Building a Global Citizens Movement: Towards a World Citizens Movement. The Johannesburg Compass: Questions and Orientations
1. Who are we?
As citizens, global and local, and participants of the ‘Building a Global Citizens Movement Johannesburg Conference 2013’, we acknowledge our responsibility for the planet and for humanity and we take responsibility for our individual and collective actions. Collectively, we acknowledge that to reach a just and sustainable world which does not maintain the systems of global oppression, but act to create the change we want to see in the world. We have the power and capacity to drive change. Change that is both personally transformative aiming to de-colonise our minds, and visible within collective, community and political actions. And realising that this is a difficult and sometimes painful process for many of us.
Together, in humility, we started a journey of transformation and developed a common vision that we believe will drive a fundamental shift in our world, the way we work in our organisations, and within our societies. In humility, we know that we don’t have all the answers, that we have and many questions. And that we are aware that we should find new ways of expressing our politics and therefore this is not a Declaration but a Question we pose to ourselves and the world.
As change agents we started an experiment of finding new ways of cooperation among citizens.
2. What is our shared vision for the planet and humanity?
Together, we believe in a world built on the principles of Global Justice and Global Citizenship and on various principles of indigenous wisdom such as Ubuntu, Buen Vivir and Neighbouring through a multilingual approach which allows the full expression of those ideas.
A world built on mutual respect and equality in our shared humanity where we recognise and accept our differences. A world whose social and economic systems further the well-being of all people, while not undermining the planet and future generations. We aspire to reclaim, protect and nurture our commons and respect the rights of other living creatures on our planet.
What is global justice? We believe global justice means equal rights for all including future generations, through access to resources, knowledge and decision making. This means that the earth´s natural environment, ecosystems and knowledge are common property, and should be managed for the common good.
What is global citizenship? We believe global citizenship means that all people have access to participate and influence in a world democracy. The essence of global citizenship is built upon the involvement of different groups within decision making. Global citizenship means that rights should be the same for all peoples and responsibilities that are proportionate to their possibilities. The right of freedom of movement and settlement for everybody has to be respected.
3. What is our commitment to act?
We believe that global change will come about when citizens start acting themselves and that is what we will do in this journey and beyond. We will deepen our discussions after this conference and continue the learning and linking.
As first steps on this journey, several of us are taking initiatives that will:
- A new way of communicating that speaks from the hearts and not only the minds, connecting people through many forms of communication such as story-telling and art.
- To start developing a possible concept of a world democracy that would not lead to replicate current oppressive systems and inequality.
- Start a process as citizens to develop new ways to safeguard the global resources as common resources, possibly through establishing a Global Trust.
- To re-democratise our organisations to be the change we want to see in the world.
- Not to speak for the most excluded, the most isolated, the most impoverished but and ensure they can participate fully at every level of our movement so they can speak for themselves.
- To establish a global mechanism whereby activists can learn from each other. Global communities can share reflections on change processes and the demands of global justice.
- To build bridges between civil society networks and engage with other partners such as trade unions.
- To organise 3 global action days on 3 burning issues together
We will take these questions and considerations as one part of our learning journey together in building a global citizens movement. Together we will continue the discussions how to implement the commitments, linking our actions together. The questions and considerations are an open invitation to participate and to learn together and a living document, and we will revise it through the participatory open process in the next years.