|Posted: April 28 2005,09:33
|| If you wrote this report, you will find a button here that you may click
in order to make changes in the report.
PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the first half of the Decade?
Yes, we have seen considerable progress. The NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns (CSVGC) is a relatively new body in consultative relationship to the United Nations, having only come into existence during the latter part of the first half of the decade -- a little over a year ago. Yet much has been accomplished by this dedicated impassioned group of spiritual activists in that short amount of time. Nine (9) active Subcommittees and Working groups have been created (Culture of Peace, Sacred Transcendental Arts, Spiritual Council for Global Challenges, Spiritual Dimensions of Science and Consciousness, Spiritual History of the United Nations, Spirituality, Values and Business, Universal Ethics and Global Concerns, World Integrative Medicine and Holistic Health and Youth / Conscious Education), all of which relate in some way to creating a culture of peace. Specifially, the "Culture of Peace" Subcommittee was formed around six months ago. Its efforts have been consciously focused exclusively on cultivating a culture of peace with the following mission: "To assist the UN in fulfilling it's mandate to "eliminate the scourge of war" by working in various ways to cultivate a culture of peace and pursue alternatives to violence at all levels of our existence (inner, inter-personal, national, international). We support structures that will enable nonviolence to become an organizing principle in society, where peace is regarded as a basic human right." Tasks to accomplish this mission have centered on promoting development and full manifestation of the following "culture of peace" indicators: 1) this important all-time first "Mid-Decade Culture of Peace Report" 2) National & International Department / Ministries of Peace 3) the Season For Nonviolence 4) the International Day of Peace (September 21) 5) a Culture of Peace Resource Center or "Peace Room" at the United Nations 6) the Earth Charter Movement.
All these "indicators" are relatively new phenomena that have cropped up on the radar screen into public awareness during the first half of the mid-decade. Each year they become more defined, solidified, articulated and well-known as more people, hungering for a better way, learn about them. Members of the "Culture of Peace" Subcommittee have individually been working on them in their respective domains for the last few years. What's new and exciting is that these individuals have now come together -- within the powerful environment of the United Nations -- along with grassroots citizen groups and NGO's all over the world -- creating a group synergy and critical mass consciousness which is spreading like wildfire. Never before in human history has this ever happened!! It seems we are progressively evolving into an ever more just, sustainable and peaceful world -- in spite of seemingly contradictory conditions.
OBSTACLES: What are the most important obstacles that have prevented progress?
There is a dis-connect between our desire for a culture of peace and the vast UN bureacracy which prevents these ideas from penetrating through. As Secretary General Kofi Annan has just recently identified in his "In Larger Freedom" report, "there is a gaping hole in the UN institutional machinery; no part of the system effectively addresses the challenge of helping countries with the transition from war to lasting peace." Ironically, there actually seems to be a mixed message ... a fundamental resistance to the concept of a culture of peace within the United Nations. The UN structure at times may be an obstacle as there are some nation-states are economically invested in war for their existence. The very nation-state structure of the UN would have to somehow be more balanced for example the Secretary Council should include all Member States instead of just a few. If the UN seriously hopes to accomplish its mandate of eliminating the scourge of war these types of internal structures within the UN would need to be reformed.
ACTIONS: What actions have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the first half of the Decade?
The NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values
and Global Concerns, New York
Programs and Activities
A Committee of the "Conference Of NGOs in consultative relationship with the United Nations" (CONGO)
Below is a listing of past events and programs:
The Ethical and Spiritual Dimensions of the Millennium Development Goals
The URI-UN, in partnership with The Values Caucus, The Spiritual Caucus and The NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns, presented a Round Table Discussion to Honor the 10th Anniversary of the Values Caucus on "The Ethical and Spiritual Dimensions of the Millennium Development Goals" on Thursday, 12 February 2004 at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
More than 60 members of the UN non-governmental community attended, overflowing the small conference room. URI-UN facilitator Deborah Moldow served as moderator, opening the meeting with the Moment of Silence traditional to the Values Caucus. There were congratulations on the 10th anniversary of the Values Caucus, including a message from Ambassador Juan Somavía, director-general of the ILO in Geneva. Monica Willard presented a celebratory cake, to be shared after the meeting.
The first speaker was Alfredo Sfeir-Younis, Senior Advisor in the Office of the Managing Director of the World Bank. In this recently created post, Mr. Sfeir-Younis advises on the Bank’s efforts to further the United Nations Millennium Development Goals of poverty eradication and sustainable development. Here is an excerpt from his inspiring remarks:
For many people, the Millennium Development goals represent a major landmark in public policy making. And, in many ways, I share this view. It is not only great that we address the issues of poverty, education, gender, children, environment, and health, but fundamental to the future of humanity... One thing is certain: the MDGs have brought together the will of many people and brought around the same table many organizations that, in the past, were following their own agendas. [...]
... these MDGs, as new expressions of human betterment, will demand new and higher levels of human consciousness. [...] It is essential that we focus on the role that individual and social awareness/consciousness play in the attainment of the MDGs. It is important to unleash our infinite human potential and put it at the service of these MDGs and more! [...]
... there is another way: to use the power of our wisdom and free will. And, through that power generate the type of energy that is needed to mobilize each and every citizen of the world. [...] It is the purity of our intent that will carry all possible energies to the attainment of the MDGs.
Following Alfredo’s stirring words were remarks by Carol Zinn, SSJ, who serves as Alternative Representative of the URI to the United Nations, as well as representing the Congregations of St. Joseph, an international network of 13,600+ Catholic women religious serving in 51 countries in the areas of poverty eradication, human rights, education, gender equality, and sustainable development. She offered a deeply personal reflection:
The following litany of consciousness-deepening questions helps me to dive more critically into my own awareness and, hopefully, open myself to the necessary transformation so that the MDGs become operative in my own life. Once they are operative in my own life, then perhaps there is a chance that they might be operative among the global family. I invite you to hold this litany close to your mind and heart as you continue to offer our world your energy, insight, concern and hope that someday the MDGs will be achieved and the house on the hill will be rebuilt on the ground of justice, equality, peace and compassion.
Has the activity of my life this day been more inclusive than exclusive? Has it been reconciling in places and moments that cried out for reconciliation? Has it been reverent to all those I met throughout the day? Has it been marked with a sense of the sacred--did I recognize the sacred in all the events of this day? Has the activity of my life this day been characterized by the presence of hope? By the expression of joy? And has the activity of my life this day moved me closer to a spirit of holy abandon? In other words, did I realize today that this work I am doing is not my work--rather, it is work that is being asked to be done through me, for the life of the world.
Responses to this conversation were overwhelmingly enthusiastic and spilled over into subsequent meetings among the NGO community. The URI-UN is planning to continue this series of discussions on "The Ethical and Spiritual Dimensions of the Millennium Development Goals," highlighting the relationship of the MDGs to various UN agencies and conferences. The next events in the series will be during the upcoming meetings for the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in March and the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) in April.
The meeting closed with everyone saying together:
"May Peace Prevail on Earth."
Building a Culture of Peace and the Evolution of Consciousness at United Nations
June 2, 2004, Conference Room 8, 3 - 6pm. With Ambassador Anwarul K. Chowdhury, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (OHRLLS) and others. Sponsored with the Aquarian Age Community and Operation Peace through Unity. The focus was on the role of the United Nations and Civil Society in Promoting a Culture of Peace. It also asked the questions: Is there a relationship between the Evolution of Consciousness and a Culture of Peace?
A complete summary of the program with transcripts of keynote presentations is available by clicking here.
THE ETHICAL AND SPIRITUAL DIMENSIONS OF THE MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS THE 57TH ANNUAL DPI/NGO CONFERENCE
Midday Workshop, 10 September 2004
Report by Deborah Moldow, Facilitator
The United Religions Initiative at the United Nation
The theme of the 2004 DPI/NGO Conference at the United Nations headquarters from 8-10 September was "The Millennium Development Goals: Civil Society Takes Action." The conference, which boasted 1,800 participants from at least 79 countries, was organized by a committee chaired by Sr. Joan Kirby of the Temple of Understanding and member of the council of the United Religions Initiative at the United Nations CC, known as URI-UN.
This annual conference is traditionally enlivened by a selection of midday workshops organized by NGO groups to allow more active participation in a variety of topics related to the theme. On Friday, Sept. 10th, the URI-UN and our friends on the newly-formed New York NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns hosted an interactive workshop entitled "The Ethical and Spiritual Dimensions of the Millennium Development Goals."
The workshop was well attended, with about 75 people filling the small conference room. Deborah Moldow, facilitator of URI-UN, welcomed everyone and requested a Moment of Silence, followed by an invocation prayer led by Audrey Kitagawa, co-facilitator of URI-UN. Monica Willard, URI Representative to the UN, then introduced the Keynote Speaker, Dr. Noel J. Brown, president of Friends of the United Nations and former head of the UN Environment Programme for the North American Region.
Dr. Brown delivered a rousing and inspiring address. He characterized the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as "the moral expression of the hopes of the leaders of the world at the dawn of the new millennium." He spoke of the "singular erosion of the moral order" in a "climate of terror and a culture of fear." He warned that "the war against terror has eclipsed the war against poverty," and asked, "How do we build a global political ethos?" He stated that, despite many setbacks, the UN still has a moral capability that must be engaged.
Dr. Brown offered a number of practical suggestions for moving forward, including the following:
1. Propose a Millennium Development Day, to provide a focus of attention and measure progress across the globe;
2. Produce textbooks and curricula to bring the MDGs into the educational process. Create a children’s version of the MDGs and games in which they can be achieved. An MDG scholarship was also suggested;
3. Prepare a report on the Ethical and Spiritual Dimensions of the Millennium Development Goals and submit it to the Secretary-General. Organize NGO Millennium Development Partners to work with the United Nations.
Dr. Brown’s remarks were warmly received. After one or two questions, it was time to move on to the interactive segment of the workshop. Participants were asked to move into groups, each of which would focus on one of the MDGs. In a process that drew inspiration from Appreciative Inquiry, each group responded to these instructions:
Question for each group member: (10 minutes)
How do the ethical and spiritual dimensions of this MDG empower your NGO’s work? Introduce yourself and your work.
Group discussion: (10 minutes)
Which are the key ethical and spiritual principles that underlie or support this MDG? Principles from religion, ethics, morality, history, etc.
Group Statement: (10 minutes)
What statement would your group make to summarize the ethical and spiritual dimensions of this MDG? One sentence, please.
After a half-hour of lively discussion, the groups reported back to the whole gathering. Remarkably, the groups had managed, in the short time, to come up with rather cohesive statements, as follows:
GOAL 1: ERADICATE EXTREME POVERTY AND HUNGER- Barbara Valocore, facilitator
Poverty and hunger diminish human dignity. We are one human race, so what affects the poorest affects us all. Do something every day-take it personally.
GOAL 2: ACHIEVE UNIVERSAL PRIMARY EDUCATION - Nickolai Parker, facilitator
It is crucial for children especially to develop images of themselves that inculcate values of friendliness, love, compassion, respect for diversity, generosity, justice, fairness, peace, kindness and acceptance in their lives. As part of this process, we suggest incorporating these values into children’s games and play, and to create children’s versions of the MDGs that include these ethical, moral, and spiritual dimensions to imbue young people with the worth and importance of the development goals.
GOAL 3: PROMOTE GENDER EQUALITY AND EMPOWER WOMEN - Monica Willard, facilitator
Our goal is to create a Culture of Peace in which the equality of women and men would redress the imbalance that arose historically with a Culture of Violence that has included trafficking of women and other abuses. The qualities of this Culture of Peace include unity, partnership, balance, communication, compassion, and receptivity, qualities that are valued by women as builders of society.
GOAL 4: REDUCE CHILD MORTALITY - Frances Edwards, facilitator
GOAL 5: IMPROVE MATERNAL HEALTH - John Clausen, facilitator (combined report)
We value all life on earth and acknowledge that each human life has a unique purpose. We honor women as the sacred chalice that gives birth to the child. As such, her health and well-being are vital and she should be surrounded by beauty.
GOAL 6: COMBAT HIV/AIDS, MALARIA AND OTHER DISEASES -Martha Gallahue, facilitator
All spheres of society are affected by the infectious diseases of HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria and emerging & re-emerging diseases (i.e. sand flea parasite and polio). Business and academia have a duty to engage with the international community of government and NGOs in the study, recommendation and deployment of solutions to MDG #6 (with cognizance of the other MDGs). The bond of covenant transcends gender, religion and geography. Infectious disease knows no boundaries, so it is incumbent upon all members of humanity to create and implement compassionate policy.
GOAL 7: ENSURE ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY - Noel Brown, facilitator
It is our sacred duty to revere and care for the world to preserve the beauty and abundance of nature that is the birthright of all humanity.
GOAL 8: DEVELOP GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP FOR DEVELOPMENT - Diane Williams, facilitator
1. Do unto others as you wish done unto you;
2. Develop a new spiritual consciousness on how to be a responsible global citizen in the world today, and awaken a spiritual ®evolution driving global partnerships;
3. In an interdependent world, global partnerships serve the material needs of citizens in developing countries and provide an opportunity in the richer countries to share resources to meet the needs of all the people in the world.
We celebrated with an enthusiastic round of applause.
After some encouraging remarks by Dr. Brown, Diane Williams, chair of the New York NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns, delivered a closing statement, reminding us that the very values that underpinned the work of Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. are the same as those that move us to support the Millennium Development Goals.
As we closed with a final Moment of Silence in gratitude, a participant requested that we all join hands - a sight not often seen in a United Nations conference room. Together, we affirmed a sincere prayer: May Peace Prevail on Earth!
Annual Retreat of the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns
September 12, 2004 - summary available as a Word document at:
11 Days of Global Unity
(September 11 -21, 2004) with We the World
An international celebration of festivals, live concerts, coordinated civic actions, broadcasts, webcasts and public signings of the Declaration of Interdependence. It helped raise awareness about humanity's major challenges and accelerate action towards sustainability and peace including spreading awareness about the International Day of Peace on September 21 of each year.
The NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns sponsored a Meditation Room card with URI-UN, Earth Values Caucus, Spiritual Caucus, and Values Caucus.
The Role of Religion in the Public Square at the UN
"Religious NGOs, Civil Society and UN Reform"
Discussion on the Secretary-General’s Report on the recommendations by the Panel of Eminent Persons on UN-Civil Society Relations (Cardoso Report)
Francis K. Butagira (invited)
Permanent Mission of Uganda to the UN
Permanent Mission of Germany to the UN
Office of Deputy Secretary-General
October 22, 2004
1:15pm - 2:45pm
The Church Center for the United Nations, 12th Floor
777 United Nations Plaza at 44th & 1st Avenue
Sponsored by the Committee of Religious NGOs and
Co-sponsored by Values Caucus, NGO Committee on Freedom of Religion or Belief, NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns
A New Model For Understanding the Values That Shape Our World
Bill Harris is a noted expert on values and their effect on both individuals and social groups. In this presentation, he will speak on the Spiral Dynamics model of values (www.spiraldynamics.net), based on the pioneering work of Clare Graves, and explain how this model provides unique insights into present world conflicts and their solutions.
Mr. Harris is President and Director of Centerpointe Research Institute. He is a noted author, personal growth leader, business owner and a frequent speaker at various scientific and transformational forums and workshops. Thousands have participated in his Values Clarification Process with astounding results. To date, over 160,000 people in 172 countries have participated in various Centerpointe programs (www.centerpointe.com).
PART I: SPIRAL DYNAMICS: A New Model For Understanding The Values That Shape Our World
1:15-2:45 p.m. The United Nations Headquarters, New York
CONFERENCE ROOM TBA (UN Security Pass Required)
As we begin this new century, the world is at a unique crossroads. A complex matrix of political, religious, racial, economic, gender and environmental points of view are on a collision course. Demonstrating that these conflicts actually result from giant tectonic shifts between societal groups holding entirely different values perspectives, Spiral Dynamics provides a unique solution-oriented explanation of current world dynamics.
Understanding the various values levels operating in the world today - including what is important to each and what needs to happen for each to evolve to the next level - gives a new clarity about world problems and their potential solutions, as well as the potential dangers if these conflicts are not resolved.
Part II: THE VALUES CLARIFIER: An Experiential Workshop
3:00-4:30 p.m. Church Center for the United Nations, 777 UN Plaza, with refreshments served
"Values are filters (often unconscious) that determine what we focus on and how we spend our time. Clearing up problems in our values structure will create dramatic positive changes in our ability to create what we want in our lives."
After a short recap of the Spiral Dynamics model and how it provides an elegant explanation of current global dynamics, Mr. Harris will describe and demonstrate his Values Clarification Process (used by over 100,000 people around the world) to help people become more aware of what unconsciously motivates them to act and how, by becoming more conscious of this process, we can more effectively create our internal and external reality.
November 4, 2004
Sponsored by the Values Caucus Co-Sponsored by: The Earth Values Caucus and The CONGO Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns
(And prior to the formal formation of this Committee in New York, this program was held in 2003.)
The New York launch of the
Spiritual Dimensions in Global Public Policy
The Spirit of Human Security: New Paradigms for Perennial Challenges
8 September 2003
At the Church Center for the United Nations
777 United Nations Plaza, New York City
How do we transform age-old challenges with new thinking and strategies to build secure societies? There is a growing awareness that a paradigm shift will be required which recognizes the essential role of spirituality, values and silence in addressing pressing global concerns. Peace, respect, security and dignity depend on both inner and outer changes. This program will explore ways the soul of humanity can be more purposively engaged in addressing global concerns by tapping into the infinite wisdom and capabilities of humanity to transform consciousness and conditions for the benefit of all.
Audrey Kitagawa - Advisor to the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict at the United Nations.
U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich - Chair of the Progressive Caucus of the U.S. Congress, Initiator of the Department of Peace legislation.
BK Mohini Panjabi - Main Representative to the United Nations & Regional Coordinator for North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University.
The program was also mentioned by MSNBC at:
The program was sponsored by the NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values and Global Concerns (Geneva) prior to the formal formation of the New York NGO Committee on Spirituality, Values, and Global Concerns in early 2004 and co-sponsored by the the Values Caucus at the United Nations and the Spiritual Caucus at the United Nations.
* A Special Workshop Featuring Dr. Masaru Emoto, Research Scientist and Author, the Hidden Messages of Water and Anwarul Chowdury, UN Under-Secretary-General and High Representative on HOW CAN THE SPIRITUAL DIMENSIONS OF SCIENCE AND CONSCIOUSNESS HELP THE UNITED NATIONS AND HUMANITY ACHIEVE BETTER STANDARDS OF LIFE IN LARGER FREEDOM? will be held on May 26th, 2005
(photos emailed separately)
MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH
ADVICE: What advice would you like to give to the Secretary-General and the General Assembly to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the second half of the Decade?
We would advise the Secretary-General and the General Assembly to create a special post or position -- such as a High Commissioner for a Culture of Peace [or some such title]. The work of this person would be to encourage and inspire research projects, outreach and meetings to explore definitions for a Culture of Peace and methods in which such a Culture could be brought about--with the UN diplomatic and staff community, with the academic community,with civil society and with the public in general. Such a position is consistent with the ideas contained in Secretary General Kofi Annan's recent report, "In Larger Freedom."
PARTNERSHIPS: What partnerships and networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the global movement for a culture of peace?
Members of CSCGC participate in many of the existing subcommittees within this organization, as well as outside UN & peace organizations. In this work we have had the support and encouragement of many within the UN system ... most notably, Ambassador Chowdhury, whose commitment to a culture of peace is inspiring & exemplary. We have also closely partnered with our fellow UN NGO colleagues United Religions Initiative UN, the Values Caucus, the Spiritual Caucus, the Earth Values Caucus and many others.
PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence in the second half of the Decade (2005-2010)?
We would like to support the recommendations in the Secretary General report In Larger Freedom regarding peacebuilding and conflict prevent ... as well as promote the idea of a Peacebuilding Commission and Peacebuilding Support Office.
The Culture of Peace Subcommittee of the CSVGC is hoping soon to bring Congressman Dennis Kucinich -- who wrote the Department of Peace Legislation -- to meet with interested Ambassadors about how this visionary legislation could form the basis for international Peace Ministries. We will also work to encourage a reporting of cease fires on the International Day of Peace each year and to encourage the Secretary General to promote this shared date by encouraging people to create and plan for cease-fires as well as actively support peace education as stated in the resolution. Also one way to have the UN take a giant step would be to invite all the Nobel Peace Prize winners, including the Dalai Lama and ask nations to hold a cease fire.
Postal address of organization
E-mail address of organization
Website address of organization
Highest priority action domain of a culture of peace
Education for a culture of peace
Second priority action domain of a culture of peace
International peace and security
Highest priority country of action (or international)
Second priority country of action (or international)
|Back to top