"All hands together represent/
the new birth, ours, yours ... "
Jose Angel Valente in "Nadie".
the new birth, ours, yours ... "
Jose Angel Valente in "Nadie".
After the “Climate Summit”, recently held in Paris (from November 30 to December 13) with representatives of most States in the world, it seems appropriate to begin this document to urge implementation of the agreements reached, remembering the Earth Charter, one of the most brilliant reference in so somber and turbulent times. It starts as follows: "We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, a time when humanity must choose its future ...". And concludes as follows: "As never before in history, common destiny beckons us to seek a new beginning”.
From now on, we must adopt behaviors and lifestyles in order that year 2020 is really the beginning of a firm and coordinated real action, in order that the agreed measures do not take place in an ecological context even more somber than the current one. It is necessary that previsions just approved with such difficulty and urgency can be achieved with diligence. It requires well-trained, supervisory and appropriate regulatory mechanisms.
In the Anthropocene, to ensure habitability of the Earth and a decent life for all human beings, is an essential responsibility because the basis of all human rights is the equal dignity, regardless of gender, skin color, belief, ideology, age ... after centuries and centuries of absolute male power, social inequalities and extreme poverty prevail in an Earth that, influenced by human activity, is deteriorating.
We live in a digital era. Freedom of expression allows the progressive participation of all citizens in decision-making, in order that democratic systems will be strengthened and deep changes will be feasible because three favorable facts coincide: 1) the knowledge of what is happening in the world, the increasing solidarity feelings not only material but "intellectual and moral", as stated in the preamble of the UNESCO’s Constitution); 2) more women in decision-making, acting accordingly their inherent faculties, and 3) the possibility of distance participation, because of modern communications technology and information.
From now on, the power must not only hear but listen to the opinions of all citizens permanently. The time of silence is over.
The “Earth Summit” was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 -twenty three years ago!- However, the popular feeling has not had the necessary impact in the media of all kinds that could warn governments.
We have looked up passively how "markets" have appointed governments without elections in Italy and Greece, the cradle of democracy. We live in an economy based on exclusion, short-term interest, speculation, production delocalization, in preparing for war, which has led to a situation of extraordinary complexity that requires, especially considering potentially irreversible processes, to adopt urgent measures in correcting the direction of present trends. Much is said of the "welfare state"... that has been reduced to 20% of the inhabitants of the Earth, who live in wealthy neighborhoods of the global village. In a step gradient of poverty and insecurity, 80% of humanity survives in very difficult conditions. To all of this, should not be added the historical intergenerational grievance that would represent the reduction of the quality of life without the possibility of reestablishing it later.
The word com-partir (to share) -which was the key of the United Nations System in the 50’sand 60’s- has been progressively silenced and, instead of strengthening the least developed countries with an integral, endogenous, sustainable and human development, aids to development have been reduced to unbelievable limits and, the World Bank for Reconstruction and Development "lost" his name and has become a tool at the service of big financial institutions; and the Nation-State has been weakened, progressively transferring resources and power to giant multinational structures.
What has been achieved in Paris is all right but under the condition that from now on, the agreed guidelines are carried on at world level. And global problems require global structures. The implementation cannot be entrusted to some “judge and jury” countries and not even to the inefficient plutocratic groups (G7, G8, G20) but to the democratic multilateralism, to a "renovated" United Nations -which were dis-united and marginalised by neoliberals-. Yes now, even now, only they can carry out some urgent functions of ecological and social emergency.
I never tire of repeating that re-founding the United Nations System is more necessary than ever, in order to, as stated in the United Nations Charter, be able, in the shortest possible time, that "the peoples" and -not only the States- are represented in the General Assembly and scientific progress allows a dignified life for all inhabitants of the Earth, through an economy that takes care of the priorities well established by the United Nations System long time ago: food (agriculture, aquaculture and biotechnology); general access to drinking water (collection, management, desalination ...); quality health services; protecting the environment (CO2 emissions, renewable energy, etc.); education and peace. To have an education that provides global consciousness for all: this is a crucial issue because the neighbor may be near or distant. And the environmental care should not be limited to the closest but must be extended, because destiny is common throughout the world.
Today we are able to look at the world and we must observe it -"how difficult it is to observe what we see every day," said Julian Marias- in order that every day does not mean accepting the unacceptable and that the “side effects" of the current system are inevitable. That genocide of abandonment and starvation takes place every day; the way we treat those who try to reach the most developed countries because they are starving in their places of origin ... must be rejected by the public outcry with an increasing influence in cyberspace. In the digital era, we will be able to apply the great adaptation of the known proverb written by Mario Benedetti: "Everything depends on the pain of the beholder”.
It is necessary to invent the future. "Imagine" the future with the increasing participation of world citizens, able to meet and agree through virtual social networks of progressive importance and mobilization capacity that will propose solutions to different problems becoming a relevant part of the democratic process at local and global scales.
From all points of view, it is unacceptable that every day thousands of people die, most of them children from one to five years old, at the same time that 3 billion dollars are invested in armament and military expenditures.
The implementation of the Objectives for Sustainable Development requires a "global outcry”, as praised by the International Peace Bureau, Nobel Peace Prize 1910, to achieve means for "disarmament for development". Security would not be affected: it would be enough with a third of what is currently invested to "protect" the 20% of humanity...
Political, economic and social innovation. Elimination of tax evasion and corruption without hesitation using as well alternative financing sources such as electronic finance transactions; contributions strictly proportional to income; conceptual review and work practice and employment, suitable for digital era ...
This "new beginning" will be necessary as well, with promptness and good sense, to share adequately the benefits obtained from the exploitation of natural resources between those who have the technology and the inhabitants of the areas where these resources are located.
What now should not do humanity, knowing also that points of no return of irreversible deterioration can be reached, is to tolerate that large military-industrial consortia continue earning huge profits and support the perverse adage "If you want peace, prepare for war" ... and that large fortunes remain generally unsupportive -85 people, according to OXFAM- have more wealth than half of humanity (3,3 billion!). Monetary Europe cannot admit refugees and migrants ... but can waste billions on tax evasion and tax havens. Now "people" will not allow it. I remember that magnificent 15-M slogan: "If you do not let us dream, we do not will let you sleep." The time has come not letting them sleep!.
Demography and more longevity will benefit citizen involvement. The enormous geographical diversity will be redressed by the "closeness" of those, from places far apart, who will provide their views.
Let us say loud and clear to all who are now responsible for the implementation of the decisions of the "Summit": it is urgent a new world vision, with new lifestyles. The great personal and collective challenge is to change the model of living. The world is entering a new era. We have much to save for the future and many other things to change decisively. Finally, “the peoples”. Finally, the voice of the people. Finally, the citizen power. Finally, the word and not the force. A culture of peace and non-violence and never more a culture of war.
The "Paris Summit" was, even though late, an encouraging first step. Now thinking of children and youth, we must continue apace. It is a priority and inexorable duty.