Reviewing the Millennium Declaration
NGOs as Partners in Debt Relief and Financing
> NGOs as Partners in Values and Public Service
NGOs as Partners in Strengthening the Family
Building Cultures of Peace and Leadership
NGOs as Partners in Values and Public
Dr. Frank Kaufmann, Executive Director of the Inter-Religious Federation
for World Peace, discussed the theme of values in a theoretical and philosophical
level. He observed that a clear delineation of values must underlie all
attempts to chart a positive course for the United Nations in its second
fifty years. He described in greater detail the formulation of curricula,
as mentioned earlier by Dr. Kwak, that infuses the wisdom of the ages
into the contemporary values listed in the Declaration, as well as arriving
at sound and tested pedagogical methods to transmit these values to others.
Dr. Kathy Winings, Vice President, International Relief Friendship Foundation,
discussed integrating values and service. She argued that NGOs have learned
that for sustainable change to occur, it requires the efforts of more
than one generation and more than one sector of society. Now is the time
to go beyond the confines of our own particular spheres of responsibility
if we are to fulfill the Declaration. Education is needed not merely for
literacy and intellectual development, but for the "knowledge that we
gain through learning from our past and from the wisdom of our cultural
and religious heritage. This is education in the six values in the Millennium
Declaration." Such education, she said, provides the vision, motivation
and direction toward which we must go, as a global society, but it is
especially needed by the coming generations who will substantially shape
the future. Service projects are one way to bring to society those values
that can contribute to creating a culture of peace. Dr. Winings said that
the "beauty of responding to these values is that it challenges our tendencies
toward isolated disciplines and provides an arena in which intercultural,
interreligious and interdisciplinary cooperation can occur naturally and
Dr. Andrew Wilson, Associate Professor of Biblical Studies at Unification
Theological Seminary, spoke of crafting a global curriculum for WANGO
that offers the wisdom of the world's religions and cultures as they elucidate
the values underlying the Millennium Declaration. He stated he is against
the notion that globalization must flatten the world's cultural diversity.
The world's cultures will address values rooted in their respective religious
traditions. Of course, this raises the question if various cultures will
arrive at divergent rather than common values. American educators, Dr.
Wilson noted, have successfully overcome the problem posed by culturally
determined values through a process of evaluating values by consensus.
Character education today in the United States emphasizes values remarkably
similar to the six listed in the Declaration. He said he was therefore
convinced that we can meet in a common affirmation of these six values.
Moreover, he suggested that the centrality of the family, including respect
and care for the elderly, be additionally affirmed given that it was not
included in the Declaration.
| back to top |