Call for Collegium International

New York, February 5, 2002

Since 2002, statesmen and intellectuals, gathered at the invitation of the President of the Republic of Slovenia, Milan Kucan, have been reflecting on the consequences of the changes affecting our world and the ways of a profound transformation of relations. between human societies on a global scale. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, by serving as a revealer, have reinforced their conviction that there is an urgent need to respond to the disorders of the world. By revealing the negative interdependencies at work in our societies, this tragedy also underlines the need to strengthen positive interdependencies and build new ones. The solution cannot come from a military response alone. Because the three great challenges - environmental, economic and ethical - which humanity faces today, impose a radical change in the conduct of the world. From this perspective, the creation of an international Collegium appears to be a major asset.

Beyond the legitimate emotion, solidarity with the American people and the condemnation aroused by the attacks in New York and Washington, it is essential to consider the breeding ground on which a terrorism that was both murderous and suicidal. Because it was partly nourished by the most questionable forms of Interdependence that the West itself implemented or authorized:
- calling into question all forms of regulation and control in the context of the globalization of economic exchanges;
- a deeply unequal conception of world development, which generates misery and humiliation;
- the priority given permanently to economic and financial logic over ecological, social and human imperatives.

Three fundamental challenges

The global nature of these problems requires the establishment of a responsibility that is itself globalized. We must both preserve the positive aspects of an increased interdependence between societies and seek to limit the more negative aspects, starting with the threats that can lead humanity to create the conditions for its own physical destruction. and moral. Three major challenges - ecological, economic and ethical - thus appear to be linked to the disruptions that our humanity is currently experiencing.

1. Ecological threats

We are beginning to understand that our Biosphere is fragile, that planet Earth can become uninhabitable to ourselves, to our children and to future generations, if we do not take care of it. We cannot ignore the warming climate, the lack of potable water from which two billion human beings suffer (and the threats of scarcity that weigh on this resource), the poisoning of our soils, the plundering of the nature and waste of energy sources… We cannot ignore the disastrous effects of technological disasters on our environment. The spread of deadly pandemics like AIDS also needs to be addressed urgently. All these ecological challenges call for regulations and the construction of a global pact for the preservation of our environment.

2. Economic and financial disturbances

Regulated by democratic laws and civic institutions, economic freedom can contribute to the prosperity and security of peoples. But security cannot exist durably in a deregulated world where, according to official United Nations figures, the cumulative fortune of less than three hundred individuals is equal to the income of two and a half billion humans. A world that tolerates tax havens, the anonymity of offshore companies and the laundering of the “outlaw” money that terrorism and other forms of crime feed on is not a safe world. A world where the imperatives of financial valuation guide the advance of research, particularly in biotechnology, is not a safe world. The savage globalization that we are experiencing must be replaced by a globalization “with a human face” and a plan for civilization on a planetary scale.

3. The crisis of meaning and thought

Humanity has a rendezvous with itself because it has acquired the capacity to destroy itself and because it knows that its biosphere is fragile. The tremendous technical and scientific advances that we owe to his intelligence must be put at the service of a renewed quality of humanity, by opposing the fascination of violence and intolerance or the materialist obsession. and to its own violence, a living world democracy, bearer of justice, meaning and responsibility, and open to great ethical and spiritual traditions.

The terrorism that must be fought is a condensation of hatred and closed meaning. Only values at the intersection of open meaning, justice and democracy, are of size to face this formidable dark energy. This fight can be based on the most positive achievements of global interdependencies - such as the emergence of international law - but also on the contributions of different spiritual approaches: their common point, since they are not disfigured by hatred, fundamentalism or materialism, has always been to consider that the barbarism which threatens humanity is not external but internal. A personal transformation of our behavior, educated in autonomy and complexity, must therefore accompany social transformation.

A civic and ethical response

To provide a civic and ethical response to these challenges, it seems necessary to us today to work in two directions:
- the first is that of the emergence of a citizenship and, in the long term, of a global democracy, the only ones capable of giving the ecological, health, social and economic regulations that have become essential, a basis of democratic legitimacy;
- the second is to provide an ethical quality which this democratic project is sorely lacking today. Democracy cannot be reduced either to the elective principle or even to the power of peoples to govern themselves: elections can be used by dictators; peoples, given over to their fears or their identity passions, can fall into war or oppression against other human beings.

Global democracy must therefore be built on a global ethos based on shared values, including:
- the inviolability of human life;
- respect for human dignity;
- the golden rule of reciprocity towards our contemporaries ("Do not do to others what you would not like them to do to you") and of responsibility towards future generations.

The construction of a world civility needs, to replace science, economy, technology at the rank of means and not of end, of a requirement not subjected to the constraints of the interests, to the media obsession, to the pressure. short term. This is why it seems necessary to the signatories of this text, who benefited for their first work from the exceptional reception of Slovenia and the effective participation of its President of the Republic, to propose the constitution of an international ethics Collegium. in charge of a triple function:
- watch and alert on the main risks facing humanity;
- of discernment, in particular ethical, as to the nature of these risks and the quality of the means necessary to face them without these becoming themselves counterproductive;
- advising governments and international institutions (first and foremost the United Nations) in order to inform their decision-making process.

Such a Collegium will bring together in a common research in humanity public actors, researchers and creators, listening to civil society (in particular NGOs and associations of active citizens) and accepting the difficult encounter of the quest for truth. , beauty or justice with the demands of all responsibility embodied.

Signatories (position held at the time of signature):
ARIAS SANCHEZ Oscar, Nobel Peace Prize, former President of Costa Rica
ATLAN Henri, Biophysicist and philosopher, France
AXWORTHY Lloyd, Director and CEO, LIU Center, Columbia University; Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Canada
BOLGER James, Former Prime Minister of New Zealand
CARDOSO Fernando Henrique, President of Brazil
CASTELLS Manuel, Sociologist, Spain
DE LA MADRID Miguel, former President of Mexico
DELMAS-MARTY Mireille, Professor at the Collège de France
DREIFUSS Ruth, Former President of the Swiss Confederation
DOYLE Michael W., Professor of International Relations, Columbia University, USA
DUPUY Jean-Pierre, Professor of social and political philosophy, France
EVANS Gareth, President ICG, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Australia
FRASER Malcolm, Former Prime Minister, Australia, Chairman, InterAction Council
GEREMEK Bronislaw, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland
GIORGINI Pierre, Author and President-Rector of the Catholic University of Lille, France.
GOLDMAN Sacha, General Secretary of Collegium International, France
GUTTERRES Antonio, former Prime Minister of Portugal
HABERMAS Jürgen, Philosopher, Germany
HABIBIE Bacharuddin Jusuf, Former President of Indonesia
HALPERIN Morton, Council on Foreign Relations, USA
HAVEL Vaclav, President of the Czech Republic
HESSEL Stéphane, Ambassador of France
HORN Gyula, Former Prime Minister, Hungary
HRIBAR Tine, Philosopher, Slovenia
KONARÉ Alpha Oumar, President of Mali
KOUCHNER Bernard, Minister of Health, France
KUCAN Milan, President of Slovenia
LAGOS Ricardo, President of Chile
LE CARRÉ John, Writer, UK
LEVITTE Jean-David, Ambassador of France to the UN
LIFTON Robert J., Professor, University of Cambridge, Massachussetts, USA
LINDH Anna, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sweden
MAGRIS Claudio, Writer, Italy
MAJALI Dr. Abdel Salam, Former Prime Minister, Jordan
MERI Lennart, former President of Estonia
MERLANT Philippe, Director of the magazine “Transversales”, France
MESIC Stjepan, President of Croatia
MIYAZAKI Isamu, Secretary General, InterAction Council
MIYET Bernard, Diplomat, former Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, France
MORIN Edgar, Philosopher, France
MÜHEIM Franz, former Ambassador, former President of the Swiss Red Cross
MULADI, SH, former Minister of Justice, Indonesia
NORDMANN François, Diplomat, Swiss Confederation
OGATA Sadako, former UNHCR High Commissioner, Japan
OULD ABDALLAH Ahmedou, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations in West Africa, Former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mauritania
PATTEN Christopher, Member of the European Commission, External Relations, GB
PASSET René, Economist, France
PETIT Philippe, Under-Secretary General of the United Nations (WIPO), France
PINTASILGO Maria de Lourdes, Former Prime Minister of Portugal
PRIMAKOV Evgeny, Former Prime Minister, Russian Federation
RAMOS Fidel, former President of the Philippines
RAWLINGS Jerry, Former President of Ghana
ROBIN Jacques, Philosopher, Founder of “Transversales”
ROBINSON Mary, Former President of Ireland
ROCARD Michel, former Prime Minister of France,
President of the Cultural Affairs Committee of the European Parliament
ROOSEVELT Anna Eleanor, Co-President of the Eleanor Institute
and Franklin-Roosevelt, USA
SACHS Wolfgang, Economist, President of Greenpeace, Germany
SAHNOUN Mohamad, Ambassador, Algeria
SCHMIDT Helmut, Former Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany
SEN Amartya, Economist, Nobel Prize, India
SLOTERDIJK Peter, Philosopher, Germany
STIGLITZ Joseph, Economist, Nobel Prize, Columbia University, USA
THAROOR Shashi, Diplomat and Writer, India
TÜRK Danilo, Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, United Nations
VAN AGT Andreas, Former Prime Minister of the Netherlands
VANDEN HEUVEL William, Ambassador, Co-chair of the Eleanor and Franklin-Roosevelt Institute, USA
VASSILIOU George, Former President of the Republic of Cyprus
VIRILIO Paul, Philosopher, France
VIVERET Patrick, Economist and philosopher, France
VON WEIZSÄCKER Richard, Former President of the FR of Germany
VRANITZKY Franz, former Chancellor, Austria
WEISSBRODT David, Professor of Law at the University, USA
YANG Huanming, Director, Institute of Human Genome, Beijing, China

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