Global Integration Update -- June 2016
Common Ground for the Common Good
Recent Events and Resources
In this Update we feature "global citizenship" and in particular the recent United Nations conference on "Education for Global Citizenship" (Part One). Global citizenship is very related to global integration (GI), as it emphasizes a common sense of identity as humans and a common responsibility for fellow humans. The same is true for "global citizenship education," which like GI, seeks to "empower learners to assume active roles to face and resolve global challenges and to become proactive contributors to a more peaceful, tolerant, inclusive, and secure world" (UNESCO, 2014).
Part Two includes additional materials from three recent and important gatherings: World Humanitarian Summit (United Nations, Istanbul), World Health Assembly (WHO, Geneva), and Out of the Shadows: Making Mental Health a Global Development Priority (World Bank, Washington DC). Collectively they represent some of the ways that people across sectors, disciplines, and countries--as global citizens--are taking responsibility for improving the wellbeing of fellow humans. Rounding off the Update are some personal reflections on our core identities and our common identity as humans.
We encourage you to further identify and track with the GI areas that are the most useful for you and your work. For some ideas, see the December 2015 GI Update, Staying Current—Navigating the News.
Featured Event and Resources
World Humanitarian Summit, United Nations
Education for Global Citizenship
“Despite differences in interpretation, there is a common understanding that global citizenship does not imply a legal status. It refers more to a sense of belonging to a broader community and common humanity, promoting a ‘global gaze’ that links the local to the global and the national to the international. It is also a way of understanding, acting and relating oneself to others and the environment in space and in time, based on universal values, through respect for diversity and pluralism. In this context, each individual’s life has implications in day-to-day decisions that connect the global with the local, and vice versa.” (UNESCO
, 2014, p. 14)
30 May-1 June 2016, Gyeongju, Republic of Korea
Education for Global Citizenship: Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals Together
United Nations Department of Public Information/NGOs
"…By focusing on education for global citizenship…the Conference [aimed] to build on the centrality of education and global citizenship as the bedrock of sustainable development and climate action….Global citizenship is no longer an ideal, but rather a requirement for creating a peaceful, just, and environmentally sustainable world of interconnected societies…The purpose of this Conference, rooted in Sustainable Development Goal number 4 [Education], is to harness strategies, expertise and resources across the widest spectrum of civil society to unleash a range of education initiatives that ensure inclusive, safe and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all….Attendees at the Conference [finalized] an education action agenda [see excerpt below] to mobilize civil society – its local and international NGOs, networks and activists, as well as academics, educators, policy makers, businesses and youth, reflecting the aspirations and ambitions of all global citizens, in the spirit of leaving no one behind.”
(Conference Concept Note
, pages 1, 2)
Gyeongju Action Plan
“Education for Global Citizenship: Achieving the SDGs Together”
“In addition to literacy and numeracy, education must advance the cause of global citizenship which: promotes integrated development of the whole person emotionally, ethically, intellectually, physically, socially, and spiritually; imbued with an understanding of our roles, rights and responsibilities for the common good in service to humanity and the advancement of a culture of peace, non-violence, freedom, justice, and equality…“empowers learners to assume active roles to face and resolve global challenges and to become proactive contributors to a more peaceful, tolerant, inclusive, and secure world” [UNESCO 2014]; nurtures a sense of solidarity and empathy in order to end poverty, protect the planet, ensure human rights, and foster prosperous and fulfilling lives for all….We commit to…An education that teaches conflict resolution, a deep appreciation for diversity, ethical reasoning, gender equality, human rights and responsibilities, interdependence, multilingual and multicultural competence, social justice, sustainable development, and values.” (pages 1,2)
--See the three-minute DPI/NGO Conference wrap up to get a feel for what happened.
--See the opening presentation of the DPI/NGO Conference by Ban Ki-Moon,
UN Secretary General. He emphasizes, among other things, the importance of NGO space and civil society, moral and political responsibility, empowered young people as forces for good, and both passion and compassion as global citizens (his presentation on the video link above is from 2 hours: 28 minutes--2 hours 45 minutes)
--Read: Global Citizenship Education: Preparing Learners for the Challenges of the 21st Century (short of time?--see the Executive Summary)
--"In Case You Missed It."
This is a selection of key news and feature items from UNTV, UN Radio, UN Photo, and the UN News Centre, done every fortnight. (News and Media Division of the Department of Public Information)
--Watch the challenging and inspiring, six-minute student graduation speech 2016 at Harvard, Graduate School of Education, by Donovan Livingston (..."for some, the only difference between a classroom and a plantation is time;...at the core, none of us were meant to be common, we were born to be comets, darting across space and time as we crash into everything...and injustice is telling [kids] they're stars, without acknowledging the night that surrounds them; injustice is telling them that education is the key, while you continue to change the locks; education is no equalizer...wake up!...together we can inspire galaxies of greatness for generations to come...lift off!")
Things We Need to Know
23-24 May 2016, Istanbul Turkey
e are currently facing humanitarian needs on a massive scale. In our rapidly changing world, we must continually seek better ways to meet the needs of millions of people affected by conflicts and disasters. An initiative of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, managed by UN OCHA, the first World Humanitarian Summit…[brought] together governments, humanitarian organizations, people affected by humanitarian crises and new partners including the private sector to propose solutions to our most pressing challenges and set an agenda to keep humanitarian action fit for the future….The Summit [had] three main goals: Reaffirm our commitment to humanity and humanitarian principles; Initiate actions and commitments which enable countries and communities to prepare for and respond to crises and be more resilient to shocks; Share best practices which help save lives around the world, placing affected people at the centre of humanitarian action and alleviating suffering.” (description from website)
--Watch the WHS wrap up summary, (three minutes) to get a quick overview and sense of the Conference.
--Watch videos from the Conference
, archived on the UN WebTV site (examples are the Concluding Plenary
and Ban Ki-moon's closing remarks
(nine minutes). You can also access the roundtable plenaries and other Conference items on the WHS website ,HERE
--Three perspectives on the success of the WHS (from Humanitarian Policy Group newsletter):
BLOG: Political breakthrough or fringe festival?
MEDIA: 'Aid experts give first World Humanitarian Summit mixed report card', Reuters
STORIFY: Highlights of the Summit
1. Political leadership to prevent and end conflict
2. Uphold the norms that safeguard humanity
3. Leave no one behind
4. Change people’s lives—from delivering aid to ending need
5. Invest in humanity
--Watch upcoming event from the Humanitarian Policy Group, Overseas Development Institute:
What’s Stopping Change in the Humanitarian System?
(Tuesday 13 June 2016, 16:30-1800 GMT+1). “The humanitarian system is stubbornly resistant to change, with decades of continual commitments to increase effectiveness and efficiency amounting to little. This event launches ‘The drivers and inhibitors of change in the humanitarian system’
by the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi). The study explores the political economy of the humanitarian system, highlighting how the interests of important humanitarian stakeholders can obstruct meaningful change.” (from event announcement on website)
--Watch the opening presentation by WHO Director-General, Margaret Chan, on the state of the world's health (progress, challenges, and priorities)
--Read the Summary News Release
, including the adoption of the Framework for Engagement with Non-State Actors (FENSA)
--Watch more speeches from the WHA HERE
--See also the Global Plan of Action on Interpersonal Violence (adopted by WHO May 2016)
--World Report on Ageing and Health
--Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS: ON the Fast-Track to Accelerate the Fight against HIV and to End the AIDS Epidemic by 2030
(adopted by the UN General Assembly, 8 June 2016)
--Safeguarding Human Health in the Anthropocene Epoch: Report of The Rockefeller Foundation–Lancet Commission on Planetary Health
, 16 July 2015)
13-14 April 2016, Washington DC
Out of the Shadows: Making Mental Health a Global Development Priority
World Bank Group and World Health Organization
“Mental health issues impose an enormous disease burden on societies across the world. Depression alone affects 350 million people globally and is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Despite its enormous social burden, mental disorders continue to be driven into the shadows by stigma, prejudice and fear. The issue is becoming ever more urgent in light of the forced migration and sustained conflict we are seeing in many countries of the world. A two-day series of events, co-hosted by the World Bank and the World Health Organization during the World Bank-International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings, [aimed] to move mental health from the margins to the mainstream of the global development agenda. The events [engaged] finance ministers, multilateral and bilateral organizations, the business community, technology innovators, and civil society…[They emphasized] the urgent investments needed in mental health services, and the expected returns in terms of health, social and economic benefits.” (description from website).
--Click HERE to watch the video overview/promotional for this event (two minutes, focus on depression/anxiety)
--Click HERE to watch the opening event and panelists
--Click HERE to access the Summary Report of the conference
--You can access more resources about mental health at: Movement for Global Mental Health and Mental Health Innovation Network (among many other sites).
--Scaling up treatment of depression and anxiety: A global return on investment analysis
, The Lancet Psychiatry
, 12 April 2016, Chisholm et al. (open access)
Core Identities and Common Identity
Everyone is a global citizen until...
your nation plays another nation in football match. :-)
We are pro-global citizenship. We like to summarize Global citizenship as being a two sided "humanity" coin: shared identity-belonging as humans on one side and shared responsibility-integrity as humans on the other side. We also appreciate the ideas, values, and goals outlined by UNESCO for Global Citizen Education (GCE; see excerpt below) as they resonate with our thinking and commitments for global integration.
We note that for many people in the world, one’s “core” identity (or identities: e.g., religious, national, ethnic-linguistic) is likely to be more fundamental than ones “common” identity as a global citizen. The two “identities” are certainly not contradictory. Yet one’s common identity as a citizen of the world may not be primary and thus may be seen more as a complement to one’s core identity.
The same can be true as to what motivates people to embrace their responsibility for others as global citizens. It can be a mixture of both one's faith-based values, for example, as well as one's shared sense of humanity. Both are complimentary. One may be more primary.
We like thinking of ourselves as global citizens. It helps us to connect and contribute in our globalizing world. And it complements and supports who we are as people of faith (Christians whose primary identity is as "citizens of heaven"--celestial citizens), national citizens (USA, UK, and for Kelly, Californian :-) ), and ethno-linguistic (caucasian-English/French/Spanish speakers) who are also global citizens. As stated below in the UNESCO excerpt, GCE fosters “an understanding of multiple levels of identity” which values diversity as well as our “collective identity which transcends…differences.” That makes sense to us.
So which identity has the primacy for you? Which one is more foundational? What motivates you and your sense of responsibility to help others? We think that the common and the core harmonize well. But they do not necessarily homogenize well.
No one thankfully is calling for "cookie cutter humans" in which one size (one type) fits all. Let's maintain our wonderful uniqueness and special distinctions as we endeavor to journey together collectively and harmoniously in this life as global citizens.
Global Citizenship Education (GCE)
“GCE has a critical role to play in equipping learners with competencies to deal with the dynamic and interdependent world of the twenty-first century. While GCE has been applied in different ways in different contexts, regions and communities, it has a number of common elements, which include fostering in learners:
--an attitude supported by an understanding of multiple levels of identity, and the potential for a ‘collective identity’ which transcends individual cultural, religious, ethnic or other differences;
--a deep knowledge of global issues and universal values such as justice, equality, dignity and respect;
--cognitive skills to think critically, systemically and creatively, including adopting a multiperspective approach that recognizes the different dimensions, perspectives and angles of issues;
--non-cognitive skills including social skills such as empathy and conflict resolution, communication skills and aptitudes for networking and interacting with people of different backgrounds, origins, cultures and perspectives; and
--behavioural capacities to act collaboratively and responsibly to find global solutions for global challenges, and to strive for the collective good.“
(Excerpted from Global Citizenship Education: Preparing Learners for the Challenges of the 21st Century, Executive Summary, p. 9)
Member Care Associates Inc. (MCA) is a non-profit organisation working internationally from Geneva and the USA. MCA's involvement in Global Integration focuses on the wellbeing and effectiveness of personnel and their organizations in the mission, humanitarian, and development sectors as well as global mental health, all with a view towards supporting sustainable development for all people and the planet. Our services include consultation, training, research, developing resources, and publications. MCA is a member of the Movement for Global Mental Health and the NGO Forum for Health.
Actively integrating our lives with global realities
by connecting relationally and contributing relevantly
on behalf of human wellbeing and the issues facing humanity,
in light of our integrity and core values (e.g., ethical, humanitarian, faith-based).
The GI Updates are designed to help shape and support the emerging diversity of global integrators who as learners-practitioners are committed to the "common ground for the common good." The image at the top of the Update (global pearl) is a cover detail form Global Member Care (volume 2): Crossing Sectors for Serving Humanity (2013). William Carey Library.