Portraits of World Citizens.
       

Richard (Dick) Hudson, director of the Center for War/Peace Studies in New York City, long-time editor of the NGO newspaper Disarmament Times, and active world federalist and world citizen since 1949 died in New York in June 2006.

Hudson was primarily a journalist and editor having started his journalistic life in southern California before moving to Venezuela to edit an English-language newspaper there. In 1961, he went to New York City to start an independent peace journal War/Peace Report ,hoping to analyse the evolution of the United Nations into an ever-stronger world organization. The early issues concerned disarmament, UN peace-keeping forces, and the entry into the UN of newly independent countries. In 1962, he came to Geneva to cover the disarmament negotiations of the UN, then, called ENDC - the Eighteen Nation Disarmament Conference. Each time that the UN has failed to make progress in the arms control field, it has enlarged the number of States involved. This allowed the UN to drop the END label which was too related to dark humor as the Conference was the end of any serious negotiations on "general and complete disarmament" which was a theoretical aim but had become an empty slogan by 1962.

Hudson was one of the few world federalists who analysed UN activity closely from New York, looking for signs of growth and cooperation. Donald Keys, the World Federalist representative to the UN in New York, also wrote important analysis later collected in two books The United Nations and Planetary Consciousness (1977) and Earth at Omega: Passage to Planetization (1982), but most of Don Keys' reports circulated only among world federalist members. Hudson's War/Peace Report was read in the wider peace movement and was considered "the world federalist/world citizen voice" on world affairs although it was an independent publication.

However, just as War/Peace Report was getting established, from 1964 until 1975, the USA, the peace movement and its publications were consumed by the US war in Vietnam. The UN was able to play no role in bringing the war to an end or even to be a forum for negotiations. The only break in a Vietnam focus for War/Peace Report came in 1967 with the conflict in the Middle East, and Dick Hudson worked increasingly on Middle East issues. The Report became a possibility for voices seeking Middle East peace to be heard, but such voices were few. Discussion of the Middle East has always been the fastest way to loose friends.

The only positive, good news for those reporting on increased cooperation through the UN also came in 1967 with the call by Maltese Ambassador Arvid Pardo for the creation of the "Common Heritage of Mankind" in the oceans beyond the national jurisdiction. As the Law of the Sea Conference - "the longest running show on Broadway"- alternated, one year in New York, one in Geneva, I would see Dick Hudson on his reporting trips to Geneva, and we would compare notes. As the Law of the Sea Conference drew to a close in 1982, Pardo remarked "All that is left of the Common Heritage of Mankind is a little seaweed and a few fish."

Publishing peace journals, as I know from Transnational Perspectives, is not the fastest road to wealth. War/Peace Report ceased as a magazine and was replaced by a four-page newsletter,Global Report. Dick Hudson's journalistic skills went into editing Disarmament Times,a publication of NGOs in consultative status with the UN in New York. During the 1985 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, Disarmament Times was edited from Geneva as a twice-weekly paper to which the federalist author James Avery Joyce and I contributed articles.

Much of Dick Hudson's later efforts centered on advocating a weighted voting system for the UN General Assembly. As he wrote "We are all living on this one small planet, and in the U.N. General Assembly we have the only semblance of a comprehensive, rational, humane global decision-making body." Hudson's "The Binding Triad" would be a weighted voting based on three factors: 1) one-nation-one-vote, 2) population, 3) contributions to the regular U.N. budget. Resolutions adopted with majorities on all three of these "legs" would become binding and enforceable.

Personally, I have never seen the possibility of a formal weighted voting system being applied in the U.N. But there have been many weighted voting plans presented, well analysed by Hanna Newcombe in her Design for A Better World. Dick Hudson would sign his letters "Love, Law, and Peace" - his personal "binding triad" of values.