Repeal "Supporting and Valuing the Humanities"
GA 495 states "The WHF shall exist to provide funding to constituent nations and non profit organisations within them to accomplish either in part or in full the following objectives". There is no clause requiring that requestors only receive money for projects which they could not pay for themselves. This permits the sort of buck-passing which resolutions like GA 97 “Quality in Health Services” avoided, as nations can now choose to defund their domestic programmes, replace their money with General Fund money, and pocket the difference.
The kinds of projects which would be approved are not limited in scope only to projects which have their primary effect in achieving the goals listed in the resolution. The inclusion of the words “accomplish either in part or in full” does not put a floor on how little is accomplished, opening the doors for massive waste:
Building a lazy river for university students to relax on is included, as the project in part helps to “strengthen the academic enrichment of courses and create [humanities] electives”, if a member nation also allows people to paint murals on the walls.
Organisations sending theology professors to theme parks also would count, as it in part helps to “hold nationwide symposiums to put on ... advancements in the various areas of the humanities”.
A nation defunding its own humanities departments and shuffling the freed-up money to its government's foreign bank accounts would create a need to “support university degree programs that fall within the definition of the humanities”, a problem at which this committee could then throw money.
The target resolution establishes a fundamentally broken control mechanism which states that another committee will "[ensure] that money accepted by nations or organisations from the WHF is used for the above established purpose". It also states that "if incorrect use of funds is reported, the GAO will cease the allowance of funds to the transgressing nation or organisation".
“[E]nsuring that money accepted by nations or organisations from the WHF is used for the above established purpose” does nothing when the money is already authorised for wasteful purposes. The clause is intended to stop nations from taking the money they receive and directly diverting it to other purposes. But the clause does not stop indirect diversion or to prevent the WHF from funding inherently wasteful projects with only tangential benefits for the humanities.
The control mechanism also creates massive harms for member nations. The passive construction of the section 5 suggests that the mere reporting of incorrect use of funds triggers an embargo on World Assembly funds. The General Accounting Office has no discretion to reject false or malicious reports. Throwing member nations before an appeals process where they likely must prove their own innocence creates massive harms to poorer member nations. Moreover, the embargo, by saying “allowance of funds” shall cease, covers other resolutions.
The World Assembly provides lots of money to member nations for various purposes: money from the GAO in GA 263 “Uranium Mining Standards Act” s 8 to prevent radiological accidents, GAO funds given in GA 97 “Quality in Health Services” to support universal healthcare in poor countries, and funds disbursed in GA 80 “A Promotion of Basic Education” to ensure that disadvantaged children are educated. All of those funds are shut off until a member nation can complete its appeal with a favourable verdict. The extent of the embargo is also not limited only to the specific sub-division which is allegedly corrupt, as the resolution applies to the “transgressing nation”. An education department buying school supplies with money allocated for building repairs can defund the health services or undermine safety in uranium mines.
Wasteful spending programs also also harm all other programmes. Waste means there is less money left over for food aid, for pandemic relief, and for basic education. Feel-good resolutions cannot be supported when they are coupled with draconian punishments and provisions which leave open massive doors for squandering World Assembly money. Nor is it just to deprive member nations – without due process and, at best, on minor irregularities – of what they need to educate, to heal, and to protect their citizens.
We recommend a vote FOR the repeal.
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