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

NGOs as Partners in Values and Public Service
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 harmoniously."
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 |