May 3, 2003
(12 rue des Fossés St-Jacques, Paris 5ème)
GROUNDS FOR AND OBJECTIVES OF THE DEBATE
The September 27-29, 2002 study days were convened in an effort to redefine World Citizenship and clarify what role the Registry should be playing . The two main decisions made were:
As an introduction, we had asked our Correspondent in Mumbai, India (formerly Bombay), Dr. Leo Rebello, to be our guest speaker on the status of mundialism in his country. Unfortunately, Dr. Rebello could not make it to Paris due to last-minute health problems.
In addition to those Registry Board Members who managed to be there , several representatives of mundialist organizations and individual World Citizens were invited.
(partial lists only:)
Eliane Antoine, Luce Antoine, Didier Aubert, Jean-Louis Bureau, Geneviève Charpentier, Daniel Durand, Horst Eckey, Claude Gastal, Basile Ginger, Garcia Gumersindo, Bernard Henry, Sigina Jankowski Thami, André Lafaye, Jean-Claude Langlois, Jean Leblanc, Jean-Claude Loewinski, Hermine Logbe-Olorg, Joël Luguern, Didier Marchand, René Marlin, Alphonse Mavinga Mbengue, Liliane Metz-Krencker, Alexis Njapo, Vincent Peignez, Jean Prédine, Jean-Michel Richard, Claudius Schauffler, Dorothea Sheasby, Danièle & René Soufflard, Harold Suderman, Thierry Toulon, Gabrielle Treanton, Monique Villard, Christa Werner, Zohreh Zahraee, Jean-Marc Zan.
Representatives of Mundialist Organizations:
Moderator : Daniel Durand
Secretary : Bernard J. Henry
Translator : Liliane Metz-Krencker, assisted by Troy Davis (German) and Bernard J. Henry (English)
1. What is World Citizenship?
· World Citizenship is neither incompatible with, nor a possible substitute for national citizenship. One French Occitan singer is both a regional autonomy supporter and a World Citizen, which proves, , that "everyone must build up its very own World Citizenship." In Brazil, the Fazenda-Escola "Bona Espero" created by Ursula and Giuseppe Grattapaglia educates young people to « both World and national citizenship. »
· World Federalists believe that nationalism can be averted through world federalism and that the system works just like a pyramid with several levels of government functioning together at distinct levels.
· World Citizenship today is not what it was twenty or thirty years ago. Economic globalization has by far overrun the globalization of politics; as a result, national boundaries, our traditional foes, are at the core of a paradox which makes them the last protectors of World Citizenship. This insane paradox must be brought to an end as a matter of urgency. Many examples of this are available to us:
· Zambias resistance to genetically-modified food; Brazils Native Americans faced with the destruction of their native rainforest; and the developing world, where national boundaries have become something of a shield against an even wider scope of exploitation by multinational corporations.
· We should urge people to drop the word « cosmopolitism » from their dictionary, for it implies losing ones roots, which is by no means desirable. World Citizenship is in addition to local and national citizenship, not instead of them.
· Different levels of law : Emmanuel Kant, the eighteenth-century philosopher, wrote in his book Perpetual Peace that the essential is less to achieve peace in itself than to create a world system of laws that can in turn create peace. Three levels of law rule in our societies, says Kant: jus civitatis, which would be the Latin for national law; jus gentium, international law including the rights of national minorities; and jus cosmopoliticum, "the law of World Citizens."
2. In Our History
How we almost took over the U. N.
In 1948, some 20,000 people came to the Vélodrome dHiver in Paris to listen to Garry Davis, who was to read loud a letter from U. N. General Assembly President Dr. Herbert Evatt (Australia), a letter that was to become the catalyst for the creation of the International Registry of World Citizens. Outraged to hear that, in Dr. Evatts words, "The U. N. was not created to make peace but to maintain it once the Member States have organized it," the crowd started chanting: "To the U. N.! To the U. N.!" They wanted for Davis and Robert Sarrazac to lead their "army of World Citizens" to the then U. N. Headquarters, the Palais de Chaillot, with an ultimate view to taking over the U. N. by force.
In a way, maybe we ought to regret this did not happen. "Had they gone ahead we would have a World Parliament by now." But Sarrazac refused. "We, the people of Paris, have no right to act without a mandate from the people of the world. Besides, those more distant people will only be angry at us if we act without their prior consent."
3. A World Democracy
The U. N. Security Council can order armed action against a Member State under Chapter VII of the Charter, but when a nation falls short of democratic standards, the Council becomes powerless. Can anyone petition the Council asking that it "imposes democracy"?
The Marchands believed that relations between states that are not democratic can be democratic anyway, a Second Chamber being a good way to democratize the U. N. This does stand to reason; but the force of people remains our main asset to put pressure on the World Organization.
That is why we must register as many new World Citizens as possible, who will help us pressure their own governments with greater leverage. Tactically speaking, we could announce a World Ballot for 2005 and call on people to register as World Citizens in order to become voters. So far, mundialists have seen a significant increase in the number of applications each time a Peoples Congress election was about to take place.
But one participant objects, saying it would be dishonest to choose such a course of action. Reaching our goals, including the ultimate one creating a World Parliament and a global democracy requires plans of action that are precise.
No decision can be made until the PC has convened again. If, however, the PC was to disappear after to the coming session in October, the Registry would remain and find new means of action (see 4).
As a reference to the Iraqi war and its aftermath, the participants agree that any World Parliament created independently of the U. N. should have its headquarters "anywhere but in the United States."
4. Working with other mundialist organizations
Unity in diversity
There are many mundialist organizations, but there is no real effort made by them to work together. Come to think of it, who will want to join us if we cannot just join forces ourselves? We have to find a common path to walk on, under the auspices of a "mediator" tasked with a liaison work between all mundialist organizations. Lets look at two successful "unions of organizations", the CDWG and the CPM.
4.1. The CDWG (Committee for a Democratic World Government)
Founded in 1988, the CDWG includes fifteen organizations, most of them English-speaking and based in North America, plus the Registry. "CDWG membership is far from being universal, but the CDWG does exist and that is already a good start "
As early as the Dabo Study Days in September 2002, we had decided to approach other organizations offering to work with them at different levels, whether these are CDWG members or not.
The issue was examined once again during the May 3 Board Meeting. Two decisions were made:
CDWG Member Organizations:
The American Movement for World Government
4.2. The CPM (Permanent Mundialist Committee)
The CPM is kind of a Francophone answer to the CDWG. Now that its long-time President Rector Robert Mallet is dead, the CPM is run by Secretary-General Jerry Bourgeois. Concerning the future of the CPM, should it now remain "French-centered", or should it expand to the European level or to the entire Francophone world?
Here is a list of current and former CPM member organizations :
5. Mundialists and their neighbors
The Social Forums
The Registry had been invited to the 2002 World Social Forum at Porto Alegre, Brazil, but was unable to attend due to lack of human and financial resources.
On November 10-19, 2003, a European Social Forum will take place in Paris and Saint-Denis, France. The French Center already has its own stand booked.
« Entire peoples » would be ready to join us if properly approached. There is one more reason why we should definitely join forces with other mundialist NGOs known to us. Other NGOs still are specialized in their respective fields of action: Amnesty International for human rights; Greenpeace for peace and the environment; ATTAC for resistance to economic globalisation; and many more. Along with these organizations, the World Federalist Movement could take punctual stands on issues of interest and so could the Registry. Many people remain "dormant" members, some of which are already active in their own way. These can be "awaken" if we only act in a proper manner. Some prominent mundialist figures belong to organizations that are exterior to the Registry, and they are indeed different people Philip Isely at the World Constitution and Parliament Association, Douglas Mattern at the Association of World Citizens, and Garry Davis at the World Service Authority. Therefore, we must be aware that our forces are limited as long as we decide to stand alone, which is why we definitely have to know what we can do with other NGOs, and, most importantly, with which ones.
Civil society and the U. N.
Can we "democratise" the U. N. by letting civil society representatives in, as it was undertaken during the Millenium Summit which produced recommendations that were passed on all Heads of Member States for greater openness to civil society? Some participants deem it useless to try and reform the U. N., as irrelevant it was for the League of Nations in 1939, when World War II broke out. This would require a « popular » process, although there is a risk of having mundialist NGOs look like a new power elite to the people of the world.
6. Languages and mundialism
The issue of languages is widely debated here. A language is, says one participant, "a dialect with more speakers," even though it is, says another, "a part of an individuals citizen in its own right."
It is also heard that our work is "too French", and that French and English, two "Western languages" used in the promotion of "Western concepts," remain prominent languages in use among us, "mundialists". This is unfair and must come to an end.
In spite of this, the Registry stands out as a prominent polyglot among mundialist organizations, if only through its Web site in sixteen languages, on top of which Esperanto: the universal language.
7. A "Universal Declaration of Human Responsibilities"?
Professor Harold Suderman has come all the way from Canada to tell us about the Universal Declaration of Human Responsibilities. He says this draft Declaration, whose audience is quite confidential to date, deserves the same recognition as that enjoyed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Professor Suderman found out about the Declaration in 1998 and subsequently joined the InterAction Council, the NGO that initiated it and has promoted it since then. "It was clear to me from the start," he says, "that human rights imply human responsibilities too." Yet there is hardly ever a single mention of a victory of human responsibilities in the press, for which only human rights seem to count.
That is, Professor Suderman says, one of the reasons why the World Federalists of Canada have undertaken to adopt and promote the Declaration. They showed great interest in it and even asked for more information, as did other people outside WFM-Canada. For two years, Harold Suderman roamed the Internet only to find that the Declaration was already widely reproduced and debated, and that the InterAction Council was very present on the Web too.
Harold Suderman works on the Declaration in its entire form, as it was presented to the U. N. on September 1, 1997. Declaration supporters then hoped the General Assembly would decide to adopt it, preferably by 1998, which would have been "a fitting tribute to the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights." Besides English, the Declaration exists in fifteen languages.
Economic globalization requires global solutions to the problems it creates solutions that can be accepted by all cultures and societies. The Declaration seeks to balance rights and responsibilities, which includes a necessary transition "from freedom of indifference to freedom of commitment." The need for balanced rights and responsibilities is clearly underlined in the introduction, as are the need for world ethics and the opportunities for self-achievement this new balance would provide for everyone.
Yet the audience does not seem so enthusiastic. "You must recognize your responsibilities, all right but you must claim your rights first!" By codifying human responsibilities like this, arent we sending a dangerous signal to oppressors that their actions can be legitimate?
It is suggested to:
· Hold the General Assembly in places other than Paris, home of the Registry Headquarters.
· Eliminate the « Nationality » section from our Application Bulletins, for this can be a tough issue to address. This section stopped appearing on the Registrys own forms in October 2000.
· Amend the Pact of World Citizens written in 1949, which is no longer relevant since it includes a sentence on « the showdown between the two superpowers. » Todays world is multi-polar and so should be the spirit of the Pact too.
· This Report will be mailed to all PC Delegates and Deputies.
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