“Now we are living through the first global ecological crisis, which poses a serious threat to the sustainable development of societies and economies and thus to the very future of the human species, the biosphere, and the planet. The challenge is well known: we must today resolve the growing contradictions between population increase, the over-exploitation of resources, productivist modes of growth, accelerating climate change, and the increasing scarcity of fossil fuels, particularly oil and gas. This situation is fraught with potential future conflicts and calls for global responses…. The call for us today to put an end to the ‘war on nature’ is a call for an unprecedented solidarity with future generations. Perhaps, to achieve this, humanity needs to make a new pact, a ‘natural contract’ of co-development with the planet, and an armistice with nature. We need the wisdom to champion an ethic of the future, for such an ethic must prevail if we are to make peace with the Earth.”
-From Making Peace with the Earth (UNESCO Publishing, 2007)-

Message from Pr. Eiji HATTORI, Honorary President of WFUCA

Message from Pr. Eiji HATTORI, Honorary President of WFUCA to the participants in the International Conference on ‘Global Ethics, Sustainable Development and Social Media’ and Executive Board Meeting held in New York, March 7-12, 2014

 

Dear President George On Christophides,

Dear President Guy Djoken,

Dear colleagues of WFUCA,

Distinguished  Guests,

 

The World Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centers and Associations (WFUCA) is now not a simple coordination body of the UNESCO Clubs all over the world, but a core organization to lead the world opinion and conscience of people with its action based on the spirit of UNESCO Constitution.

My thought goes back to the scene of establishing the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization right after the World War II, where the poet Paul Valery posed a fundamental question: “What would a community of nations amount to, without a community of minds?” (“Que serait une Société des Nations sans une société des esprits?”)

We are convinced that UNESCO must become a world trans-disciplinary forum, as stated by Federico Mayor in 1991, and that the forum will be the seat for transcultural dialogue, in which the respect for others will prevail, and that, not being content with mere analysis and intellectual understanding, we shall seek a way forward supported by a concrete approach (to use a vocabulary of Gabriel Marcel).

As we have discussed in Florence last year, the present crisis confronting mankind is neither an economic crisis nor a monetary one, but a crisis of civilization, at the bottom of which we recognize the failure of values and the lack of ethics. I deeply appreciate the official declaration adopted by WFUCA at the Palazzo Vecchio, on the 11th of March 2013, just 2 years after the tragedy of Fukushima, to make 3.11 the Day for Global Ethics.

My speech at that time remains unchanged* with my firm conviction that humankind is able to overcome this failure of civilization, which has created not only progress, but also the culture of war that characterized the 20th century, that we should replace it by a culture of peace, and that we can shift our values from progress to sustainability. In this pursuit, we should also rediscover the ‘maternal principle’ that gives the supreme value to life, the principle that prevailed all over the world in the time of antiquity, instead of the ‘patriarchal principle’ dominating the world since the apparition of Nations-States; thus we aim to shift from the civilization of power to that of life.

Today, under the name of ‘freedom,’ humanity is committing seven social sins listed by Mahatma Gandhi; politics without principles, wealth without work, pleasure without conscience, knowledge without character, commerce without morality, science without humanity, and worship without sacrifice.

It is not human need but human greed that destroys our planet, the mother Earth. In the UNESCO report “Making Peace with the Earth,” Javier Perez de Cuellar, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, writes: “The source of humanity’s present sickness is excess, our failure to remember the maxim cherished by the sages of antiquity: Ne quid nimis! - Nothing in excess!”

Here, you can find another example of keen eyes of UNESCO as the forerunner coping with the environmental problem. In the final report of the UNESCO Symposium on Science and Culture for the 21st century, “Agenda for Survival” organized in Vancouver in cooperation with the Royal Society of Canada in 1989, we find the following statement: “ Survival of the planet has become of central and immediate concern. The present situation requires urgent measures in all sectors---scientific, cultural, economic and political---and a greater sensitization of all mankind. We must make common cause with all people on Earth against a common enemy: any action that threatens balance within our environment, or reduce our legacy to future generations.”

Balance is the key word for us. We recognize that humanity does not possess nature, for humanity is a part of nature. We should be much more modest before our Mother Nature. Now we understand that Fukushima was not only a natural disaster but also a human disaster.

In the Garden of Eden, there have been two important trees: the Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowledge. After eating the fruit of knowledge, humans became like God, as the serpent predicted, and forgot the first tree that God planted in that Garden – the Tree of Life.

Dear friends, I send you my heartfelt greetings for the success of N.Y. meeting. I will always be with you to make a step forward so that we can leave our future generations a beautiful Planet Earth, which is full of life.

(*my speech in Florence in March 2013 is included in the brochure ‘Eiji Hattori’s Selection of Essays in French and English vol. II, distributed in the conference room)

Download  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9nGlxQRoAEFbWNySG5KQ0tacEE/edit?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9nGlxQRoAEFU2lrME9oOVpVSnM/edit?usp=sharing


Call for the establishment of 3.11 as the Day for the Global Ethics

From Palazzo Vecchio in Florence:

Call for the establishment of 3.11 the Day for Global Ethics

 

Initiative Taken by

the World Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centers and Associations

 

The World Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centers and Associations (WFUCA) has decided to hold a large international conference in Toscana, Italy, to adopt the idea of  ‘Global Ethics’ at their Executive Board meeting held from 8th to 13th of March, 2013, as a substantial response to the two appeals issued by the Japan Society for Global System and Ethics.

The event will be hosted by the Italian Federation of UNESCO Clubs in collaboration with five historical cities in Toscana, e.g., Lucca and Florence.

 

The theme of the conference is ‘The Universal Language of Music and Art for Global Ethics’.

On March 11, 2013, two years after the tragedy of Fukushima, the conference held at the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence will be highlighted by the official declaration of WFUCA to make 3.11 the UNESCO World Day of Global Ethics, thus inviting all UN organizations and international NGOs to support this idea.

In fact, the Japan Society for Global System and Ethics, immediately after the great earthquake and tsunami that destroyed a large part of North East Japan on March 11, 2011, and the succeeding tragedy at the nuclear plants of Fukushima Daiichi with their excessive discharge of radioactivity, dispatched to the world an urgent appeal:  A plea for a United Nations Ethics Summit to be held and an International Day of Global Ethics to be created. Moreover, the Society announced a second appeal on March 11, 2012: A Plea for the establishment of 3.11 as an International Day of Global Ethics.

The President of the JSGSE, Prof. Eiji Hattori gave many lectures on the philosophical idea underlying these two appeals, for example, at the WFUCA’s meetings in Hanoi, Mexico, and Bucharest last year.  Together with the actions taken by Prof. Mitsuhei Murata, Executive Director of JSGSE, the idea of ‘Global Ethics’ began to be shared by many scholars and opinion leaders around the world, including Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations and Dr. Mahatir Bin Mohamad, former Prime Minister of Malaysia.

After the Florence meeting, WFUCA foresees a large event in Washington on March 11, 2014, to appeal further to all leaders of the world the necessity of shifting our values from the ‘Civilization of Power to the Civilization of Life’ to ensure the rights of future generations to live in harmony on a clean Mother Earth.


Urgent Appeal 2

                                                                                                                March 11, 2012

2012 Urgent Appeal from the Japan Society for Global System and Ethics

 

A Plea for Making 3.11 an International Day of Global Ethics

 

                                                                                    Professor Eiji Hattori, President

                                                          The Japan Society for Global System and Ethics

 

   Fukushima has awakened the whole world to the fact that nuclear accidents bring about horrible disasters that neither human beings nor the earth can endure. The Japan Society for Global System and Ethics deeply deplores the present situation in which the world has not yet launched on a new future by learning from the lessons of the dreadful accident that could become the first step toward the collapse of our civilization.

  The first lesson is, that we should not use any scientific technology susceptible of causing such damage that nobody can take responsibility any more, irrespective of the figures of probability of accident, unless the risk is completely zero. The second lesson is, that we should realize that the most serious problem of our time consists in the lack of ethics, which is symbolized by increasing nuclear waste, of which no final solution  has been found as yet.

 Any conduct that permits radioactive contamination would create incalculable harm to mankind and the earth almost permanently. We must know that such a conduct clearly violates the ‘Declaration on the Responsibilities of the Present Generations towards Future Generations’ adopted by all the nations of the world at the General Conference of UNESCO in 1997. This declaration states that the present generation has the responsibility to leave behind us the beautiful planet for future generations to enjoy.

  Japan, alas, has been the victim of both military and civil use of nuclear energy. Japan is not only suffering from radioactive contamination, but also is inflicting it worldwide. Japan has been calling upon the International Community to pursue military denuclearization, which has been agreed by most nations, including the United States and European countries .The nuclear power generation to which nuclear weapons have given birth, however, has been spreading over the world under the pretext of ‘peaceful use’ and that of ‘economic efficiency’ advocated by market fundamentalists. This Society firmly believes that Japan now has the historical responsibility to plead for the complete nuclear abolition, both military and civil.

 

  Right after March 11, 2011, this Society released an Urgent Appeal in 9 languages. The Appeal maintains that the present crisis confronting mankind is a crisis of civilization, and that we should transform this civilization – the civilization of power based on the ‘patriarchal principle’ – into a civilization of life based on ‘maternal culture’ that gives the supreme value to life. Furthermore, the Appeal emphasizes that the deeply-rooted cause of this crisis consists in the universally prevalent lack of ethics, and thus, pleads the International Community for changing course in the energy field, not only in Japan, but worldwide, with a view to abandoning nuclear generation.

  Without establishing global ethics, we cannot create future civilization of mankind that leaves behind the beautiful planet for succeeding generations. Fortunately, our plea for a United Nations Ethics Summit and an International Day of Global Ethics is receiving strong support from opinion leaders worldwide.

  Today, this Society proposes to the International Community to make March 11 an International Day of Global Ethics that will enable every one in the world, year by year, to reflect on the future of our Mother Earth and our civilization.

 

 

Urgent Appeal

2011.04.11

A Plea for a United Nations Ethics Summit to Be Held
and an International Day of Global Ethics to Be Created

     The present crisis the world is confronted with is neither an economic crisis nor a monetary one.  It is a crisis of civilization.  The solution requires the mobilization of human wisdom on the widest global scale.

     The recent earthquakes and tsunami unprecedented in Japanese history, which destroyed the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people and led to the tragedy of Fukushima nuclear accidents, are warnings of Mother Earth that mankind faces a change of way of life not only in Japan, but the entire world.

     The civilization of science that has ‘controlled and conquered Nature’ since the 17th century is a civilization of power that has headed mankind toward catastrophe.  It is based on ‘paternal culture’ which attributes the supremacy to a single human attribute -- reason.  Now is the time for us to transform it into a civilization of life based on ‘maternal culture’ that gives the supreme value to life.  This paradigm shift is the very basis for creating a ‘civilization of harmony’ in which mankind and the earth become compatible, all nations and creatures living in symbiosis.  Keenly hoped for is the emergence of a new civilization based on the transversal ethical values that permit human solidarity linking all civilizations, endowed with respect for the right of future generations to enjoy the beautiful planet.

     Japan, alas, has been the victim of both civil and military use of nuclear energy.  Japan has been calling upon the International Community to pursue military denuclearization.  This Society firmly believes that Japan now has the duty to plead for changing course in the energy field, not only in Japan, but worldwide, with a view to abandoning nuclear plants.  Fulfilling this duty alone would constitute a Japanese contribution to the world and Japanese victims of the 3.11 disaster would not have suffered in vain.

     The deeply-rooted cause of the crisis confronting mankind is the universally prevalent lack of ethics.  It is against fundamental ethics to abuse and exhaust natural resources that belong to future generations and leave behind permanently poisonous waste and enormous financial debts.  It is a matter of great urgency to put an end to this civilization of greed based on market fundamentalism.
 
     Prompted by such circumstances, this Society proposes to the International Community to hold a United Nations Ethics Summit as early as possible and to create an ‘International Day for Global Ethics’ that will enable all nations, year by year, to reflect on the importance of ethics.