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Showing posts with label global citizenship. Show all posts
Showing posts with label global citizenship. Show all posts

Monday, October 5, 2015

Are Migrants Global Citizens?

​There Are No Migrants, Only Global Citizens​

Robert C. Koehler for Buzzflash at TruthOut

Who are all these people?

Here’s another global problem — this flow of refugees — that national governments are apparently incapable of dealing with in a long-term, cooperative, globally responsible way. As with climate change, as with war and disarmament, they retreat into insularity in the face of such matters and become protective of their short-term, individual “interests,” which mostly concern the bureaucratic sacredness of their borders and an obsessive distinction between us and them.


“The European Union, (French President Fran├žois Hollande) said, needed to create ‘hot spot’ reception centers at those borders under the greatest onslaught — in Greece, Italy and Hungary — to register new arrivals and turn back those who do not meet the requirements for asylum,” reports the New York Times.

And: “(British Prime Minister David) Cameron said Monday that Britain would accept up to 20,000 Syrian refugees, but they would most likely be limited to those who apply for asylum from camps in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. The British government is wary of giving migrants any incentive to make the dangerous journey into Europe, officials said. . . .”

Of course, it gets a lot worse than that: razor wire, brute force, big walls. Desperate people risk their lives. Boats capsize. Children die as racist slogans reverberate. Families flee war and poverty, hell on earth. They need new homes. What a nuisance.

The photo of the body of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi, who washed up on a Turkish beach after his family’s boat capsized as they tried to escape Syria — his mother and 5-year-old brother also died — has turned the refugee crisis, at least temporarily, into something more than an abstraction. “Within hours,” Jamie Fahey wrote at the Guardian, which initially published the photo, “the image had gone viral and become the top-trending picture on Twitter with the hashtag #KiyiyaVuranInsanlik (humanity washed ashore).”

Humanity washes ashore, but does anything change? There’s only one way for real change to happen: The value of human life must supersede citizenship. Refugees — people forced by terrible circumstances out of their homes — shouldn’t have their escape routes blocked, either by barbed wire or bureaucratic minutiae, because they have been rendered “stateless.”

For instance, while Aylan’s family had relatives in Canada and, therefore, could legally have entered that country, his parents “had been unable to get family reunification visas that would have given them a legal route out of Turkey,” the Washington Post reported. “Instead, they tried to reach Greece by boat, with tragic consequences.”

The arguments defending border restrictions concern the sanctity and necessity of maintaining national order. But these arguments begin to crumble when one considers the extent to which potential host nations bear responsibility for much of the chaos in those broken parts of the world — such as Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan — from which most of the world’s refugees are fleeing.

This phenomenon isn’t usually included in news stories about refugees. Thus they are portrayed either as pitiable unfortunates who need our benevolence or would-be freeloaders trying to get a good deal for themselves in some wealthy country with generous benefits.

But as Robert Parry, who as a reporter for the Associated Press in the 1980s helped expose the Iran-Contra fiasco, wrote recently: “The refugee chaos that is now pushing deep into Europe . . . started with the cavalier ambitions of American neocons and their liberal-interventionist sidekicks who planned to remake the Middle East and other parts of the world through ‘regime change.’

“Instead of the promised wonders of ‘democracy promotion’ and ‘human rights,’” he continued, “what these ‘anti-realists’ have accomplished is to spread death, destruction and destabilization across the Middle East and parts of Africa and now into Ukraine and the heart of Europe. Yet, since these neocon forces still control the Official Narrative, their explanations get top billing — such as that there hasn’t been enough ‘regime change.’”

The neocons, who began their “cult of regime change” in Central America during the Reagan era, reclaimed control over American foreign policy when Bush Jr. was elected president and used 9/11 to cohere support for their long-sought invasion of Iraq. This action, of course, shattered the country and let loose the howling chaos of civil war. Since then, the U.S. and its allies have perpetrated similar disasters in Libya, Syria and elsewhere, as they’ve continued to impose regime change on select Middle Eastern countries they hope to control.

But today’s global refugee crisis goes deeper than the neocons. The colonial powers of the Western world conquered and exploited the whole planet. Even when these powers relinquished their control over the Third World, they left behind a patchwork of states with randomly drawn borders that were in many cases deeply ungovernable.

As Gurminder K. Bhambra wrote recently in the Australian publication The Conversation: “The failure to properly account for Europe’s colonial past cements the political division between legitimate citizens with rights and migrants/refugees without rights. . . .

“If belonging to the history of the nation is what traditionally confers membership rights upon individuals (as most forms of citizenship demonstrate), it’s incumbent upon us to recognize the histories that would see refugees as already having claims upon the states they wish to enter.”

There should be no such concept as stateless migrants, left to the mercy of the weather and the tides, the smugglers of human cargo, the border bureaucrats. There should only be global citizens.

This is all of us, equal to one another in our humanity, equally deserving of the chance to live and prosper. The photos of a 3-year-old boy washed ashore in Turkey make this clear.

Blogger's Note: It is our objective to bring you timely information relative to our program developments, currently we have over 120 volumes and several hundred significant documents discussing the topic of "global citizenship" available to members. If any of our readers identify new articles that portray a negative discourse on the ideal of world, global or universal citizenship please bring it to our attention for the opportunity to provide debate and include it within the developing philosophy. Also feel free to submit articles on the topic of your own devise. Our projects are based in academic and philosophical ideals and we appreciate examining all perspectives to develop and maintain a nondiscriminatory position. The articles we post on our blog do not necessarily reflect our point of view. Thank you.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Goodwill Ambassadors as Global Citizens

Goodwill Ambassadors of the United Nations

The United Nations reminds us this month about the importance of Goodwill Ambassadors, Messengers of Peace Champions of Sport, and other Special Representatives that work to promote ideals that foster humanity and unity as international civil servants under a great number of departments and specialized divisions.

Each of the celebrities and public figures (which include actors, artists, authors, musicians, politicians, and other popular figures) has expressed an interest in advocating and serving the United Nations as a politically and religiously neutral figure to serve as an ambassador to promote ideals that are universal and global.

UN Goodwill Ambassadors 
UN Special, Magazine, No 752, September 2015

The UN Special: Magazine of International Civil Servants this month highlights the accomplishments and horizons of this humanitarian task force we know as goodwill ambassadors and their work around the world. The United Nations has been using goodwill ambassadors since 1954 when they introduced actor, singer and dancer Danny Kaye as their first special representative with the special title of Goodwill Ambassador.

Today the UN has nearly 500 goodwill ambassadors actively working with organizations like UNICEF, UNAIDS, UNESCO, UNEP, UNDP, and a dozen other specialized divisions.

Coincidentally this month the United Nations, hundreds of iNGOs, and their goodwill ambassadors will lead 193 nations toward creating a sustainable world when the global priority shifts to the recovery of the global ecosystem and the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, some say it will be the biggest change ever experienced by human-kind. People should expect many changes in lifestyle and methods that have been identified as unsustainable.

New Opportunity

Every state that participates will be rewarded well for their compliance through the Climate Fund and the World Bank; the UN and independent organizations like Globcal International are positioned to create facilitatory services to the public and private sectors to benefit best from the SDGs. The United Nations is implementing international observers and economic oversight to protect against corruption, Globcal similarly will offer special services through a cooperative service and trading program designed for global citizens.

Become better positioned and prepared for the change as a member of Globcal International (as a goodwill ambassador or global citizen) to work with us on UN SDG projects, in Biosphere Reserves, at UNESCO sites, archeological parks, and within Indigenous Territories. Many of our members move onto careers with the United Nations and other iNGOs like the Red Cross.

Globcal International and the Goodwill Ambassadors of the World program began promoting the new Post-2015 Agenda and programs that promote sustainability with the MDGs and are now positioned for the SDGs with the development of a special sanctioned global citizenship pilot program designed to exempt global citizens and goodwill ambassadors in their work and travels. To learn more about becoming a goodwill ambassador working for Globcal International and the United Nations please contact us for a private personal development consultation.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Getting Ready for Global Citizenship

U.N. Puts Global Citizenship at Center of Agenda

By Thalif Deen

A peace sign formed by people in Croatia. Credit: Teophil/cc by 3.0

UNITED NATIONS, Jun 12 2015 (IPS) - When Denmark hosted the World Summit on Social Development (WSSD) in March 1995, one of the conclusions of that international gathering in Copenhagen was to create a new social contract with “people at the centre of development.”

But notwithstanding the shortcomings in its implementation over the last 20 years, the United Nations is now pursuing an identical goal with a new political twist: “global citizenship.”


“Our world needs more solar power and wind power.  But I believe in an even stronger source of energy: People power.” -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Reaffirming the opening line of the U.N. Charter, which says “We the Peoples”, the United Nations is adding the finishing touches to its post-2015 development agenda – even as there are increasing demands from civil society organisations (CSOs) to focus on issues relating to people, including poverty, hunger, unemployment, urbanisation, education, nuclear disarmament, gender empowerment, population, human rights and the global environment.

Addressing a star-studded Global Citizen Festival in New York City’s Central Park last September, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon declared: “Our world needs more solar power and wind power. But I believe in an even stronger source of energy: People power.”

Speaking at the 20th anniversary of WSSD, Ambassador Oh Joon of the Republic of Korea and Vice President of the U.N.’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) said while one of the three major objectives of the Copenhagen Social Summit – poverty eradication – was incorporated into the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted in 2000, the other two – productive employment and social integration – were not.

“An integrated approach advocated at the Social Summit to simultaneously pursue the three key objectives was left behind,” he told an ECOSOC meeting last week.

“There was a need to re-examine where the new United Nations development agendas would come from,” the Korean envoy said.

Economic growth in itself, while necessary, was not sufficient to reduce poverty and inequality, he said, stressing the need for strong social policies, as well as inclusive and sustainable development.

Similarly, there were many links among social, economic and environmental fields that must be effectively addressed, he added.

Meanwhile, the concept of global citizenship has taken on added importance, particularly on the eve of the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda which is expected to be approved at a summit meeting of world leaders in September.

Asked how relevant the concept was in the post-2015 context, Roberto Bissio, executive director of the Third World Institute, a non-profit research and advocacy organisation based in Uruguay, told IPS: “If by citizenship we mean rights, and in particular the right to bring governments to account, and decide how taxes are used, we are very far from global citizenship.”

In fact, he said, there is little talk of citizenship in the current discussions around the Financing for Development (FfD) conference in Addis Ababa in July and the September summit of world leaders on a new development agenda.

Instead, he said, there is a lot of attention being given to “multistakeholderism”.

The notion of “stakeholder”, as opposed to “shareholder,” was originally a way to make corporations more accountable to the people affected by their actions.

Now “multistakeholder governance” in the Internet or in “partnerships” with the United Nations means that corporations will have a role in global governance, without necessarily becoming more accountable in the process, he pointed out.

“This means less rights for citizens, not more,” said Bissio, who also coordinates the secretariat of Social Watch, an international network of citizen organisations worldwide.

On the other hand, he said, if the FfD conference approves a U.N. mechanism for tax collaboration between countries to counter widespread tax evasion by multinational corporations, citizenship (including the elusive ‘global citizenship’ concept) may emerge strengthened.

Pointing out the successes of people-oriented policies, Eduardo Frei Ruiz-Tagle, former president of Chile, said when he was the leading his country in 1995 he had supported several initiatives to promote democracy and social justice.

Over the last 25 years, he said, Chile had succeeded in drastically reducing poverty to 7.8 per cent from 38.6 per cent, with extreme poverty reduced to 2.5 per cent from 13 per cent.

The WSSD, he said, was the largest meeting of heads of state that resulted in shaping a new model of development that would create progressive social equity that addressed imbalances around the world.

“The human being was placed at the centre of development, as reflected in the World Summit action plan,” he said.

Highlighting achievements resulting from implementing the plan, he said Chile had increased investments in social development and was, under current President Michelle Bachelet, continuing to do so in order to address inequality.

While Latin America had reduced poverty, it remained “more unequal” than other regions and currently, 28 per cent of its population of 167 million lived in poverty, with 71 million living in extreme poverty, he said.

But some of the pressing tasks, he said, included thinking about a new fiscal pact and tax reform that would improve income distribution in order to avoid “false” development. Corruption and institutional reform also needed to be addressed.

“As such, the World Social Summit remained as valid today as in 1995,” he said.

Going forward, combatting poverty and inequalities required an ethical foundation and a sustained effort. At this crossroad, it was time that governments gave more impetus to that “moral movement”, the former Chilean president said.

Juan Somavia, a former director-general of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and ex-Permanent Representative of Chile to the United Nations, told the ECOSOC meeting the yet-to-be-finalised “zero” draft of the new post-2015 agenda recovered the spirit and dynamism of the 1990s and was a good basis for negotiations.

“The document reflected a supremely ambitious vision, with its 17 goals and 69 indicators focused on a people-centred poverty-eradication sustainable development concept,” he noted.

With regard to challenges, he said, policy support from the United Nations would be critical.

Since the world had discussed the three elements of sustainable development but had not yet implemented them, the basic challenge ahead was to ensure integrated thinking and to shape methods for using it to clearly explain the types of interactions between the agenda’s three pillars that were needed to fulfill commitments, he declared.

That difficult task required an initiative from the U.N. secretariats in New York and Geneva, its Funds and Programmes and the multiple networks in regions in which the organisation operated, he said.

Unless that process began immediately after the new agenda was adopted, the “goods” would not be delivered, Somavia warned.

That initiative would also require the recognition of the balance between markets, the State, society and individuals. “In recent years, people’s confidence in the United Nations had dropped.”

The manner in which the United Nations presented the new agenda was essential in addressing that issue.

As the Social Summit’s Programme of Action had recognized the importance of public trust, he emphasized that the new development agenda must acknowledge and address that current lack of confidence, Somavia declared.

Edited by Kitty Stapp, The writer can be contacted at thalifdeen@aol.com

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