— Young World Federalists United Kingdom Programs Director Charles Marsh writes that the birth of the United States “came about not through a shared worldview or a sense of camaraderie and kinship, but as a solution to the impending threat of inter-state war and conflict. … The leadership and population of the states came to realise that boundless sovereignty was an illusory concept not worth the price being paid. The weakness inherent in their political structure had allowed jealousy and anarchy to flourish. … Peace was not the first step towards union; union was the first (and only) step towards peace. In the end, the fear of anarchy made the people of the states realise that ephemeral concepts of state sovereignty did not outweigh the wellbeing and security of the people.”
— The United Nations General Assembly has elected five judges to the International Court of Justice in The Hague to serve nine-year terms beginning in February. Incumbents Yuji Iwasawa of Japan, Julia Sebutinde of Uganda, Peter Tomka of Slovakia, and Xue Hanqin of China were reelected, and Georg Nolte of Germany was elected. The five candidates were selected from a field of eight in a second round of voting after more than five candidates received more than an absolute majority of votes in the first round.
— Roberta Metsola of Malta has been elected First Vice-President of the European Parliament, replacing Mairead McGuinness, who became European Commissioner. Metsola, who was nominated by the European People’s Party, is the first Maltese MEP to hold a vice presidential post. She said following the vote, “It is a tremendous honor to have been elected First Vice-President. I will continue to be a strong voice for European citizens and for Malta and continue to work to build bridges across the political divide.”
— Human Rights Watch United Nations Director Louis Charbonneau says United States President-elect Joseph Biden “should move quickly after his January 20, 2021 inauguration to end the Trump administration’s sustained assault on the United Nations and restore funding for lifesaving UN agencies the outgoing administration sought to undermine.” He calls on the incoming Biden Administration to restore funding to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, the UN Population Fund, and the World Health Organization, and to “support sexual and reproductive health and rights in all UN negotiations” and “fully participate in the Human Rights Council.”
— International Criminal Court Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has published Guidelines for Agreements Regarding Admission of Guilt. Bensouda said in a statement, “It is my hope that these guidelines will offer clarity and direction in respect to such agreements between the parties, thereby expediting the judicial process, providing a further tool to the Office to effectively and efficiently fulfil its mandate. The publication of these guidelines is a further expression of my Office’s commitment to transparency.”
Quote of the Week:
“For the first time in my life, I think the formation of some sort of world government is plausible. A ‘world government’ would involve much more than co-operation between nations. It would be an entity with state-like characteristics, backed by a body of laws.” — Gideon Rachman