Born in 1950
Declaration of intention summary
I have been an active supporter of the need for a democratic and participatory means of global governance and an effective rule of international law for the past 12 years. I have participated actively in various UN processes and efforts to reform the United Nations over the past decade. I am prepared to vigorously support the efforts of the Peoples Congress to establish a World Parliament, enact a World Constitution, develop a Participatory System of Global Governance, and create an effective International Rule of Law.
I have worked actively for a World Parliament or Global Peoples Assembly since 1994, when I attended the Preparatory Conference for the United Peoples Assembly that was held in San Francisco as a part of the UN's 50th Anniversary events in 1995. I subsequently joined the Steering Committee of the Action Committee for Global Change that was championing the effort for a Global Peoples Assembly. Then in 1998 I became the Coordinator of the Millennium Peoples Assembly Network (MPAN) and was selected to serve on the Executive Committee of the UN Millennium NGO Forum.
Meanwhile I participated in the Earth Summit Review Conference at the United Nations, the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, Financing for Development, Peace and Disarmament Processes, and many other events and activities at the United Nations - representing MPAN, the Association of World Citizens, the International Institute for Sustainable Future, the Global Ecovillage Network, and several other organizations over the years.
During this time period I also served on the Steering Committee for the World Civil Society Forum; and participated actively in the Alliance for a Responsible, Plural, and United World. See: <www.alliance21.org>. MPAN continued as the primary advocate of a Global Peoples Assembly at the United Nations and also worked for other means of UN Reform under my leadership.
Then in 2002 I co-coordinated an e-forum on Establishing a World Parliament for the 21st Century and on the Architecture of Global Governance which was associated with the Alliance for a Responsible, Plural, and United World. This was conducted in English, Spanish, and French and continued for several years with more than 400 participants. You can find the first six months of the e-forum archived at: <www.wp21.org>, along with introductions to the discussion topics, summaries of the discussions, and other readings.
I then participated in the World Social Forums in Mumbai, India and Porto Alegre, Brazil where we presented quite a number of workshops on World Democracy and began to organize a Coalition for a World Parliament and Global Democracy. That effort has now transitioned into the development of a Community of World Citizens list serve, a new coalition building effort, and the World Movement for Global Democracy (WMGD), which I have also been quite active in. In fact I am presently serving as the Chair of the International Steering Committee and I am on the Executive Committee for the WMGD. See: <<www.wmgd.net>> and <<http://groups.google.com/group/worldcit>>.
Meanwhile I was quite involved with the Millenniun Summit +5 process and attempted to get the UN to focus on more substantive reforms, however with very little success. It would seem that the Member States are really not all that interested in either democratizing or strengthening the United Nations, which first became obvious to me in 1999 when they rebuffed Secretary-General Kofi Annan's efforts to put UN Reform on the Agenda of the Millennium Assembly in any substantive manner.
I have also been involved with an effort to organize a new World Democracy Movement - USA coalition organization in the United States; and I serve on the Organizing Committee. I was an active member of the World Federalist Association and the World Federalist Movement for many years. I have also participated in and attended meetings and conferences of the UBUNTU World Forum of Civil Society Networks Campaign for the In-Depth Reform of the System of International Institutions; the Perugia Assembly of the UN of the Peoples; as well as the Hague Appeal for Peace Conference, the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the e-Parliament, and the World Civil Society Forum.
Finally, I have been a Teacher and Environmental Education Coordinator; a Performing Artist; and an Environmental, Political, and Peace activist at the local level for the past 35 years. From 1992 - 1997 I co-coordinated a Sustainable Community Campaign in Santa Cruz County in California which included the development of a Local Agenda 21 Plan, a Household EcoTeams Program, a Sustainable Quality Awards Program for Businesses and Community Organizations, and a Sustainable Community Video Film Festival.
I am the primary NGO representative on the Steering Committee for UN Habitat's Initiative on Access to Basic Resources for All; I am on the Advisory Board for GAIA University; and I am the Founder and Chair of the EcoEarth Alliance UN Partnership Initiative, which focuses on Multi-Sectoral Community Based Approaches to Sustainable Rural Development. See: <<www.ecovillage.org/ecoearth>>.
First I would participate actively in the intended Functions of Peoples' Congress and provide leadership as needed. This would thus include:
Helping to develop the list of those needs basic to all of humanity - which I am quite familiar with due to my work on the Steering Committee for the Initiative on Access to Basic Services for All, the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, the Millennium Forum, the World Social Forum, and other such processes. The development of such a listing would also be extremely useful for the development of the World Movement for Global Democracy and its Global Action Campaign to solve our primary global problems. Thus we could work cooperatively together on developing this.
Proclaiming the necessity for Global Institutions, which we can also do through the World Movement for Global Democracy, the World Unity Days, and the other UN and civil society processes that I have been a part of for the past ten years, etc.
Determining in which fields the intervention of a supranational authority is urgently needed; how a transfer of authority could be accepted and agreed upon by nation states; how such global institutions could be democratically formed; and what the structures, principles, procedures, and processes for such global institutions could be.
Assisting in the development of a strategy for reaching intergovernmental agreement and acceptance of a World Constitution, along with civil society and popular support for it.
In addition, I would provide leadership in developing a strategy for establishing new institutions of global governance and an international rule of law, building upon the many proposals and initiatives that are already supported by the world democracy movement. The following step would then be to develop a cooperative and coordinated campaign in order to carry out and implement the strategy plan.
The plan itself could include and be based upon the development of the World Movement for Global Democracy; a Global Action Campaign to support the best civil society proposals and initiatives for dealing with our common global problems; the Break Through 2007 process; the celebration of World Unity Days; enrolling millions of people in the Registry of World Citizens, Community of World Citizens, and a new coalition for world democracy processes; and many other civil society events, initiatives, and activities.
These are all processes that I have been following and can help to integrate with the work of the Peoples' Congress and our ongoing campaign for world democracy.
I am writing to tell you about some of the incredible opportunities we have to draw a lot of attention to the world democracy movement during the next year and to all of our individual organizations' goals and activities. I have participated during the past several months in the Quadrennial Congress of the World Federalist Movement, the Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference, the Peoples Congress, an organizing meeting of the new WFM Committee calling for a UN Charter Review Conference and Transformation, a Youth World Parliament and Int'l Student Festival in New Delhi, and the 8th Annual Conference of Chief Justices and 4th Annual Global Symposium in Lucknow, India.
During each of these events I talked about the opportunities that we have before us and how we could take advantage of each of them.
December 10th, 2008 will mark the 60th Anniversary of the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. By ratifying and acceding to the Universal Declaration the UN Member States have agreed to fulfill its goals, objectives, and mandates. While the UN has done tremendous good in the world, it has still after 60 years failed in many ways to protect and secure these basic and inalienable human rights. See: http://www.un.org/Overview/rights.html.
The Universal Declaration states that it is the responsibility of each and every one of us, and of all organs of society, to take progressive measures to ensure that the rights contained within it are fulfilled. Similarly it says that we are all entitled to a social and international order sufficient to provide these same rights. Given the UN's repeated failure to fully address, secure, and provide these rights, a growing network of civil society organizations are coming together to call for the UN to be significantly strengthened and democratized, to make a number of recommendations for how these rights can best be met, and to organize activities during 2008 to raise public awareness and to educate and advocate for these things.
Our first major opportunity will be in September. The Annual UN DPI/NGO Conference will be held in Paris this year and will focus on Human Rights. It typically lasts for three days and will probably be held on September 3 - 5, Weds to Friday. It has thus been proposed that we should organize a 2 day follow up conference, focusing on the need to create World Democracy in order to secure our basic Human Rights. The Peoples Congress, with a lot of Delegates that live in Europe, is interested in helping to organize this conference and to draw attention to the need to strengthen and democratize the UN, create a World Parliament, and establish a binding and enforceable international rule of law. Rene Wadlow, UN Rep for Association of World Citizens in Geneva, has taken the lead on this. See: www.recim.org.
Similarly, the CCC-UN and Citizens for a UN Peoples Assembly have shown some interest in helping to organize this 2 day follow-up conference as the first meeting of an ongoing Second House at the UN or a Global Peoples Assembly. Such a Peoples Assembly could discuss what would need to be done to achieve the goals and mandates of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and come up with specific recommendations for doing so. See: www.empowertheun.org and www.cccun.org.
Likewise WFM's new AdHoc Committee on Transforming the UN, discussed the possibility of using this opportunity to organize a track of the Conference which would address the need for a UN Charter Review Conference for Transforming the United Nations - thus finally creating a Social and International Order sufficient for securing our basic human rights as required under the Universal Declaration. See: www.planetafilia.org and www.one-world-now.com.
If these various groups would agree to work cooperatively together on such a Conference, we could include all of their goals and objectives and develop a strong enough team to involve many more organizations in the organizing process. The Conference or first meeting of the Peoples Assembly could be deliberative in nature and we could issue a detailed call listing specific recommendations for fulfilling the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Joe Eger of Symphony for the United Nations is also interested in helping to organize a Cultural Arts Festival as a part of our Conference with its main focus on the youth of the world, thus expanding the Conference and Festival into a three day event. This would also enable us to hold and include press conferences and media events. I think that it is quite likely that through Raj Chandola (City Montessori School) and Rasmus Tanbergen (World Parliament Experiment) we would be able to involve the network of International Student Festivals that they have been working with during the past year or two and that have been putting on excellent cultural performances. See: www.symphonyun.org.
In September, We the World also organizes its 11 Days of Global Unity, typically running from September 11 to 22 and including the International Day of Peace. We the World includes some 800 events and activities that are held around the Earth that are cultural as well as political in nature. If We the World would join in this organizing effort it could both draw a lot more attention to our events and activities while also promoting those of We the World as well. See: www.wetheworld.org
The Peoples Congress has also agreed to promote and celebrate World Unity Days on the March and September Equinoxes thus on around the 21st or so each year. Thus, we could focus this year on expanding to 15 Days of Global Unity beginning with a Conference on World Democracy, Unity, and Human Rights and a Cultural Arts Festival at UNESCO in Paris and ending with a global celebration of World Unity Day and the International Day of Peace.
So, now imagine, it is 3 months until the International Day of Human Rights and we have issued forth a call of action for everyone around the world to commemorate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on December 10th and to call for the rights within it to finally be realized, in part through strengthening and democratizing our system of global governance. This leads us right into the activities that the World Movement for Global Democracy is planning in December. See: www.wmgd.net.
The World Movement for Global Democracy is launching a BreakThrough 2007-12 Initiative and petition campaign, encouraging as many people as possible to sign on to support the kind of a world that we all dream of and that would provide for all peoples' needs and well being. We decided at the recent Global Symposium that we want to invite students and communities from around the world to join us in a global march and rally on December 10th, and thereabouts, focusing on the themes of World Peace, Unity, and Human Rights, which can be achieved through the means of establishing a world democracy.
We are thus planning to invite students and youth from around the world to join us in organizing school presentations and assemblies, group meditations and cultural activities, rallies, marches, and media events for the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - focusing on the need for a World that Works for Everyone!!
We would like to be able to partner with YouTube which could provide a special section on their website that would feature videos of the Marches and other events that are held all around the world. The local organizers could even invite local media to film their activities and to post their news clips on the YouTube website. Perhaps we could even include a Global Rendition of We Are the World, that could be synched up with Cell Phones and Skype and which would be broadcast and could include groups from all around the world.
Joel Marsden of World Vote Now participated in the Global Symposium in India and organized and videoed a process where we voted together, all at the same time, on a few of our primary global issues (including on the need to strengthen and democratize the UN and on creating a binding and enforceable global or international rule of law). World Vote Now is developing the technology and means for everyone around the world to vote on key issues at the same time; thus they could organize global votes in both September and December as a part of our activities. And we could use their videos to promote this and our overall events. See: www.worldvotenow.org.
The other events and activities of the Global Symposium and Chief Justices Conference were also videoed, along with the Youth World Parliament and International Student Festival in Delhi. So, videos could probably also be produced which could be used to promote everything as well.
So, if we can combine all of these events and activities into a cooperative whole, we ought to be able to develop a lot of interest in our activities and perhaps involve even several million people. With such a focus we may very well be able to develop corporate sponsorship, which would also help us to take everything to a whole new level. There are a number of other events, conferences, and opportunities, particularly focusing on World Democracy, that we could also include and that I do want to mention as time goes on; but I think that this is probably enough for us to think about for now.
So, what do we need to do to be able to make all of this happen? The first thing we need is the personal and organizational commitment of each of the groups and organizations mentioned above to in fact participate in the process. Then we will need to develop some kind of a coordinating council for the activities and see if we can reach agreement on including all or most of these things in the process.
I would be willing to help coordinate things as a volunteer for the time being, but I can not afford to give too much of my time to this unless we can figure out a way that I can be paid for it. If there is a way that I can be paid, then I would make it my primary project and activity for the year. It would be nice if we could get corporate sponsorship and pay other people as well; and I think that we should aim and plan for this.
As a first step, I am thus asking each organization to discuss this proposal and decide whether you want to participate or not and what kind of a commitment you can and will make to the organizing process. I doubt that we have ever had a better opportunity to build and develop support for what we have been trying to achieve.
Please respond as soon as you can and at least let us know whether your organization will consider this proposal further.
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