Making a Better World Possible thru
Building Bridges of International Solidarity
Institutional Theme for School Year 2015 – 2016
2015 promises to be an exciting year internationally. Many historical events will be commemorated and remembered. New events will unfold and be celebrated. Let us mention a few.
In June 1945, in the midst of the Second World War, representatives of around 50 countries gathered in San Francisco, USA to sign a historic document that would be called the United Nations Charter. Four months later, when the governments of a majority of the countries that signed the Charter ratified the document, the United Nations was born. Today, 193 member-countries strong, it is the only global organization able to tackle “issues confronting humanity in the 21st century such as peace and security, climate change, sustainable development, human rights, disarmament, terrorism, humanitarian and health emergencies, gender equality, governance, food production, and more.” This is achieved through dialogue and cooperation, under conditions of mutual respect and benefit.
In September 2000, leaders of the member-states of the United Nations adopted the UN Millennium Declaration, committing their governments to a global partnership to reduce extreme poverty and setting out a series of time-bound targets that have become known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The eight MDGs form a blueprint agreed to by all the world’s countries and all the world’s leading development institutions. Some countries have achieved progress along these goals but many are still lagging behind. 2015 is the deadline set for the achievement of these goals.
In January 2001, thousands of people representing civil society gathered in Porto Alegre, Brazil in the first World Social Forum. The World Social Forum “is an open meeting place for reflective thinking, democratic debate of ideas, formulation of proposals, free exchange of experiences and interlinking for effective action, by groups and movements of civil society that are opposed to neoliberalism and to domination of the world by capital and any form of imperialism, and are committed to building a planetary society directed towards fruitful relationships among humankind and between it and the Earth.” Now on its tenth global meeting, the WSF has won some victories, including several over big institutions. Today, despite the erosion of the spaces it has used to defend human rights, economic justice and democratic processes, the WSF continues to challenge the most powerful interests in the world as it continues to share, to learn, and to strategize.
By the end of 2015, the member-countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) would become the ASEAN Economic Community. The Community’s goal is to achieve regional economic integration, with “the following key characteristics: (a) a single market and production base, (b) a highly competitive economic region, (c) a region of equitable economic development, and (d) a region fully integrated into the global economy.” It is hoped that through this initiative, ASEAN can achieve higher levels of economic dynamism, sustained prosperity, inclusive growth and integrated development.
Also by the end of 2015, the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) will be held in Paris. COP21 will be a crucial conference, as it needs to achieve a new international agreement on the climate, applicable to all countries, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C. It is hoped that the world can finally commit to a united front to combat climate change.
These events are worth commemorating and celebrating. Through our institutional theme for School Year 2015 – 2016, “Making a Better World Possible thru Building Bridges of International Solidarity,” we as stewards declare our belief in the friendship and solidarity among peoples of the world. As stewards, we join hands with groups and individuals working to free the world of poverty, ignorance, injustice, discrimination, and war. As stewards, we commit ourselves to efforts to combat climate change, protect the environment, and live life sustainably.
In the face of the myriad problems confronting the world in the twenty-first century, indeed, another world is needed. Through international solidarity, through unity, through togetherness, a better world is possible.
The last paragraph was inspired by the tagline of WSF 2016 Montreal. Other quotations come from these links:
Mr. Romel R. Obinario
Articles from Other People
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