- Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
- Stakeholder type: Major Group
- Name: Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic
- Submission Document: Download
Anthropological and Moral Considerations:
P.O. Box 311, Maryknoll, NY 10545-0311
Tel: 914-941-7575 www.maryknoll.org
It can be said that the most important discoveries of the modern period are the discovery of evolution and the realization that the human species and human culture are part of evolutionary development; part of the interrelated and interconnected Earth system.
Humanity can trace its origins fairly well through its early emergence to its development as Homo Sapiens-Sapiens, morally characterized by individuals? assuming responsibility for their own actions. The present period would seem to be bringing forth a new evolutionary moment within the human species; the development of the Universal Human. This stage is morally characterized by assuming personal responsibility for the well-being of Earth. It is accompanied by knowledge of the influence of human behavior on Earth and its life-support systems. It is conscious of responsibility to future generations of life. The Universal Human has universal responsibilities!
Currently, the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development, as an institutional structure, does not correspond to the above way of understanding human emergence and contemporary development. Consequently, the structure is hindered in facilitating the goal for which it was created: Sustainability.
New Institutional Structure:
Therefore, Maryknoll supports creating a Sustainability Council that would be responsible to the General Assembly. The sustainability of the Earth Community of Life should be given the highest priority by the United Nations.
It is to be expected that Member States may initially oppose this move as the development of global conscience is uneven; many members are most deeply concerned for their Nation States. Nevertheless, the Earth Summit affords an opportunity for framing thinking and acting that will have long term effects on the fulfillment of the main objective of the United Nations, establishing peace and human security throughout the world. This can only be accomplished on a foundation of sustainability. In addition, the creation of a new and updated physical structure at United Nations Headquarters in New York should be aligned with new and updated organizational structures that facilitate the achievement of the United Nations? high objectives.
The recommended structure would accomplish three important tasks over time:
It would ensure that all people have a voice in the work of securing a viable future for the human family - rooted in vigorous life-support systems.
It would function as an important element of global governance that would lessen the negative environmental, social and economic impacts of large corporations that are not adequately accountable to government structures and may actually control government policy through powerful lobbying mechanisms.
It would pave the way for the next major work of the United Nations in the broadening of Human Rights to include Earth Rights.
The role of Civil Society should be enhanced beyond the currently established Major Groups so that it is inclusive of the range of Society?s expertise, cultural arrangements and spiritual depth and insight.
While the Sustainability Council would find its main functionality through just social, environmental and economic development, it would act with overarching vigilance for well- being in all United Nations endeavors, building on past achievements even while its direction is cast firmly toward the future.