Session VII - Education for Global Citizenship and Sustainable Peace
Dr. Walther Lichem
The development of relations between
Europe and the
o There has taken place a growing “horizontalization” of our political and societal structures marked by a replacement of command and obedience by patterns of democratic interaction on the basis of equality
o Dictatorships which marked the history of many European powers during the 20th century have given way to democratic processes and related state structures.
o Related to these structural changes are changes in the power elements which define interactions and the results of relations between states. Visions, values, knowledge and understanding and related capacities for partnering with other state- and non-state actors have received a new focus as “soft power”.
Human rights and
freedoms have become the core constitutional principles at national, but also
at local, regional and global levels. Human rights have become universal.
Historical references to human rights in Africa (the constitution of Kourukan
o These developments have also been marked by a growing role and contributions from non-state partners in governance processes. This has become particularly pertinent in the development of new patterns of international and global relations and the related agendas. In fact we are to recognize a growing responsibility of the citizen in the development and regarding the quality of inter-societal/inter-national relations.
o The capacity for otherness of societies are not only defining the national political processes but mark the general responses of societies and states to the growing trans-national interdependencies.
Another fundamental change in the basic
framework within which European interactions and the process of integration have
taken place is the “relativisation” of identity. The “nation state” conceived
as a static, single-identity society has been replaced by societies whose
identities are based on multiple identity-shaping elements including language,
place of residence, religion, education, profession, mobility and encounters
with otherness. This process led to a needed recognition of a plurality of
identities in each European society. In the Austrian capital
The pluri-identity society is led by persons who have been able to develop pluri-identity personalities, disposing of more than just one identity due to personal multi-linguism, changing residences and the variety of societal partners. The Slovenian-speaking people in the South of Austria cherish a proverb according to which one is as many times a human being as many languages one speaks.
This relativisation not only of personal and societal identities and hence the supposed criteria for responses to the issue of “belonging” as well as the enhanced role of the citizen in shaping trans-national interactions and cooperation have allocated to the citizen a growing role and responsibility and political importance. Human rights, human development and human security reflect a development which is understood in the terms of Mahbub Ul Haq as a process towards a broadening spectrum of choice, i.e. towards freedom. The European integration therefore had to be based on a recognition of the interdependence between freedom and human rights. There can be no democracy without an effective system of human rights. Accepting human rights, self-determinedness and democratic political processes have become the basis for new shared identities at regional level and hence the basis for intra-regional cross-identification and solidarity.
Processes of European integration with
The larger European region has to be
marked by a recognition of diversity, of peaceful interaction, cooperation and
solidarity on the basis of sovereign equality.
The implementation of the commitments which the
Any society-based process of enhancing cooperation and implementing a process of regional integration with the Russian Federation requires, however, the development of societal capacities for knowing and understanding the other - the Russians, their history, culture, challenges and responses and - the Europeans in their broad diversity yet unified by the commonality of values.
The need for recognizing regional
learning processes for a sustainable peaceful regional partnership and
integration is to be implemented both in the countries of the Western European
community and in the
- the media, understanding the key role of media in the development and change of societal perceptions of the other
- academia and related study programmes. There is a need for enhanced knowledge in these processes of societal development
- recognize the rising role of the private sector’s partnerships and engagements in public space and
- the cultural capacities of each society are an important carrier of the concept of otherness as an asset.
and regional authorities a platform of interaction and thus bringing the
European partnership with the
a good case would
be the fostering of the establishment of human rights cities in Europe and in
There is thus a need for a new focus in
the development of relations between Europe and the