International Breakfast - April 18
For those of you who either missed the most interesting presentation by Jonathan Granoff from April 18 at the UN, or requested a summary please see the written summation of his presentation inside.

RCNY International Breakfast at the UN

Reflections on Personal, National and International Security
Rotary Club of New York's International Breakfast

April 18, 2018

Jonathan Granoff, President Global Security Institute and UN Representative of the
Permanent Secretariat of the World Summits of Nobel Peace Laureates

"Thank you so very much for giving me the opportunity to address the NY Club. Here is a written summation of my presentation.



“Service before Self”
A Motto for obtaining personal security and inner peace.

This concept is consistent with the admonitions and instructions of the great moral and spiritual leaders of humanity as an element of obtaining personal peace. Whether in the clear statement of Jesus in Mark that to be great it is necessary to serve all humanity or the section of the Bhagvat Ghita to obtain union with the divine through selfless service, the principle remains clear and can be experience when put into practice. Give of oneself for the common good and the result is inner peace. This peace is the basis actual personal security since our bodies lack permanence so security must be found at a deeper level. Rotary’s motto is based on this wisdom.

National and International
When universal moral principles, such as the Golden Rule, are put into practice security can be enhanced. Simply look at the difference between how the vanquished after WWI and WWII were treated. Reparations of an overwhelming nature were used in the first instance bringing about resentment and suffering and the result was the chaos of Nazism. The Marshall Plan demonstrated generosity and application of the Golden Rule. This approach after WWII resulted in greater security for the world and trading partners.

Nations must treat other nations as they wish to be treated. Nuclear weapons violate this principle with 9 nations stating that the weapons are good for them but no one else. This results in insecurity and unacceptable risk.

International law is necessary for international security. The current paradigm used to pursue global security is based on the Roman motto that if we prepare for war we will receive peace (peace through strength) and if we only prepare for peace it will lead to war. This approach in the nuclear age when we have existential environmental threats that require cooperation is simply wrong.

The pursuit of strategic stability is clearly undermined by the pursuit of military advantage. This incoherence is dangerous in the nuclear age.

The realistic route to security is to identify common interests such as protecting the global commons – the living systems upon which civilization depends such as the oceans, the rainforests and the climate – which require cooperation and put our energies there. Such efforts bring improved security.

Nuclear weapons not only waste trillions (yes, trillions!) of dollars but also present a barrier to advancing cooperation while relying on preparedness to inflict horrific suffering and destruction. The explosion of one nuclear weapon in one city would be devastating beyond reason and a mere 100 could cause sufficient climate degradation to undermine civilization entirely.

Rotary can make a difference, at least a meaningful contribution. Certain values uplift, inspire and identify the basis of real security. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights exemplifies this truth. There is a right to life and water is necessary to fulfill that right.

The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights: There is a need for all educators to introduce human rights to all students and thus foster an in-depth understanding of the nature and rights of all human beings.

The right to water: All human beings require water as a basic need and we need to enshrine water as a human right.

Nuclear disarmament: Nuclear weapons are the greatest threat to human life. Nuclear weapons countries have enshrined an actual policy to preemptive nuclear use, first strike, perhaps without realizing the existential threat posed by such a strategy. We must take steps to remove the nuclear threat from our planet.

A Call to Action:
All Rotary Clubs should undertake suggested initiatives in concert with identified member states and the UN itself:

First. To advance the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Rotary Clubs should support the creation of a UN General Assembly resolution specifically encouraging ministers of education and all appropriate administrators to ensure that all secondary education level students obtain a copy of the Declaration before graduation.

Second. Rotary Clubs should support the principle that there is a human right to water. Rotary Clubs should encourage the 40 states which have abstained from such a declaration in a United Nations resolution in the past to support this principle.

Third. Rotary Clubs should initiate the creation of a special commission to address threats and solutions regarding humanity’s greatest threat, nuclear weapons. Ambassador Thomas Graham, one of the world’s most experienced and successful diplomats in this area, and myself volunteer to serve as advisers to such a commission. The purpose would be to bring the issue of nuclear weapons to Rotary Clubs all over the world, to stop the proliferation of these weapons of mass destruction and to create more dynamic movement toward their elimination.


By the audience’s response, there appeared to be consensus that these initiatives represent the critical focus required in today’s complex and chaotic world. This is not surprising, as they are consistent with the excellent work Rotary does every day all around the world.

It should be noted that the Rotary Club of San Francisco enthusiastically supported these specific suggestions and Mr. Granoff suggested the Club here in New York work with it and other clubs to realize these policies."