention. The concept rather includes comprehensive questions of human development as well, such as how to create fair economic opportunities for everyone, thus taking on the challenge to reduce extreme poverty and to bridge the wealth divide within as well as between countries. The basic precondition for a world parliament therefore is a minimum of common economic and social welfare in the world which does not yet exist.

On the side of political participation, there are similar problems. The direct, democratic

election of delegates to a world parliament in undemocratic states, for example, is simply not

possible. Thus, the creation of a fully democratic world parliament, in addition, depends on

the development of stable democratic systems at the level of nation states as well.

These issues in mind, however, the Committee for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly believes that first steps are possible and urgently needed. This is why it advocates the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly.

1.7. Following the principle of subsidiarity, government should be brought as near to the people as possible and people should enjoy maximum freedom within the law to run their own lives. Would a global assembly really help to advance such freedom in any significant way?

Yes. A United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) would help to solve global problems

which by their nature cannot be dealt with effectively on a local level but affect people’s daily lives. By bringing the voice of the people into the UN system and international relations, a UNPA would contribute to a better understanding and awareness of such global problems. Creating fair economic and social opportunities for the people, for example, is not only a matter of national, regional or local concern. It is also a matter of economic and financial relations in the world. A UNPA therefore is very much in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity since its aim is to enhance the possibility for the citizens to influence the international environment which has an

impact on their day to day lives. Subsidiarity means that problems should be dealt with on the level as near to the citizens as possible. In case of global problems no such lower level is available. Thus, citizens need an international body to represent them more directly.

1.8. Before we can elect an assembly for the world, the world should be willing to become a governable entity. Instead of moving in that direction, it is becoming more fragmented and polarized. Isn’t this obstructing the idea of setting up a UNPA?

No. On the contrary, we believe that a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly would

contribute to bridging national differences. Since a UNPA would be composed of a

membership which roughly reflects the political composition of the respective national

parliaments and of delegates who in principle are not answerable to or controlled by their home governments but rather more directly to their peoples, these would tend to group according to political orientation rather than divide according to national origin. In this way, delegates would recognize political agreement with fellow parliamentarians from other countries and the need for international solutions would become more apparent. A similar development on the regional level has taken place, for example, in the European Parliament.

1.9. Doesn’t the Inter Parliamentary Union already fulfill the function of a UNPA?

No. The Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) is a fraternity of members of existing parliaments meeting only on a sporadic and intermittent basis. It does not directly represent the people at the United Nations. It is an umbrella organization and fraternity of a few members of existing parliaments with no connection or input into the United Nations principal organs. The IPU’s goal is to share insights and experiences as members of existing national parliaments and perhaps indirectly channel the views of national parliaments into the UN decision making process, but not to be a continuous deliberative body addressing global problems and needed solutions as its principal activity. Its members are fully absorbed in their work at the national parliament level and have only a small amount of time and effort left over for international efforts. Moreover, its interest is not to control the UN and its decision making by serving as a direct channel for communicating the desires and interests of the underlying peoples, which is the natural role of a genuine parliament. Nor is the IPU at the moment prepared to take on the role of an international legislative organ, which participates in making international laws and regulations through the treaty-making process and otherwise. In a recent paper of 2006, for example, the IPU largely reiterates the Declaration of the First Conference of Presiding Officers of Parliaments of 2000 that the “parliamentary dimension [to international cooperation] must be provided by parliaments first of all at the national level”.

1.10. What makes you think this would really work?—–Are there any successful real world experiences to draw upon?  

When imagining the possible development of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly one

can draw first upon the very strong leading example of the European Parliament (EP) as the principal international parliamentary organ of the European Union. Developing out of the Parliamentary Assembly of the European Coal and Steel Community, founded in 1952, the consultative function of the early European Parliament, set up in 1962, was widened to include the right to be heard in legislative processes. Since 1975, the EP has been allowed to codecide with regard to the budget. At the beginning, the EP consisted of representatives of national parliaments. In 1979, direct election of EP parliamentarians in the EC Member States was introduced. Politically strengthened in that way, the EP rejected the draft budget of the Commission for the first time. Today, the European Parliament has the same rights as the European Council with regard to three quarters of all legislative projects in the European Union. Additionally, successful international parliamentary assemblies have been implemented  including the Pan-African Parliament of the African Union, the Arab Parliament of the Arab League,  and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino). Parliamentary Assemblies also exist in other international organizations such as the Inter-Parliamentary Union, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, the WEU Parliamentary Assembly, and the MERCOSUR Parliament. 

1.11. What’s the history of the idea of a world parliament going back to WWI and earlier, and why hasn’t it been realized since that time?  

The idea of a world parliament was introduced initially before the First World War. However,

at that time, no international or regional organization existed. The paramount thrust of many

proponents of an international organization was to introduce some institution which would

control national state behaviour at the international level. Thus, they saw an international

organization first the League of Nations, after the Second World War the UN by itself

as a kind of parliament which would control states behaviour. That this would not work as long as

there was no democratic control within the organization was for a long time not recognized,

especially during the time of the Cold War where the UN also took on the role of a mediator.

Therefore, the legitimacy deficit of the UN was only widely criticized after the end of the Iron

Curtain, i. e. the 1990s.

Moreover, there was another, even more important reason why a UN Parliament was never

realized. For governments, it was already a huge concession to set up an international organization after the First World War. They were not prepared to give up their sovereignty to

an organization which the idea of a parliament would entail when it is implemented, i. e. when it

is entrusted with genuine democratic rights of control and lawmaking.

Nevertheless, one government, namely, Germany, tried to introduce a World Parliament as part of the new League of Nations after the First World War. However, Germany could not impose itself since it had lost the war and bargained from a position of weakness. Major decision makers at that time, especially the US President Wilson, the instigator of the League of Nations, were against the idea. This was also the case after the Second World War and continues until today. However, meanwhile, the UN comes under more and more pressure because it demands national democratisation, but is not democratically organized itself.

1.12. Wouldn’t international cooperation become even more complicated and

ineffective if a UNPA would have a say?

Yes and no. Onthe one hand, it is true that a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations

would be another player in the diplomatic scenery which governments and their executives in

international organizations would have to take into account to a certain degree. On the other

hand, being composed of elected parliamentarians, the assembly would be closer to the citizens and as such it would lend more credibility and legitimacy to international decisions in which it is

involved. In this way, the parliamentary assembly actually would contribute to an increased efficiency and efficacy of international action.

1.13. Not all UN politics are to the good of the people—-why then concentrate on he UN at all?

The United Nations was set up after the Second World War in order to avoid wars in the

future and to reduce narrow nationalist thinking through cooperation of states. This is also reflected in the UN Charter which describes as the task of the UN “to maintain international peace and security, to develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples and to achieve international cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social cultural or humanitarian character, and in

promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all

without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion” (Art. 1of the UN Charter). In

pursuing these goals, the UN has achieved a lot throughout the years, be it with regard to the

whole system of human rights, the decolonization process, development, etc.

Of course, not all UN politics may be to the good of all affected by them. The reason

for this is that particular political decisions beyond the framework just described are left to the states which have to decide about them in the UN organs. Thus states within the United Nations may be fixated upon the narrow advantage of the governing elites of those states rather than the underlying interests of even their own peoples, let alone the underlying international and global interests of the people of the world as a whole. States are represented by governments not

by direct representatives of the people and in addition often have pure national interests and not the common good of the world, for example in the prioritizing of immediate national political concerns over the long-term avoidance of climate change. Moreover, the UN is made up of thousands of bureaucrats and people in complex organizations and structures always need some control in order to be reminded of public goals and not only to cling to their personal interests.

Thus, what the UN needs is a control mechanism and not its abolition. It needs most an

independent organ which controls governments’ UN decision making, weighing it against the

common good of all humankind, and similarly evaluates the actions of those implementing the

decisions—mainly, the UN Secretariat and governments. The UN has achieved many good

things for humanity. More to the point, however, is the simple fact that there is no viable alternative to the United Nations—-it is the only organization capabable of acting effectively on a global scale in respect to the global problems which urgently need solving. Without it, the world would be poorer, colonized, crueler, and less supervised. Thus, it is better to maintain and improve the UN and to rectify its deficiencies and wrongdoings.

Creation of a UNPA

2.1.  Wouldn’t a UNPA be too hard to establish?  Wouldn’t a complicated reform of the UN charter be needed to establish a UNPA? Wouldn’t some big country just veto it?

No!  Perhaps surprisingly, United Nations Parliamentary Assembly with consultative functions vis à vis the UN General Assembly can be established relatively simply by a simple majority vote of the UN General Assembly according to Art. 22 UN Charter which says: “The General Assembly may establish such subsidiary organs as it deems necessary for the performance of its functions.“ No veto right applies, because the Security Council need not be involved in the decision making.

Besides, a UNPA could also be established by a standalone international treaty and a cooperation agreement with the UN. A reform of the UN Charter, however, would be necessary should the UNPA once be transformed into a more fully functioning principle organ of the world organization at a later step.

2.2. Where will the UNPA be located?

It is too early to determine the eventual seat of a UNPA administration. The Committee for a

United Nations Parliamentary Assembly does not make recommendations in this respect at this

time. To save costs and take advantage of existing infrastructure, however, plenary sessions could be held free of charge in the hall of the UN General Assembly in New York, for example, or at other venues all over the world. A rotation system whereby the assembly would shift its location in successive meetings to the various continents or regions, perhaps in coordination with regional parliamentary assemblies such as the Pan-African Parliament or Parlatino, would involve the opportunity to impart the work of the UNPA to a larger public in the respective regions. Perhaps a system of alternating meetings between New York and on a revolving circuit of each successive continent might be desirable. If a government or regional international organization is ready to place appropriate premises at the UNPA’s disposal, at zero cost and for an indefinite duration, this could be an argument to settle the administrative headquarters there.

2.3. Which are the steps to be taken for the creation of this new body?

Politically, the most important step is to secure considerable support by national parliaments

and governments, by the concerted efforts of their underlying peoples. Eventually, the proposal needs to be scrutinized and debated in detail by like-minded governments, ideally in cooperation with parliaments and civil society. Depending on the results, these deliberations then would lead to the introduction of an a Proposal into the respective committee of the United Nations General Assembly or, in the alternative, to a special-purpose treaty negotiation process.

2.4. How much does a UNPA cost and where would the money come from?

First calculations of the Committee for a Democratic UN as to how much the setting up of a UNPA  would cost resulted in a first rough total estimate of 100 to 120 million Euro per year. This would include the establishment and maintaining of a permanent UNPA Secretariat, the

administration, logistics and the carrying out of parliamentary work in a first, still limited

step, during an initial contemplated annual session of two to six weeks per year. The figure was calculated based on the budget of the InterParliamentary Union (IPU) for the administration of its Secretariat and on the budget of the European Parliament for travelling, accommodation during sessions as well as for extra costs, costs for special travels in execution of the mandate and general reimbursements. It is based on the assumption that all UN member states which participate possess a constitutionally elected parliament. The actual financial need for the first step can only be quantified if it is clear how the UNPA is to be designed, for example composition, voting procedure, participating states and legal basis. The money could most likely come from UN Member States through incorporating it into the regular UN budget and financing process, as far as a UNPA established according to Article 22 UN Charter is concerned, which Article states: “The General Assembly may establish such subsidiary organs as it deems necessary for the performance of its functions,” otherwise arrangements might be made through a budget which has to be set up and financed separately. Alternatively in such a context it is sometimes suggested that voluntary contributions for a direct financing of the UNPA from governments, international organizations, individuals, corporations and other entities could be made possible, analogous to Article 116 of the Statute of the International Criminal Court. This could relieve the regular contributors. A necessary precondition in this respect would be that these contributions are in accordance with relevant criteria defined for this purpose which especially would have to guarantee the independence of the UNPA from donors influence. Furthermore, the UNPA could be recipient of means raised by innovative financial sources

such as global taxation of airline travel, and taxation of international financial instruments and flows as reflected in the Tobin Tax proposal, should they once emerge from the process of longer-term historical evolution to be established.

2.5. Couldn’t civil society organize its own world parliament? Why draw upon

national parliaments?

Certainly, civil society could organize its own global conferences to discuss issues of global concern. In fact, it is doing so. The World Social Forum, for example, is a successful implementation of this approach. Another example was the civil society components of the Millennium Forum which took place in 2000 or the efforts to create a regular NGO Global Conference synchronized to meet yearly just ahead of the annual United Nations General

Assembly sessions.

A parliament, however, is something different. The term describes a type of

representative deliberative assembly vested with a varying degree of political powers under

a respective express or implied constitution which holds the executive branch of government accountable and participates in action, lawmaking or policymaking. A self organized conference which has no legal links to the established political order and which is not officially elected by the populace obviously is not a “parliament“ or parliamentary assembly and certainly cannot undertake public action, develop authoritative policy or adopt any sort of treaty or legislation. Since civil society organizations and their representatives are not popularly elected, they lack a central precondition which characterizes parliaments and their membership, namely to speak with accepted authority for their peoples. The same applies to any self appointed “people’s assemblies“ or other “Do-it-Yourself” quick fixes. By its definition, therefore, a “world parliament“ or authoritative world parliamentary assembly in the any genuine meaning of the term as such cannot be organized on a do-it-yourself basis by NGO’s or civil society without integration into the governmental process of legal governance, and without which it would lack democratic legitimacy and authority, not to mention governmental resources. However, it is possible to draw upon national parliaments because these are regularly elected by the populace.

Links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliament

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_social_forum

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Parliamentary_Assembly

Design of a UNPA

3.1. How many members will each country have?

The Committee for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (CUNPA) recommends that the determination of the number of delegates per country in the UNPA should be left to the political negotiations of the governments during the preparatory process. The basis of the negotiations should be a commitment to a graduated division oriented primarily according to population size but including other modulating factors, corresponding, in principle, to existing parliamentary assemblies. Besides purely population size, other criteria could play a role, such as the equality principle (one member one vote) or the financial contributions to the UN system. However, the calculation should and can be made in such a way that huge countries, such as China or India, are not overrepresented or overdominant and small countries have guarantees of some minimal weight and influence. A graduation constitutes a perfect means for achieving this and, practically speaking, reflects the modern usage in existing parliaments and international institutions which are not 100% proportional as to population alone but balance other factors. Furthermore, CUNPPA recommends an upper limit for the total number of delegates between 700 and 900.

3.2. If such a planetary assembly would be popularly elected, a third of the

seats would go to China and India. What voice would people from smaller countries have?

No. A third of the seats would only go to China and India if such an assembly would only

take the population size into account and if it would be directly mirrored in the distribution of

seats. However, the composition of none of the existing regional parliamentary assemblies

directly mirror the population size of their member states. The Committee for United Nations Parliamentary Assembly also does not recommend such an approach. As in the case of the voting power of Germany, the largest nation in population withing the European Union, most likely a commonly negotiated framework necessary to gain acceptance by all the parties would lead to significant dilution of the “one-man-one-vote” principal, however legitimate that may or may not be, and would be modified to include a larger proportionate representation of smaller nations to provide at least some minimum national voice and influence, plus reflecting the necessary compromise of abstract principles with the practical and power-based considerations of “Realpolitik.” Existing regional assemblies all work with a graduation of seats and/or votes which workably allows to avoid an over or under representation of member states. Moreover, beside the population size, other criteria, such as the equality principle (one member, one vote) or an equity in representation derived from the greater financial contributions to the UN system and others, are being discussed as additional criteria to calculate the distribution of seats and/or votes. See also question 3.1. and para. 3943 of the strategy paper.

3.3. How can one have free elections for the UNPA in countries that do not

allow free elections for their citizens at all?

In undemocratic countries which do not allow for free, equal and secret elections at all, realistically speaking, it will not be possible to have democratically legitimate delegates for the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly in the short term. Pseudo-parliamentarians coming from such undemocratic states actually would probably be subject to the clandestine control and instructions of their home government. CUNPPA has dealt with this problem in its strategy paper, para. 32: .There are objections that the participation of such “pseudo-parliamentarians” could undermine the democratic legitimacy and moral authority of the assembly altogether. This opinion contradicts the fact that the affected states are already represented in the United Nations with equal rights according to international law. In view of this, excluding these states from a participation in a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations could hardly be explained.

Furthermore, to draw the line between the criteria for an inclusion and those against would hardly be possible in a convincing way. An exclusive membership would undermine the global perspective and would make it implausible. Having said this, it certainly is important that the clear majority of the membership is democratically legitimate. Since the majority of the UN Member States as a result of favourable historical evolution in recent decades are to a greater  extent democratic, this would be the case.

3.4. Are there other models than that recommended by the Committee for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly?

In a question as complex as the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, it

would be pretty extraordinary if there were not many different opinions on various aspects and possible models. These are the most important differences between the recommendations of CUNPPA and other proposals:

CUNPPA recommendation                                                      Other proposals

Mode of establishment                       

In a first step subsidiary body to                                              Standalone

international treaty by

likeminded

states

General Assembly according to

Art. 22 UN Charter or

transformation of InterParliamentary

Union and subsequent cooperation agreement

between UN and IPU

Participation

Open to all

UN Member

States

Open

Only to democracies

Attached to

United Nations, later

including

financial institutions

No attachment

Election

At first step indirect election

through national parliaments, later

direct election optional or phased in.

Direct election or Indirect

Furthermore, there are initiatives promoting a self-organized People’s Assembly.  For this

see question 2.5. .Couldn’t civil society organize its own world parliament? Why draw upon

national parliaments?“

3.5. How can the ordinary citizen participate in the work of a UNPA?

One of the reasons to establish a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) is to

provide for a closer link between the United Nations and its affairs and the citizens in the UN

member states. Citizens would be able to contact their own delegate to the UNPA responsible for

their constituency and in this way would have a direct contact person to raise issues which

may affect them and are of international concern or directly linked to the UN or its affiliated

organizations. Delegates would be able to provide information and to take up issues for

further consideration in the UNPA.

3.6. Why should the maximum number of delegates range between 700 and

900?

The Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations should not exceed a certain number of

delegates in order that its efficiency and functionality is maintained. This means that if the Assembly is too big the members will most probably be unable to effectively communicate, interact, bargain, reach effective understandings and compromises, develop interpersonal relationships, understandings and bonds of trust, and develop the purposive collective consensus and will necessary to make their work effective. The Committee for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly thus estimates that the upper limit for this is at about 900 delegates. These seats then would be distributed to the participating states. An example for this procedure is the European Parliament. Representing about 450 million citizens of the European Union, it has a maximum number of MEPs fixed at 750, with a minimum threshold of five per member state and no member state being allocated more than 99 seats.

Rights and functions

4.1. What would a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly do?—–What would the main functions of a UNPA be?

The populations of the UN member states have to be better and more directly included into

the activities and decision making processes of the United Nations and its international organizations. This can be achieved by setting up a parliamentary assembly. Possible functions a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly could be vested with have been named in CUNPPA’ strategy paper (para. 5). The functions of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly would minimally include:

  1. Submission of its own opinions/resolutions to the General Assembly, ECOSOC, the Secretary General, the Security Council, and to the organs and other institutions of the UN system;
  2. consultation with the General Assembly, ECOSOC and by organs of other institutions of the UN system with regard to important questions;
  3. the right to address questions to the Secretary General, the Presidents of the General Assembly, of ECOSOC and of the Security Council as well as to the heads of other institutions of the UN system;
  4. rights of information and participation in relation to the activities of the institutions of the UN system including the still independent Economic and Financial Institutions;
  5. readings of draft resolutions of the General Assembly and of ECOSOC with the right to submit suggestions for amendments;
  6. the right to submit to the GeneralAssembly and to ECOSOC draft resolutions for further negotiation and adoption;
  7. codecision with regard to the adoption of the UN budget;
  8. codecision with regard to the election of the UN Secretary General;
  9.  the right to be integrated into all treaty negotiations which are conducted under the auspices of the United Nations to establish or modify international institutions;
  10.  the right also to be integrated into multilateral treaty negotiations at the international level not under the auspices of the UN;
  11.  the right to submit, in accordance with Article 65 of its Statute, legal questions to the International Court of Justice.

 

Furthermore, a UNPA must have the right to establish inquiry committees which may

summon functionaries of the UN institutions to fulfill their task. In line with a comprehensive

reform of the United Nations in the future, the UNPA could be transformed into a UN main

body and become part of a global legislature.

4.2. Would delegations of the UNPA have the right to participate in international governmental conferences?

Wide parts of the populations of the various nations and of the population of humanity on earth globally do not feel sufficiently represented by their government in International institutions and negotiation processes. An indication of this are the continuing protests of civil society alongside international government conferences, which they feel are not only democratically illegitimate but in increasing ascendency in controlling the conditions of their daily lives. The Committee for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly therefore strongly recommends that the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly should have the right to fully participate in multilateral treaty negotiations processes and to this end should have the right to send official representatives or delegations. For instance a delegation from a UNPA would be seated at such conferences as the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference or at plenary meetings of the WTO.

4.3. Can you give some examples where parliamentary control of international

action would have been crucial?

A government independent Parliamentary body a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly

could have assumed a role to scrutinize international action, or inaction, in the case of the

genocide in Rwanda 1994, to name an important example. While there in fact has been a

subsequent inquiry commissioned by the UN Secretary General on the failings of the

international community in face of the genocide, a UNPA would have been able to address

the inadequate response by the United Nations during the events themselves. Since a UNPA

would include delegates of oppositional parties from the parliaments of the UN member

states, it would offer them an international platform to voice concerns which governments

would not address. Alerting the world community of large scale human rights abuses therefore is an area where a UNPA could play an important political role.

Another area where a UNPA could assert oversight functions and conduct important analysis

is with regard to the UN’s sanction regime. The United Nations Oil for Food programme, for example, was only thoroughly scrutinized by an international inquiry committee set up for this purpose by the UN Secretary General after the US General Accounting Office discovered severe irregularities in its operations. This underlines the need that there is a permanent independent

body which is able to provide continuous oversight and public feedback in respect of the UN’s programmes. A UNPA would be well suited for this purpose. In contrast to inquiries by national authorities or by adhoc bodies set up by the UN Secretary-General, a UNPA inquiry committee would be representing an international viewpoint and would be democratically legitimate and speak with authority through its parliamentary membership.

Links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_for_food

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rwandan_Genocide

4.4. What is the ultimate aim of establishing a UNPA?

The creation of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly will be an ongoing long term

process which will continue even after it is once established as consultative body in the first

step. Connected with globalization, this process will be closely interlinked with the continuing

evolvement of an ever closer world community and a growing need for effective global

governance. A UNPA is the embryonic starting point for the creation of a world parliament in

the longterm future in order to guarantee the involvement of the citizens in international

affairs as closely as possible and to support a sense of the global common good and democratic legitimacy and oversight as globalization requires more and more powers to be transferred to international bodies to deal with the ever more internationalized problems of a globalized world. See also:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Parliamentary_Assembly

Campaign for a UNPA

5.1. What can I do to support the campaign?

As an individual citizen you can do one or more of the following:

  1.  Sign the international appeal for the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly which will be published in April 2007;
  2.  Write an email to your friends and colleagues and invite them to sign the appeal as well;
  3.  Subscribe to our newsletter in order to be up to date on current developments;
  4.  Write politely to the member of parliament of your constituency and ask him/her to support the proposal to establish a United Nations Parliamentar y Assembly. Should you get an answer, share it with us!
  5.  Help us with a donation to the Committee for a UNPA. Any amount counts!
  6.  Become supporting member of the Committee for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly;
  7.  Volunteer your professional skills. The campaign is largely based on volunteer collaboration. We need translators, web programmers, graphic designers, lobby assistants, research assistants and volunteers with other skills which are necessary to build an international campaign of this kind;
  8.  If you are member of a civil society organization or a political party, campaign for its support of the establishment of a UNPA;
  9.  Write a carefully drafted letter to the editor of your newspaper if an article invites a comment touching upon the UNPA proposal. Maybe it will be published!

 

5.2. Which governments support the UNPA proposal?

On 7 July 2009 Pope Benedict XVI published his first social encyclical called “Caritas in Veritate”, charity in truth. In this writing, the Pope contemplated on the nature and consequences of globalization, the global economic crisis and the world order. Benedict XVI stressed the importance of a reform of the United Nations Organization and of international economic and financial institutions. “There is urgent need of a true world political authority,” the Pope proclaimed. According to a study published today by the Committee for a Democratic U.N. (KDUN) in Germany, “it is possible to derive from catholic social doctrine the creation of a democratic world legislative which, in particular, has the task to exercise oversight over the executive world authority.”

“The establishment of an effective political world authority has been continously advocated by the Holy See since Pope Pius XII in the 1950s and was now again reiterated by Benedict XVI.

The Committee for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly is trying to establish a dialogue with open-minded governments on the proposal to establish a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. Despite widespread support at many levels, as yet, no government officially sponsors the approach officially in diplomatic negotiations. Historically, a similar proposal was put forward by one of the first democratic governments of Germany in 1919, after the First World War. Its draft for the statutes of the League of Nations included a “world parliament“ elected by the parliaments of the member states. Naturally, as defeated country at that time, Germany’s position had no effectiveness at that time.

5.3. Which parliaments support the UNPA proposal?

In 1993 the European Parliament has been the first directly elected parliament to endorse the

establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly in an official resolution adopted

by its plenary. It has reiterated its position in resolutions from 2003 and 2005. In January

2006 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe has also adopted a resolution

containing such support. As at October 2006, no similar resolutions have been adopted on national level. However, a majority of the members of the National Council of Switzerland has endorsed the UNPA proposal in an open letter addressed to then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in February 2005. In 1993 the Standing Committee on External Affairs and International Trade of the House of Commons of the Canadian Parliament did support the UNPA proposal. Because of subsequent elections, the plenary never dealt with the issue, however. It is the goal of the Committee for a Democratic UN’s campaign to build more parliamentary support for the proposal. These and other relevant resolutions and documents are available on the websites of various wholly independent, unrelated  and distinct organizations sharing parallel goals to this Committee such as:

http://en.unpacampaign.org/index.php http://www.unokomitee    http://www.kdun.org     http://www.unpacampaign.org

de/en/documents/projects/unpa.php

5.4. Who else from NGO’s, Civil Society, Academia and individually is supporting the idea?

The Campaign’s Appeal for the Establishment of a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations is supported by thousands individuals from 137 countries and 217 non-governmental organizations from 57 countries, among them 17 international networks.

Notable supporters include former United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, former Czech President Vaclav Havel and Nobel Prize winners Günter
Grass. The Pope’s endorsement of the general concept in his first social encyclical called “Caritas in Veritate”, Charity in Truth has been noted above.  

The two Campaign’s statements together are as of 2010 supported by 699 members of parliament from 94 countries and 155 former parliamentarians from 40 countries. The sitting MPs represent estimated 111.8 million people from their constituencies.

The individual supporters include hundreds of distinguished personalities, in particular 226 professors from 50 countries, 6 Nobel laureates, 11 Right Livelihood laureates, 8 former foreign ministers, 3 former prime ministers and people from all walks of life.

Besides parliamentary support, several oganizations and conferences have supported the

proposal of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. To name the most important: The

Socialist International, the Liberal International, the World Federalist Movement Institute

for Global Policy and the United Nations Millennium Forum 2000. Furthermore, the idea of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly is being supported by hundreds of distinguished individuals from more than 70 countries, among them parliamentarians, leading scholars, former government members, civil society leaders, human rights activists, authors, nobel laureates and others. See the list of initial supporters of the international appeal for a Parliamentary Assembly at the UN and the continuous updates to be published on the sister websites http://en.unpacampaign.org/index.php and . http://www.kdun.org/en/index.php .

5.5 What Testimonials and Statements of Support has the Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly received from Parliaments, NGO’s and notable individuals?

Testimonials and statements of support include the following, amoung thousands of others:

“The European Parliament calls for the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) within the UN system, which would increase the democratic profile and internal democratic process of the organisation and allow world civil society to be directly associated in the decision-making process”

European Parliament, June 2005 

Former United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Butros-Ghali Calls for Establishment of a United Nations    Parliamentary Assembly (16 May 2007)

“States and societies everywhere in the worldincreasingly confront forces far beyond thecontrol of any one state or even group of states. Some of these forces are irresistible, such as the globalization of economic activity and communications. In the process,problems which can only be solved effectively at the globallevel, are multiplying and requirements of political governance are extending beyond state borders accordingly. Increasing decisionmaking at the global level is inevitable. In this process, however, democracy within the state will diminish in importance if the process of democratization does not move forward at the international level. Therefore, we need to promote the democratization of globalization, before globalization destroys the foundations of national and international democracy.The establishment of a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations has become an indispensable step to achieve democratic control of globalization. Complementary to international democracy among states, which no less has to be developed, it would foster global democracy beyond states,giving the citizens a genuine voice in world affairs.As the Campaign’s appeal rightly implies, a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly could also become a catalyst for a comprehensive reform of the international system. In particular, I would like to point out, it should become a force to provide democratic oversight over the World Bank, the IMF and the WTO. We cannot just dream, or wait for someone else to bring our dream about. We must act now. In this sense, I strongly encourage you in your struggle for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly. Once established, this new body willbe a decisive contribution to strengthen democracy at all levels.”

“…the Latin-American Parliament declares … its support to efforts towards the creation and establishment of a Parliamentary Assembly of the United Nations Organization (UNO) with the purpose of strengthening the effectiveness, transparency, representativeness, plurality and legitimacy of the international system”

24th Ordinary Assembly of the Latin-American Parliament, Panamá, December 2008 

On 7 July 2009 Pope Benedict XVI published his first social encyclical called “Caritas in Veritate”, charity in truth. In this writing, the Pope contemplated on the nature and consequences of globalization, the global economic crisis and the world order. Benedict XVI stressed the importance of a reform of the United Nations Organization and of international economic and financial institutions. “There is urgent need of a true world political authority,” the Pope proclaimed. According to a study published today by the Committee for a Democratic U.N. (KDUN) in Germany, “it is possible to derive from this Catholic social doctrine the creation of a democratic world legislative which, in particular, has the task to exercise oversight over the executive world authority.” The establishment of an effective political world authority has been continously advocated by the Holy See since Pope Pius XII in the 1950s and was now again reiterated by Benedict XVI.

Pope Benedict XVI, in his first social encyclical called “Caritas in Veritate”, Charity in Truth 

 
 

“The method of representation at the UN should be considerably modified. The present method of selection by government appointment does not leave any real freedom to the appointee. Furthermore, selection by governments cannot give the peoples of the world the feeling of being fairly and proportionately represented. The moral authority of the UN would be considerable enhanced if the delegates were elected directly by the people. Were they responsible to an electorate, they would have much more freedom to follow their consciences”

Open letter of Albert Einstein to the UN General Assembly, October 1947

 Former WTO Director-General Mike Moore Endorses Creation of a UN Parliamentary Assembly

 
 
 

In a comment published today, the former Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and former Prime Minister of New Zealand, Mike Moore, has spoken out for the creation of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA). “The global architecture is in need of refurbishing. It is necessary to build democratic principles into global governance,” said Moore who was also Member of Parliament for the New Zealand Labour Party for over 20 years.

“A parliament at the U.N. would symbolize the notion of humanity as a community of world citizens.”

Günter Grass, Nobel Prize lLaureate in Literature (1999) 

 
 

“The United Nations would probably have to rest on two pillars: one constituted by an assembly of equal executive representatives of individual countries, resembling the present plenary, and the other consisting of a group elected directly by the globe’s population in which the number of delegates representing individual nations would, thus, roughly correspond to the size of the nations.”

Václav Havel President of the Czech Republic (1993-2003) at the Millennium Summit of the United Nations, New York, September 2000

 “The call for a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations has my support”

Emma Thompson, Actress, Academy Award recipient 

“I support the call for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, and believe that a more democratic United Nations as envisaged by this campaign will strengthen the accountability and legitimacy of the UN”

Ken Livingstone, 2000-2008 Mayor of London

“A UN Parliament would be an epiphany. By contrast to the UN General Assembly which is driven by the narrow interest of government representatives only, a UN Parliament would truly reflect the world’s public opinion.”

Akbar Alami, Member of the Islamic Consultative Assembly

PACE: Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) Calls for UN Parliamentary Assembly

 
 
 

In a resolution on the reform of the United Nations which was adopted today(1 Oct 2009), the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has called for “the incorporation of a democratic element in the United Nations system.” While the assembly reiterates its “unabated support” to the UN and multilateralism, it also stresses that “the United Nations is in urgent need of a far-reaching reform in order to make it more transparent, accountable and capable of facing the global challenges of today’s world.” The resolution states that the assembly regrets that although numerous reform proposals have been advanced over the last years in the UN none of them aimed at “improving the democratic character of the United Nations.” This could be done, according to PACE, through “the introduction of a parliamentary element in the structure of the UN General Asssembly.”

“A long-term Green goal is overcoming the international democracy deficit. This includes greater democratisation of the UN and other international institutions. Among these reforms, Greens support the creation of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly (UNPA) as a parliamentary body within the UN system.”

Global Greens Second Congress, São Paulo, May 2008

 
 

“The Pan-African Parliament … notes that in a first preliminary step the United Nations Parliamentary Assembly could be composed of national parliamentarians, but that eventually it should be directly elected by universal adult suffrage in the UN member states. … Stresses that a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly eventually should haveparticipation and oversight rights, in particular, to send fully participating parliamentary delegations or representatives to international governmental fora and negotiations and to establish inquiry committees to assess matters related to the actions of the United Nations, its personell and its special programmes”

Pan-African Parliament, October 2007

“The World Federation of United Nations Associations supports the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly as a consultative body within the United Nations system as a voice of the citizens and calls upon the governments of the United Nations member states, parliamentarians and civil society representatives to jointly examine possible steps and options to create a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly”

38th Plenary Assembly of the World Federation of United Nations Associations, Buenos Aires, November 2006

“Whilst international organisations and negotiations will remain essentially the domain of intergovernmental co-operation, the democratic accountability of existing organisations should also be improved through the increased participation of national parliaments in global economic management. This calls for increasing the role of national parliaments in monitoring and mandating the work of their governments in international forums as well as for strengthening existing and creating new forums for inter-parliamentary co-operation in different international organisations.”

Report from the Helsinki Process on Globalisation and Democracy, co-chaired by Foreign Ministers Jakaya M. Kikwete from Tanzania and Erkki Tuomioja from Finland, August 2005

 
 

“In the belief that the principles of separation of powers and democracy should be made beneficial on the international level … the Liberal International calls on the member states of the United Nations to enter into deliberations on the establishment of a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations.”

53rd Congress of the Liberal International, Sofia, May 2005

 
 

“A Parliamentary Assembly at the UN would encompass a number of advantages. Representation of the population and participation of civil society within the organization would promote the faith of citizens in the UN and increase its acceptance and legitimation. … peoples and minorities could introduce their concerns more efficiently within a Parliamentary Assembly at the UN, ultimately promoting the preservation of global diversity.”

Open letter of a majority of 101 members of the Swiss National Council to then UN-Secretary General Kofi Annan, February 2005

“Parliamentary oversight of the multilateral system at the global level should be progressively expanded. We propose the creation of a Parliamentary Group concerned with the coherence and consistency between global economic, social and environmental policies, which should develop an integrated oversight of major international organizations.”

World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization established by the International Labour Organization, April 2004

“Better-structured democratic control and accountability is needed if the world’s democratic deficit is to be addressed seriously. At some point, contemplation of a UN Parliamentary Assembly will be needed. … Such an Assembly should be more than just another UN institution. It would have to become a building block of a new, democratically legitimate, world order”

22nd Congress of the Socialist International, São Paulo, October 2003 

 

“The Forum urges the United Nations to consider the creation of a UN parliamentary body related to the UN General Assembly. One proposal that should be considered is the creation of a consultative Parliamentary Assembly”

Millennium Forum of Civil Society, United Nations,  May 2000

It has also been suggested that [an assembly of parliamentarians, consisting of representatives elected by existing national legislatures] could function as a constituent assembly for the development of a directly elected assembly of people. We encourage further debate about these proposals. When the time comes, we believe that starting with an assembly of parliamentarians as a constituent assembly for a more popular body is the right approach. But care would need to be taken to ensure that the assembly of parliamentarians is the starting point of a journey and does not become the terminal station.”

Report of the Commission on Global Governance, co-chaired by Swedish Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson and former Foreign Minister of Guyana, Shridath Ramphal, 1995

“The feasibility of a parliamentary chamber or assembly complementing the present intergovernmental structure should be seriously explored, as it might enhance the political legitimacy of the organisations and strengthen accountability of organisations and governments”

High-Level Expert Group of the InterAction Council, chaired by Andries van Agt, former Prime Minister of the Netherlands, May 1994

“[The European Parliament] wishes consideration to be given to the possibility of setting up within the UN a parliamentary consultative assembly to enable the elected representatives of peoples to participate more fully in the work of UN bodies”

European Parliament, February 1994

“A World Parliamentary Assembly would enable national parliaments to become better acquainted with the work of the United Nations … The establishment of a second body in which the major nations would have an added weight would bring the United Nations closer to the one man, one vote ideal”

Twentieth Report of the Commission to Study the Organization of Peace, New York, November 1969

 
 

“There should be a study of a house directly elected by the people of the world to whom the nations are accountable”

Ernest Bevin, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs (1945-1951), Speech in the House of Commons, November 1945

An international Parliament elected by the Peoples should replace the assembly of delegates proposed in the Paris text [of the Statutes of the League of Nations]. This Parliament should have full prerogatives and legislative powers”

International Conference of League of Nations Societies, Berne, March 1919

  “I support the efforts of the Committee to establish a parliament at the UN because with this the world community would clearly commit itself to common democratic action.”                                                                                                                                                        Sigmar Gabriel, Federal Minister for the Environment, Germany

 

5.6. What are the views inside the Inter Parliamentary Union about the CUNPPA

campaign?

The Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) at the moment consists of 148 member parliaments. The

views held within the IPU therefore are not uniform. Consciousness of a legitimacy deficit of

the UN and of a role of the IPU in overcoming this deficit is there. However, views diverge

with regard to which way to follow. The official road map of the IPU is becoming and

maintaining the “parliamentary dimension of the UN”. This amounts to a representation of

national parliaments at the international level, rather than representing the people at the UN

and democratically controlling the UN, i. e. being a watchdog of UN affairs and speaking for

those represented within “we, the peoples”. However, there are also those members and

individual parliamentarians who perceive the IPU as being capable and being predestined for

being more a real UN Parliament, which includes democratic decision making and control,

building on the large institutional knowledge which the IPU has acquired within more than

115 years. Yet, up to now, these voices are still in the minority within the IPU.

See also question 1.9. “Doesn’t the Inter Parliamentary Union already fulfill the function of a

UNPA?”

5.7. What if the United States or another veto power does not support the

proposal?

First of all, in order to set up a UNPA, support of the veto powers on the UN Security Council

legally is not necessary. If a UNPA is established as a subsidiary organ of the General

Assembly, its majority vote is sufficient (every state has one vote). If a UNPA would come

into existence through a rapprochement of the Inter Parliamentary Union (IPU) to the UN,

this could be done through a more detailed cooperation agreement which would contain

genuine parliamentary rights and duties for the IPU. In this case, the UN organ to which the

UNPA should be linked, in this case the General Assembly, decides about the treaty either by

Majority vote or, if it is judged to be an “important question” in accordance with Art. 18 (2) of

the UN Charter, by a two thirds majority of the members present and voting. In the IPU itself,

which naturally also would have to decide about such an agreement, the US is not a member

anymore. And even if it were, the decision making organ of the IPU, the Governing Council,

also decides by majority vote. Thus, US support legally is not necessary to set up a UNPA and it is important to realize that the establishment of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly is not subject to any veto.

Nevertheless, political support of the veto powers would of course be highly desirable. The

United States, in particular, throughout the last years under conservative administrations repeatedly criticized the UN for not being efficient, effective, and of being corrupt. The US even conducted its own investigations at Congressional and federal level into the corruption accusations towards the UN Oil for Food Programme, for example. This gap in the UN legal system is exactly what the Committee for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly wants to fill: Since the UN members and the UN administration cannot control themselves effectively, we need an institution which is independent and is equipped with sufficient investigation and control powers and rights. This would be the main task of a UNPA. A UN Parliament should be able to set up inquiry committees, which can question UN officials and have access to documents. It would be able to rectify possible wrongdoings within a huge institution such as the UN. Furthermore, the US has stated its desire to increase democracy in the world, which necessarily also includes democracy within international organizations and institutions. For a fuller discussion see:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Nations_Parliamentary_Assembly.

Related Links and Websites:  Spiritus Mundi, Novel by Robert Sheppard

For Introduction and Overview of the Novel:  https://spiritusmundinovel.wordpress.com/

For Author’s Blog:  https://robertalexandersheppard.wordpress.com/

To Read Poetry from Spiritus Mundi:https://spiritusmundipoetry.wordpress.com/

To Read a Sample Chapter from Spiritus Mundi: https://spiritusmundisamplechapters.wordpress.com/

 C Copyright Robert Sheppard 2011 All Rights Reserved

Copyright Notice: Any and all material on the pages of this entire WordPress blogsite, including each and every post and entry is the sole and exclusive  intellectual property of the copyright holder, Robert Sheppard. Hence, he has full copyright, trademark, trade name, trade dress and any and all related intellecutal property ownership and control of all of the the items. With permission from the copyright owner, the contents may be read and used for personal reference, but not otherwise copied, altered in any way or transmitted to others  without the written permission of the copyright holder. All rights are reserved solely in the copyright holder

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