Hello, I’m Veronica

The sky is not completely dark at night. Were the sky absolutely dark, one would not be able to see the silhouette of an object against the sky.

  • The Malady of Envy

    From time to time, I feel envious of other’s achievements because I am not immune to this human imperfection. I admit this because we frequently accuse others of being jealous of us, yet we are ashamed to confess our own envy. We forget that everyone, regardless of their ethical standards, can feel envy, and feeling envious does not make them inherently bad. Jealousy is a sickness, and certain conditions can make you more vulnerable to it. However, what is more important is how you handle it. This succinct text will illustrate some of the undesirable effects of jealousy and then present advice to confront it.

    It is generally acknowledged that envy makes people cruel. However, the cruelty which you develop is not always sufficient to ruin the individual that you envy. Typically, it causes you to act in an unfavorable manner towards another, however, if the other is of a higher standing, they can swiftly counteract and destroy you. In this situation, jealousy leads to a defeat. Not only do you consume your energy attempting to damage the person, but you also miss out on chances to make friends who could have assisted you in your daily challenges. Thus, envy causes you to act against your own best interests and renders you foolish. Envy makes man look bad and ugly too. If you are frequently driven by envy, others can detect this, and it will not earn you any respect. You may appear fragile and insignificant as those around you understand that an individual with a lower status is more likely to be envious of someone with a higher status.

    Envy diminishes a person’s greatness and diminishes them. It can happen that two people have been brought up in the same place, or come from the same family, attend the same school, or have some connection, however when one of them makes a small step forward, the other is determined to ruin him. You are well aware of the hardship experienced by others, however, this does not prevent you from displaying villainous behavior to obstruct their progress. You are ready to abandon your own aspirations in order to just focus on destroying other people’s lives. These petty actions demonstrate a personality that is not grand.

    To start treating jealousy, it is necessary to be aware of the situation. Do not assume that you are immune to this disease due to your moral character. Remain attentive to your feelings because not recognizing illness can make it more difficult to treat. For instance, when reflecting and forming opinion of another person, it is important to ask yourself: is your opinion impartial and balanced or is it envy that is influencing your judgement? If someone’s work is not in conflict with your values, and you find yourself unable to appreciate the good in it, it could be the result of jealousy. So, taking a step back and exhibiting appreciation for the work would be wise.

    In order to appreciate the work of someone whom you are jealous of, it is essential to be cognizant of the fact that everybody has their own destiny. Everyone’s fortune does not come at the same moment. Today is the current opportunity for one person, and yours can come at a later date. You must stay focused and work hard to achieve your own success. Don’t take other people’s success for your own failure. It is feasible for us to achieve success together. Keep in mind that harming the individual will not resolve your problems. If you decide to bring down the other person, you may need to find someone else to mistreat after that because jealousy can lead to a person becoming more envious over time. Be careful. Do not forget that your parents or the individuals who raised you did not put in much effort to bring your life to this low level. They desired for you to develop yourself, not to undermine others.

    We, as humans, are prone to this illness due to our flawed nature. We are continuously evaluating our own accomplishments relative to those of others; when we surpass them, it bolsters our self-esteem, but when we do not, we tend to become envious. It can be difficult to maintain an attitude of love and positivity in the face of unfavorable conditions. But we forget that positivity can be tested better when things are not good. If the circumstances are favorable, maintaining a positive outlook could merely be a diplomatic posture. But if your circumstances are not ideal, and your attitude is still positive, it could reveal that you have a beautiful soul. And when your soul is beautiful, people may like to stay around you more, and this makes your personality strong as well.


  • My perspective on the kind of educational reform that can upgrade the Haitian education system and bring forth economic growth

    Before the revolution which resulted in Haiti’s independence, education was not a priority of the French colonial regime. So, immediately after becoming independent in 1804, Haiti had no functioning schools. However, schools opened in 1816 (Logan, 1930) under the presidency of Petion and Christophe. Following this, creating an education system in Haiti, and building more schools faced many obstacles. But by the close of the 19th century, Haiti had an educational system in place, although it was of low quality. To these days, this educational system cannot generate enough skilled citizens in large numbers to guide the country on the path to progress. It is true that economic growth is a result of many different components, but education provides the groundwork for them all. But not all educational approaches are beneficial in terms of economic development. This document succinctly outlines the reforms that have been made to Haiti’s education system and proposes a reform that could potentially produce a stronger Haitian economy. 

    Marc-Ansy Laguerre

    In the 1860s, the Haitian education system experienced a notable transformation due to Elie Dubois taking on the role of minister of education. Dubois got rid of those who were not capable and hired new teachers with higher remuneration. He also reformed the curricula, and his reform was kept until 1923, after 60 years(Clement, 1979). Another minister, Dantes Bellegarde, proposed some reforms by which he advocated for higher salaries for teachers; he reorganized curricula, and proposed a meritocracy base for teacher’s appointment (Cook, 1940). The first law to appoint teachers based on meritocracy was passed around 1919 under Bellegarde as minister (Dartigue, 2017). But Bellegarde’s effort was undermined by the American occupation, which did not advocate for liberal education.

    From 1915 to 1934, during the American occupation, the promotion of vocational schools was advocated for by the Americans. Yet, the Haitian public and officials were displeased by this reform and perceived it to be an effort to Americanize Haiti and ignore its French ancestry (Pamphile, 1985). During the years 1928 to 1929, the American schools received a double amount of funding compared to the national schools while the majority of students were enrolled in national schools (Angulo, 2010). This plainly demonstrated the Haitians’ opposition to the American reforms. Following the American occupation, Maurice Dartigue, a renowned minister of education, urged for widespread education and for a more practical form of education (Verna, 2007). Countless enemies of Dartigue censured him, and he went into exile once Elie Lescot, the president who appointed him, departed from power (Dartigue, 2017).

    In 1982, another significant reform, the Bernard reform, was initiated. The aim was to design a new curriculum that would better equip Haitians to fit the market requirements (Luzincourt & Gulbrandson, 2010) instead of focusing on classical education as it had been in the past. With this reform, Haitian Creole, which is the most spoken language in Haiti, was introduced as an official language in education. A state institution IPN (Institut Pedagogique National) also opened to manage the reform. The reform also aimed to enhance school enrolment rate by 5% every year and to renovate educational facilities. Nevertheless, there was disagreement concerning the reform. Adopting Haitian Creole instead of French was one of the most controversial parts of it. French was widely seen as a high-class language, and the acceptance of Creole as a language in education was viewed as a sign of lower-class status. Numerous educators and school heads were not in agreement with the reform because it posed a threat to their authority.

    Evaluating Haiti’s educational system reveals numerous discrepancies. Haiti invested a considerable amount of time in developing its educational system, yet the results have been unsatisfactory. Haitian citizens prioritize education which focuses on mathematics, physics, philosophy, and language, which results in a small number of well-educated elites who contest for government roles or roles in limited private industries, yet they often lack essential technical abilities. This system has resulted in a large number of malcontent individuals who have a degree but are unable to get a job. A few ministers of education, such as Maurice Dartigue, endeavored to enhance the educational system, yet were unable to implement them on a larger scale. Haitians have a cultural distaste for vocational education, and this is one of the reasons for their failure. Certain detractors who did not accept this strategy or felt threatened by it also impeded these attempts.

    Incorporating an integrated approach of both vocational and liberal education could be key in effectively improving Haiti’s education system. Haiti could benefit from the integrated approach by making it obligatory for universities to integrate 2 years of vocational training into their curricula. As an example, a mechanical engineer would have their degree unless they accomplished the two years of vocational and practical courses. This tactic could be advantageous as it could diminish the stigma related to vocational education, and it would be able to attract the most skilled students. Although there are some vocational schools in Haiti, there remains a prejudice against them. The most talented students do not enroll in vocational schools, leading to a decrease in capability and imagination. However, if an integrated approach is implemented, the graduated engineering students will not be seen as mere technicians, but rather as highly skilled engineers. Such a tactic would have a more beneficial effect on Haiti’s economy.


    Angulo, A. J. (2010). Education During the American Occupation of Haiti, 1915-1934. Historical Studies in Education22(2), 1–17.

    Clement, J. B. (1979). History of Education in Haiti: 1804-1915. 43.

    Cook, M. (1940). Dantes Bellegarde. Phylon (1940-1956)1(2), 125–135. https://doi.org/10.2307/272516

    Dartigue, J. (2017). Maurice Dartigue: Educational Development in Haiti 1804-1946 (1st edition). CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform.

    Logan, R. W. (1930). Education in Haiti. The Journal of Negro History15(4), 401–460. https://doi.org/10.2307/2714206

    Luzincourt, K., & Gulbrandson, J. (2010). Education and Conflict in Haiti. 20.

    Pamphile, L. D. (1985). America’s Policy-Making in Haitian Education, 1915-1934. The Journal of Negro Education54(1), 99–108. https://doi.org/10.2307/2294904

    Prou, M. (2009). Attempts at Reforming Haiti’s Education System: The Challenges of Mending the Tapestry, 1979-2004. Journal of Haitian Studies15(1/2), 29–69.

    Sing-Nan, F. (2022). Vocational and Liberal Education: An Integrated Approach. 11.

    Verna, C. F. (2007). Maurice Dartigue, Educational Reform, and Intellectual Cooperation with the United States as a Strategy for Haitian National Development, 1934-46. Journal of Haitian Studies13(2), 24–38.

  • An Application of the PrOACT Process in Decision-Making

    This work is not to be copied by anyone without prior notification to me because it is protected by copyright. If you don’t comply, I will sue you and ask for a fine of 1 billion dollars (lolll). Anyway, you won’t probably read it, but if you will, have fun and learn from it. I did this as homework in one class; it was fun and that’s why I publish it on my blog. I applied the PrOACT method, a process for making effective decisions, found in the book Smart Choice written by John S. Hammond et al.


    During the 12 January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, more than 220,000 people died [2], and thousands of building collapsed. Most of Haiti’s buildings were made of reinforced concrete (RC), and a few were made of timber and steel. The RC structures were the most damaged while the few steel and timber structures performed better. This performance gap has created a stigma among construction materials, and many Haitians think that RC is not an adequate material for seismic resistance while timber and steel are more resistant. It is not true because seismic resistance depends more on design than material, but many people still believe it. This incomprehension surely impacts their decisions on material choice when constructing.

    It must not be forgotten also that before RC was introduced in Haiti in 1914 [3], timber structures had been widespread and highly desired. However, their susceptibility to fire had led to their abandonment in the construction field during the 1920s [3]. The timber structures also have lower resistance to hurricane, and this had led to high economical loss because hurricane is frequent in Haiti. So, RC had taken over timber because it provides greater stiffness, greater resistance to hurricane and lower susceptibility to fire.

    Thus, a shift in preference of construction materials has been observed at least twice in Haiti’s history: RC took over timber in 1925, but nowadays many Haitians dislike RC because they believe it is dangerous regarding earthquake. Thus, many Haitian citizens willing to build are concerned and are facing this dilemma: What material should I use to build a resilient and satisfactory structure? To help solve this dilemma, it is supposed that Marc, a Haitian citizen, is constructing his home, and the method of PrOACT presented in the book “Smart Choice” will be applied to make a choice.

    Description and Application of PrOACT

    PrOACT is an acronym for problem, objective, alternative, consequence and trade-off. It represents 5 steps through which a smart choice may be done as presented in the book “Smart Choice Choice” written by John S. et Al. The process does not tell what to choose but it shows compellingly how to do an effective choice. As presented, an effective choice should satisfy these criteria: focus on the most important factors; should be logical and consistent; account for tangible and intangible factors; uses enough information; uses relevant information and reliable opinion; is straightforward and flexible.

    Step 1: Problem

    The problem definition is the first step, and it is where the problem is explicitly defined. It is crucial because if it is done wrongly, it will affect all the other steps, and thus could lead to ineffective decisions. According to John S. et Al., a consideration should also be given to the trigger event – the reason why there is a dilemma or why the problem exists. In the case of Marc constructing his house in Haiti, the trigger event that has caused discomfort in undertaking his project was the 2010 earthquake. Before 2010, there was not too much concern on building vulnerability. But Marc witnessed lots of collapsed buildings during the 2010 earthquake and became aware of the high risk he will entail if his house is not earthquake resistant. So, he defines his a priori problem as follows: How can I build an earthquake-resistant home?

    However, going further in the book, it is suggested to not narrow the problem definition too much because it could lead to unsatisfactory solutions. In fact, Marc defined the a priori problem as such because the trigger event was the 2010 earthquake, but this definition is lazy, obvious and incomplete. The concerns when constructing are not only about earthquake but also about other extreme forces such as hurricane and fire. In addition, the economic aspect and the intangible factors should not be neglected. So, Marc comes up with the following broad problem definition: how can I build a resilient and satisfactory building at the lowest cost? The term resilient encompasses all types of natural disasters, and satisfactory encompasses the intangible factors that Marc may consider.


    Step 2: Objectives

    In this step, the objectives and sub-objectives will be defined. While the problem definition was broad, the objectives are more specific. They are a list of goals, expectations, and needs that should be fulfilled at their best to have an effective solution. In the case of Marc, his objectives are divided into two broad categories: the tangibles, and the intangibles. The tangible objectives are maximizing resistance to earthquake, maximizing resistance to hurricane, maximizing resistance to fire and minimizing cost. The intangible factors are minimizing anxiety and maximizing self-satisfaction. The objectives and sub-objectives are summarized in Table 1.

    Objectives Sub-objectives
    Maximize Resistance to Earthquake Maximize ductility
    Suitability to add Lateral Resistance System
    Maximize Resistance to Hurricane Maximize Stiffness
    Maximize Resistance to Fire Include Fire Detector
    Prioritize Less Flammable Material
    Minimize Cost Minimize Construction Cost
    Minimize Rehabilitation Cost
    Minimize Anxiety  Fear of Collapsing
    Psychology Consultation
    Self-Satisfaction Architecture
    How Common Is It?

    Table 1- Objectives and Sub-Objectives

    Objectives 1: Maximizing Resistance to Earthquake
    This objective is one of the most important because it directly addresses the problem raised by the trigger event, which is to address the seismic resistance. To fulfill this, Marc considers 3 sub-objectives based on his knowledge of construction practices. First, he wants to maximize the structure ductility so that it can undergo large plastic deformation. Second Marc considers the ability or difficulty to add lateral resistance systems. This sub-objective is important because Marc feels that different structures have different ability to receive lateral resistance systems. For example, it may be more appropriate to add X or V braces to a steel and timber structure than a RC structure. RC structures can more easily take shear walls and moment resisting frames which would require more sophisticated design details.

    Objectives 2: Maximizing Resistance to Hurricane
    This objective is important to fulfill because Haiti is in the Caribbean and is frequently hit by hurricane. To fulfill this goal, Marc wants to maximize his house stiffness so that it can withstand the winds load. The lateral resisting system which serves for Objective 1 is also important for Objective 2 because wind loads are horizontal, and structures need to be braced to withstand them.

     Objectives 3: Maximizing Resistance to Fire
    Resistance to fire has always been a concern in Haiti. In the 1920s, wood was no longer used in the construction field because of its fire susceptibility [3]. So, to fulfil this goal, Marc considers adding a fire detector in his house, and to prioritize less flammable materials.

    Objectives 4: Minimize Cost
    Since Marc is not a wealthy man, he wants to minimize the cost of his house. To do so, he plans to minimize the construction cost and the rehabilitation cost.

     Objectives 5: Minimize Anxiety
    Many Haitians, including Marc, are traumatized by the chaos observed during the 2010 earthquake and are anxious when they are inside a building. Even if the building is properly designed, the anxiety is still present because the trauma is deep. Since the RC structures were the most damaged, the anxiety is greater for them also. To cope with this, Marc include a sub-objective called fear of collapsing. Marc also include a psychology counseling sub-objective because he thinks that for some of his alternatives, he may need counseling to help him cope with anxiety.

     Objectives 6: Self Satisfaction
    Considering all, Marc want also to be satisfied about his choice because he has some preferences. Marc likes some specific type of architecture (especially timber) more than others. Marc also would enjoy having his house as uncommon as possible.

    Step 3: Alternatives

    In this step, the alternatives will be defined. As John S. et Al. wrote: “alternatives are the raw material of decision making. They represent the range of potential choices you’ll have for pursuing your objectives.” Marc could define his alternatives based on many factors. For example, he could consider the size and location of the house, but he has some constraints. Marc’s wife is very demanding, and she has already chosen the size and location of the house. This could be an “assumed constraint”, but Marc would rather go to hell instead of rejecting his wife’s choices. So, the size and location are “real constraint” for Marc and are already fixed.

    However, Marc has more power in choosing the material and structure type for the house. In Haiti, RC frame, timber frame, steel frame and masonry bearing walls systems are used in the construction field, and they can be considered as 4 alternatives. Each of them has different influence on Marc’s objectives. But before choosing, Marc needs to evaluate their consequences.

    Step 4: Consequences

    As described by John S. et Al., the consequences step aims to “compare the merits of the competing alternatives, assessing how well each satisfies your fundamental objectives.” To do so, a consequence table is made in Table 2.

    Sub-objectives RC Timber Steel Masonry
    Maximize ductility Poor Fair Great Poor
    Suitability to add Lateral Resistance System Fair Great Great Fair
    Maximize Resistance to Hurricane Great Poor Fair Great
    Suitability to Include Fire Detector Great Great Great Great
    Prioritize Less Flammable Material Great Poor Fair Great
    Minimize Construction Cost Great Fair Fair Great
    Minimize Rehabilitation Cost Great Fair Fair Great
     Minimize Fear of Collapsing Fair Great Great Poor
    Minimize Psychology Consultation Fair Great Great Poor
    Enjoying Architecture Poor Great Poor Poor
    How rare Is this type of structure? Fair Great Fair Fair

    Table 2- Alternatives and Consequences

    Step 5: Trade-Offs

    Marc has evaluated each alternative, but he still cannot choose because he must compare them. Some the objectives are conflicting, so Marc needs to make a trade-off analysis to make an effective choice. As written by John S. et Al trade-off is the process where “you need to give up something on one objective to achieve more in terms of another.”

    To begin the trade-off, all the sub-objectives are weighted on a scale from 1 to 10. The score 1 is given when the objective is not too important, and 10 when it is highly important to Marc. Furthermore, the qualitative scores of the alternatives are quantified: a score of 1 is given to “poor”, 2 is attributed to “fair”, and 3 to “great”. These values reflect Marc’s preferences and enable him to calculate a total score for each alternative without applying the Even Swap Method. Table 3 gives the weight of each objectives and the scores for each alternative. As can be seen, the best option for Marc is timber, the second is steel, the third is RC, and the last is masonry.

    Sub-objectives Weight RC Timber Steel Masonry
    Maximize ductility 9 1 2 3 1
    Suitability to add Lateral Resistance System 9 2 3 3 2
    Maximize Resistance to Hurricane 8 3 1 2 3
    Suitability to Include Fire Detector 5 3 3 3 3
    Prioritize Less Flammable Material 5 3 1 2 3
    Minimize Construction Cost 7 3 2 2 3
    Minimize Rehabilitation Cost 5 3 2 2 3
     Minimize Fear of Collapsing 9 2 3 3 1
    Minimize Psychology Consultation 5 2 3 3 1
    Enjoying Architecture 10 1 3 1 1
    How rare Is this type of structure? 10 2 3 2 2
    Total Score 175 199 191 161

    Table 3- Quantification of Alternatives Evaluation

    Discussion and Conclusion

    The Even Swap method was not applied because all the alternatives have a quantified score, and all the objectives have a weight. Marc came up with these scores by carefully comparing all the objectives with each other. However, if Marc would like to proceed with the Even Swap method, he could have probably removed the masonry alternative because it is dominated by the RC alternative. In addition, the “Suitability to Include Fire Detector” objective could also be removed because it has the same value for each alternative.

                Another aspect of Marc’s analysis is the non-consideration of uncertainty. Natural disasters are very uncertain in intensity and occurrence, but the uncertainty would be the same for all Marc’s alternatives if all the designs of the timber, RC, steel and masonry buildings are adequate. So, Marc feels satisfied and will design his house in timber.


    • Hammond, John S. et Al. Smart Choices. Harvard Business Review Press. Kindle Edition.”
    • EERI Special Earthquake Report. The Mw 7.0 Haiti Earthquake of January 12, 2010: Report #2, May 2010. Learning from Earthquakes, EERI.
    • Randolph L., Stephen K., Patrick S., Kevin R., Martin H., Olsen J. Preserving Haiti’s Gingerbread Houses. World Monuments Fund, 2010. http://openarchive.icomos.org/2107/1/Haiti%20Gingerbreads.pdf



  • My predictions on Multilateralism in 2069

    In today’s world, International Organizations (IO) are facing great challenges in exercising their authority due to the threat they represent to states’ sovereignty. States always feel undermined when IOs meddle in their internal affairs and often compete with them to exercise greater influence in their decision-makings. As a result, there are still no strong multilateral institutions to deter them from abusing their power. Dictators can freely act on a whim to repress or kill their dissidents without facing prosecution. For instance, François Duvalier along with many other world’s dictators never faced international prosecution for the tragedies they caused in their countries. These are the result of a world with weak IOs.

    The lack of strong multilateral institutions also allows states to freely attack and invade others as they want. For instance, the US invaded Iraq in 2003 even though the UN opposed its decision; Muammar Qaddafi, the former Libyan autocrat, was never legally punished despite his implication in multiple terrorist attacks. These happened because there is not enough cooperation among countries to empower international institutions and to punish abusing states or head of states.

    In this anarchy, the world’s peace is preserved only due to “Hegemonic Stability”. According to this theory, the world is in peace if there is an hegemon to rule it. Indeed, since after the Cold War, the US has emerged as the World’s hegemon after defeating the Soviet Union. Due to its superior military power, the US deters other states from disrupting the international system and sometimes from repressing their own people. For instance, after Qaddafi’s bombing of The La Belle Disco in Germany, the US retaliated by bombing two cities in Libya (Sara Obeidat). The US also meddles in many countries’ affair for the sake of preserving peace. For instance, Jean Bertrand Aristide, the president of Haiti, was forced by the US to resign in 2004 after months of political violence. These actions have deterred many presidents from abusing.

                 However, 50 years from now, the situation will be different. Cooperation between countries will be the most effective solution to maintain peace in the world for two reasons: Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) will be more available, and there will no hegemon. Despite many efforts to reduce proliferation of WMDs, advancement in technology will make them more accessible in the future. On top of that, countries will be more capable economically to acquire these weapons. According to some predictions, there will be more sophisticated nuclear weapons and less barriers to their acquisition by 2030 (John P. Caves: 4). The US will thus be less dominant because multiple other countries will be militarily as powerful. China, which have the largest population, is already expected to reach American military’s level by 2050 (Alex Ward). India also is modernizing and investing more in its army (The Economic Time). Therefore, by 2069, the gap between military Powers will be reduced, and the world will be multipolar with multiple countries in different regions having similar military strength. There will thus be no “Hegemonic Stability”, and the only way to maintain peace will be to increase cooperation. This can be called an “International Contract” whereby states wittingly reduce their sovereignty to obtain protection from empowered multilateral institutions.

    Economic growth and reduction of inequality may also increase cooperation among countries. States typically prefer win-win cooperation, which can be more easily fulfilled by cooperating with economically stable countries. According to the theory of “Catch-Up Effect” or “Economic Convergence”, poorer economies grow faster than the wealthiest. As can be seen in the graph below: many underdeveloped countries including Guinea, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Nepal, are among the top 20 countries with greater GDP growth, which is consistent to the “Catch Up” theory. If this trend persists until 2069, poorer countries will catch up, and inequality among people will be reduced. Thus, countries will be less hesitant to engage in economic integration with one another.


    The UN in 2069
    In the context where states compromise their sovereignty for security, the UN may become more powerful. Currently, the UN is composed of five main organs: the General Assembly, the Security Council, the International Court of Justice, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), and the Secretariat. By 2069, the structures of these organs may change to accommodate with the new nature of multilateralism aforementioned. To start with, the General Assembly, which is composed of all UN member states will not have substantial changes. No new emerged countries will feel discriminated against with the General Assembly’s structure where each member state has an equal right. So will be the case of the UN Secretariat and the ECOSOC which does not have direct impact on the UN’s policies. However, the Security Council and the International Court of Justice will have substantial changes.

    The Security Council’s mission is to maintain peace and security in the World by voting binding resolutions, by using force, and by imposing sanctions on abusing states. It is composed of 15 members and 5 of them are permanent. Its structure is a subject of controversy due the permanent veto power it gives to only 5 members: the United States, France, China, Russia, and the United Kingdom. Yet, Japan, Brazil, Germany, and India have already started their advocacy to become permanent members of the Security Council (Jean-d’Amour K.: 1). In fact, the 5 actual members which have veto power are not the 5 most powerful countries. As new countries are emerging, the controversy surrounding the veto power will become more intense. Perhaps, more countries will obtain permanent veto power, but this will make it more difficult to reach consensus. As a result, the UN will not be able to intervene where it is necessary to resolve some world’s security problems. This happened with the League of Nations who became ineffective partly because it gave veto right to all of its members. In sum, the veto power will become inefficient, and the majority rule in decision-makings will be more relevant in the UN Security Council and may probably replace it.

    The International Court of Justice (ICJ), which has the mission to resolve disputes among States, will gain tremendous power by 2069. Currently the ICJ is facing numerous issues:  Member States, due to their untouchable sovereignties, have the right to reject the ICJ’s jurisdiction (S. Gozie Ogbodo: 15); the Security Council’s permanent members also have veto power over the ICJ’s decisions. This was observed in 1986 when the US vetoed the ICJ’s judgement after Nicaragua sued it for launching attacks on its territory. These have showed the ineffectiveness of the ICJ, which has left many people skeptical about its future.

    However, as mentioned above, by 2069 more countries will compromise their sovereignty in exchange for security, and the veto power will be obsolete. These will enable the ICJ to gain strength. First, by reducing their sovereignty, States will more likely accept the ICJ’s jurisdiction to protect themselves. In fact, if the ICJ remains weak, there will be no punishment for violating states, and the World’s security will not be preserved. Second, if Veto power is abolished, the Court will be able to enforce its recommendations without facing opposition from the Security Council.

    With a powerful ICJ, the UN immunity, which protects it from being held accountable, will be challenged. Currently, the UN is denying its responsibility in many abuses of its Peacekeeping missions. In Haiti for instance, the United Nation’s Mission for Haiti’s Stabilization (Minustah), which had been established after Aristide’s ouster in 2004, brought the virus of cholera in Haiti in 2010 via the Nepalian peacekeepers which were contaminated (Mara Pillinger: 1). The year of 2010 had already been the most tragic one in Haiti’s entire history because of the earthquake’s devastations, and Minustah exacerbated it by sparking a terrible cholera outbreak. More than 8,000 Haitians lost their lives and roughly 1 million were contaminated (Mara Pillinger: 1), but the UN has never acknowledged its responsibility and has never provided compensations.

    If denying responsibilities is possible now, it will not be the case in 2069. As states will rely their security more on the UN, the necessity of accountability will increase. Activists have already started to pressure the UN on that account.  The UN typically replies by denying its responsibility, which is in fact a good sign. According to the Spiral Model (Risse, T.: 8), the stage of Denial regarding a Human Right reflects that states at least acknowledge the validity of the claims. Similarly, if the UN denies its implications, it also acknowledges the wrong-doings. Professor Alex Whiting at Harvard also mentioned that by saying that the UN’s immunity does not make it ignore the problems it is causing (Anna Schecter). So with more pressure, the UN may shift from denial to making concessions and becoming more accountable.


    By 2069, the nature of multilateralism will change tremendously. Due to general economic progress and proliferation of WMDs, no country will detain hegemonic power. China is expected to be as powerful as the US militarily, and other countries are making progress in their military too. The World will more likely become multipolar with many multiple Powers in different regions.  So, the World’s peace will not be assured by hegemonic stability but by increasing cooperation among countries. With this new nature of multilateralism, the UN will have substantial changes. The veto power in the Security Council may become ineffective. Many new emerged countries may obtain permanent veto power, which will render the UN less responsive to the World’s problems. However, the ICJ may gain strength. As countries will rely more on the UN for security, they will more likely accept its jurisdiction.  The UN may also become more accountable. With more powerful International Organizations, people will pressure them more to acknowledge their wrong-doings.


    Mara Pillinger, Ian Hurd, and Michael N. Barnett, How to Get Away with Cholera : The UN,

    Haiti, and International Law. March 2016. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/55bc2903e4b0b7e056744a52/t/56f156d245bf211d102f4785/1458656978460/haiti+final+pdf.pdf

    Alex Ward. China’s military power could match America’s by 2050.  Vox. November 14, 2018. https://www.vox.com/world/2018/11/14/18091800/china-military-power-congress-commission-report-2050

    The Economic Time. Significant steps towards modernization of armed forces, but challenges remain. January 05, 2019. https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/defence/significant-steps-towards-modernization-of-armed-forces-but-challenges-remain/articleshow/67405882.cms

    John P. Caves, Jr., and W. Seth Carus, The Future of Weapons of Mass Destruction: Their Nature and Role in 2030. https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a617232.pdf

    Sara Obeidat. Muammar Qaddafi and Libya’s Legacy of Terrorism. PBS. October 13th, 2015.https://www.pbs.org/wgbh/frontline/article/muammar-qaddafi-and-libyas-legacy-of-terrorism/

    Jean-d’Amour K. Twibanire, The United Nations Security Council: Imbalance of Power and the Need for Reform, International Journal of Political Science & Diplomacy, 2016. https://www.graphyonline.com/archives/archivedownload.php?pid=IJPSD-106

    The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica, League of Nations, International Organization, Mar 7, 2019 .https://www.britannica.com/topic/League-of-Nations

    Gozie Ogbodo, An Overview of the Challenges Facing the International Court of Justice in the 21st Century. Volume 18. 2012. https://digitalcommons.law.ggu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1159&context=annlsurvey

    Anna Schecter, Why can’t anyone sue the United Nations? NBC News. September 26, 2013.https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/why-cant-anyone-sue-united-nations-flna8C11266822

    Risse, T., Ropp, S., & Sikkink, K. (Eds.). (2013). The Persistent Power of Human Rights: From Commitment to Compliance (Cambridge Studies in International Relations). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

    Juan Pedro Schmid. Development Challenges: Is the Caribbean losing out? Inter -American Development Bank, 2018. https://blogs.iadb.org/caribbean-dev-trends/en/blog-on-development-challenges-the-caribbean-is-losing-out/

    Alex Harris. Hurricanes of the future may look a lot like Harvey — stronger, slower, much wetter. Miami Herald, May 24, 2018. https://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article211738679.html

    BBC. Caricom heads discuss CSME. July 04, 2005.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/caribbean/news/story/2005/07/050704_singlemarketjagdeo.shtml



  • Policy Memo to Jovenel Moise

    To: President Jovenel Moise
    From: Marc-Ansy Laguerre
    Subject: Vote at the OAS regarding Venezuela’s President’s legitimacy
    Date: January 4th, 2019

    During the OAS Permanent Council’s meeting that will be held on January 10th, 2019 which aims to decide whether or not the OAS recognizes Nicolas Maduro as president of Venezuela, you should not vote against Venezuela, nor abstain from voting. You should instead vote for Venezuela, which would imply that Haiti supports Maduro.


    In 2005, Hugo Chavez, the 45th president of Venezuela, signed the agreement “Petrocaribe” which is an oil trade alliance with many countries in the Caribbean whereby member States purchase oil from Venezuela by paying a percentage in 3 months and the remainder in 25 years at only 1% of interest rate. This deal is an opportunity for Caribbean countries, including Haiti, to strengthen their economy by investing the funds in developing projects.

    (2) After Chavez’s death in 2013, Nicolas Maduro served as interim president for nearly 3 months before his re-election on April 14th, 2013. Since then, he has continued the agreement Petrocaribe, which has enabled Haiti to receive nearly $ 4 billion to this day (Kim Ives). However, the money is being embezzled and squandered by Haitian officials, which has sparked political unrest since September 2018. As living conditions of the mass remains abject, infuriated mobs protest in the street and ask not only for a financial audit on the Petrocaribe’s fund but also for the government’s resignation.

    (3) Meanwhile, Maduro, which had been reelected in 2018 on a contested election, is expected to renew his presidency by the end of January. However, believing the election was fraudulent, the United States is outraged and aims to reestablish democracy in Venezuela by ousting Maduro. To do this, the backing of the OAS is needed. On January 10th, the OAS’ Permanent Council will meet to take a decision on whether or not it recognizes Maduro as president. Haiti’s vote is important as two thirds of the votes is needed to disapprove Maduro’s legitimacy. Given Haiti’s close relationship with both the US and Venezuela, you must know the disadvantages and advantages of each possible choice to make the most effective vote.

    Policy Option 1: Not participate in the meeting, or abstain from voting
    This option calls for Haiti to take a neutral position by not participating or by withholding its vote.  To not participate means to not send your ambassador at the meeting. To abstain your vote means to participate but to decline voting for or against. These would imply that you are indifferent whether Maduro remains on power or not.

    1. Pros: Very diplomatic.
    2. Cons: Haiti would be uncooperative to the OAS; both the US and Venezuela would remain unsatisfied and mad at Haiti; aid from both sides could be reduced; Haiti would show that defending democracy in the Americas is not its priority; your government would appear irresolute because this position is ambiguous; this could hurt your reputation in Haiti as Haitians expect you to be loyal to Venezuela; it could lead to political unrest.

    Policy Option 2: Vote against Venezuela
    This option means that Haiti votes to not recognize Maduro as Venezuela’s President, which could result in Maduro’s disapprobation. It would imply that you are not supportive to Maduro.

    1. Pros: It would improve Haiti’s relationship with the US because it would please the Americans; Haiti could receive more American aid in the future; Haiti would appear as a more loyal defender of democracy.
    2. Cons: Haiti would betray Venezuela which has remained its loyal ally since their independences; Venezuela could break the Petrocaribe agreement with Haiti, which would leave your government with less money to invest in its projects; Political unrests could intensify because some Haitians will not tolerate you to betray Venezuela; you would be weak in their eyes because this vote is only to please the US.

    Policy Option 3: Vote for Venezuela
    This option calls to vote in favor of Venezuela by recognizing Maduro’s presidency. This would imply that you disagree with the US’s decision to undermine Maduro.

    1. Pros: You will appear stronger, and Haitians would be prouder of you; Venezuela would confirm Haiti’s loyalty; Venezuela may provide more funds to your government; it may appease the political unrest because Haitians would perceive you as a defender of Haiti’s interests.
    2. Cons: you will be labeled as a dictatorship supporter; the US would be furious and could reduce their aid to your government; you would be perceived like a bully because many other powerful heads of states dislike Maduro.

    I recommend you Option 3 which is to vote for recognizing Maduro. Don’t yield to the US’s pressure, and vote against Venezuela as stated in Option 2. Haiti’s relationship with Venezuela is important to preserve. Venezuela has always been our loyal ally since after we helped them in their independence war. In addition, betraying Maduro could result in cutting the fund Petrocaribe which is highly beneficial for us. To this day, Haiti has received $4 billion from this agreement at an interest rate of 1%, which is one of the lowest rate in all loans given to Haiti. Taking a stance against Maduro would deteriorate Haiti’s relationship with Venezuela, which would hinder their generous aid to us. You may attempt to play a diplomatic game by abstaining your vote or by not participating in the meeting, but this would be the most dangerous position. If you do that, both the US and Venezuela would be dissatisfied, which would result in receiving less aid from them. In addition, you would earn some bad reputations (ambiguous, irresolute, weak) which could lead to your regime’s collapse. To avoid these, you rather vote, but it is safer to vote in favor of Maduro.

    Andres Schipani. (April 16, 2015 Thursday). Petrocaribe: a legacy that is both blessing and a curse. FT.com. Retrieved from Nexis Uni.

    Kim Yves “Haiti’s Ruling Party Betrays Venezuela in OAS Vote, Sparking Universal Outrage”. https://haitiliberte.com/haitis-ruling-party-betrays-venezuela-in-oas-vote-sparking-universal-outrage/


    “Venezuela to Fund Development Projects in Haiti.” 2018.EFE News Service, Jul 11. http://pitt.idm.oclc.org/login?url=https://search-proquest-com.pitt.idm.oclc.org/docview/2068077070?accountid=14709.


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