Photo: One of the "organisations of world public heritage", proposed by The Agora of the Earth's Inhabitants, held at the Monastery of the Common Good in the village of Sezano, is the UN Security Council for Common Goods. Credit: UN University | Paulo Filgueiras. - Photo: 2019

Toward Building Organisations of World Public Heritage

By Sean Buchanan

This is the second of a two-part report on ‘The Agora of the Inhabitants of the Earth’, organised to find a new paradigm that overcomes the political and ideal gap in which we are living. Read Part 1: ‘In Quest Of A Charter Of Humanityhere.

ROME (IDN) – The seventh report presented at The Agora of the Earth’s Inhabitants, held at the Monastery of the Common Good in the village of Sezano, near Verona in northern Italy, from December 14-16, 2018, was entitled “Organisations of World Public Heritage”.

Based on the premise that rights to life are the foundation of common rights, it argued that the concept of efficiency today is in stark contrast with the concept of humanity, and it condemned the utilitarian vision of life, which is dominated by the concept of profitability.

The report also called for the urgent creation of a UN Security Council for Common Goods, at the level of an international treaty, to deal with the drift of private intellectual property which is now taking over the ownership of natural goods and even parts of the human body.

“The Common Good of Water”, the eighth report, argued the urgency of denouncing the pedagogy of dehumanisation, which is being created as if it were a natural fact, warning of the risk of young people seeing poverty, war and speculations as natural events.

It called for a new naturalisation that restores life and its values and counters the growing conviction that “there are no alternatives”, and the relaunching of the responsibilities of being at the service of life, of the politics of life, and of humanity in construction.

Water should be seen as the paradigm of life, said the report, denouncing its monetisation and growing scarcity, which only a social and egalitarian policy can control.

The ninth report on “Disarmament of Finance” argued that the world of finance is the cause of the current disaster and has ceased its historical function of lubricating the productive system, having become a self-referential force without controls, inspired only by the utilitarian principle.

It called for the urgent demonetisation of life in order to convey the concept of the common good as untouchable and redeem the main object of society, while recommending the creation of a cooperative financial system, eliminating the current speculative system.

The report also said there was a need for a series of measures intended to prohibit tax havens and derivatives, encourage reporting companies that finance under the principles of transparency and reinvent the authority of public authorities over money and finance.

The tenth report, “Democracy without Borders”, represented the launch of the Campaign for a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly, which calls for the creation of a representative system of citizens, parallel to the intergovernmental system that currently forms the General Assembly. It would act as an independent supervisory system of the United Nations, drawing on the experience of the European Parliament and the Pan-African Parliament.

“Mother Earth: An Essential Philosophy for Universal Fraternity”, the eleventh report, considered the concept of Mother Earth, the fruit of a thousand-year-old philosophy, which re-establishes the relationship between humans and the Earth as one of direct affiliation, which eliminates the interconnections of the system that frees the human being from Mother Earth in order to transform him/her into a consumer, and the object of commodification.

This, argued the report, leads to redefining the issue of identity, which is lost in the homogenisation of the market, in the transition from citizen to consumer, from farmer to citizen.

The very notion of Mother Earth leads to the dialogue of her children of all cultures and to repudiation of the anthropocentric vision that is taking the planet beyond its limits.

The report on “Cooperation, NGOs and Building Humanity” argued that the world of NGOs is a hazy cloud, where the resources provided by international cooperation often prevail over the real needs of project beneficiaries, also creating absurd competitions, such as between a project for malnourished Togolese children and those of Benin.

Saying that the time has come to free oneself from the anxiety of doing, to return to the values of coexistence and the polis, the report stressed the need to overcome the logic of the relationship between project and financing and create relationships of clear social partnering for promoting the self-financing of people with transparency and encouraging the encounter between cultures.

The final report on “Inequality and Social Exclusion” was presented on behalf of the Betim think tank in Minas Gerais, Brazil, which also involved six-year-old children in order to have a spontaneous view of the issues of debate. The current situation in Brazil opens up perspectives of deep social inequality, destruction of forests and reduction of human rights.

The report said that it was necessary to raise awareness about the profound changes that are taking place, in order to achieve international solidarity that reduces the expected imbalances, because the path that is opening up will affect the weakest, poorest and indigenous communities in particular.

It called for national and international action to stop the return to authoritarianism, exploitation and the crisis of ethical and human values.

As the Sezano meeting came to an end, there was widespread consensus that, with participants having come from many different backgrounds and struggles, the Agora had allowed for rich and constructive dialogue of two central issues: humanity, in its cultural and social meanings, and a different economy.

The process going forward is based on different cultures, experiences and ways of looking at humanity, but always fighting against the use of neoliberal capitalism, without rules and controls, which commodifies life and reduces the person to a consumer with no future.

The Agora, it was said, serves to build a tent so large that it can accommodate all the institutions and all those who want to speak and act for a “Pact of Humanity”. This tent is intended as an open space for dialogue in which none of the participants renounce their identity, their main field of action, their organisation, but view the Agora as an opportunity for holistic, participatory engagement and which represents its common strength. [IDN-InDepthNews – 17 January 2019]

Photo: One of the “organisations of world public heritage”, proposed by The Agora of the Earth’s Inhabitants, held at the Monastery of the Common Good in the village of Sezano, is the UN Security Council for Common Goods. Credit: UN University | Paulo Filgueiras.

IDN is flagship agency of the International Press Syndicate. –

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