General Assembly Resolution # 524
A resolution to repeal previously passed legislation.
General Assembly Resolution #495 “Supporting and Valuing the Humanities” (Category: Education and Creativity; Area of Effect: Educational) shall be struck out and rendered null and void.
The World Assembly finds as follows:
Subtle unintended consequences should not be ignored or dismissed just because they are difficult to understand. The target resolution (GA 495) has subtle unintended consequences that need explanation at length.
GA 495 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' (emphasis not in original). This anti-corruption mechanism creates massive harms. The passive construction of the section 5 suggests that the mere reporting of an incorrect use of funds triggers an embargo on General Accounting Office money. The Office has no explicit statutory authority to reject false or malicious reports. The Assembly supports many projects in member nations: GAO money in GA 263 'Uranium Mining Standards Act' s 8 helps prevent radiological accidents, GAO funds given in GA 97 'Quality in Health Services' support universal healthcare in poor countries, and funds disbursed by GA 80 'A Promotion of Basic Education' ensure that disadvantaged children are educated (including in the humanities).
The target embargoes money until a member nation receives a favourable verdict, instead of ordering funds to stop only when a tribunal determines a violation has occurred. The extent of the embargo is also not limited to the specific project 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 thus defund health services and schools on the opposite side of a nation.
GA 495 also states '[t]he 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 get money for projects which they could not pay for themselves, suggesting indirect diversion of funds, as nations can purposefully defund their schools, fill holes in the budget with General Fund money, and pocket the difference. Member nations should not be allowed to take Assembly funds dishonestly.
The kinds of projects the WHF approves are not limited only to projects which have a primary effect in achieving the goals listed in the resolution. Section 3's 'accomplish either in part or in full' does not put a floor on how little is accomplished, opening the sewer doors to:
Building a lazy river for university students to relax on, as the project in part helps to 'strengthen the academic enrichment of courses and create [humanities] electives', if people may paint murals on the walls or a chapel is attached.
Organisations sending theology professors from across the country to theme parks, 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 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.
'[E]nsuring that money accepted by nations or organisations from the WHF is used for the above established purpose' in section 4(a) does nothing when the money is given for wasteful purposes. The clause seems as if it is supposed to stop nations from taking the money they receive and directly diverting it to other purposes. The clause does not stop indirect diversion as described above.
Wasteful spending programs mean less money for food aid, pandemic relief, and basic education. Feel-good resolutions should not be supported when they are coupled with draconian punishments and provisions which leave open massive doors for squandering limited Assembly funds. Nor is it just to deprive member nations without due process and, at best, on minor irregularities of what they need to educate, heal, and protect their citizens. Repeal of GA 495 also will cause no substantial harm due to the provisions of GA 80 'A Promotion of Basic Education', which promote the same goals, without the overbearing penalties or the deficient anti-graft mechanisms of the target resolution.
Now, therefore, be GA 495 'Supporting and Valuing the Humanities' repealed.