There are various large global organisations that exist in the world and it is important to understand the power they wield and the role they play.
UN – United Nations
The UN was established shortly after WW2 to promote international co-operation. It has 193 member states enrolled. The state which contributes most towards the funding of the UN is the US.
It consists of 6 main structures:
- General Assembly
- Security Council
- International Court of Justice
- Economic and Social Council
- Specialised agencies
The General Assembly is the only section of the UN in which all nations have equal representation, however member states of the Security Council have special veto rights on proposals. Its powers are to oversee the budget of the United Nations, appoint the non-permanent members to the Security Council, receive reports from other parts of the United Nations and make recommendations in the form of General Assembly Resolutions.
The Security Council consists of the permanent members and non-permanent members. The permanent measures are Russia, the UK, France, China and the US which hold a veto power enabling them to cancel any democratic votes which occur within the UN. This pretty much undermines any legitimacy that the UN has. Its powers include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of international sanctions, and the authorization of military action through Security Council resolutions; it is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions to member states. Since the collapse of the USSR, USA has been, by a long way, the biggest user of the veto power. Mostly this was done to protect Israel from the condemnation of the atrocities it was committing on Palestinians.
The Secretariat is headed by the Secretary-General. It provides studies, information, and facilities needed by United Nations bodies for their meetings. It also carries out tasks as directed by the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, and other UN bodies.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is the primary judicial organ of the UN. The ICJ is composed of 15 judges who serve 9-year terms and are appointed by the General Assembly; every sitting judge must be from a different nation. The ICJ’s primary purpose is to adjudicate disputes among states. The court has heard cases related to war crimes, illegal state interference, ethnic cleansing, and other issues. The ICJ can also be called upon by other UN organs to provide advisory opinions.
The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) assists the General Assembly in promoting international economic and social co-operation and development.
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NATO – North Atlantic Treaty Organisation
NATO is an organisation that was created, shortly after WW2, to counter the military power of the USSR and prevent the revival of nationalist militarism such as the Nazis. Unfortunately, even after the cold war and USSR’s military power diminished, it continues to exist and expand, despite it now having no purpose for existence. A military organisation without a purpose for existence is dangerous, as it may try and find a new purpose.
As can be seen below, NATO has continued to expand eastwards, despite promises to Gorbachev that they would not:
In recent years NATO has been involved in some military action:
- Invaded Afghanistan after obtaining legal authority to defend its member states once the 9/11 attack had occurred. This legal authority was however based on the fact that Osama bin Laden had been linked to 9/11, which there was no evidence for
- Bombed Libya which killed many civilians and lead to the death of Qaddafi, despite protest from many of its members that it was overstepping its reach
IMF/WB – International Monetary Fund/World Bank
The organization’s objectives stated in the Articles of Agreement are: to promote international economic cooperation, international trade, employment, and exchange-rate stability, including by making financial resources available to member countries to meet balance-of-payments needs. The IMF and World Bank are 51% owned by the US treasury. It is funded by tax payer money but operates in secrecy.
In reality, it is rather different.
Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel prize winner, former World Bank chief economist, former chairman of the President’s Council of economic advisers, was fired from the bank in 1999 for questioning WB/IMF policies. The plans are devised in secrecy such that they undermine democracy, and have proven time and time again that they do not achieve their intended aims.
- Step Zero: Sanctions
If a country’s economy is not naturally performing badly, then it may due to trade sanctions that are imposed by global superpowers and their allies (economic warfare)
The IMF then comes in offering a loan to the country which comes attached with various conditions that the country must meet. The world banks four step ‘Country Assistance Strategy’ is:
- Step One: Privatization of public resources
Stiglitz says this could more accurately be called “Briberization.” In return for development loans, national leaders are required to sell off their electricity and water companies “with the promise of 10% commissions paid to their Swiss bank accounts if they are able to shave a few billion off the sale price of national assets.”
- Step Two: Market Deregulation
Capital market deregulation starts what Stiglitz calls the “Hot Money” cycle. “Cash comes in for speculation in real estate and currency, then flees at the first sign of trouble, which drains a nation’s reserves in days, hours.” Then, to seduce speculators into returning the nation’s own capital funds, the IMF demands these nations raise interest rates to 30%, 50% and 80%. The higher interest rates demolish property values, savage industrial production and drain national treasuries.
- Step Three: Elimination of subsidies to citizens
To further squeeze the nations, subsidies are eliminated and prices are raised on food, water and cooking gas, which leads to what Stiglitz calls “the IMF riot.” The IMF riot—peaceful demonstrations dispersed by bullets, tanks and teargas— causes new panicked flights of capital, which can trigger government bankruptcies. According to Palast: “This economic arson has it’s bright side—for foreign corporations, who can then pick off remaining assets, such as the odd mining concession or port, at fire sale prices. A pattern emerges. There are lots of losers in this system but one clear winner: Western banks and the US Treasury, making the big bucks off this crazy new international capital churn.”
- Step Four: Imposition of Free Trade Agreements
The World Bank and the IMF demand free trade arrangements according to the rules of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The WTO backs European and American corporations who demand access to Asia, Latin America and Africa with the use military actions or blockades to force open markets for favorable trade relationships. The World Bank can also order a financial blockade, which can be just as effective—and sometimes just as deadly.
Incidents the IMF has significantly contributed to are rigorously investigated in Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine. Here is a brief list of countries that they caused economic problems for:
- Russia 1991-1994
- Mexico in 1994
- South East Asia (South Korea, Indonesia, Thailand) in 1997
- Argentina in 1970s
- Brasil in 1997
- Indonesia in 1998
- Bolivia in 2000
- Ecuador in 2001
- China in 1989
- Sri Lanka
In many of these incidents severe military enforcement (including some coups) was used to persecute and eliminate leftists and protesters who stood up to the IMF’s free market economics.
Effects of these interventions:
- Huge rises in poverty, violence, unemployment
- High prices of water, electricity, food due to privatization of public assets
- Huge profits for US corporations, banks and hedge-funds as they collect the public assets cheaply once the economy is ruined
- Allows financial control over the country
- Cuts on essential investment such as in education and health
- Terrible wages from ‘free trade zones’ and creation of sweatshops
- Usually lead to large amounts of natural resource exploitation
- Pushes deregulation e.g. in the financial sector
Another important aspect of the IMF is the creation of the global currency SDRs (Special Drawing Rights). Another acronym used for SDR is XDR. Some people suspect it may be rolled out as the global currency once the dollar loses its significance.
Each SDR is a basket of various other currencies:
- US Dollar 41.9%
- Euro 37.4%
- Pounds Sterling 11.3%
- Japanese Yen 9.4%
China is currently attempting to have its currency become a part of the SDR.
A large amount of SDRs were created during the 2008 financial crisis to “provide liquidity to the global economic system and supplement member countries’ official reserves”.
WTO – World Trade Organisation
BRICS Development Bank – Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa
The BRICS development bank was set up to counter the influence of Western-based lending institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF. It is unknown as of yet whether it will merely replicate the destructive actions of its Western counterparts but in favour of BRICS countries, or will genuinely seek mutual development.
BIS – Bank of International Settlements
The BIS is an international company limited by shares owned by central banks which “fosters international monetary and financial cooperation and serves as a bank for central banks”.
The Bilderberg Group is an annual private conference of 120 to 150 people of the European and North American political elite, experts from industry, finance, academia, and the media, established in 1954. The group operates with a consensus around free market Western capitalism and its global market interests.
The Trilateral Commission is a non-governmental, non-partisan discussion group founded by David Rockefeller in July 1973, to foster closer cooperation among North America, Western Europe, and Japan.
CFR – Council of Foreign Relations
The Council on Foreign Relations, founded in 1921, is a United States nonprofit, 4900 member organization, and think tank specializing in U.S. foreign policy and international affairs, Its membership has included senior politicians, more than a dozen secretaries of state, CIA, directors, bankers, lawyers, professors, and senior media figures. The CFR promotes globalization, free trade, reducing financial regulations on transnational corporations, and economic consolidation into regional blocs such as NAFTA or the European Union, and develops policy recommendations that reflect these goals.