Introduction to the first month's discussion
Rob WHEELER, facilitator WP21
Friday, October 18, 2002 10:04 PM
ººº Abstract: The first month's discussion will be dedicated to self
Introduction; values, principles, and purpose. Our goal is to move towards a
more holistic consensus, rather than to try to reach agreement on
everything. Please keep your comments short and concise. Be prepared to
listen and to accept new ideas. Your first input should be to introduce
yourself. In later messages we will discuss values, principles, and our
visions for a world parliament; and then how it can operate according to
these principles and reinforce them. A number of statements of values and
principles are posted on our website in the reference section at
http://allies.alliance21.org/wp/en/doc/doc.html. Please read and refer to
This note is sent to you to introduce the discussion for the first month's
topic. The last week of each month is set aside for a * Coffee Break * which
is described below. Once again, we are going to be strict concerning
messages that are off topic so that we may have a focused discussion. Please
feel free to answer, or not, the questions included below, to make up your
own, to comment on given examples, or just to refer freely to each given
subject in your own way. Please keep your responses short and concise and
read the rules and guidelines before replying.
Moving toward a broad consensus and identifying global common values
It is important that we begin with a discussion of the values and principles
upon which we would want a world parliament and governance in general, to be
based. Given that the means used often create the end results, if we can
generally agree on and consciously use the values and principles that we
think are important (both in this e-forum and as we go about creating a
world parliament) then it is more likely that it will result in the type of
a world that we want to create.
However, our goal is not to reach agreement on everything during this
e-forum and discussion; but instead to explore the breadth of opinion and
see where we agree and disagree and how we may be able to move towards a
more holistic consensus. In order to avoid antagonism and un-necessary
conflicts, we would ask that you come to the forum (each and every time)
with an attitude of respect, a willingness to listen and learn, to question
your own assumptions, and with a desire to expand your vision and ideas
about what may work or be possible.
Many organizations and networks have attempted to come up with statements of
and principles. Between them there is the Alliance for a Responsible, Plural
and United World. In the next few days, you will receive a message with a
small comment on the reference and complementary documents that we are
setting up in the website. Meanwhile, you can read some of them from now at
First Month's Discussion agenda (18 Oct. - 10 Nov. 2002)
a) Introduction, presentations, expectations
Following the rules of the alliance lists, we ask that your first
contribution be to introduce yourself. Then after that you can intervene in
the discussion. Thus we will get to know each other and develop a sense of
who is participating in the e-forum.
Each of you is invited to:
- Talk about yourself, your background, what you are doing in your personal
or professional life, or anything that you think could be important for us
all to know - so that we can begin to discover who is participating, make
contact with each other, and develop a network.
- Explain why you are participating in the forum: What you are expecting
from it. What you are expecting for a WP in a broad sense. What the
potential dangers inherent in creating such a world parliament might be and
how they might be avoided. What your vision of the world is that the WP
could help to bring about. Do you believe that a future global governance
scene including a WP would be better than excluding it, and why?
b) WP + Global Governance values, principles and scenes; ways & tools to
- Are the human beings able to agree on global common values? Should we
choose them between those already existing, or perhaps to invent new
intercultural ones? Which values and principles should be included, and
which excluded, in your opinion, in the statements of a WP and in general
for any other global public institution? You can choose between i.e.
democracy, liberty, fraternity, hierarchy, justice, excellence, love,
nature, equality, equilibrium, spirituality, market, re-distribution,
dignity, tradition, sovereignty, nation, civilization, community,
federalism, human rights, cultural rights, responsibilities, ethics,
solidarity, harmony, people, representation, citizenship, health, welfare,
etc. Please feel free to explain what some or all of these values,
principles or concepts mean to you or to introduce others, thus elaborating
on your own your whole social paradigm.
- What order or priority would you give to these values and principles, in
other words, which between them are more important and which secondary or
subjected to others? We are not asking you to build a precise conceptual
hierarchy of multiple levels, but just to describe, in terms of concepts and
values, your idea or scenario for a better world.
- How can we ensure that the World Parliament operates according to these
values and principles? The ways in which we discuss and prepare for the WP21
will set the stage for what it is likely to become. How can we make sure
that the e-forum leads to the inclusion of the principles and values through
- Which tools or instruments could best represent and define these values
and principles, and which not, and why? i.e. a global written constitution,
a whole of practices of international law without a central text (as in UK),
international treaties, texts having only an advisory status, local -
regional constitutions of laws linked by a "conceptual dictionary", oral
tradition, emphasis in ethical codes for existing educative programs and
national laws, a universal code on the net being actualized from time to
time directly by the intervention of all people, or any other tool that you
know of or that you want to invent.
- How can these (or other) tools be constituted or established? How can we
ensure that our global institutions begin to operate according to such
principles? What mechanisms could be used to lead towards their adoption?
such as the Alliance Proposal booklets, Charter 99's Campaign for Global
Accountability, the Ubuntu campaign on transforming global governance, etc.
(November, 11 - 17: 1st coffee break)
The coffee breaks will provide an opportunity for people to talk about other
general subjects, announce events, for us to go over the list rules, seek
additional information, read the web resources, talk about experiences, ask
for commitments in the work of the forum, and consider the progress that we
are making and any changes that may need to be made. However, we may also
use the time to try to complete and wrap up the on-going discussions.
We hope that you will enjoy the discussions and find them useful.
Rob Wheeler, WP21 Facilitator
WP21 Alliance Forum on a World Parliament for the 21st Century
E-mail : email@example.com
Fax 1 717 264 5036
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