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For many people in the world, wars and poverty are part of the daily life and they continually strive in total destitution.
Currently, the international community shows a total lack of interest for them.
It is because of this situation that thirteen (13) world citizens have on March 13, 1966 launched an appeal in favour of world citizenship that would lead to a world government in which world wealth would be shared with equity and conflicts overcome.
It is seen from this point of view that the world citizens with the Benin Centre for Development of Basic Initiatives (CBDIBA) organised in Bohicon the first "mundialist" seminar in Africa which took place from October 6 to 8, 2006.
World Citizens from Ghana, Togo, France and Benin took part in this international meeting
This is the seminar report.
At the seminar opening, four (4) short speeches were made;
At the beginning, the honour was given to the CBDIBA General Director to welcome shortly the participants. He described the world citizen and world democracy background before reminding us of the seminar objectives.
He wished that this seminar contribute to the strengthening of the " mundialist" spirit through a massive membership .
The representative to the People's Congress Consultative Assembly was invited to make his speech
He congratulated the participants and the CBDIBA representatives in particular his general Director, the first because they came from so far away from BOHICON and the second because they organised the seminar with success, the first of this kind in Africa.
Then he listed the reasons that pushed on March 03, 1966, 13 people of world reputation to launch an appeal in favour of world citizenship that would lead to a world government
He summarised the difficult mutations taking place in the world before urging the participants to act in favour of a humanised world, main objective of the present seminar.
Then came the turn of the representative of the Prefect of the Zou and Hills department to be delighted about the organisation of this international seminar in a context where people hope for democracy in this world of conflicts, wars and waste of valuable resources. And he wished that the current seminar will put back international solidarity in the heart of the debates in order to define strategies to make citizen initiatives known and promoted.
Finally, the representative of the Minister of Justice, in charge of relations with institutions, spokesman for the government was asked to give his talk.
For him the organisers of this first seminar have made the right choice when they decided to think together about how to elaborate a plan of action in order to find solutions to the multiples imbalances that create disruptions and upheaval inflicted permanently to the whole humanity
Most of the decisions taken at the highest level of international institutions seem completely inefficient in front of wars, terrorism, persistent poverty and natural disasters that threaten humanity
Before he declared open the workshop-seminar, he underlined the support of the Government of Benin to this initiative
After all this talks, the participants and the authorities planted a tree called: The world unity tree.
A picture was taken around the tree before the cocktail party
In order to get the participant's attention, they were asked about their expectations and a list of objectives was presented to them.
II-I: Participants expectations:
In order to match the expectation to the described objectives they were communicated to the participants.
II-2: Seminar objectives:
° Global objective:
To encourage exchanges of real life experiences regarding world citizenship and world democracy and plan a strategy of dissemination of this ideas in our countries and regions
° Specific objectives:
Then several presentations were made to upgrade the participant's knowledge
III - PRESENTATIONS
Brief socio-psychological history of the West African States in the current democratisation process in the world
Presented by Professor Roger Gbegnonvi
The presenter after reminding the participants about the evolution of the West African States that went through three phases:
Pre-colonial, colonial and the independences, centred his presentation on four major points:
For the traditional patrimonial state or ethnical state the speaker illustrated his presentation with the organisation of the traditional power where the majority of people are under the king's will
Considering the colonial state the lecturer talked about the white invaders. In this state the colonised subject is under the order of the coloniser and no nation can be mentioned but only a mixture of civilisations and traditions
This long 66 years old reign led the colonisers to the division of Africa at the Berlin conference (1884-1885)
Considering the neo-patrimonial state, he recognized that the foreign invader pretended to give up and in the sixties started the process of decolonisation of the colonised African countries.
So the neo-patrimonial state, the one of the pretended independences became the culture fluid for military dictatorships, life long presidencies and bloody wars without forgetting an empire that was described as ridiculous, killing children and eating human flesh
These states want to day to monitor the democratic process, organising national conferences that lead to a state of confusion and hypocrisy
Concerning this state of confusion and hypocrisy, the speaker insisted on the access to writing that the invader facilitated imposing it only in the language of the coloniser. This did not favour emancipation and development of the colonised because writing is the tool to reach openness and liberation.
He then insisted on the necessity for African people particularly in the west to search for their identity and wanting to establish lasting development they must help develop their native languages and introduce them in their schools to be able to communicate with other people in the world.
At the end the speaker like Jean Jacques Rousseau in a negative thought asked himself if we will be able to reach democracy and world citizenship
According to him like Montesquieu, an optimist will can lead to the realisation of this 2 concepts
That is why he recommends acting very carefully not to create by reaction some radical individuals and he proposed two ways to help their development: Inter-religious dialogue and African culture of solidarity and humility
This brilliant presentation was followed by very interesting questions about finding strategies to make African hospitality help the creation of world democracy, especially that we know now that we live in a world of confusion and hypocrisy
Many answers were given, satisfying everybody
African contributions to democracy
presented by Professor Azilinon Kokou Mike
After introduction, the speaker defined the concept of democracy as an ideology, way of governing and way of life before starting to talk about what Africa has brought to world democracy
As an example of ideology he quoted the famous definition of Abraham Lincoln "It is the government of the people by the people and for the people"
This means that a country is democratic when the people have the sovereignty and that the governed are there own leaders and that power is given to the citizens
Concerning democracy as a way of governing, the speaker has stressed that the system is based on the separation of the five basic powers (legislative, executive, judiciary, the medias and the civil society) and that it is characterised by the permanence and the reality of free dialogue between the rulers, between governed and between governed and rulers, between opposition and all the different parties in a positive competitive environment
Talking then about democracy like a way of living, the speaker defines it as a set of values that any society with democratic ambitions should get. Values promoted by the different social components through permanent civic and political education
With more accuracy, as a way of living, he describes democracy as a system based through and on individual freedom, protection of human rights and the determination of obligations of each of its components underlined by the predominance of the right, in token of individual liberty, reason to exist of the national democratic community
Concerning the African contribution to democracy, the speaker reminded us of the beginning of modern democracy, the African contributions to the emergence of this democracy, Africa and the consecration of multi-culture intrinsic to democracy
He insisted on the rejection of dictatorship, necessary to the success of democracy. The acceptance of this democracy by the traditional powers, the important role played by the church in the emergence and reinforcement of this democracy and especially the one played by the civil society
In order to better surround the problem, questions for more clarification were asked and clear answers were given by the guest speaker
Presentation of RECIM and ASCOP by Mr Daniel Durand, ASCOP representative
In a brief explanation, the speaker removed all the participants confusion and clarified the World Citizen concept
According to him is called "world citizen" the one who belongs to a community and who realises it in acting positively towards world democracy
One is not a member of the world citizen but rather a world citizen by birth because world citizenship is not kind of an NGO and not a movement that you subscribe to.
After he respectively defined the ASCOP as Consultative Assembly to the People's Congress and RECIM as the World Citizen Registry where all world citizens are registered
ASCOP includes many registered world organisations and the (PC) People's Congress includes 40 delegates elected by the registered world citizens
The speaker also underlined the differences between World citizenship and "mundialisation"
The word "Mundialisation" has been created by the world citizens especially Robert Sarazak in 1949. He was the first to design the institution organisation chart.
Then the speaker named any old how cities, universities and roads that have been "mundialised "and also some famous people who have declared themselves world citizens
An interesting debate has followed the presentation and at the end the participants understood the concepts better
Citizen initiatives towards world solidarity and democracy. What are they and how to optimize their actions Presented by Mr Daniel Durand, ASCOP representative
Continuing his talk, the speaker explained that the world citizens have worked a lot towards solidarity and democracy in the world.
He named as an example several "mundialists " organisations and citizen's initiatives like the movement ATTAC that is a world syndicate that criticizes economical globalisation and that is currently overwhelming us .
The bitter acknowledgement is that no proposal has been presented by politicians to promote world democracy.
Then the speaker invited Mr François Housounou, representing the Universal Association for Esperanto in Benin to describe the subject
From his intervention we can remember that Esperanto is an international language created in 1887 by the Russian-polish Lazare Ludovic Zamenhof whose aim was to facilitate communication between the people because he thought that humanity deep division were due to language problems.
Then a Togolese member of World Community against Hunger (WCH) described all the actions undertaken by this institution that fights hunger and advocates food self sufficiency reaching a vital necessary minimum for all humans
Member groups receive financial support in order to initiate food self sufficiency projects
At the end of the presentation, the participants asked questions like :
How long does it take to learn Esperanto? requirements to get financial support from WCH and to be registered as a world citizen
All the questions were answered satisfactorily
Role of the United Nations and its institutions in leading states and people towards world democracy
Presented by Dr Liliane Metz Krencker, ASCOP represantative
According to the speaker, the presentation theme is itself a question asked to the world citizens. According to her the answer is negative because the United Nations and its institutions do not contribute to lead the states and the people towards world democracy.
She then described the creation of the" Nations Society" (SDN) that was replaced after its dissolution on April 18, 1946 by the United Nations.
The United Nations Charter was signed on June 26, 1945 including at the beginning 51 members whose objectives were
At the end the speaker explained the role that the United Nations should play to lead to world democracy. She proposed in order to achieve these goals to:
The main questions during the following debates were about the strengthening of world democracy
2 suggestions were made:
At the end of this presentation the participants were divided in two groups /workshops
IV - STRATEGY PROPOSALS
Following strategies proposals from the workshops (See in appendix)
At the end of the seminar, the participants took resolutions and made recommendations
V. RESOLUTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
The participants of the "mundialist " studies seminar recommend:
1° To the ASCOP and the People's Congress:
2° To the national, regional and international organisations
3° To the authorities :
The world citizens reunited in a seminar on "mundialists" studies in Bohicon, the 6, 7 and 8 October, 2006 address their sincere thanks and gratitude to:
VI - CONCLUSION
In a general way this seminar that facilitate exchanges of experiences between participants allowed them to understand that they belong to the world community, the socio-psychological conditions in which African society live ,their influence on world democracy but also to identify and demonstrates the contribution of Africa to world democracy
Beyond the African borders, the seminar has allowed them to better know the United Nations its functioning, its influence on world democracy and other initiatives towards world citizenship
All this acquired knowledge has allowed the participants to design strategies to promote the movement at the national, regional and international level and to create a follow-up committee for the recommendations and resolutions
An evaluation was conducted at the end of the seminar
In conclusion we can confirm that the seminar reached its objectives to the satisfaction of all the participants
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