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FOR CLARITY OF VISION,
A SENSE OF URGENCY AND A CHANGE OF HEART
We are deeply concerned that the current version of the Political Declaration lacks both clarity of vision and a sense of urgency. It does not reflect the Copenhagen spirit of hope and cooperation nor does it acknowledge the root causes of the profound moral and ethical crisis which we face in the light of the rising levels of poverty, the growing disparity between rich and poor and the escalating number of armed conflicts.
The follow-up to Copenhagen has not resulted in greater social justice for the poor, the unemployed and the excluded of the world. Ironically, social policy initiatives have constantly been held hostage to the prevailing market forces. Such dependence on the market for social development was called into question at the Social Summit. A....Social progress will not be realized simply through the free interaction of market forces. Public policies are necessary to correct market failures ....@ (Programme of Action, chapter 1, paragraph 6).
Globalization, also recognized at Copenhagen as impacting social development, has proceeded with unforeseen speed and created unprecedented crises, the causes and consequences of which are not sufficiently acknowledged in the Political Declaration. As the Secretary-General stated earlier this week in setting a direction for the United Nations in the new millennium: AA backlash has begun because [the] benefits [of globalization] are so unequally distributed and because the global market is not yet underpinned by shared social objectives.@ Globalization, without an underlying moral commitment to resource sharing, inclusiveness and building sustainable communities, cannot be considered positive progress for humankind.
We are concerned about the tendency to weaken the Political Declaration by deleting language which requires the transformation of words into serious and practical action. This exercise subsequently weakens the implementation of the Programme of Action. We appeal for renewed resolution in the Declaration for governments to take action. We affirm our conviction that for social development goals to be successfully achieved at the international level, they must be accompanied by the transformation of international financial institutions and other actors so that they are more accountable, transparent and participatory.
We call for an alternative vision of a global community whose interdependence is not reduced to trade and markets. We affirm our common destiny as co-inhabitants of the one earth for which we all share responsibility and from which we should all equitably benefit. We call for a change of heart which recognizes that real value cannot be expressed in monetary terms and that life - and that which is essential to sustain it - cannot be commodified. The role of the economy is to serve people, communities, and preserve the health of the earth. A moral vision calls for the full participation of diverse communities of poor and powerless people in the economic, social and political decisions which affect them. The aim of economic life should be to nurture sustainable, just and participatory communities. Building such communities will require nothing less than profound moral courage and the willingness to be open to new ways of living and working together.
The Ecumenical Team
5 April 2000 PTO
AFor Clarity of Vision, A Sense of Urgency and A Change of Heart@
(List in Formation)
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