ICE blogs

July 6, 2009

UN Declaration highlights culture as driving force for human development

Filed under: News, ethical space editors blog, Headlines, journalism — news_editor @ 8:28 pm

Robert Beckett celebrates the recent passing of a UN Declaration which promotes a vision for a revived humanity working together to overcome nation-state self-interest and for a sustainable economic future

Some moments our fragile world appears on a collision course with catastrophe. Other times the light shines a little more brightly. The results of the recent G192, meeting in New York city suggest a reaction of the second order.

The G192, has finally, it seems, become the representative body of the United Nations, constitutionally giving voice to the 192 signatory countries to the UN Charter - that is, all of the world’s undisputed nation-states; with only the appallingly treated Palestine admitted to the meeting as an honourable observer in this latter class.

The post-conference resolution of this first ever G192 meeting, emerged on 24 June, and is not only a response to the financial crisis, which it was billed as being, but uniquely appears as a statement of intention by the world’s governments to address future global economic development. This is the first time, at least since 1944 when 44 countries signed the Bretton Woods agreement, that the UN’s entire membership have unanimously approved such a statement.

In their Declaration, the current crisis is not, thankfully, reduced to a mere restitution of economic goals, or status quo ante calls for stability. No, the breath and scope of the Declaration certainly moves closer the tighter regulation of global economic agencies and institutions, while in addition, suggesting a more meaningful engagement with the big questions that increasingly face every nation-state. The failure of a free-market model of world-trade to successfully deal with poverty even in the developed nations, the inherent instability of an economics founded in over-consumption and amoral competition, the myriad and civilization threatening issues of environmental degradation.

The Declaration suggests a new vision founded in familiar assumptions of an information age; culture as a driving force for human development, values of cooperation driven by ethics and of widespread social innovation that emphasise sustainable communities, connected to global indices for individual well-being. The final Declaration advances a vision for a revived humanity working together to overcome nation-state self-interest and to move the planet’s people towards a new stage of sustainable economic cooperation.

In short, the Declaration gives us hope for the future wellbeing of our beautiful shared planet. And epitomises the shared task of moral renewal that so many now hope for, yet scarcely dare believe.

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