I. EDITORIAL - Anchor points for new beginnings
II. RIGHT TO A DECENT AND HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT - locally and globally
III. BOOK: Multilateral Treaty Framework
IV. ENGENDERING THE GLOBAL AGENDA - The Story of Women and the United Nations
V. GLOBAL EDUCATION FOR PEACE
VI. WORLD CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM
VII. 21 SEPTEMBER - THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE
(Wanganui Culture of Peace Work of Art)
VIII. THE REALITY OF AID 2002
IX. THE GREAT INVOCATION -; in English and Ndebele (Zimbabwe)
I. Anchor points for new beginnings
Since the unforgettable and tragic day in September almost a year ago, a mental, emotional and physical clean-up process has been taking place. But as the debris and remnants from that murderous bombing has methodically and painstakingly been sifted through and cleared away, leaving the scene of tragedy empty and ready for new beginnings, another shattering blow hits the structures of commerce and the world of business.
With dodgy auditing, little if any accountability and with what Ralph Nader calls "greed on steroids", one mega-business after another loses its capability to keep up the thin and porous walls held together only by a veneer of probity.
Again we, all of us, must come to terms with what is happening in this world of ours and ponder how we might have contributed to creating such temples of fraudulence, corruption and deceit. And as corporate and personal investments tumble and dreams of profit, on whatever scale, turn to dust, another tidying up process seems called for.
With the same quality of care and method as was demonstrated at the Trade Centre , we should now open-mindedly look at the pieces of wreckage from this scene of crime and seek to identify the causes of collapse. We might well find that, if we without fear or favour scrutinize the scattered remains, we will be able to discover and pinpoint exactly what ingredients and energies combined to make up that pernicious accumulative mass which eventually brought death to its host body.
This process of tidying up scenes of crime and hoping in this way to bring some kind of closure to the tragic and destructive experiences so as to enable life to move onwards, is of course not unique to the United States. This process is known to us all. Maybe this is why we can identify with the dramatic events played out there. As a global community we are coming to a clearer understanding of what terrorism and corrupt values can do to any neighbourhood. Together we are witnessing or experiencing the sickness, depravity and hopelessness to body, mind and spirit that these deadly twins can bring to our lives.
All over the world people have been clearing and tidying up places of
horror and destruction, seeking to restore and regain strength and
will and vision to move on. So both within and without, sites for new beginnings
are being prepared. May these become the anchor points for a new civilization.
II. RIGHT TO A DECENT AND HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT
- locally and globally -
Launched about three months before the Johannesburg World Summit on
Sustainable Development (WSSD), the United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP) Report, Global Environment Outlook - 3 (GEO-3) looks at the
environmental changes that have taken place in the years since the 1972
Stockholm Conference, which prepared the way for the 1992 Rio Earth Summit
that resulted in the Agenda 21 plan for action.
With an eye on the forthcoming Johannesburg Summit, also called Rio+10, the report compares the likely impact on people and the natural world of a future driven either by market forces or a future based on far-reaching changes in values and lifestyles, firm policies and cooperation between all sectors of society.
GEO-3 sends the clear message that, although some improvements have occurred in certain areas, naming examples such as the international efforts to repair the ozone layer and better air and river quality in North America and Europe, there has been a steady decline in the quality of our global environment. The strength and frequency of natural hazards, like cyclones, floods and droughts, have led to an increase in unsustainable livelihoods, ill health and food shortages, all of which has brought about a widening gap between those who are able and those who are unable to cope with the rising levels of environmental change. In the 1990s, 90 per cent of those killed were the victims of weather-related disasters, many of which have been linked to human-made emissions. The global financial losses from such natural disasters for the year 1999 alone were estimated to be over US$100 billion.
The report also highlights how human activities have caused soil erosion, water pollution, shortages of food in many places and depletion of fish stocks. Just under one third of the world’s fish stocks are now rated as depleted or overexploited. About 2 billion hectares (15 per cent of the Earth’s land cover) is today classed as degraded, mainly due to water erosion, chemical degradation, overgrazing and deforestation. On a global scale, the largest source of contamination by volume is sewage, states the report, pointing also to the serious threat posed to human health by this environmental degradation alone.
Among the many other environmental calamities mentioned in the report are: about half the world’s rivers being seriously polluted and depleted of life; irreversible damage to and fragmentation of wetlands, mangrove swamps and other ecosystems causing increasing pressure on the world’s wildlife: 12 per cent of birds and nearly a quarter of all mammals are currently regarded as globally threatened; and the introduction of ‘alien’ species into a new environment, upsetting the natural balance and out-competing native species for feeding and breeding sites.
On an optimistic note the GEO-3 reports that protected areas, such as national parks, have grown from 2,78 million square kilometers in 1970 to 12,19 million hectares in 2000, and over the same period the number of sites rose from 3,392 to 11,496.
At the launch of the GEO-3 report, UNEP Executive Director, Klaus Topfer, pointed out that available to us all today are hundreds of declarations, agreements, guidelines and legally binding treaties designed to address environmental problems and the threats they pose to wildlife and human health and wellbeing. "Let us now", urged Klaus Topfer, "find the political courage and the innovative financing needed to implement these deals and steer a healthier, more prosperous, course for planet Earth".
In July 1994, Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment
for the UN Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection
of Minorities, Ms Fatma Zohra Ksentini, issued her final report. This report,
based on consultations with governments, international agencies, human
rights bodies, NGOs and indigenous peoples, states that while the connection
between the right to life and the environment is an obvious one but that
a discussion of the interrelationship between the two rights should go
beyond this and could be summarized in a proposition, namely:
1. There is a strict duty upon States, as well as upon the international community as a whole, to take effective measures to prevent and safeguard against the occurrence of environmental hazards which threaten the lives of human beings.
2. Every State, as well as the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), should establish and operate adequate monitoring and early-warning systems to detect hazards or threats before they actually occur.
3. States which obtain information about the possible emergence of an environmental hazard to life in another State should inform the State at risk or at least alert UNEP on an urgent basis.
4. The right to life, as an imperative norm, takes priority above economic considerations and should, in all circumstances, be accorded priority.
5. States and other responsible entities (corporations or individuals) may be criminally or civilly responsible under international law for causing serious environmental hazards posing grave risks to life. This responsibility is a strict one, and should arise irrespective of whether the act or omission in question is deliberate, reckless or negligent.
6. Adequate avenues of recourse should be provided to individuals and groups at national, regional or international levels, to seek protection against serious environmental hazards to life. The establishment of such avenues of recourse is essential for dealing with such risks before they actually materialize.
Apart from the GEO-3 report, UNEP has released a series of 22 industry reports in preparation for the Johannesburg Summit. These reports show that although a small number of companies are actively striving for sustainability, whatever improvements these may bring are being overtaken by the trend towards increasing demand for goods and services and economic growth.
This collection of reports, known as the Industry as a Partner for Sustainable Development Series, was written by industry representatives in cooperation with the UN, business and industry, academic institutions, labour organizations and NGOs. They look at achievements, unfinished business, future challenges, and contain various recommendations for business and industry, such as: greater integration of environmental and social criteria into mainstream business decision making, improving the implementation and monitoring of voluntary initiatives and industry self-regulation, and the development of "sustainable entrepreneurship".
There is a growing awareness among business and industry, contends UNEP’s Assistant Executive Director, Jacqueline Aloisi de Larderel, that "the social side of global sustainable development needs to be taken into account alongside environmental and economic aspects", and concludes, "The industry reports need to be seen as part of a long-term process of dialogue and what matters is not so much the past, but the direction in which we are heading".
While in the 1992 Rio Summit it was the relationship between the environment
and the development that was being discussed, in Johannesburg it will be
the relationship between sustainability and development. Perhaps a happy
marriage between these two will create a good and healthy environment for
GEO-3 contact: Nick Nuttall, Head of Media, UNEP, PO Box 30552, Nairobi, Kenya.
Human Rights contact: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland. Website (www.unhchr.org)
The huge brown haze, hovering over large parts of the Asian Pacific countries, containing among other pollutants those from forest-clearing fires and car as well as industrial exhausts, and the worst flooding in Europe for hundreds of years, creating chaos, loss of life and fear of outbreak of diseases caused by water contamination, should send a clear and urgent message to the Johannesburg Summit that the time has come for a real commitment for change.
MULTILATERAL TREATY FRAMEWORK: An Invitation to Universal
Focus 2002: Sustainable Development. Johannesburg Summit 2002.
This United Nations publication contains a list of the 25 core treaties representative of the major principles of sustainable development, with summaries and status of Member States as of 10 May 2002.
In his introductory letter to Heads of State and Government, Secretary-General Kofi Annan stated that the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development would provide a unique opportunity for Member States to take stock of the progress made in the ten years since the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, an opportunity for seeking to reach agreement on further concrete steps to implement sustainable development and for reaffirming commitment to the principles of sustainable development reflected in Agenda 21 and a range of carefully negotiated multilateral treaties.
Prior to this treaty event, called Focus 2002: Sustainable Development, three other treaty events have taken place since the Millennium Summit to encourage participation by States in the multilateral treaty framework and to emphasize the commitment by States to the rule of law. During Focus 2002 at the UN Headquarters in New York, all Member States are invited to sign, ratify or accede to those treaties pertaining to sustainable development to which they may not as yet be a signatory or a party. After these actions, formally undertaken in New York, they would be ceremonially announced in Johannesburg.
The Secretary-General hoped that the opportunity offered by the World Summit "would inspire a renewed enthusiasm for participation in these treaties by more States and thereby advance the reach of the framework of treaties on sustainable development".
This important publication, printed simultaneously in English and French and including a list of all multilateral treaties deposited with the Secretary-General, is obtainable from the United Nations Reproduction Section, United Nations, New York, N.Y. 10017, USA.
The current issue of Many to Many is being distributed on the eve of the Johannesburg World Summit, 26 August to 4 September 2002, a summary of which will, it is hoped, appear in our next issue.
ENGENDERING THE GLOBAL AGENDA -; The Story of Women and the United Nations.
The above is the title of a publication written by Hilkka Pietila, former Secretary General of the Finnish UN Association, and published in 2002 by the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (NGLS), forming part of their series of the so-called Development Dossiers. NGLS hopes that these publications will be used by members of civil society and provide information of interest to them on UN related subjects.
Hillka Pietila’s book covers the story of women, from their involvement in what she calls the first inter-governmental peace organization’ The League of Nations, their increasingly important role during the years of World War II, and their contribution to the creation of the United Nations including the formulation of the UN Charter. She maps out how women throughout the world have been transforming their own role within society and taking upon themselves more responsibility for change in the world as partners for peace and right relationships.
Ms Pietila contends that the work carried out during the time of the League of Nations was not in vain. Models of cooperation between international non-governmental as well as inter-governmental organizations were being created and so-called women’s issues were also beginning to gain more visibility and to appear more often on the international community’s agenda. It was also due to the indispensable contribution of the women present at the founding conference of the United Nations in San Francisco, 1945, insisting that the text of the Preamble to the United Nations Charter should reaffirm faith, not only in "fundamental human rights", "the dignity and worth of the human person," but also in "the equal rights of men and women." With the backing of a powerful network of women from several countries, Jessie Street (from Australia) pushed successfully for the inclusion (in Article 8) that the UN "shall place no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs."
When the inaugural session of the General Assembly in London (early 1946) took place, the issue of women’s rights appeared prominently on the international agenda and an "Open Letter to the Women of the World", initiated by the French delegation and delivered to the Assembly by a US delegate, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, urging women everywhere to come forward and "share in the work of peace and reconstruction as they did in war and resistance." The Open Letter states that "this new chance for peace was won through the joint efforts of men and women working for common ideals of human freedom at a time when the need for united effort broke down barriers of race, creed and sex."
Volume VI of the United Nations "Blue Book" Series, entitled The United Nations and the Advancement of Women 1945-1995 divides this process into four different periods: securing the legal foundations of equality (from 1945-1962); recognizing women’s role in development (from 1963-1975); the UN Decade for Women (1976-1985); and towards equality, development and peace (from 1986 onwards).
The establishment of the many different non-governmental organizations and instruments within and outside the United Nations System, such as the UN International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the International Women’s Rights Action Watch (IWRAW), International Women’s Health Coalition (IWHC), and the role they play within the overall endeavour to improve the status and the rights of women and children everywhere, are described in this book, as well as the importance of the UN world conferences in bringing about partnerships between women and men in a common concern to create a better world for future generations.
Hilkka Pietila’s book (125 pages) is an invaluable source for information and can be obtained from: UN-NGLS, Palais des Nations, CH-1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.unsystem.org/ngls
The pioneering work of the women mentioned in "The Story of Women and the United Nations" has empowered women in the world today to resolve to take action, even in the worst of circumstances. One such group WIDOWS FOR PEACE AND RECONSTRUCTION (WPR) was set up just a year ago, following the tragic events of 11 September 2001.
In a leaflet, WPR describes how the proliferation of armed conflicts and ethnic cleansing have resulted in an unprecedented increase in the number of widows of all ages. In several conflict-affected countries more than 60 percent of all adult women are believed to have become widows, making some 70 per cent of children dependent on a single surviving mother.
These war widows or women whose husbands are missing, as sole supporters of families, should be recognized as crucial players in peace and democracy building, reconstruction and sustainable development, insists PWR. They should be represented and should participate in decision-making at every level, and not labeled simply as "victims" needing only emergency relief.
The leaflet points out the vulnerable situation of these women who are often left with the responsibility for their children, other orphans, and the care of the elderly, frail, and wounded and stresses the urgent need for having their basic needs assessed, their coping strategies identified, and their voices heard.
The issues relating to widowhood must be of concern to all of society, says WPR." If widows’ and children’s needs are not specifically addressed, future conflicts stemming from deprivation and alienation cannot be prevented. Enfranchising and empowering widows is thus critical both for attacking poverty and for guaranteeing peace and security in the future".
The Widows for Peace and Reconstruction leaflet concludes by calling upon the UN Secretary-General to appoint a special Rapporteur for Widowhood and Armed Conflict.
Contact: Margaret Owen, WPR, 36, Faroe Road, London W14 OEP. UK.
Tel/fax: (+44) (0)207 603 9733. E-mail: email@example.com
"The future of this planet depends on women"
V. GLOBAL EDUCATION FOR PEACE
The following abridged article by Dr. Michael Nobel is taken from the recent quarterly journal of Soka Gakkai International. Soka Gakkai is a Buddhist movement with some 12 million members in 180 countries and territories, whose president is Dr. Daisaku Ikeda, a prolific writer on peace issues, and whose philosophy stresses the values of peace, dialogue and human dignity.
Dr. Nobel’s address from which this excerpt is taken was given upon his acceptance of the Gandhi-King-Ikeda Community Building Prize, at Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia, in April 2002. He had been asked to share his perspectives on the world since September 11, 2001. He said:
"The need for peace education, for spiritual awakening and for conflict reduction is greater than ever today. Violence, is of course, caused by many factors - social, political, ethnic and psychological - but the propensity to resort to violence is most frequently instilled in people during childhood and youth. It is usually during these crucial formative years that lack of parental love and guidance, powerful negative peer pressures, keenly-felt deprivation of social privilege or material possessions, the baleful influence of older wrongdoers and lack of mature judgment can cause the greatest damage to self-esteem and self-control.
Violence is not restricted to any one country It exists to a greater or lesser extent in all modern societies. The growth of the global drug trade; far too easy access to firearms; a break-down in traditional family and community life; a huge and growing gap between the "haves’ and "have-nots", and the anxieties occasioned by congested big-city life are some of the factors. Religious and racial differences are still powerful incitements for violent behaviour; the numbing effects of violence in movies and on TV are other potential contributing factors.
And yet, there are very many truly good men and women in the world whose existence disputes the horrendous view of humanity, too many examples of kindness and selflessness to simply accept violence as a natural human characteristic. One only has to think of the millions of people whose lives are devoted to teaching children life skills, to fighting pain, disease and poverty, to protecting lives and property and promoting ideals of morality and truth. We can also think of the millions of ordinary men and women bringing up their children to be good citizens and of those many singular individuals who set glittering examples of tolerance and understanding for others to follow.
Surely these peaceful citizens, rather than the barbaric exceptions, reflect the truth of human nature. These are our hope and salvation, even if the good they do is so often overshadowed in the media by the evil done by a comparatively few others.
This does not mean that we can be complacent about our persistent culture
of violence. In the US alone, the cost of violent crime is near a half
trillion dollars per year. Around the world, annual expenditures on arms
and munitions total more than 800 billion dollars. Again this figure, the
annual budget for the US, whose ultimate mission is world peace, is a mere
four billion dollars. It simply doesn’t add up. Our priorities must change.
VI. A Time for Action
In 1997 all living Nobel Peace Laureates signed an Appeal for the Children of the World and called for an international decade for peace. The United Nations heeded the appeal, and the General Assembly declared the years 2001-2010 the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World.
I like the term "Community Building." It sounds dynamic and makes one think of nonviolence and peace in terms of action. As chairman of the Non-Violence Project initiative since 1995, I have seen the value of such community-based action on four continents. We have engaged more than one and a half million young people with applications of conflict resolution and community outreach. Our "Talk It Out" programme and tours, along with our Non-Violence Ambassadors, have given young people the motivation to help shape and determine their own lives.
The Non-Violence Project is an effort to reach out to young people. As such it represents community-level engagement with the ideals of the International Decade. But a global movement demands thousands of such efforts and the engagement of millions of people. The cornerstone of this global movement is the six-point commitment composed by the Nobel Peace Laureates for the United Nations. Their aim was to put peace into an everyday context for everyday use
If September 11 has taught us anything, it is that the issues of any one region cannot be ignored. We are all becoming global citizens, and as such, we must respect all life."
This item was submitted by Dame Laurie Salas, 2 Raumati Terrace, Khandallah, Wellington.
Great ideas, it has been said,
come into the world
as gently as doves.
if we listen attentively,
we shall hear amid the uproar
of empires and nations
a faint flutter of wings,
a gentle stirring of life and hope.
WORLD CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM (WCSF)
Geneva, 14-19 July 2002
Our June 2002 issue referred to the launching of the WCSF in May 2000 at the time of the Millennium Forum in New York, its principal objective being to facilitate cooperation between organizations of civil society and the United Nations System, including its specialized agencies and other international organizations. In Britain, UNGA-Link UK was established to further this process of cooperation between civil society and the UN General Assembly throughout the UK.
The July 2002 Forum took place on the eve of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, Johannesburg, 26 August to 4 September, and aimed to contribute directly to that Summit.
A Wednesday (17 July) session, "Religion, Spirituality and the Environment: a key component for Johannesburg" outlined the importance of the spiritual dimension in reaching a sustainable development and encouraged the spiritual perspective within the international community.
Spiritual values were described as having to do with compassion, love, friendliness, enthusiasm, a feeling of belonging and oneness with all life, commitment and responsibility. Speakers spoke of spirituality as being a key factor in providing common solutions to the societal ills of the modern world, such as human rights violations, lack of distributive justice, inner and outer poverty and the destruction of the planet.
Eugenio Poma-Anaguaya, Secretary for Indigenous People issues, World Council of Churches, emphasized the link existing between spirituality and the land, "especially for indigenous people". A harmonious relationship with nature was, he said, central in the indigenous way of life. His message was clear: the land was important. It needed to be conserved and protected. Indigenous people had much to provide for sustainable development. It was inevitable, he said, to speak about spirituality when talking about development and progress, and the 2002 World Summit at Johannesburg should take this into account.
Diane Williams, Temple of Understanding, also emphasized spiritual principles as being central in the development process for sustainable development and said that this process called for moral conditions such as strength, courage, caring and ‘solidity’ in order for it to be carried out in a sustainable way. "People need to explore non-material means to achieve well-being", she said.
Rudolf Schneider, Institute for Plenary, spoke of the money system currently in place as being "constantly in search of profit and economic growth. It denaturalizes, engenders pollution and deforestation, and enhances selfishness and speculations". The system was thus unsustainable. Society needed to develop spiritual qualities, such as humanity and sharing in order to help sustainability.
At a Friday session, "Reconciling the Material and Spiritual Expressions of Life. Between humanistic values and structural adjustments", Special Representative of the World Bank to the United Nations and World Trade Organisation, Alfredo Sfeir-Younis, questioned whether we had lost our human path? Mr. Sfeir-Younis had been "espousing the reconciliation of economics and spirituality for a long time" and addressed these issues. He explained how the World Bank could be a development instrument where a new paradigm of values, rooted in our traditions and identities could be expressed. We needed a fundamental change in values, a revolution to change the course of human history, he said. We must bring humanistic values into economic activity and to science. We must bring changes on three levels. On the institutional level, education must change. It should be based on being, and not on knowing, having and doing. On the community level, we must start with a basic consensus: cultural elements that we all have, such as the notion of family. "We know what is at the source of us. On the personal level we need to blend our inner growth. Our souls need food. Then we will have a society with spiritual wealth".
Among recommendations adopted at the final session of the Forum were the following, proposed by UNGA-Link, UK:
Mr. Manuel Tornare, former Mayor of the City of Geneva, participating in most of the preparations for the Forum and a long-time active member of several civil societies, predicted that civil societies are going to play an increasingly important role in the future in shaping public opinion and policies in our societies.
The principle that WCSF should become a Permanent (or Continuing) Forum was agreed by a large majority in a ballot. The WCSF Steering Committee would be replaced by a larger Coordinating Council.
In a closing plenary session it was agreed that "strengthening and democratization of the United Nations System" should be a main theme of the next Forum, which might not take place until 2004 as next year Geneva will host the World Summit on the Information Society, which will be accompanied by a non-governmental forum.
UNGA-Link UK, c/o Jeffrey Segall, 308 Cricklewood Lane, London NW2 2PX, UK
VIII. 21 SEPTEMBER THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE
On the 7 September 2001 the UN General Assembly decided (Resolution 55/282) that, as from the year 2002, the 21 September should be observed as the International Day of Peace and as a day of global ceasefire and non-violence. The resolution invites: "all member states, organizations of the United Nations system, regional and non-governmental organizations and individuals to commemorate, in an appropriate manner, the International Day of Peace, including through education and public awareness, and to cooperate with the United Nations in the establishment of the global ceasefire."
We have Jeremy Gilley, founder of PEACE ONE DAY, to thank for this day. He, with the support of "countless individuals and organizations" lobbied successfully for this fixed day of peace to be established, a day on which people throughout the world can unite in a commitment for peace.
The International Day of Peace will be marked throughout the world in
many different ways, and Peace One Day is asking that all commitments for
the Day are sent to them for inclusion on their website. Other, more detailed,
material can also be sent to them, which will be used to inspire others
to get involved. Website (http://www.peaceoneday.org)
IX. Wanganui Culture of Peace Work of Art
One of the projects which will be included among the celebrations on the 21 September, is the Wanganui Culture of Peace artwork, which will be dedicated to the emergence of a culture of peace and non-violence for the children of the world.
It was the UN General Assembly Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace that triggered off the idea for this project. The UN Declaration says that while governments have an essential role to play, civil society "needs to be fully engaged in fuller development of a culture of peace". A key role, insists the Declaration, belongs to "parents, teachers, politicians, journalists, religious bodies and groups, intellectuals, those engaged in scientific, philosophical and creative and artistic activities at various levels as well as to non-governmental organizations."
From its inception this artwork has invited - and received support, cooperation and participation from throughout the community: The regional Art Gallery, Sarjeant Gallery, helped organize the culture of peace sculpture competition from which the winning design, "Hand Span" by local artist and potter, Ross Mitchell-Anyon, was chosen, and the Wanganui District Council gave permission for the sculpture to be built on the historic hill of Queens Park in the centre of the City.
The design for this future Peace sculpture is not only inspired but
also large: about 20 meters in diameter and approximately 3 meters high.
With two openings, east and west,
a double-spiral pathway leads to the top of the structure and back again, and the walls on each side of the pathway are covered with ceramic tiles with hand casts from people of all ages within the community, from babies to the elderly, all carrying the name of the owner. A few hand casts have been contributed by people from outside Wanganui and also from other countries - France, Spain, UK, Sweden, USA and Australia. Approximately 5000 have to date been made by Ross and his helpers. More may be needed.
Glass tiles with hand casts on them, especially made by the Universal College of Learning Glass Studio, will be used for the lighting of the sculpture.
A whole team of skilled crafts people, under builder Jamie O’Leary’s supervision, has been responsible for the building of this sizeable structure, and as the work proceeded many constructive suggestions and advice added perfection to the final product.
But before any construction work began, the site was blessed at a Dawn Ceremony, 18 September, 2001, by John Maihi, Chairman, Te Runanga O Tupoho, who subsequently also led the ceremonial breaking of the soil, praying for blessings on the work ahead and linking it with its reason for being. For the latter ceremony, three spades were provided and all present, from the Mayor and our local MP to the children made a ‘first dig’, creating a little mound as the forerunner for greater things to come.
The sculpture has since then been rising out of the ground as if it
was always meant to be there, quietly settling in among its neighbours,
the war memorial, the art gallery and library, and overlooking the City
of Wanganui. As with all good crafts people, the combination
of skills and sheer hard work, executed in the unpredictable
New Zealand winter weather, has been a pure joy to behold for those
who in increasing numbers were drawn to the hill to watch the work in progress.
As I write we are all focusing on getting the sculpture as finished as possible for the dedication day, and although every single ceramic hand tile may not be in place for the dedication event we feel that this in itself adds meaning to the process of participating in the emergence of a culture of peace - the ever unfolding story of human aspiration and common endeavour.
Her Excellency the Governor-General of New Zealand, Dame Silvia Cartwright, who has been very supportive of this project, will join us on the 21 September and lead us in the dedication.
X. The Reality of Aid 2002
The Reality of Aid 2002 is an independent review by NGOs of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) development assistance.
The report bluntly calls the level of aid from OECD "pitiful", stating with equal straightforwardness that if changes are not brought about to the international financial institutions "foreign aid will be seen as increasingly irrelevant just part of an established order that tolerates poverty."
International financial institutions, such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) need to be restructured. The IMF, for instance, will only give loans to sub-Saharan African countries if they meet an average of 114 conditions which, says the report "not only advance the commercial, political and diplomatic interests of the North, they often deepen poverty and inequality."
Aid to the least developed countries has in recent years declined by over 50 per cent and in 2000 some of the world’s richest countries (G-7) gave 0,19 per cent of the gross national product (GNP) which is not even close to honouring the commitment made to reach the UN target of 0,7 per cent. The review also points out that while aid to developing countries is the lowest since 1984, "a large part of it is spent in the donor country through, for example, funding consultants and paying for refugees in the donor country".
The Reality of Aid is recommending the following six-point agenda for transforming aid relationships:
1. eliminate all types of conditions, unilaterally imposed by outside donors and creditors, for all forms of aid and debt cancellation for the poorest countries;
2. replace World Bank/IMF-imposed Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers with truly home-grown poverty reduction plans as the guide for donor policy goals and interventions to reduce poverty;
3. cancel unconditionally all debts of the world’s poorest countries as a test of donor countries’ commitments to economic justice and poverty elimination;
4. develop fair and equitable mechanisms for determining priorities in promoting and financing global public goods that do not divert resources from poverty elimination;
5. fundamentally change bilateral donor aid procedures and practices to make southern ownership a central organizing principle of aid relationships; and
6. commit to specific multi-year steps in donor aid budgets to achieve, minimally, the UN target of 0.7 per cent of GNP, with long-term stable resources for fulfilling the 2015 Development Goals and ultimately, the elimination of poverty.
Contact: The Reality of Aid, Development Initiatives, Old Westbrook Farm, Evercreech, Somerset BA4 6DS, UK.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.realityofaid.org
IX. THE GREAT INVOCATION -
in Ndebele (Zimbabwe) and English
Esibaneni sokuKhanya esiseNqondweni kaNkulunkulu
UkuKhanya makungene kuzinze enqondweni zabantu.
UkuKhanya makwehlele emhlabeni.
Othandweni olujulileyo oluseNhliziyweni yeNkosi
Uthando malungene enhliziyweni zabantu.
Ukristu makabuyele emhlabeni.
Enzikini lapho iNtando kaNkulunkulu yaziwa khona
Injongo efanele mayikhokhele intandokazana zabantu &-
Injongo eyaziwa loku khonzwa yiziKhokeli.
Enzikini esiyibiza ngokuti yisizwe soluntu
IQhinga loThando lokuKhanya makusebenze,
Makuvale ngci umnyango lapho okuhlala ona ububi.
UkuKhanya loThando laMandla makugxilise
LeloQhinga emhlabeni wonke jikelele.
THE GREAT INVOCATION
from the point of Light within the Mind of God
Let light stream forth into the minds of men.
Let Light descend on Earth.
From the point of Love within the Heart of God
Let love stream forth into the hearts of men.
May Christ return to Earth.
From the centre where the Will of God is known
Let purpose guide the little wills of men -
The purpose which the Masters know and serve.
From the centre which we call the race of men
Let the Plan of Love and Light work out
And may it seal the door where evil dwells.
Let Light and Love and Power restore the Plan on Earth.