Several years ago I wrote the book, FROM WAR TO PEACE: A GUIDE TO THE NEXT HUNDRED YEARS (McFarland, 2011). I now hope it won’t take a hundred years, but whenever the nations and peoples are ready to put an end to the barbarism of war, perhaps the treaty will look something like this.


PREAMBLE: Whereas war is a terrible crime against humanity and detracts crucially needed resources and attention from solving the most critical problems of the planet while contributing to their exacerbation;

And whereas all prior good will efforts to prevent war including the Kellogg-Briand Pact, the current Charter’s limited prohibition of aggression, and current provisions for collective security have failed to prevent war, and;

Recognizing that we currently live in a self-perpetuating war system causing untold misery, and that decisive steps must be taken to break out of this system, and;

Whereas the peoples and States of the world are interdependent as never before so that any war anywhere degrades the lives of all people everywhere and threatens the future of well-being on the planet, therefore:

ARTICLE I: The High Contracting Parties agree that all war is illegal and a crime against humanity, including interstate war (aggression or defense against aggression, declared or undeclared), terrorism and wars against terrorism, and civil wars, and further;

ARTICLE II: the Parties agree to rid themselves of the instruments of war including standing armies (not to include lightly armed domestic police forces), artillery, armed aircraft, bombs, missiles, tanks and all that is common in such cases, and other weapons already outlawed by international treaty (nuclear weapons, land mines, gas, cluster bombs, etc.), and further,

ARTICLE III: the Parties agree to immediately train at least ten percent of their citizens in nonviolent civilian-based defense, and further;

ARTICLE IV: each of the State Parties will establish a high level Department of Peace, and further;

ARTICLE V: that violations of these terms constitute a crime against humanity whose perpetrators will be turned over to the International Criminal Court for judgment, and further;

ARTICLE VI: that the High Contracting Parties shall agree to impose economic sanctions against any States that violate these terms, as determined by eighty percent of the members of the Security Council voting without the exercise of the veto.

ARTICLE VII: that the Parties agree to submit to the mediation by the United Nations in order to resolve conflicts as early as possible using the latest techniques of conflict resolution and mediation, or to undergo the judgment of the International Court of Justice whose subpoena will have the force of international law with appropriate sanctions for any State that ignores its summons, enforceable by the police power of the United Nations, and further;

ARTICLE IX: that the United Nations shall maintain an adequately armed international police force for the deterrence of violations, to be employed as a last resort as determined by eighty percent of the members of the Security Council voting without the exercise of the veto.




A Treaty To Safeguard Humanity

A Treaty To Safeguard Humanity and the Biosphere From Potential Catastrophe’s Issuing From Artificial Genetic Manipulation

Whereas the artificial[i] manipulation of genetic material, the substrate of all life, and is “likely to be the most radical experiment humankind has ever carried out in the natural world.”[ii], posing grave and even catastrophic results equivalent to nuclear holocaust for humans, other creatures, and the global biosphere for all time to come, and whereas the same promises major improvements in human health and other benefits, it is necessary to bring these processes under the active control of humankind by means of an international treaty.

The Treaty

Article One: The manipulation of genetic material to create new diseases or make old diseases more virulent for purposes of making biological weapons, shall be a crime against humanity prosecuted according to the protocols of the International Criminal Court and any appropriate national court with a penalty of life in prison without parole.

Article Two: All forms of and practice of artificial genetic manipulation shall be strictly confined to qualified scientists at universities and other certified institutions of higher learning whose work shall be overseen on site by independent ethics committees.   No government laboratories will be assumed to qualify under these terms of restrictions.

Article Three: An independent organization of scientists, similar to the International Atomic Energy Agency, whose members are drawn from at least twenty-five different countries will be constituted to oversee and investigate all such research to evaluate its future impact on society and on the biosphere and recommend continuation or discontinuation of said research. These recommendations shall have the force of international law and violations prosecuted under the protocols of the International Criminal Court. The scientific community shall make the appointments to the Agency independently of national governments.

Article Four: It shall be illegal and construed as a crime against humanity to manipulate human genetic material that would result in transmission to subsequent generations or to in any way attempt to clone human beings.


What we can do

  1. Learn more about genetic manipulation.
  2. Debate and refine these provisions with others.
  3. Carry these provisions to any national or international organization to which we belong or which we think will be interested.
  4. Carry these provisions to our own federal officials and elected representatives.
  5. Carry these provisions to appropriate bodies in the United Nations, particularly ECOSOC.

[i] That is, any form of laboratory based manipulation, e.g., gene splicing, CRISPR, etc., outside of traditional methods of breeding of plants and animals by selecting for traits to be passed on via natural means to the next generation

[ii] Jeremy Rifkin, The Biotech Century: Harnessing The Gene And Remaking The World

(New York: Penguin/Putnam, 1998), p. x.