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Building a global, intellectual and ethical “third space”

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Transversal . November-December 2001 issue.

For several months, statesmen and intellectuals, gathered at the invitation of the President of the Republic of Slovenia, have been reflecting on the consequences of the changes affecting our societies. The September 11 attacks, by serving as a revealer, reinforced their conviction that there is an urgent need to respond to the disorders of the world. By bringing to light the negative interdependencies at work today, this tragedy underscores the need to build globalization “with a human face”.

From October 1 to 3, around fifteen intellectuals and politicians gathered in Bled (Slovenia), at the invitation of the President of the Republic, Milan Kucan, to sound the alarm in the face of the major challenges facing the 'humanity. Many French people (Stéphane Hessel, René Passet, Jacques Robin, Michel Rocard, Patrick Viveret…) participated in this meeting, co-organized by Transversales Science Culture and the Slovenian Academy of Arts and Sciences. They rubbed shoulders with the Presidents of the Republic of Slovenia (Milan Kucan) and Croatia (Stjepan Mesic), US Ambassador William vanden Heuvel, the German Wolfgang Sachs, the Slovenian philosophers Jelica Sumic-Riha and Tine Hribar…

All of them drew up the same observation: “blind” globalization will lead humanity from crisis to catastrophe if solid safeguards are not put in place. It is about building global governance, based in particular on two pillars:

  • a democratic pillar to give a base of legitimacy to the essential ecological, economic and social regulations;

  • an ethical pillar, because the global democracy to be built can only be built on an ethos based on shared values.

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This light from Transversales goes back largely to the challenges of the Bled meeting and the contributions that preceded it. • In an interview carried out two days after the attacks, Michel Rocard recalls that “the first urgency is to take the time to think!”. For the former Prime Minister, the rapprochement between intellectuals and researchers constitutes a powerful lever for laying the foundations of global democratic governance.

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  • The American political scientist Benjamin Barber, in two notes (one of which preceded the attacks by two days), recalls that “the international disorder that we promote in our economic relations is the same international disorder favored by terrorists in the service of their objective of destruction." • Slovenian President Milan Kucan asserts that the most serious danger threatening politics lies in pragmatism, that is to say “short-term decision-making, without clear and reasoned direction, without will to know, to analyze and evaluate the phenomena, their consequences and their conclusions ”.

  • Jacques Robin recalls that humanity is today confronted with three main types of challenges: the first relate to our planetary environment; the second relate to the economic outlook; the third - and perhaps the most important - lie in the crisis of thoughts and mentalities.

  • Stéphane Hessel, former Ambassador of France to the United Nations, pleads in favor of the creation of a world college, ethics, intellectual and scientific, tool of a potential alliance between the organizations of the UN system and the world civic movement.

  • Finally, on the sidelines of the meeting in Bled, Odile Verdure relates another initiative which takes part in this reorganization, at the base, of global civil society; the 4th United Nations Assembly of Peoples, which took place in Perugia (Italy), from October 11 to 14, brought together representatives from more than 120 countries.

  • From Bled to Perugia, the same idea emerges: to build a “third space” between reformed intergovernmental institutions (starting with the UN system) and the autonomous affirmation of new civic and social actors (including Porto Alegre). the most visible expression). In the coming months, Transversales intends to devote a large part of its efforts to contributing to the emergence of this “third space”.

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