June Jordan got to read her Poem for South African Women at the United Nations on August 9, 1978. I consider the lack of poetry slams at the General Assembly of the United Nations to be a grievous omission, a hindrance to its avowed purpose.
I am dreaming an audience for my poem
I’m happy for June Jordan. And no, I wouldn’t mind getting the opportunity to read my poetry at the United Nations. But the place where I really wish to share my poem doesn’t exist. Well, not yet, anyway. I am dreaming of this place as I write.
Some time ago, I was on Twitter, commenting on something or other about the United Nations. Dave Mears, a gentleman I had never met before, tweeted something to the effect that the United Nations was analogous to the Senate of the United States. There is a fixed number of votes (2) for each state in the Senate, and there is a fixed number of votes (1) for each nation in the UN General Assembly.
I considered Dave’s idea to be inspired. Since then, I have entertained the thought that if there is a global organization analogous to the US Senate, then there should also be a global organization analogous to the House of Representatives in the US, or the House of Commons in the United Kingdom. I dream of a place called the United Citizenries.
What is the purpose of the United Citizenries? To secure the rights enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Some governments attempt to follow this declaration, some governments pay lip service to it, some governments ignore it.
Who shall be its members? I envision that each nation on Earth would have a delegation to the United Citizenries, consisting of one delegate for each .1% of the world population living within its borders. The United Citizenries would therefore have an assembly of 1,000 people. For example, the 2013 World Population Data Sheet shows the world population as 7.137 billion people. The population of the United States is 316.2 million people. This would give the United States 44 delegates to the United Citizenries.
Who can be a delegate to the United Citizenries? Any citizen who is not serving in the government of their nation. Furthermore, that citizen needs to not be related, either by blood or marriage, to someone serving in the government of that nation. Furthermore, at least one member of each nation’s delegation must be selected from among the poorest, the lowliest, and the lost of that nation.
Where will the United Citizenries meet? As the United Nations meets in the Northern Hemisphere, the United Citizenries will meet in the Southern Hemisphere. As the United Nations meets in the Western Hemisphere, the United Citizenries will meet in the Eastern Hemisphere. That narrows it down to roughly 20 nations by my count. Angola? Madagascar? Papua New Guinea? Any one of those nations will do.
I am dreaming an audience for my poem. I am dreaming of the day when I share my poem with the United Citizenries. Which poem? This one, of course.
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