THE BLOG
11/11/2014 05:42 pm ET Updated Jan 11, 2015

A New United Nations of Human Rights Countries

We need an advanced league of nations to help the earth survive, and we need it now. We are only surviving on this overcrowded planet of seven billion due to unprecedented levels of cooperation between all of us in the last 60 years. We have thousands of international treaties that bind us together since the end of World War II, and they make it possible to trade, to protect ourselves from any number of biological, physical and criminal dangers that could all come crashing down on us without international cooperation. That lack of cooperation in prior centuries led to endless invasions, bloody wars, endless human rights violations, rampant disease, massive infant mortality and early death.

At the same time, our challenges as a species grow more numerous every year with our increasingly demanding population. We therefore need unprecedented evolution and growth as an enlightened species if we are to survive and take care of all of life on this planet.

The United Nations has played a critical role in the statistically significant rapid decline in overall violence per capita across the globe. The UN has run over 172 peacekeeping missions and negotiations since the end of World War II. We all know the failures, like Rwanda or Bosnia, but we somehow ignore the successes since we are focused on fear of danger; that is in our nature, and it is understandable. But rational analysis requires us to acknowledge the good, and scout opportunities to increase the successes.

It is well-known that the United Nations is hamstrung as an organization that must treat democracies and tyrannies equally, including on the all powerful Security Council, to such a degree that leading violators of human rights, can dominate the United Nations Human Rights Council, and thus make a mockery of it. Yet, a central feature of our progress as a species has been the greater adherence to human rights treaties. The conventions on human rights are unprecedented in their global popularity and power across every culture. But we have few ways to further the adherence to human rights by nations. We have reached a plateau in terms of an incentive structure for nations; that includes the great powers with their massive military budgets, funding of extreme regimes and slow pace on human rights adherence.

The ten most successful nations on earth, in terms of well-known categories of human rights adherence, as well as other quality of life metrics, such as equal pay, women's equality, the basic freedoms, environmental sustainability, should form a union that will come with very clear and enviable privileges and for the governments and peoples of said states. These nations, including some of the wealthiest nations on earth in Northern Europe, can create incentives for members, including advanced easing of trade restrictions and travel, free or supported educational opportunities, low interest loans, advanced investment strategies in entrepreneurship and investment in human capital, advanced safety from fraud and theft. All of this will prove a boon to member citizens and make these governments even more popular with their peoples.

The goal of such a union is simple: incentivized expansion, the creation of a club that aspires to include more and more member states, as those states reach the appointed threshold metrics of human rights adherence. This will create incentives, from both top down and bottom up, to improve a human rights record. This will revitalize a global movement in a better direction for many nations, and it will also make it clear to citizens of repressive societies what exactly their leaders are withholding from them, which in turn will create dynamic struggle of citizens, both privileged and underprivileged.

I fully expect that none of the major powers would qualify for initial entry, at the very least due to capital punishment, but also due to bloated military industrial complex weapons sales to human rights violating nations, a nonstarter for entry requirements. The virtue, however, of setting this high standard, is that many smaller nations will work hard to gain entry, and thus create a global trend, and this trend will eventually drag along the recalcitrant. That is how we edged forward over a hundred and fifty years ago against slavery, and that is how we can move forward the entire human rights agenda. This is a push to the human community that is timely, doable and essential for the future.