Below, the position papers of the four avenues of the Association of World Citizens (AWC) action on the: the resolution of armed conflicts, human rights, attitude-formation (the New Humanism) and ecologically-sound development; is shared with The Light Millennium by Rene WADLOW, President, Association of World Citizen.
We thank for this kind collaboration.
CREATING A CLIMATE FOR NEGOTIATIONS
As citizens of the world, we are particularly called to help create a climate for negotiations in good faith to end armed conflicts and to reduce tensions in other tense areas. We know that violence can spread and that mutual escalation can slip out of control.
Thus, we all face important choices. We can move forward with structures of cooperation and integration, or we can retreat into a world sharply divided along age-old divisions of State and tribe, race and religion. As world citizens, we stress the unity of humanity. Therefore, we need to use of our world-wide links and capacities in a creative way to reduce tensions and create possibilities for negotiations so that peace measures are possible.
Negotiation means a joint undertaking by disputants with the aim of settling their disputes on the basis of mutual compromise. Negotiation is a basic political decision-making process, a way of finding common interests, to facilitate compromise without loss of essential objectives. For the parties in a conflict to seek a compromise requires a certain climate – an informed public opinion that will accept the compromise and build better future relations on the agreement. It is in the creation of such a climate of opinion that world citizens have an important role to play.
World citizens have a prime task to facilitate the transformation of the many existing conflicts of this period. Another important role for world citizens in situations of conflict is that of mediator. There are a number of techniques to be learned as a skilled mediator: how to listen, how to avoid forms of speech which are overly aggressive, how to disagree without offending, and how to negotiate. However, the most important aspect of mediation are attitudes of mind, particularly respect, concern, and compassion for all other human beings.
As citizens of the world, we devote ourselves to the safeguarding, restoration and construction of peace through dialogue, cooperation and reconciliation. We work to overcome fear, antagonism and violence. We work for a world of respect, of service and peace.
A CENTRAL ROLE OF HUMAN RIGHTS
World Citizens work cooperatively with others in the resolution of armed conflicts and in the defense of human rights through their activities of investigation and reporting to the United Nations and to national governments.
Citizens of the world believe that building respect for human rights and the rule of law will help ensure the dignity to which every individual is entitled and will help stem tyranny, extremism and violence. We are dedicated to the emerge of a global ethic and a consciousness of humanity as one community. Together,we help to overcome fear, antagonism, and violence. We develop a deep awareness of the oneness of life.
As world citizens, we see that our world is moving toward a universal legal culture of world law as represented by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. World citizens hold that evolution is moving in the direction of the realization of human rights, equality among women and men, and toward poepole-centered economic growth.
The emerging world society is to be governed by the rule of law rather than by force or by wealth. There will be a mosaic of law and treaties as well as a world-wide consensus which allows world law to operate.
We are building a culture of cooperation, a culture of solidarity. For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
Human rights empower the individual and the community by placing their rights at the center of socio-economic processes. World citizens work so that the principles of human rights: accountability, popular participation, empowerment and non-discrimination are put into practice. Popular participation cannot be limited to participation in elections – even when such elections are free and fair. Open debate requires a vital and diversified civil society in which there are many different areas of action. Such broad diversity is a challenge which all world citizens take seriously.
A NEW HUMANISM FOR TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY
In these times of insecurity when many people feel uncertain about the future, when anxieties and fears are promoted and then exploited by political populists, old-fashinoned nationalists and religious fundamentalists, world citizen have an opportunity to present a positive vision of the emerging world society based on cosmopolitan, humanist values. World citizens support the UNESCO General Conference resolution on the promotion of dialogue among peoples based on a climate of trust and mutual understanding leading to a new humanism for the twenty-first century. As citizens of the world, we need to build bridges of understanding over the current divides of nationalism, ethnicity and social classes.
Today, the revolutionary character of our times is recognized by many. Those who live in the midst of swift social change, confront the upheaval of their way of life. Yet, we, as world citizens, remain convinced that such changes embody a forward movement toward the evolutionary goals of humanity. We are dedicated to the proposition that the unity of humanity can be achieved through free and complete access to the knowledge of all cultures. We celebrate our similarities rather than our differences.
We are entering a period of change for which there are no blueprints. It is essential that we learn to work together and communicate in inclusive ways. There is a growing shift from seeing the world as consisting of separate national units to seeing the earth as an emerging world society.
New institutions and procedures capable of meeting these changed world conditions need to be put into place. Citizens of the world are called to new levels of creativity as we develop the New Humanism for the twenty-first century.
AN ECOLOGICALLY-SOUND DEVELOPMENT FOR THE NEW AGE
As world citizens, we underline the need to make choices in ecology, economics and ethics which provide a sustainable future and eliminate pollution and poverty. We have the capacity to initiate action for ecologically-sound development in which both humans and Nature are safeguarded. As citizens of the world, we promote a new global spirit based on trust, solidarity and a practice of good will transcending narrow partisan political interests.
Thus, we need to safeguard the delicate balance of the natural environment and to develop the world's resources for the common good. Ecologically-sound development requires a new orientation of ethical, moral and spiritual values. Concepts of caring, respect, sharing,and cooperation with others must be at the center of the values of citizens of the world.
All things are possible once we realize that we are at a crossroads of human history. We are in a period between two ages. A crossroad requires that we take a new direction, a radical shift in how we understand Nature and our environment. In our new planetary era, a harmonious future depends on our capacity to live beyond narrow elf-interest and to strive for the common good.
We recognize that world ecological stability must be based upon a shared commitment to the common good and that each person has a unique part to play. In striving for ecologically-sound development, we see that the emerging world society will be open to life, open to growth, expansion and learning. We stress living in harmony with our environment. This means expressing wisdom in action, in developing cooperation with others, in having strong skills of communication. We need to develop positive speech, constructive and uplifting. Negative speech creates feelings of deprivation, in security and lack. Thus as world citizens, we need to express joy, balance, harmony and vitality. Earth is our common home. Let us protect it together.
By Rene WADLOW, President
Association of World Citizen - www.worldcitizensunited.org