"The Collegium International"
by Michel Rocard
“Le Collegium International” by Michel Rocard - Extract from his book “Si ça vous amuse… Chronicle of my facts and misdeeds” Flammarion 2010
"To learn from yesterday is to try to improve today
to save tomorrow "
Since the fight continues and that only the future matters and matters to me, how can I conclude this chronicle of my "facts and misdeeds" - it is about humor, obviously -, this personal trajectory combining story and texts, memories and words? , other than through the presentation of the International Ethics, Politics and Science Collegium?
The virtue of experiences
Today, any Head of State or Government must be convinced of the interdependence of his activity with that of all his colleagues, not only for the needs of the national framework but on the scale of the entire planet.
My personal experience and the analysis that I have been able to do on numerous occasions have shown me that, for the profession of Head of State, Minister, Prime Minister, there is no prior learning. Whoever takes up one of these positions is, with a little luck, competent in 5% of his field of work, while for the rest he has everything to learn. It is a constant at all latitudes. In addition, times are short, you have to be immediately operational. However, all senior officials of democratic states are future exes, not to say potential exes. It is when their official functions come to an end that they become the most competent, a cessation of activity in no way concomitant with the loss of intellectual capacities.
However, often, the protocolally magnified ex-life end of life is boringly idle, even if it is embellished with pleasantly paid services or memoirs. Basically, it is a waste, and all the more so since the most damaging insufficiency in terms of global governance is precisely that of inter-state cooperation, the only possible substitute for the absence of global institutions. endowed with some authority. This field, on which the future of the planet depends, is undoubtedly the one that no candidate for supreme functions at home has ever been confronted with. Experience is a slow acquisition. Regardless of the frustration, in each individual concerned, of discovering that he has finally mastered the essential know-how at the precise moment when he no longer uses it: what matters is the loss of collective performance.
The great people of the planet never say it in public, but they sometimes have fun, with their loved ones, to evoke the past - wasted time? - and the necessary attentions, even the gestures of deep courtesy, useful to learn the trade and the uses to a given president or prime minister. It is, all the same, each time a delay. I have, for example, heard of the poignant silence of George W. Bush at major international meetings in his early years as President.
Can we save some of this lost time? It has been a long time since, in private enterprise, the proper transmission of knowledge and experience from seniors to juniors has been treated as a major problem and provided with procedures, even ad hoc institutions.
So I couldn't resist the urge to see if we could "do something".
"An association of ex"
Since the end of the 1960s, significant intellectual work had been carried out within the framework of the Group of Ten, led by Jacques Robin and bringing together the best of science and economics thinkers - such as Henri Atlan, René Passet, Edgar Morin, Joël de Rosnay or Henri Laborit - as well as a certain number of personalities from the political world such as Robert Buron, Jacques Delors or myself. To our discussions, which continued after the Group's shutdown in 1976, the desire for action has long been added. This subject held a great place in conversations with my friend Stéphane Hessel, former Ambassador of France to the United Nations, former United Nations collaborator who notably participated in the drafting of the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights" and also a former collaborator and friend of Pierre Mendès France. The reflection on world governance then became dominant in my perplexity.
Then, in 2002, I met, thanks to my friend Sacha Goldman, film producer and companion of former Group of Ten, Milan Kučan, then president of Slovenia very involved in international governance. He had guided his country towards independence and an exit unscathed from the Yugoslav quagmire, without bloodshed. This former secretary general of the Communist Party of Slovenia has slowly transformed himself into a social democrat in the use of power, modified the Constitution of his country and introduced a multiparty system.
It is therefore with Milan Kučan and Sacha Goldman that our reflections widened. We discover that there are nearly half a dozen “ex associations”. Some have mimed the Academies. We meet there once a year, deliberate around one or two very delectable meals and produce a resolution that unfortunately no one reads. Others, like the one led by Frederick De Klerk, have chosen a much more limited field, conflict mediation. It is essential, very useful, but does not cover the whole problem. Others, such as Club de Madrid, have set themselves the task of reporting on a major subject, supporting democracies in countries in transition.
Our reflections led us to wish, for the tool to be created, a sustainability of the advisory function and therefore a wide versatility of the field of this advice with the hope of one day illustrating this function with the United Nations itself. , which have no such thing.
An open collegium
This long vision gave rise to a second idea. Why should the body producing such opinions limit its composition to retired political leaders, even if it manages to select only the most notorious and respected? Thought has a lot to do with this. We decided to seek to extend the group to philosophers, economists, biologists, in short thinkers, of the Nobel Prize caliber or close. And created the Collegium.
During the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Charter, in June 2005 in San Francisco, all the organizations bringing together former heads of state and government were brought together in the framework of a "meeting of planetary leaders" . It has since turned out that no body associates men and women of state with the intellectual authorities of the highest level in order to work together, on an equal footing, as we do in the Collegium. international. I would not be far from the truth in saying that this bringing together of the scientist and the political, impossible according to Max Weber, due to a situation of extreme crisis, is the foreshadowing of a “planetary salvation”.
Pending further financial support, the working tool of our Collegium is, above all, a plenary meeting that we have held, year in and year out, regularly since 2002.
But whatever the insufficiency of the means of work, we were quick to agree that none of the great crises of the planet - general financial disruption, massive unemployment and precariousness even in developed countries, terrorism, global warming, uninterrupted growth civil violence, omnipresent chemical pollution, permanent identity conflicts - there is no purely national solution.
It also appeared to us, it is less frequently noted, that there is an interconnection between all these threats. To put it in a single sentence, between the non-respect of nature and the non-respect of the other as a human person there is a deep kinship. All these dangers are ultimately due first of all to an ethical approach.
Edgar Morin enlightens us all along this path by his approach stipulating that there is only one crisis, the polycrisis, threatening us with a polycatastrophe.
But, to deal with it globally, we need a body of doctrine ethically validated and based on all the knowledge available, but also, unfortunately, a capacity of the world to decide. This one does not exist. The irreducible opponent to the emergence of such a capacity is quite simply the worldwide recognition of national sovereignty as the exclusive basis of the right to enact binding measures for the population concerned. It is to the absolutism of national sovereignties that we owe, in this recent and tragic sequence, the failure of Copenhagen on the greenhouse effect, that of Washington at the conference of the nuclear non-proliferation treaty on the prospect of 'an eradication of these weapons, that of the last G20 on the necessary global financial regulation, and the fifth failure of the World Trade Organization, in the effort to improve global trading conditions.
Faced with this situation, we agreed that the first thing to do, even if it is in a ten-year perspective or more, was to propose to the world - in this case to the United Nations General Assembly - a draft Universal Declaration. interdependence, which is the political basis of this recognition at the same time as the legal basis of the gradual emergence of a world authority with decision-making powers.
Through long work and with the advice of many authorized feathers, starting from a sketch by Mireille Delmas-Marty, we established a draft Declaration of interdependence which could be the frame of reference for all these reform works. Its possible adoption by the UN General Assembly would mark the opening of a new era in international relations, that of shared collective responsibility.
Universal Declaration of Interdependence
"THE EARTH, FIREPLACE OF HUMANITY, CONSTITUTES A WHOLE MARKED BY INTERDEPENDENCE"
(Preamble to the Rio Declaration, Earth Summit, 1992)
We, the peoples of the United Nations, recall:
Our attachment to the values of the United Nations Charter of June 26, 1945 and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of December 10, 1948, reaffirmed at the International Conference in Vienna and incorporated into the Millennium Declaration.
We notice that :
Having become a fact linked to globalization, interdependence is both an opportunity and a risk: an opportunity, because the globalization of flows (migratory flows, flows of scientific and cultural information, financial flows and goods) testifies to a community in formation which conditions the future of the planet and that of humanity; a risk, because this phenomenon leads to a globalization of ecological and biotechnological threats, as well as factors of social exclusion and marginalization (not only economic but also social, scientific and cultural) and a globalization of crimes (from international terrorism to trafficking in people and goods), threatening the security of people, goods and more generally of the planet.
We consider that:
The globalization of flows favors practices going beyond national territories in favor of transnational networks which are organized according to their specific interests to the exclusion of any vocation to defend common values and interests. The globalization of risks and that of crimes demonstrate the limits of national sovereignty and call for measures of prevention, regulation and repression according to a common policy and with common legal means.
The time has come to transform this involuntary community of risk into a voluntary community of destiny. In other words, the time has come to build interdependence as a project by committing ourselves - both as individuals, as members of distinct communities and nations and as citizens of the world - to recognize our responsibility and to act, directly. and through States and communities (infra and supranational), to identify, defend and promote the common values and interests of humanity.
We declare that:
The community of destiny calls for the proclamation of the principle of planetary intersolidarity. This principle implies, on the one hand, the recognition of diversity based on a spirit of tolerance and pluralism; on the other hand, to organize, in this spirit, the processes of integration associating at the same time the individuals, the organizations holders of powers, the States and the international community.
The implementation of this principle supposes: to reaffirm all the fundamental rights of the individuals present, to extend them to future generations and to reinforce their application within the necessary limits, in a world democratic society, to respect for national and supranational public order; to recognize that the possession of power on a global scale, whether economic, scientific, media, religious or cultural, implies the corollary of a global responsibility, that is to say extended to all the effects of this power ; to encourage sovereign states to recognize the need to integrate supranational public order into the defense of the common values and interests of which they are the indispensable support; to promote the development of representative institutions of regional international communities, at the same time as to strengthen the world community and the emergence of a global citizenship in order to develop a common policy for the regulation of flows as well as the prevention of risks and the repression of crimes. "
This Declaration was presented and received with attention by the Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, and the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations, Jan Eliasson, on October 24, 2005, the 60th anniversary of the United Nations. The 192 nations of the Organization have received this text. Some initiatives to relay it to the general assembly have not succeeded. Not letting ourselves be discouraged, we intend to take the necessary steps to achieve this.
During a long working meeting with Kofi Annan in 2004, the Secretary General clearly understood the contribution that the former heads of state and government could represent thanks to their experience. He also expressed it in a short but meaningful sentence: "You have to be trained to be wise". This is not at all a play on words, but on the contrary explains the field of freedom acquired when the high office comes to the end of the “duty of reserve” of statesman or woman. Moreover, during this meeting, the Secretary General expressed his decision to create a High Authority made up of former leaders of various nations, to reflect on the reform of the Organization.
Despite the efforts made, the need is growing. After the failure of Copenhagen, my conviction is reinforced that an effective global fight against the greenhouse effect can only be decided for the whole world and by it, where we vote: United Nations Security Council or general assembly .
Our common corpus
In this spirit, it is essential to push the debate on the reality of interdependence and its multiple contents before public opinion. As such, and to end this book, I feel like taking a somewhat crazy bet, that of summarizing here, under my sole pen and my sole responsibility, and therefore not yet that of the Collegium as a collective body, the corpus of reflection which seems to me common to this learned college, even if the way in which I perceive it and reflect on it has biases or weaknesses that are specific to me.
As is usual in human history, a huge crowd of individuals live in poverty and fear. The dizzying increase in human population, the staggering acceleration in the speeds of transport of goods, services, people, information and ideas, and increasing openness, with the only exceptions of North Korea and Cuba , from all our nations to all the others, at the beginning of the twenty-first century, give our anxieties and our sufferings a dimension hitherto unknown, and which is frightening.
Yet the world has never been so rich. Neither has it ever had so much capacity, through tools and power, to produce food and well-being, to heal the sick and disabled, and to preserve its resources as well as its environment.
Where does this impression of "the end of the world" come from, which leads us to believe that the rise in violence is irrepressible, that we are heading straight for the clash of civilizations with terrorism as the dominant form of this war, that the third of humanity - two billion people - lives without hope of getting out of it, in malnutrition, the lack of access to drinking water and education, and poverty, and that finally great-grandchildren of our great-grandchildren will disappear like any other form of life when the greenhouse effect turns the planet into a frying pan?
I repeat because it must be hammered home: all of this represents an aggravation of the suffering of humanity for several millennia, but all of this is now, and it is new, within the reach of the formidable intellectual and technical means which humanity finally has at its disposal, for the first time in its history. We have to be more precise because we will have to convince. The incredible enterprise which consists, at the beginning of the 21st century, in preserving humanity from its domineering, warlike and suicidal inclinations, thereby preserving the planet and life, this enterprise whose major instrument is the overhaul of the world. he socio-political organization of the world based on this first promising element that is the United Nations, this Promethean enterprise desired by Kofi Annan - what a symbol to see the poorest, the most martyred and the most forgotten of our continents provide the United Nations with l 'one of the most respected and creative of their Secretaries General - in short, this essential undertaking, because it is key to our future, is based on real opportunities. These chances depend on the means that humanity has been able to give itself. This is where it is necessary to detail a little. In its art of surviving and perpetuating itself, humanity will have successively used the three components of the universe, matter, energy and then information.
From the beginning of time until the invention of the steam engine, our ancestors lived from matter and by matter. These are naturally the extraordinary proliferating and reproductive virtues of living matter that, very early on, our ancestors learned to encourage, and therefore to cultivate. In this universe, life could last on the condition that the balances change only very, very slowly. And wherever the natural conditions were relatively favorable, the natural inventiveness of men allowed them to imagine techniques which, in the order of irrigation, agriculture, animal husbandry, maritime transport or clothing, ensured a primitive well-being sufficient to release, in the constant struggle for survival, free time in significant quantities.
This is the condition for the emergence of art, thought and culture. China, ancient Egypt, Aztecs and Incas, Hindus and Khmers, and many more have come this way. It is in Western Europe that human thought has made the most striking discoveries about nature and the forces that animate it.
With the steam engine and then electricity, humanity entered the era of energy. The result was overwhelming. In two and a half centuries, the inhabitants of North America, Western Europe and Japan have seen their standard of living increase by a factor of a hundred or so. Torrential, over a long period of time, this growth ensured the development of our civilization, but took place in dangerously unequal conditions, taking without measure from the limited resources of the planet, and taking the risk of chemically polluting our natural environment. This phase of growth, at the height of which we are today, has produced the most fabulous results in the fields of art, culture, thought, and also technique. The number of scientific researchers living today far exceeds the number of all those who lived in all previous generations combined. This constant deepening of men's thinking about their universe, accompanied by an incredible technological profusion, gives us a sense that we are at the dawn of a new era.
Already nuclear energy, in its peaceful form as a warrior, had made us discover that the mastery of certain secrets of nature could multiply tenfold, even a hundredfold, the power of men as well to dominate and kill each other as to proliferate and live better. . Developments of this magnitude are underway in life sciences and techniques, in those of ultra-miniaturization - we are talking about nano-sciences, the risks of which are largely as great as the chances they conceal - and in those of information.
The discovery that information is one of the components of the universe, that it is at the heart of the relationship between matter and energy, that it is undoubtedly the origin of this self-organizing tropism of matter , both inert and alive, without which the universe would not be what it is, today opens before humanity the most innovative perspectives, in the original sense of the word the most revolutionary that it has ever known. Not only does the intensive use of information and its processing intensely improve the economy of materials and energy and the productivity in the art of drawing resources from nature to ensure human existence, but also the information is itself the source of all creation of art and value in the immense domain of the intangible that the genius of men has recently opened up to their activity, both aesthetic and recreational as well as commercial. A good sold or given to another is a good which one has lost. However, information given or sold is not lost by its holder. The information universe as an economic agent does not know scarcity. Can there be a more incredible prospect in the adventure of humanity than that of the disappearance of scarcity?
It was at the time of its history, half a century after Hiroshima and in the midst of the terrorist wave, when humanity was most deeply aware of its fragility and of the vital threat that its internal barbarism posed on it, that she discovers herself as the bearer of these unsuspected potentialities. Let us repeat - we can never do it enough - the measures to be taken to remedy the current suffering and ills of the planet are within the reach of the means which men have been able to acquire. They still have to be implemented. This is what the human creature struggles with so much.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau is wrong. Man is not good by nature. Left to himself, he is greedy, violent, domineering. The immense patrimony of human history demonstrates everywhere, without any exception, that men have found no protection against the violence which is natural to them, and from the limitation of the inequalities which worsen in the distribution of income and of opportunities. of their talents, than in vigorous institutions. We have known since Hammurabi that civilization is law, and we have known for as long as law is nothing without the force at its service to ensure that it is respected.
This somewhat miraculous crystallization between a population, a way of being or an art of living, a recognized legitimate power and an organized collective force, obviously could not begin on the face of the entire planet. Proximity was necessary for emergence: it started with the city. There were other forms: nomadic ethnic groups carrying their customs and rules, or empires. But it is, belatedly, the nation-state which provides the strongest expression of this necessary encounter between the law, the organized force which guarantees it, the identity, which both frames them, determines them and founds them, and the legitimacy which roots everything in the conscience and the will of a people.
Since the invention of capitalism, that is to say since our entry into the energy era, it is clearly the nation-state, denser and more homogeneous than all known empires, which has ensured internal civil peace, the rule of law and to a certain extent the development of the productive forces. This was done in a very unequal manner, an intense competition was created between nation-states, towards more wealth, towards more power, and also towards more rights and respect for the law. We have learned today that where the state disappears, violence becomes unspeakable, Somalia, Sierra Leone or Haiti are there to remind us.
Above all, the nation-state is the form of social organization which has shown enough density and homogeneity to not only cope with the rapidity of technical and social change, but precisely to make this mastery of change the one of the foundations of its power as of its legitimacy.
A question may arise, of no practical interest today, but of immense conceptual interest in this moment of questioning on the public organization of the world. Before entering the energy age towards the end of the 18th century, humanity had already a few hundred thousand years behind it. It is only in the last six thousand of these years that sedentarization, agriculture, the concepts of rule and law, as well as elaborate forms of social organization emerge. But we fight a lot. Any chief, prince or king is a factor of order in his domain, but he has an irrepressible propensity to attack the neighbor.
Humanity's positive response to this bellicose impulse that always and everywhere drives it has taken the form of great empires - Cyrus, Darius, Alexander, China, Upper Egypt, the Aztecs, the Incas, the Zulu empires, Benin or Ghana are all examples of this consolidation (unfortunately temporary but sometimes over many centuries) of peace by the acceptance of a sparse collective order where an emperor and an aristocracy drew the sumptuary character of their existence and their only legitimacy of their role in preventing war. In the best of these cases, Cyrus of Persia for example, the emperor respected not only the languages but the religions of his subjects. It has been done all over the world, everywhere except Europe.
On this continent a dozen or so linguistic communities have in fact succeeded, over two millennia, in preventing the perpetuation of great empires and in organizing their confrontation in such a way as to prohibit the domination of one of them. The empires of Charlemagne, Charles V, Napoleon are dead. On the other hand Spain, Portugal, Hungary, Austria, France, England, Russia formed into nation-states as did later, and with more difficulty, Italy, Germany and Poland. Over twenty centuries, Europe was a fabulous provider of wars. Seems a lot more than elsewhere. Yet it is there, within this precise institutional and historical framework, that we invented and implemented the techniques that would allow humanity to enter the era of energy. Intra-European wars and competition of all our nations in matters of slavery and colonialism come from there.
What would have happened if this formidable technical leap had been able to occur in a peaceful and peaceful empire? Upper Egypt, Imperial China or the Roman Empire could have continued their intellectual and technological development until then. Peace like the United Nations would have been given to us by the legacy of history. In short, war is not fatal, and there is a bellicose curse of Europe which has largely contributed to endow our nation-states and to spread to other continents these characteristics of the nation-state of today. 'hui, the territorial and military dominance, the absolute character of sovereignty, the claim of prestige to the point of disqualifying in relations with neighbors the very concept of compromise, and permanently the priority defense of the economic, financial or territorial interests of the State in relation to any principle or rule of general interest and often even in relation to any previously signed international treaty.
We are here at the beginning of the 21st century: the nation-state is the undisputed foundation of the organization of the planet. It is within its framework and through its work that the fantastic progress in economic development and civilization that we have known for two centuries have been made.
It is also within this framework that the sovereignty of democratic peoples and the autonomy of the international action of all our nations are expressed. And he alone is the bearer of the legitimacy of representing each people to all the others as well as of exercising the function of government at home. But this confrontation of sovereignties equal in law does not make it possible to set up a world regulation, and even less a world police force of prevention of the wars and the crime which the need is evident today.
Thus the League of Nations, created in 1919, which was the first international consortium of nations to preserve peace, weakened by the absence of the United States and by the force of conflicts of sovereignty, was powerless to prevent the Second World War. global. Thus the United Nations Organization, although capable of voting by majority in a general assembly on certain binding resolutions, remains largely paralyzed by the contradictions of interest and vision between the five powers currently permanent members of the Security Council and holders as such. title of the right of veto on any collective decision.
The United Nations is also paralyzed by the flagrant weakness of its resources. The major global programs necessary, often realistic and at reasonable cost, to control armaments and eradicate weapons of mass destruction, eliminate landmines, prevent the risks of climate change, ensure access for all people to drinking water, reducing poverty, preserving the environment and biological diversity, ensuring peace in regions in crisis, promoting the development of southern countries, ensuring the stability of currency and commodity prices .
It is this inability to legislate in common that prevents humanity from taking advantage of the opportunities given to it by the fabulous new tools with which it has acquired, and which opens the way to this general anxiety about these fears, and to the aggravation. of these threats that I mentioned a moment ago.
The fact that the military and economic vagaries of the second half of the 20th century left only one great power in the world, the United States, confers immense responsibilities on them, but is not enough. to fulfill this essential function of global regulation.
The largely foreseeable difficulties encountered in Iraq clearly show the limits of the intervention of a single nation. The problem that Iran poses to the world because it wants to arm itself nuclear is even clearer: it is not soluble by the force of a single nation, it can only be solved by the organized pressure of all nations around the world. And none of the great programs mentioned just now can be implemented by a single nation, even the strongest by far.
It is to resolve this problem and deal with this contradiction that the Secretary General of the United Nations proposed, in his millennium speech, to undertake the reform of the organization. We must support it, we are there for it and we intend to do it vigorously.
The International Ethics, Politics and Science Collegium, which I co-chair with my friend Milan Kučan, former president of Slovenia, would like to add another stone to this edifice. Reforming the United Nations is necessary, but will remain insufficient as long as absolute respect for national sovereignties and the right of each nation to refuse the demands of obvious global solidarity are considered legitimate.
By the general opening of the whole earth to trade and capital movements, by the omnipresence of a huge interconnected information and communication system, by the absence of any border channeling pollution, terrorism or crime , we are all interdependent. Only the cultural and profound awareness of this interdependence can bring the peoples of the world to the lucidity essential to make their rulers accept the restrictions of sovereignty necessary for a better regulation of the planet and hence for an effective fight against multiple threats that hit her. At a recent plenary meeting of the International Collegium in São Paulo, we got down to writing a draft Charter for Global Governance.
A global governance charter
This brief text is not lacking in panache. I reproduce it below in its entirety because it perfectly illustrates the nature of our approach and the goals of our current action.
"Draft Charter for Global Governance"
1. We have entered a new era - an era of global angst and worry, pressed by the brutal urgency of the now, and the need to act without delay. The hope of turning the tide cannot be rooted in traditional reflexes. The time has come for constructive provocations and the most daring about-faces against the usual order of things. This absolute imperative calls for radical change - and now. This starting point could have taken shape in 2009. Alas, from G8 to G20, from talkative summits to collective indecision, the prospect of really drawing lessons from the major crises we are going through is gradually moving away. The threats to the existence of the planet do not seem to be taken seriously by all the political and economic leaders on which humanity depends. There is an inexorable and indisputable global warming, but still no agreement on a planetary scale to really fight against this vital threat to the Earth of men. Today there are all the signs of the persistence of an ultra-speculative, ultra-financialized and human-blind economy, but still no serious measure of global regulation against this scourge destroying social balances, a factor of social misery. growing and human suffering. There are, finally, enough nuclear charges scattered around the world to detonate it but no major action yet to eradicate this existential danger.
If nothing is done today, and if there are still a few curious people left to write the history of our time tomorrow, they will have no choice but to accuse those responsible for this inaction of a crime for non- assistance to humanity in danger.
2. We have to face an incredible combination of global crises: depletion of natural resources, irreversible destruction of biodiversity, disruption of the global financial system, dehumanization of the international economic system, famines and shortages, viral pandemics, political disaggregation, etc. Whatever technocrats and professional skeptics may say, none of these phenomena can be viewed in isolation. They are all strongly interconnected, interdependent and form a single “polycrisis” threatening this world with a “polycatastrophe”. It is time to take the systemic measure of the problem, to finally bring it integrated solutions - the first steps to redefine the principles which should inspire the global conduct of human affairs in the future.
3. Because these major crises of the twenty-first century are global, men and women around the world must absolutely measure their interdependence. Disasters that have occurred and imminent disasters erected at the crossroads of emergencies, it is time for humanity to become aware of its community of destiny. There is no butterfly effect here, but the reality, serious and strong, that it is our common home that threatens to collapse - and that there can only be collective salvation.
Lesson from globalization par excellence, none of our States is today able to ensure respect for a world order and to impose the indispensable global regulations. The end of imperial temptations, the end of Western domination alone and the growing intervention of non-governmental actors today mark the limits of the notion of state sovereignty and the failure of its international expression: inter-governmentalism.
Too often, national interests, in other words “local selfishness” still prevail, transforming the international scene into an often sordid bargaining forum. Whether in the fight against global warming, on energy issues, collective security, world trade, and elsewhere, the inability to rise to the level of the issues demonstrates the congenital myopia of national interests. Because in this kind of zero-sum game, every concession is always experienced as a defeat.
In addition, behind the promotion of multipolarity often lies only the balance of national influences and aspirations for domination. We must therefore work with alternative organizational models to hegemony.
4. The advent of this “world community of destiny” calls for the proclamation of the principle of planetary inter-solidarity, a true “Declaration of interdependence”. That is to say the establishment of a world governance worthy of the name. Because there is currently none. Certainly, elements of international regulation and some institutions act effectively on a global scale. But we must rethink, in order to go beyond them, the limits of international law and of its founding principle, national sovereignty - in the name of a higher principle, in the name of Justice. For global governance is the ability to rise beyond bargaining between particular interests to make planetary political decisions - in the name of humanity.
The “international community” can no longer remain a vague entity, devoid of political incarnation and suspected of pro-Western biases. For too long, the essential reform of the United Nations has come up against Realpolitik dominating the international scene. The inability to take into account the systemic aspect of the problems, the inability to change the Security Council and the inability to move forward on projects such as the creation of an economic, social and cultural Security Council illustrate the failures of intergovernmentalism. The time is no longer for strict national sovereignty - but for global solidarity.
5. The first step towards defining this global solidarity is through universal recognition of the concept of interdependence. We therefore solemnly call on the countries which feel the most threatened by global warming to join their voices during the climate negotiations, and to proclaim their desire to pool part of their sovereignty, to finally bring about the adoption of effective measures. In the same spirit, it will be necessary for multiple nations to join together to put pressure on the UN General Assembly, in order to achieve the formal adoption of a Universal Declaration of Interdependence. Because we must give the force of law to this just principle, and by nature superior to strict respect for national sovereignties. We then call for the creation of a political melting pot where the best interests of humanity can be concretely defined, a place where the diversity and wisdom of cultures can be expressed, through representatives of civil society and the authorities. moral, intellectual and scientific. Finally, we call on us to rediscover the pioneering spirit of the United Nations Charter which proclaimed: “We the peoples”.
6. Faithful to the values it embodies, the Collegium international declares its desire to actively contribute to the essential advent of global governance. First, by bringing together a World Convention, made up of representatives from the political world and civil society, responsible for rethinking the rights of peoples in the planetary age. For once interdependence has been elevated to the rank of universal norm, it will inevitably be necessary to draw the most concrete consequences for the environment, trade, conflicts, etc. Second, the International Collegium intends to set up a virtual platform for civil society, a space for dialogue and sharing for all the experiences and good practices developed around the world to respond to contemporary challenges. Finally, the Collegium vows to exercise the most uncompromising vigilance regarding the march of the world. And intends to publicly denounce, without the slightest hesitation, the decisions it considers taken based not on the best interests of humanity but on arbitration between illegitimate national interests.
The nineteenth was the century of industrial nations and their wars, the twentieth was that of the reign of the masses and total wars. Let us listen to the underground currents of history: the twenty-first will be the century of global governance - or else we will not be.
If it is urgent to alert, it is even more urgent to start. Let's get started! "1
The Collegium is therefore looking for original solutions, capable of dealing with the crisis which threatens the planet and human societies, in ever-increasing interdependence, with the requirement of ethical integrity and political viability.
In order to continue my trajectory, I am therefore currently putting my energy and my endurance to promote it so that global governance can emerge and preserve future generations. Being an “old” - Minister, Prime Minister, MEP -, I believe this book attests, does absolutely not mean that the present no longer concerns me. On the contrary. To learn from yesterday is to try to improve today to save tomorrow.
1. São Paulo, November 2009. Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Michel Rocard, Milan Kucan, Stéphane Hessel, Edgar Morin, René Passet, Michael W. Doyle.