Juventud Archives - Earth Charter

Message from Federico Mayor Zaragoza to the Youth

Federico Mayor Zaragoza, former UNESCO Director General wrote a message to the youth, especially those who have taken Earth Charter ethical leadership course.

YOUNG PEOPLE, CITIZENS OF THE WORLD, IT IS TIME TO ACT

“There will be new words for the new history”

Ángel González

“Get involved!” was the shout out and final message from Stephan Hessel. “You will have to change course and ship,” José Luis Sampedro added. Well, the time has come to get involved, to change course and ship, for the “new beginning” that the Earth Charter advocates, a document that we should have as an essential reference for the radical changes that we must undertake.Federico-Mayor-Zaragoza

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states in the second paragraph of its preamble that, if the full exercise of human rights was not possible, people could be “compelled to rebellion.” Well, the time has come, in a peaceful but firm way to uprise, to express yourselves, to make yourselves heard, to flood the cyberspace and the streets with your presence, your voice, your points of view, knowing that addressing global challenges cannot be postponed.

Citizens of the world: do not be deceived by ideologues that have long lost their compass and do not realize – or do not want to – that it is the entire human species – this formidable and hopeful gift – the one at risk.  Therefore, humanity must not be reduced in any way, but must know how to react together in the face of the powerful, including the media, which seek to reduce the voices of “the people …” to mere spectators, abstracted and obfuscated in a sense of belonging to small “plots”, as Amin Maalouf recently warned, the challenges are unprecedented and the solutions must also be unprecedented. Instead of concentrating on issues relating to our immediate surroundings, we must jointly address the dangers that threaten us and react before it is too late.

We must be fully aware that we are, for the first time in the history of humankind, facing a situation of extreme gravity and complexity, with potential irreversible problems, in such a way that, if we do not act in time and with firmness, we could reach points of no return in the habitability of the Earth.

I always remember Albert Camus’ terrible phrase about having the opportunity to do so much yet doing so little. Let us act together in such a way that future generations will not have a reason to pronounce those words. The great challenge and the supreme duty of each generation is to assure future generations a dignified life and the full exercise of humans’ special skills: to think, to imagine, to anticipate, to create! Every human being is unique and capable of creating, this is our hope.

The time of friendship, of detachment, of listening, of affirmation, of rectification, of walking against the wind is coming. The alternative to involution and revolution is evolution. Only one “r” of responsibility separates the evolution of the revolution. If we are responsible, we will choose evolution, as nature shows us with great splendor. It is necessary to invent tomorrow. It is pressing to dare to know and know how to dare. Young people: it is necessary to overcome the media harassment that wants us to become spectators instead of actors, giving wings to skepticism instead of hope. I remember that phrase from 15-M that delighted me so much: “If you do not let us dream, we will not let you sleep”. Do not get distracted by local or irrelevant issues when we have to face problems that concern us all, from all parts of the world, all social status, all races and religions… Remembering our intergenerational responsibilities; and learn to share, to live together, and to strive for others, because solidarity and generosity are, precisely, the ignored paths of tomorrow that you should constantly indicate to us.

We have many road maps that have been ignored but are more important than ever: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the Earth Charter; the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, the United Nations Millennium Declaration, the Declaration and Plan of Action for a Culture of Peace …  All of them should serve at this time to guide our daily behavior. Also today, thanks to longevity, we have a treasure that is usually underutilized: the experience of those who live the last stretches of their human journey. Experience is the balance of successes and mistakes, accumulating a value as extraordinary as precariously used. For this reason, I encourage young people to share experiences so that they help them not to falter, to decide to act boldly when their wings are still strong to fly high and without decay.

Do not tolerate any outbreak of supremacism. This is the greatest source of confrontations, the biggest responsibility for victims throughout history, a history that cannot be repeated. All human beings are equal in dignity; this is the principle of justice and peace. As I wrote recently, “Whether or not we want to recognize today’s interested and short-term leaders, we are in the anthropocene – human influence on ecological conditions – and we must fulfill our duties in due course, this becomes an inalienable ethical requirement. Now we have no excuses: we already know what is happening and we can express ourselves freely thanks to digital technology. And, above all, women, marginalized until recent times, occupy progressively a very important place in decision-making processes at all levels.

It is very important to promote the re-foundation of a multilateral democratic system on a world scale.  With a strong United Nations capable of rapid and efficient action, so that we go without plutocratic groups (G7, G8, G20) established by the globalizing neoliberalism that has led to the current situation of conceptual, social and economic confusion.

Another important step is the elimination of the nuclear threat, ensuring a dignified life, through an immediate implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreements on Climate Change, so that you can live with dignity in all parts of the world. Two transitions are essential for this: moving from an economy of speculation, productive relocation and war – it is intolerable that every day 4,000 million dollars are invested in arms and military spending while thousands of people die of hunger and helplessness – to a knowledge-based economy for sustainable and humane global development.

The second transition, which must unavoidably accompany the first one, is from a culture of imposition, domination and war to a culture of encounter, conversation, conciliation, alliance and peace. The great historical inflection, from strength to speech, that would allow this new concept of security, which not only took into account that of the territories but, above all, that of those who are born, live and die in these territories.

In view of the above, it is absolutely intolerable that President Trump has announced that he will not implement the urgent measures on climate change regulation that were agreed upon in Paris in November 2015. Those agreements were the result of an intense work done, with all scientific rigor, since many years. Already in 1947, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature was created in UNESCO, followed by international programs on geology, hydrology, oceanography … And the great programmes of “The Man and the Biosphere”  and “The reserves of the biosphere ” were created … Only blinded by short-term interests can now be said to have improvised measures to ensure quality in the habitability of the Earth. Only the unusual mediatic President of the United States, Mr. Trump, could proceed in this way: youth, above all, the most affected, including President Trump’s own relatives, must react immediately, announcing that, if he does not radically modify these attitudes, we will proceed in a global reaction in social networks, not to consume products from the great American nation, which suffers so much from the inconveniences of the Republican Party.

“There is no challenge that is beyond the distinctive creative capacity of the human species,” proclaimed US President John F. Kennedy in 1963. We must invent the future. Anything that is impossible today can be a happy reality tomorrow but, as Miquel Martí i Pol wrote so wisely, “Who, if not all?”

Everyone to promote disarmament for development. Everyone to promote the transition from strength to speech. The time of silence and submission has ended.

It is essential to redefine issues that are essential for a “normal” life, such as the new concept of work, democracy, the State of “justice”, etc. In short, we must invent the future to be able to carry out the “pending evolution”. Evolution, that is, to preserve that which must be conserved, because they are the basic foundations and the reference points absolutely essential for the road map, and to change everything that must be changed. Evolution, for a different future. The one in which we dreamed and in which we have to dream again with greater perseverance still.

Young people, citizens of the world, the time of silence has ended, the time of irrelevant efforts when they are at stake. For the first time in history, essential issues for a dignified life, must give way to conscious and determined action. Dare to know and know how to dare: only then will we achieve evolution and avoid revolution.

Link to original blog: http://federicomayor.blogspot.com/2017/11/jovenes-ciudadanos-del-mundo-es-tiempo.html

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Outstanding Earth Charter Youth: Lorena Terrazas

lorena-con-periodistasThirty-two year-old Lorena Terrazas has a powerful and rich voice and she is using it to transform her country of Bolivia.

Lorena was born in Santa Cruz, Bolivia in 1983. She understands the problems with discrimination among different ethnic groups in Bolivia. She has Quechua indigenous roots from her paternal grandfather and her family is from various parts of Bolivia. Even when she was young, she understood the importance of dialogue between people and how diversity can enrich rather than undermine our societies.

In 2005 Lorena began her journey by working on youth advocacy projects. She recognized the importance of citizen participation, transparency, and human rights, but she did not connect political issues with other social and environmental problems. Her projects were focused on specific issues, and were disconnected from other related areas.

lorena-campoWhen Lorena’s previous boss (Ramiro Orias) introduced her to the Earth Charter, she embraced it as a tool that helps her understand the interconnectedness of all things because the Earth. Charter has a comprehensive and holistic vision. It helps her in her work as an educator to cover a range of specific issues, but always connecting them together with an integrated vision.

After 10 years working on projects in Bolivia with young people, women, indigenous people and rural communities, Lorena contacted Alicia Jimenez, Project Coordinator at the Earth Charter International. In 2015 Earth Charter International invited Lorena to present the work she has done with women and indigenous people at a meeting of experts on climate change education and sustainable development. After that meeting, Lorena began working more closely with Earth Charter International, which strengthened the work she is doing with young people on climate change.

cop-simulationIn preparation for the COP21 in Paris, the UN Conference to create a global agreement to stop climate change, Lorena jumped into action. Realizing that this issue affects the whole world, and that most people could not directly participate in Paris, Lorena brought the COP21 to the young people of Bolivia. She began organizing a project to integrate the Earth Charter and climate change, and eventually developed and coordinated workshops for 1,400 young people from 8 universities in La Paz, El Alto, and Santa Cruz. She then organized a mock conference with 200 young people and had them work through the process of reaching a global climate agreement. Upon completing the COP21 preparatory projects in Brazil, Lorena headed for Europe.

lorena-trabajando-con-mujeresIn November 2015 she participated in meetings with the United Nations on indigenous peoples rights in the forum entitled “Business and Human Rights” held at the headquarters of the United Nations in Geneva. In that meeting there were presentations on socio-environmental monitoring, an initiative that is taking place in Bolivia, which supports the strengthening of territorial control and management of indigenous people in their relationship with oil companies. Lorena then headed to Paris where she participated in the COP21. While she was there, she did not forget about the Latino youth that could attend the event. She presented in a webinar, organized by Earth Charter International and Ruta del Clima, to inform others of what was happening during this historic event.

Now this young Bolivian is working to involve young people in developing their own sustainability projects. For example, Lorena is currently collaborating with Earth Charter International on a social media campaign, made by youth for youth, to spread word of the Earth Charter in a manner that is more accessible,using images and videos.

lorena-entrevistandoEven with all of that, and that is just the beginning for Lorena. Lorena dreams of finishing a master’s degree and a doctorate. She imagines studying outside her country so she can broaden her vision and open new doors. But she always sees herself returning to Bolivia, bringing new tools and knowledge to push, encourage, and guide the development of Bolivia in a sustainable direction. She recognizes the complicated political arena of the country: the urge to move towards a dangerous type of development; one focused only on economic growth with no consideration for social and environmental realms.

Lorena is dedicated to serving the people of her country, making it possible for them to meet their own needs by bringing a different perspective to the people, especially youth, of a sustainable and peaceful world. She believes that it is possible to achieve this goal using a holistic vision inspired by the Earth Charter.

To follow the story of Lorena you can visit the website of the organization PEACE NETWORK INTEGRATION AND DEVELOPMENT – PAZINDE www.redpazinde.org or write to [email protected]

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