Every year for the past twenty-two years, the Rotary Club of San Francisco has invited the San Francisco Consular Corps to lunch so they can mingle with one another, find out what Rotary is doing in the world, and listen to a valued and thoughtful speaker. This year, we were pleased to have representatives accept our invitation from Australia, Austria, Barbados, Belgium, Chile, China, Cyprus, El Salvador, Estonia, France, Germany, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, Singapore, Sweden, Tonga, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, and Vietnam.
Over one hundred twenty consulate staff, Rotarians, and guests attended the event, which included an hour of socializing before the luncheon. Some of Rotary's many local and international service projects were highlighted in brief presentations. Of particular interest to the audience was Rotary's work to eliminate Polio from our planet, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Health Organization, and other partners. Rotary's Six Areas of Service were explored: 
  1. Peace and conflict prevention/resolution.
  2. Disease prevention and treatment.
  3. Water and sanitation.
  4. Maternal and child health.
  5. Basic education and literacy.
  6. Economic and community development.
It was noted that, while Peace is itself an area of focus, each of the other areas clearly contribute to peace.
Our speaker for this special occasion was Jonathan Granoff, President of the Global Security Institute. With numerous credentials surrounding peace and security to his credit, Mr. Granoff spoke passionately about the need to address three clear initiatives:
  • The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Mr. Granoff suggested the 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 Mr. Granoff suggested that we need to enshrine water as a human right. 
  • Nuclear disarmament: Nuclear weapons are the greatest threat to human life. Mr. Granoff noted that nine countries have enshrined the right to preemptive nuclear deterrence, 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: Mr. Granoff called on the Rotary Club of San Francisco and the global Rotary community to undertake these initiatives in concert with the United Nations:
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. The Rotary Club of San Francisco should initiate the creation of a special commission to address threats and solutions regarding  humanity’s greatest threat, nuclear weapons. Mr. Granoff and Ambassador Thomas Graham have volunteered 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 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. Not surprising, as they are consistent with the excellent work Rotary does every day all around the world. 
Thank you, Jonathan Granoff, for your time and your dedication to the Rotary purpose of Service Above Self.