We need ‘Mother’ of Earth, as another UN
Lee, Won-Young (Professor, Suwon University)
In January 2019, I resumed ‘New Silk Road for Life & No-Nukes’, which had been suspended for a while. I walked about 4,500 km to New Delhi, India. One day, a young official of the central government stopped his car with curiosity. He listened to my story and was impressed. On the next morning, he brought me a lunch box made by his mother and invited me to his office to have a conversation. I shared my thoughts and concerns that kept in my mind.
‘We need another UN. There is only one Earth. It is too dangerous to have only one UN as it is today. The Earth must be protected like a woven cloth with a line of latitude and longitude.’ Then, he responded with an immediate agreement. It was the moment of two people, who live thousands km apart, coming together to empathize with each other’s values and principle.
When Fukushima nuclear accident broke out in 2011, demand on crisis management heightened increased globally. Fukushima accident was the third serious accident, following Three Miles accident of 1979 and Chernobyl accident of 1986. It means that this kind of disasters will be repeated. Although 450 nuclear power plants are exposed to the danger of earthquakes and accidents, there has been no action taken to solve the problem for the past eight years. It is very strange. The efforts of a few countries are not enough to solve such problems as nuclear power plant accident and climate crisis. Trends such as ‘capitalization of risk’ are prevalent, and some countries are trying to adopt nuclear power plants, the most expensive and dangerous alternative, to handle the climate crisis. Such technical, organizational, and capitalistic risks have taken the global village as hostage.
A few days ago, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg roared at the United Nations. “The young people are starting to understand your betrayal.” Knowing that we cannot be optimistic about the future of the Earth even though we reduce the carbon dioxide level by a half in the next 10 years, she asks if we have any courage or intention to put more effort. This is a big question that is driving the older generation to a shiver.
The problem is not the lack of answers, but the lack of execution. In order to properly respond to Thunberg’s voice, the current governance is not enough. Rio de Janeiro, Kyoto, and Paris have made “consensus for goodwill,” but there was no “device to stimulate and induce change in direction.”
A change of direction is not easy. Because it is already following the inertia, it is not only necessary to turn head, but also to change the direction of entire body. However, the global community-level mission was left to the U.N. in charge half a century ago, while each country follows the stream of “market economy.” The Earth is in jeopardy.
Just as a man walks on two legs, just as there are a mother and a father in a family, and as the fabric is made of woof and weft, the global community needs two pillars. Not only the U.N. but also “Mother” is needed. Complementary check is the right thing to do. In contemporary world, moreover, the amount of force that an individual can exert has increased not only due to the explosive growth of the population but also due to the development of technology. The absolute size of power that has grown in the global community in the last half a century, and the demand for a system that can handle it properly has also increased.
The beginning of change can be made by the religious community. It’s because religion is the entity where the energy of people is gathered, and life and security are primarily valued. Only if a few large religious groups actively come together to solve this problem, the mission will be soon completed. I made a polite suggestion in holy witness of Dalai Lama, in personal acquaintance in February, and to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, in personal acquaintance in August. The newly formed “mother” will be able to play a role in checks and surveillance, complementing what the UN cannot do. We don’t need George Orwell’s Big Brother, we need Big Mother to take care of our planet and life.
The realization of this picture is near at corner, just as the young bureaucrat in India who had a warm mother sympathized with my thoughts.