Civil Society, Democracy, Environment, Human Rights

Ágora`s Plenary report

Chairman: Roberto Savio

Opening with the 13 documents of the working groups – Chairman: Roberto Savio

On Friday, December 14, thirteen reports from the working groups carried out in different parts of the world were presented to the Plenary of the Agora in Sezano, in preparation for the drafting of a “Charter of Humanity: Towards a Pact of Humanity”.

The reports were distributed to 200 participants and represent the contributions of hundreds of individuals from around the world on the road to forging a shared commitment on the theme of humanity and its centrality in the economy, finance and society.

The Presidency found it useful to identify a common thread, which would capture the essential elements of the reports, in order to draw up a final document.

The first report, “Which humanity” was presented by Alain Adriaens from Belgium and is the result of a consultation process in Brussels, with the participation of around thousand people, 101 of whom have sent written proposals and reflections.

The Presidency regarded the following guiding elements for the final document:

The value of the participative democracy as an element of mobilisation and awareness-raising.

The moralization of politics is increasingly falling prey not only to the loss of ethical values but also to the capacity of faithfully representing the outcome of consultation with the citizens.

In the present troubled scenario, different groups of resistance and participation are created and become an action of reparation and strength.

The second report, “Vision of Humanity” was presented by Carminda Mac Lorin from Colombia and was carried out at a workshop held in Montreal, Canada.

The Presidency considered these points:

The main concern is to bring humanity back to the centre of the common values, such as fraternity, democracy, respect…

We must create a space in our hearts that stimulates the real encounter with the other, face our own prejudices to let them fall.

The meeting in Montreal refers to the use of the arts for bringing together self-expression and participation. Art, combined with solidarity, are the means. This allows us to contrast the growing technology in society, which is being developed not for humanity but for its exploitation.

The third report, “The paths of Humanity”, resulted by a working group carried out in Sezano, focused on the possibility of creating a new narrative of the world.

The Presidency regards it as appropriate first of all to draw up a glossary of the key words for the final document of the Agora. This is the definition of 22 recurring words in the participants’ discussion at the Agora (and not only), which ranges from the definition of the New Citizenship of the Earth’s Inhabitants, the common goods, the biodiversity, the community, the human rights, to the monetization and the utopia. As mentioned in a quote by Eugenio Borgna: words are living structures…

The fourth report, “The uproar of the South”, summarizes the work of a committee in Chile, coordinated by Luis Infanti de la Mora, bishop of Aysen in Patagonia, of which we take into account the following contributions:

It is necessary to see both the earth and humanity as subjects of rights.

However, the current system, which cannot eliminate poverty, is eliminating the poors (e.g. the child mortality rate among the poors).

It is fundamental to introduce the critical thinking as a new approach to education.

That the neoliberal system is the manipulation of nature.

It is worth recalling Pope Francis’ observation that every private property has a social mortgage.

The fifth report, “Global Social Justice”, was presented by Riccardo Petrella, due to the defection of Francine Mestrum. It is based on the “Charter for the Protection of Social Rights” of the Forum Asia-Europe held in Gandes. The following points are to be considered:

We need to introduce the concept of equality as dignity, equality in life.

Social protection is more than the broad perspective of reducing poverty. It must be seen as a primary right, and to this end it must be implemented immediately.

It should also be seen as a right of vision beyond the growth, i.e. the idea that the growth is the ultimate goal, ignoring the aspects of human and social development, and redistribution according to the criteria of equity and justice.

Social protection is a tool for changing the system.

The sixth report, “Stop the Arms Trade”, is the result of a campaign against the arms (Aufschrei, Stoppt den Waffenhandel) launched in Germany by the pacifist Jürgen Grässlin and which brings together 150 organisations of the civil society and the church. At present it is the most powerful network in Europe for the disarmament and the fight against arms producers. It was presented by Stefan Möhrle and the following points were considered:

It is important to give a voice to the victims, to give a name and a face to the executives.

It is urgent to carry out a fight against the arms industry, which commodifies deaths and conflicts.

The seventh report, “Organisations of the World Public Heritage”, by the University of the Common Goods (UBC) in Paris, was presented by Cristina Bertelli and the following points were taken into consideration:

The concept of efficiency is now in opposition to the concept of humanity.

The rights to life are the foundation of the common rights.

We condemn the utilitarian vision of life, which is now dominated by the concept of profitability.

It is urgent to create a Security Council for Common Goods, at the level of the International Treaty, to immediately deal with the drift of the private intellectual property, which now takes over the ownership of natural goods and even parts of the human body.

The eighth report, “Common Good Water”, by the conference held in Rosario, Argentina, was presented by Anibal Faccendini and considers the following points.

It is urgent to denounce the pedagogy of dehumanization, which is being created as if it were a natural fact. Young people see poverty, wars, speculations as natural events.

A new naturalization is urgently needed, one that restores life and its values and destroys the growing conviction that “there are no alternatives”.

The relaunching of the responsibilities of being at the service of life, of the politics of life, of humanity in construction.

Make water the paradigm of life, denouncing its monetization and its growing scarcity, which only a social and egalitarian policy can control.

The ninth report, “Disarmament of finances”, by a working group in Lisbon, was presented by its coordinator Joao Caraça. The following points were taken into account.

Financing is the cause of the present disaster. It has ceased its historical function of lubricating the productive system and has become a self-referential force, without controls, inspired only by the utilitarian principle.

It is urgent to de-monetize life, to convey the concept of the Common Good as untouchable and redeem the main object of society.

Inform the banks in accordance with the policy and a series of measures intended to prohibit tax havens, derivatives, reporting companies that finance under the principles of transparency, reinventing the authority of public authorities over money and finance etc…

To realise the cooperative financial system, eliminating the current speculative system.

The tenth report, “Democracy without Borders”, is the launch of the Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly.

This is the campaign that calls for the creation of a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, which introduces a representative system of citizens, parallel to the intergovernmental system that currently forms the General Assembly. It would act as an independent supervisory system of the United Nations, drawing on the experience of the European Parliament and the Pan-African Parliament.

The coordinator Jean Wauquier presented the eleventh report, “Mother Earth: An Essential Philosophy for Universal Fraternity”, a reflection held in Lyon. We considered the following points:

The concept of Mother Earth, the fruit of a thousand-year-old philosophy, re-establishes the relationship between humans and the Earth, as a relationship of direct affiliation, which eliminates the interconnections of the system that frees the human being from Mother Earth in order to transform him/her into a consumer, and the object of commodification.

This leads to redefining the issue of identity, which is lost in the homogenization of the market, in the transition from citizen to consumer, from farmer to citizen…

The notion of Mother Earth leads to the dialogue of her children of all cultures, to the repudiation of the anthropocentric vision that is taking the planet beyond its limits.

The twelfth report, “Cooperation, NGOs and Building Humanity”, carried out by the CIPSI, was presented by Guido Barbera, and the following points were taken into consideration.

The NGO world is a hazy cloud, where the resources provided by international cooperation often prevail over the real needs of the beneficiaries of the project, creating also absurd competitions, e.g a project for malnourished Togolese children, against those of Benin.

The time has come to free oneself from the anxiety of doing, to get back to the values of coexistence and the polis.

It is necessary to overcome the logic of the relationship between the project and the financing and to create relationships of clear social partnering, to promote the self-financing of people with transparency and encouraging the encounter between cultures.

 

The thirteenth report, “Inequality and social exclusion”, was presented by Luis Rena and Jonathan Felix on behalf of the Betim think tank (Minas Gerais, Brazil), which also involved six-year-old children in order to have a spontaneous view of the issues of the debate. The current situation in Brazil opens perspectives of deep social inequality, destruction of forests and reduction of human rights.

It is necessary to raise the awareness about the profound changes that are taking place, in order to achieve an international solidarity that reduces the expected imbalances.

The path that opens up will affect especially the weakest, poorest and indigenous communities.

National and international action is needed to stop the return to the authoritarianism, exploitation and crisis of ethical and human values.

The Presidency has finally summarized the points that link the thirteen reports and elaborated the meaning of the interventions, in relation to the Agora of the Inhabitants, in Sezano, whether from now on we want to advance towards a process that takes into account the contributions of this joint discussion.

The presentation of the reports, as well as the debate in the afternoon of the first working day of the Agora, offer some indications, the most important of which is that after this event a new process has initiated. In order to pursue this process, you receive the following indications.

The first refers to the definition of the process. It is clear that the participants in the Agora come from different backgrounds and struggles, which allows a rich and constructive dialogue. This dialogue is based on the diversity of its participants and represents an important element of the journey, which is necessarily holistic.

The second refers to the topic of the dialogue, which is clearly humanity, in its cultural and social meanings, and of a different economy. A process based on different cultures, experiences and ways of looking at humanity, but always fighting against the use of the neoliberal capitalism, without rules and controls, that commodify life and reduce the person to a consumer with no future.

The third refers to the function of the Agora, which is to build a tent so large that it can accommodate all the institutions and all those who want to speak and act for a “Pact of Humanity”.

The fourth is that this tent is intended as an open space for a dialogue in which none of the participants renounce their identity, their main field of action, their organization, but view the Agora as an opportunity for a holistic, participatory engagement and this represents a common strength.

The fifth, therefore, is that a path has opened up not to create another institution, but to collect as much as possible, through the shared work, to achieve the common purpose of building a Pact of Humanity.

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The President thanks the speakers for their invaluable contribution to the creation of a common path and declares its inability to fully express the wealth of analysis, ideas and proposals that have been collected. He hopes that this synthesis and reflection document will open a path of further enrichment, and that the Sezano Agora will be a seed that gives life and strength to the Pact of Humanity. It is a paradigm and an effort to restore life, nature, solidarity and equality as key elements of humanity.

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