A Response from Civil Society

Executive Summary
Opening Statements
Reviewing the Millennium Declaration
NGOs as Partners in Debt Relief and Financing for Development
NGOs as Partners in Values and Public Service
NGOs as Partners in Strengthening the Family
Building Cultures of Peace and Leadership
Discussion Groups
> Closing Statements

 
 
Closing Statements
 
Amb. Dr. Clovis Maksoud, Executive Director, Center for the Global South, observed that it is important to realize that not whatever is legal is necessarily legitimate, and in some instances, what is legitimate is not necessarily legal. Civil society, as the repository of legitimacy, must ensure that legitimacy is a matter of dynamic consent to governments - this is because many governments, under the pretense of being custodians of sovereignty, practice human rights violations in a systematic way. He argued that we must rectify the North-South equation, which is a matter of shame and a challenge for the 21st century. We must deepen our sense of commitment to internationalism in order to allow sovereignty to become a legacy of human liberation rather than a shield and pretext to dehumanize human relationships. He added, "The United States, as now the only superpower, must be deterred so that [it] rediscovers its own values, so that its values are no longer a negation of some of its policies."
 
Ms. Maria Figueroa Küpçü, a member of the Board of Directors of the International Development Conference, noted that there is understandable skepticism about the Millennium Declaration, but the dangers of not trying to achieve its goals are too great a risk; together, we can succeed. She said the Declaration could have gone further to include how governments will help parents, grandparents and the extended family--all of which is so critical toward nurturing young people toward their full potential. NGOs can best show how these ideas can become reality by modeling change in their own organizations and expecting high standards of behavior from those who represent NGOs. NGOs should serve as role models to others. She said they have a "unique ability to reach into communities, to get closer to the people than any government agency could because we can change attitudes, persuade friends [and] encourage them." She urged that NGOs become the training ground for tomorrow's government and business leaders, adding, "Only when there is cross-pollination of these sectors will the values that we think are important in the NGO sphere become internalized in the policies of society and the business practices of our corporations." She stressed that NGOs not remain isolated but learn to speak the language of their partners.
 
In closing the conference, Dr. N'Dow once again proclaimed that WANGO is an idea whose time has come, and will become the premier global network of civil society in nations large and small, and the premier world body for training in human leadership. Dr. Kwak, in concluding remarks, stressed that NGOs should avoid the dangers and temptations that have toppled individuals and governments--selfishness and moral failure. Rather they must maintain the attitude of service to others. Participants were invited to attend future IIFWP and WANGO educational programs in their respective nations.
 
Executive Summary prepared by Dr. Mark P. Barry, Senior Research Fellow, Summit Council for World Peace.
Copyright © 2000-2001 IIFWP. All rights reserved.     www.iifwp.org

 
| back to top |