06 February 2009

Permanent Court of Arbitration

Today in 1899 the Permanent Court of Arbitration was formed.

Despite the provincial attitude of so many citizens of the USA, international organizations to solve conflicts between nations are essential. One BBS I belong to in Indiana wondered whether we should care about how the world views the USA. The civilized world doesn't end at the borders of the US (so to speak) and a self-centered attitude about our interaction with other peoples and nations is in no ones best interest.

Since 1899 many other forums for settling disputes in the world peacefully have been created. The world is becoming daily more connected and a problem in, say, Central Africa, can have substantial consequences in southeast Asia.

Trustworthiness in following through in international agreements is essential. Some nations have a history of acting against their commitments when it is convenient. This can only increase suspicion and distrust. The perception that one nation is poising itself to threaten another wastes energy and good will on countering the threat.

Moving back toward complete independence and self-autonomy is impossible. Any attempt to try will be thwarted before it gets started by the tendons that connect all of the peoples of the world.

Predating the Permanent Court of Arbitration by several decades is the Universal Postal Union, which also maintains cooperation between nations on postal issues.

-- Bill

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