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Articles on Dr. Jagan's New Global Human Order

New Global Human Order - Grassroot Democracy

by Hydar Ally

THE Government of Guyana, in collaboration with the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre, hosted a symposium on April 7-9, 2010 on Dr. Cheddi Jagan’s concept of a New Global Human Order.

It would be recalled that the New Global Human Order was adopted at the 62nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in 2007.

It is to the credit of Dr. Jagan and the diplomatic efforts of the Foreign Affairs Ministry that the resolution received co-sponsorship of some 74 countries including China and India, two of the most populous countries of the world. The resolution received co-sponsorship from the neighbouring countries of Suriname, Brazil and Venezuela in addition to that of the Caricom grouping of countries.

The symposium seeks to refocus attention on the key elements of the New Global Human Order as articulated by the late Dr. Jagan. This was done through a number of scholarly presentations and discussions at the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre which was established after his passing to encourage and foster re­search not only on his voluminous works and writings but also to familiarize the new generation of scholars to get a peep into the think­ing and thought process of this remarkable visionary and scholar whose thinking continues to resonate in the global community.

The fact that his idea of a new global architecture has gained such acceptance at the international stage to a point of it being adopted by the United Nations is a victory not only for the ideas of Dr. Jagan but for the country and for that matter the region as a whole. It was the strong and relentless advocacy for debt write-off and re­scheduling, which at one time was scoffed upon as wishful thinking, that has now become a reality and as a result of which many highly indebted countries such as Guyana are now reaping the harvest of debt relief and debt write-off.

Thanks to the hard and painstaking efforts of Dr. Jagan to sensitize and externalize the debilitating effects of the debt burden, debt write-off has now been granted by the multinational financial institutions to a number of countries under the Heavily Indebted Poor Country Initiative of which Guyana is one of the first and major beneficiaries.

The crux of Dr. Jagan’s New Global Human Order is that there is enough food and resources in the world to feed every man, woman and child. The problem essentially has to do with the distribution of such re­sources which are heavily skewed in favour of the rich. In addition to the uneven distribution of resources, there is also the question of valuable resources being spent on weapons of mass destruction, which if mobilized for human development could end hunger, death and ignorance in the world at large.

The New Global Human Order, as the name implies, speaks to a more humane and caring society, one in which the resources of the world are spent on the up­liftment of humanity as a whole and not to fatten the already rich and powerful. In this regard, the resolution acknowledges that human development is inextricably linked to peace and security.

As pointed out by Guyana’s Foreign Minister Carolyn Rodrigues-Birkett during the opening session of the conference at the Umana Yana, the New Global Human Order is by no means in competition with other development initiatives, such as the Millennium Development Goals, but rather takes a more holistic and compre­hensive approach to human development.

The symposium at the Cheddi Jagan Research Centre is most timely and would certainly go a far way in advancing the process of human development along sustainable lines. The organizers of this symposium deserve full credit for having organized it on this the 60th anniversary of the founding of the PPP of which Dr. Jagan was the founding leader.

The crux of Dr. Jagan’s New Global Human Order is that there is enough food and resources in the world to feed every man, woman and child. The problem essentially has to do with the distribution of such resources which are heavily skewed in favour of the rich. In addition to the uneven distribution of resources, there is also the question of valuable resources being spent on weapons of mass destruction, which if mobilized for human development could end hunger, death and ignorance in the world at large.


Building a Continuous Feedback Loop

Written by Ron Cheong & Danny Doobay

June 11, 2009

Navin Chanderpal, Special Envoy for the President on Environment and Sustainable Development of Guyana was in Toronto to engage international discourse on the New Global Human Order (NGHO) initiative, and to expand the civic continuous feedback loop helping to flush out issues and move the concept forward. 

 The aim of this neural network of individual, organizations, students and academics is to eventually make NGHO a household term around the world.  Tasked with devising creative methods to engendering global cooperation and assistance, the idea is not to allow the ideology of others to be a stumbling block, but to work in harmony with the essential premises on which those ideologies are based.

 NGHO, the brain child of Dr. Jagan, is a practical blueprint for sustainable human development.  At its core is the principle first articulated by Dr. Jagan’s  friend and colleague the late Mahbub Ul Haq of Pakistan, that: there can be no sustainable development without Sustainable Human Development at its foundation. The blueprint further spells out the rationale for a NGHO, suggests methods of funding it and establishes social benchmarks that recipient nations should commit to.

 In visionary statements in the mode of his stature as an internationalist whose thinking transcended national borders, Dr. Jagan sounded the alarm as far back as 1994 that contrary to the New World Order then being touted at the time, world systems were in disorder – not order. Needless to say, subsequent events and the current unprecedented Global Financial Crisis have validated his arguments. 

 Before his death, Dr. Jagan presented his NGHO concept at international conferences in Guyana and in Rome in 1996.  From there it has gone on to UN, where support has grown from a handful of initial co-sponsors to more than 70 co-sponsors in 2007 including the two most populous countries China and India.  And particular elements of Dr. Jagan’s blueprint have subsequently appeared in a three or four proposals put forward by other world leaders.

 In his address to the NGHO conference in Guyana in 1996, Dr. Jagan made the case that there is enough to fulfill humanity’s basic needs, greatly reduce suffering and improve security for all:

 The scientific and technological revolution and the information revolution have transformed our world to the point where mankind is in a position to expect universal prosperity.  However, this great promise, especially with the ending of the sharp ideological/political confrontation of the cold war period, to meet man’s basic needs and provide individual and international security is far from being fulfilled.

 Yet half of the world-population still lives on less than $2 a day.  And 9 million children under five die annually from easily preventable diseases and malnutrition.  When, just a 3% redirection in defense spending is all it would take to address this.

In Rome, a few months later Dr. Jagan further elabourated on the need for a framework of global governance especially in the wake of capital and technology intensive globalization, the benefits of which are largely skewed towards accruing to invested capital not people in general, which is further widening the gap within and between countries in both north and south:

As we approach a new century, the South is faced with aid cuts and the North with "jobless recovery" and "jobless growth." Consequently, we need a new global partnership for sustainable human development, good governance and a development strategy, which will provide the world with sufficient food to have such food resources equitably distributed. Poverty is the root cause of food insecurity and only its rapid and permanent elimination will produce improved economic and social relations for a more equitable world order.

In an increasingly globalised environment of disorder and confusion, there is little room for concepts of development which place prime emphasis on the promotion of narrow national interests above the common good of humanity. A stop must be put to an unjust global economic order; an order which robs the South of about US$500 billion annually in unjust, non-equivalent international trade; an order where the poor South finances the North with South to North capital outflows of US$418 billion in the 1982-90 period as debt payments - a sum equal to six Marshall Plans which provided aid for the rehabilitation of Europe after World War II. Those payments did not even include outflows from royalties, dividends, repatriated profits and underpaid raw material. 

Globalization has also engendered a new form of colonialism where poorer and indebted countries of the south continue to pay the North with its most precious commodity, its human resources. Research indicates that 72% of graduates from the University of the West Indies and more than 80% the University of Guyana migrate north bound. This movement of qualified, skilled human resources follows a similar pattern for most countries of the south. Suffice to say that the free import of high quality labour, on the promise of a better quality of life, has replaced the 19 century’s sugar, bananas and coffee as new forms of tradable commodities, but with a difference. The supplying countries of the south get no direct compensation for this precious commodity.

Through his work and advocacy on these issues, Dr. Jagan succeeded in setting the stage for significant debt forgiveness for Guyana and other highly indebted nations.  But the growing disparity between and within nations has continued, even as the world’s and north/south interdependence intensifies with globalization.

There therefore is an urgent need for consensus on global socioeconomic development that addresses in a coherent manner a number of international issues to provide economic security and Sustainable Human Development in the developing world.

For example, there has to be more empowerment of the U.N.  And global governance needs to be strengthened – no one wants to see another breakdown in multilateralism like the invasion of Iraq, or another global credit crisis in which the international community is held hostage. 

The mandates of institutions like the IMF and World Bank should be reviewed with respect to how much weight is given to the impact policies have on people.  And on the environmental front, the burden of safeguarding and restoration should be borne more equitably.  Countries whose own economic development was achieved at the cost of environmental degradation are now indignant over similar environmental mismanagement in the developing world.  

Also, developing countries need more of a say in global policy making and autonomy in their own decisions locally.   At the same time they have to demonstrate greater cohesion of their actions at international and local levels with a people centred and multi dimensional approach to poverty eradication with emphasis on vulnerable groups.  Micro credits are needed to help lift people out of the poverty cycle.  Systems of justice and the rule of law have to be strengthened.

These are hugely challenging issues, both at national levels and at an international level.  But in Mr. Chanderpal’s words, this is Cheddi Jagan’s legacy and we are tasked with keeping Dr. Jagan’s vision of a New Global Human Order moving forward.


Alleviation of Poverty in the Context of "A New Global Human Order" as Adumbrated by Dr. Cheddi Jagan Former President of Guyana

by Dr. Joseph Edmunds

Presentation at a Panel Discussion organized by the Embassy of Guyana and The Circle of Friends by Dr. Joseph Edsel Edmunds OBE* Director of the Office of the General Secretariat of the OAS in Suriname March 22, 2000
*Former Ambassador of Saint Lucia to the OAS, UN and US.

The book entitled "A New Global Human Order"by Dr. Cheddi Jagan, the former President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana, is a scholarly and passionate appeal to the world community to address the plight of the less developed countries, while at the same time providing well defined solutions to the many problems which they face.

I have been asked to direct my presentation on the all important issue of the alleviation of poverty as adumbrated by the author and, as Director of the General Secretariat of the OAS in Suriname, to summarize the work of the OAS in this regard.

I am pleased with the prescribed nature of my assignment, for, Dr. Jagan embraced many issues which adversely impact on developing countries, each of them of fundamental importance, requiring detailed consideration. I will quote extensively from his book to being into sharp focus the substance of his message.

In his letter addressed to world leaders of May 1, 1994 he stated

We must resolve to reverse the gap which has been developing between the richest and the poorest countries. The divisions between the rich and the poor in the industrialized societies in the North and in the developing and underprivileged societies in the South, as well as the distance in attainment between the North and the South have been widening considerably since the early 1980s.

In the North, the consequences of these disparities have been unemployment, homelessness, urban disorder, increase in crime especially among the youths, the rise of ultra-right movements, strident nationalism and fragmentation accompanied by racism and ethnic tensions.

In the South, the consequences of these divisions have been the increase in crime and disease, hopelessness, emigration, environmental degradation, and the illegal traffic and use of narcotic drugs.

Taken together, there is a situation of despair, alienation and indifference.

More alarming, however, is the incidence of increasing poverty across the globe. Poverty atrophies the vigor and initiative of the individual and deprives the society of incalculable human resources at a critical time. Its elimination will enrich our community and release a harvest of energy and skills. If left unattended, the expansion of poverty, with hunger, will undermine the fabric and security of the democratic state.

This passionate appeal to world leaders could not be more forceful. In addition to dramatizing the issues he warned about the consequences, if left unattended. At the same time, he outlines what can be gained if the world community were to resolve some of the burning problems.

This spirit of commitment and concern pervades his book as a constant reminder of the responsibility of our world leaders and the international community to work towards the alleviation of poverty.

At the Caricom Intercessional Meeting in St. Vincent, March 11 - 12, 1994 in addressing the question of poverty alleviation he asked for a review of the thesis of Sir Arthur Lewis as it relates to democracy, development and poverty alleviation.

Sir Arthur's thesis needs to be re-examined. In this regard, Guyana can play a key role in its implementation not only for poverty alleviation and movement away from the production, use and export of narcotics and emigration, legal and illegal, but also for political stability so necessary for the inducement of private investment and the maintenance of democracy.

In his paper for the UN - sponsored World Hearings on Development, June 6 - 10, 1994 he expressed disappointment at the lack of concrete programs and actions which accompany many resolutions and declarations as follows:

But declarations and resolutions are not enough. They must be implemented by concrete programs and actions. Regrettably, the UN Development Decades and the development strategies and models - Puerto Rican "industrialization-by-invitation," President John F. Kennedy's Alliance for Progress, President Lyndon Johnson's regional integration ("ideological frontiers" replacing "geographical frontiers"), ECLA's import substitution, President Richard Nixon's Equal Partnership, President Ronald Reagan's Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI), President George Bush's Enterprise for the Americas - have not solved the basic problems of national and personal security, poverty and hunger. But these problems now pertain not only to the South, the developing countries, but also the industrial countries of the North and the East (the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe).

He showed the resolve of his commitments to combat poverty and hunger by tabling Resolution 37 to the Sixth Parliament of Guyana, First Session, which was passed on June 27, 1994. The ultimate two passages of the resolution are noteworthy.

WHEREAS the President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana, Dr. Cheddi Jagan, has written to a number of Heads of State advancing proposals for a development strategy for the eradication of poverty, which took account of certain recommendations of the Human Development Program, and seeking the support of Heads of State for a global response to these global problems;

RESOLVED that this National Assembly support the call for a global strategy to combat poverty and hunger as a priority in the New Global Humanitarian Order.

By doing so he manifested that the problems transcend national boundaries and must be the concern of all nations with the commitment of all.

His paper to the European Commission of September 1994 in his home country, very much like his letter to world leaders, forcefully highlights the nexus between poverty, human development and economic growth.

Massive poverty is hindering the path to sustainable human development. Because poverty is so widespread and social inequity is so extensive, we need structural adjustment with a human face - a philosophy of humanism and a humane social order. It is necessary to have a redistributive social policy to bring about the needed changes through a heavy investment in human resources. Economic adjustment must be combined with social adjustment; economic growth and human development are interlinked and interacting - economic growth is necessary for human development as much as human development is essential for economic growth.

He further stated that

We have today within our grasp through the advancement :end application of science and technology, the opportunity not only to halve the level of poverty world-wide by the end of this century, but also to guarantee a generally high material standard of living.

At the special commemorative meeting of the United Nations General Assembly to mark the 50th anniversary of the world body, Dr. Jagan presented his tribute on October 24, 1995. Once again he made the point that " … we are still hostage to many threats to our peace and security" and that this critical time is characterized inter alia by "Increasing poverty and widening gaps in developed and developing countries, between the "haves" and the "have-nots", the "included" and the "excluded" and between the rich North and the poor South".

At the heads of Government Meeting in Auckland, New Zealand on November 9, 1995 he issued a challenge to the Commonwealth

The Commonwealth as an institution is uniquely placed to bridge the gar between the rich and poor nations, between the "haves" and the "have-nots."

He reiterated that;

There is increasing poverty and widening gaps in the developed and developing countries, between the rich and the poor, the "haves" and the "have-rots," the "included" and the "excluded"; and the ever-growing gap between the North and the South.

Presently there is unacceptable high unemployment and under-employment even in the period of economic growth, referred to as "jobless growth" and "jobless recovery."

His letter to the President of the World Bank Mr. James Wolfensohn of February 1996 demonstrated his burning preoccupation.

Regrettably, the continuing and deepening crisis in the North (widening gap between the rich and poor; unacceptably high unemployment even in the period of economic recovery; social, including family disintegration), cuts in aid to the South, and globalization and liberalization are generally impacting adversely on the economies of the developing countries, including those in the Commonwealth Caribbean (Caricom).

He ended as follows

I look forward to your meeting with the Caricom Heads of Government and your solidarity and support for the world's door, marginalized, oppressed and suppressed.

In his paper presented to the Global Development Initiative (GDI) Advisory Group Meeting held at the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia on June 6, 1996 he stated that

The specter of unemployment, poverty and social disorder is haunting the world. And at the political level, there is the dangerous and growing ascendancy of the far right, ultranationalists, fundamentalists, xenophobists and neo-facists, reminiscent of Hitlerism

In his address to the Conference on a New Global Human Order in Georgetown, Guyana August 2 - 4, 1996 he adumbrated his concept and I include here extracts of the text of this address under the headings of Poverty and Disintegration


The gap in living standards between the rich and the poor in both the North and the South is getting wider: the rich, "the included," "the haves," are getting richer at the expense of the poor, "the excluded," "the havenots."

According to the United Nations, 1.2 billion people in the Developing World live in absolute poverty, almost double 1984 figures, and hunger (over half of sub-Saharan African children are starving or malnourished and diseased). UNICEF and UNDP figures show that over six million children under the age of five had died each year since 1982 in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The late World Bank President, Lewis T Preston, told the UN Conference on Population and Development that two billion people were without clean water, and three million children died each year from malnutrition.

Note these alarming facts:

Each year 13 million children under five worldwide, still die from easily preventable diseases and malnutrition.

There are nearly 200 million moderately to severely malnourished children under five in developing countries - 36 per cent of all children in this age group. Some 69 million are severely malnourished.

In developing countries, 130 million children, almost two thirds of them girls, lack access to primary education.

"In a world where we now talk about gross domestic product of tens of billions of dollars," observed James P. Grant, the late Executive Director of the United Nations Children's Fund, "to have children deprived of basic education, health care and minimal amounts of food is increasingly obscene. Morality must change with capacity."

In Latin America, there is economic growth but persistent poverty. In a letter to The York Times ( December 5, 1993) it was pointed out that Juan de Dias Parra, leader of the Latin American Association for Human Rights, summarized the recent trends at a meeting in Quito, Ecuador, noting that "in Latin America today, there are 70 million more hungry, 30 million more illiterate, 10 million more families without homes and 40 million more unemployed persons than there were 20 years ago... There are 240 million human beings who lack the necessities of life and this when the region is richer and more stable titan ever, according to the way the world sees it."

Poverty is even likely to increase. As of 1986, 37 per cent of the region's families were living in poverty: by 2000, the UN Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) estimates that between 40 per cent to 60 per cent of the population would be below the poverty line!

"The coming years will be quite difficult for these countries," said Peter Jenson, ECLAC Coordinator for Human Settlements. "Growth has been really on only one end of the spectrum, the wealthy. The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. And this will generate social conflict."

In Africa, the number of the most critical least-developed countries has increased.

Sir Neville Nicholls, President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), estimates that one-third of the population of the Commonwealth Caribbean is living in ' poverty.

Meanwhile, the gap in living standards between the highly industrialized North and the undeveloped South is ever-widening.

The North has roughly one-fifth of the world's population and four-.fifths of its income, and it consumes 70% of the world's energy, 75% of its metals and 85% of its wood.


Unemployment is not only degrading. It is also linked to poverty, hunger, social disintegration, family dislocation, environmental degradation, desertification, narcotrafficking, urbanization, migration, crime and conflict.

East/West confrontation, based on ideology, has given way to conflicts rooted in racial/ethnic, religious and cultural/historical differences both between and within states.

Coupled with population growth and mass migration, poverty and insecurity are posing the dangers of an equally terrifying political explosion, as seen in Somalia, Rwanda, Burundi, the former Yugoslavia, the Middle East and elsewhere.

As a result of global poverty, convulsions and conflicts, more than 100 million migrants are living outside their countries of origin. Some 19 to 23 million of these are refugees or in refugee-like situations - up from 3.5 million in 1985. In addition, about 26 million people are internally displaced within their own countries. These figures show no sign of abating but rather are growing!

The Georgetown Declaration of August 2 - 4, 1996 was an encapsulation of his espousals on a New Global Human Order and it contained a well defined framework for the region within the fabric of regional and multi-national institutions.

In his address to the World Food Summit in Rome, November 13-17, 1996 one sensed a bit of frustration by the nature of his presentation. He reminded the Summit that

The 1974 World Food Conference proclaimed that "every man, woman and child has !he inalienable right !o be free from hunger and malnutrition in order to develop their physical and mental faculties." This was to have been achieved "within a decade," but we have failed, despite improvements in science and technology. Today, hunger, poverty and social disintegration stalk the globe, not just in the South but also in the North, and the gap in living standards between the North and the South continues to widen.

and further stated that:

In an increasingly globalized environment of disorder and confusion, there is little room for concepts of development which place prime emphasis on the promotion of narrow national interests above the common good of humanity. A stop must be put to an unjust global economic order; an order which robs the South of about US$500 billion annually in unjust, nonequivalent international trade; an order where the poor South finances the North with South to North capital outflows of US$418 billion in the 1982-90 period as debt payments - a sum equal to six Marshall Plans which provided aid for the rehabilitation of Europe after World War II. Those payments did not even include outflows from royalties, dividends, repatriated profits and underpaid raw material.

In this decade, for the eradication of poverty, we need an Agenda for Development, with the right of nations to development, and, as His Holiness the Pope said, the right of the individual to food. Democracy must mean not just civil and political rights, but also economic, social and cultural rights. We must eliminate under-development, which threatens to undermine the very foundations of the global economy and society.

At his last official public speaking engagement on February 13, 1998 when he addressed the Sixth Meeting of the Free Trade Area of the Americas Working Group on Smaller Economies one suspects that he was losing hope. He solemnly said.

I have never been associated with "Prophets of Doom." Rather, I have always been and will always be a supreme optimist. I must say, however, that given recent and current social and political upheavals in several countries in our hemisphere, I am convinced that time is running out. We have to move quickly to solve the mounting social and economic problems occurring in our countries.

At the Summit of the Americas Meeting in Miami in . December 1994, I reiterated the urgent need for a New Global Human Order within the framework of a "New Agenda for Development." I expressed the view that while, we embrace the practice of good governance and participatory democracy in the hemisphere, there is also a need to give full attention to the gaps between the rich and the poor, the techno-skilled and the techno-skilled, and between the North and the South.

This was his last public appeal addressing the noble cause of alleviation of poverty but one must also be aware of the fact that his private appeals to leaders of the world and international institutions were unflinching and he was constantly consulted on this subject.

His appeals were not without sound recommendation, which will be covered by other speakers. I will only touch on one of these recommendations, that of debt relief. He expounded for example, that debt relief as an absolute precondition for poverty alleviation. He lamented that "Because of the debt trap, we, are unable to urgently address and find solutions to help alleviate the suffering of the working people and to provide them with the basic needs for their survival". Although he said that he has never been associated with "Prophets of Doom", from his observation of "recent and current social and political upheavals in several countries ...I am convinced the time is running out". Unfortunately, time ran out on him.

The above quotations are all taken from Dr. Jagan's book entitled "A New Global Human Order" dedicated "To all those who are struggling against poverty, for peace and for a better world"

I was asked to cover the subject on the role of the OAS in Overcoming Poverty in the hemisphere. The paper entitled "The OAS and Overcoming Poverty", which was produced by the Organization of American States, Unit for Social Development and Education (OAS Copyright 1999), should be read as an undiluted version of the activities of the Organization in this area.

I am aware that other international institutions and organizations have written on this subject. I nevertheless wish to refer to the Human Development Report of 1999 published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) which quotes the following from the Forbes Magazine of 1998

They could do a lot for world poverty:

The assets of the 3 richest people are more than the combined GNP of all least developed countries.

The assets of the 200 richest people are more than the combined income of 41 % of the world's people.

A yearly contribution of 1 % of the wealth of the 200 richest people could provide universal access to primary education for all ($7-8 billion).

This is a vivid and startling statistic which should shock the world as it was always a burning preoccupation for Dr. Jagan.

This prompts me to quote from my address at the Graduation Ceremony at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh of April 26,1997 entitled "Global Humanism in Public Policy and International Affairs" as follows:

"Unfortunately, a plethora of prescriptions have, been expounded upon to alleviate poverty in our Hemisphere, but the definition of the cause is hardly touched upon. I contend that this is why some countries, in spite of their level of resources, size or economic growth have shown no poverty alleviation. In some countries and inner cities, the situation has worsened over the years. We must ask ourselves, is poverty due to a lack of education of the poor or a poor educational system in a country or state? Is it due to accepted social or economic stratification, or political oppression, or a poor distribution of land and other productive opportunities, or is it due to the absence of a policy direction or a combination of all or some of these factors? It should be evident that the problem would vary from situation to situation, from country to country and that the solutions would also vary according to the definition of the cause. The question is, do countries wish to define the problem when the cause is inherent in the system in which certain powerful influences prevail? Furthermore, shouldn't we engage the rich in dialogue in dealing with the alleviation of poverty?

There is also the question of prevention. How can we prevent sectors of our societies and countries from getting poorer? In this regard there are considerations internal to communities and countries, but there are also external considerations, i.e. the impact of foreign policy of one nation on another. In this case, shouldn't we seek to ensure that our local and external policies do not adversely affect our quest to resolve the poverty syndrome. I quote from our OAS Charter which says that: "Member States should refrain from practicing policies and adopting actions or measures that have serious adverse effects on the development of other Member States"

I think that if we are honest in defining our problems while sharing our experiences, we will find that we possess enormous commonalities in spite of the fact that there are inherent and induced differences among us. We can achieve a common goal to improve humanity, global harmony economic and social upliftment of our people, by strengthening our commonalities and narrowing our differences. In order to do thus we must first define what these commonalties and differences are.

We must view the earth of ours as our common patrimony where civil coexistence, peace, equal rights and human freedoms are preserved at all times in keeping with the United Nations Charter. We must also embrace global humanism as fundamental to man's spiritual coexistence.

If we accept global humanism or the brotherhood of man, then, we must break the barriers which separate and divide us and instead look beyond our self interest towards a community, a regional and a global perspective.'

Let us therefore define the problem as it relates to different circumstances and situations. Only then can we find the solutions for there is no one solution for all situations. By assuming an unselfish global responsibility, we can, working together under the rubric of global humanism, alleviate poverty.

Such was the resolve of Dr. Cheddi Jagan.


Promoting a New Global Human Order

by Odeen Ishmael

In November 2002, the fifty-seventh session of the United Nations General Assembly unanimously approved a resolution on "the role of the United Nations in promoting a new global human order." This resolution, introduced by Guyana and co-sponsored by 41 countries from Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa and Asia, followed up on an earlier resolution approved by the General Assembly in November 2002.

The call for a New Global Human Order was first made at the World Summit for Social Development held in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1995 by the late President, Dr. Cheddi Jagan of Guyana. Since then, it was raised at a number of international forums, including the Caribbean Community, the Commonwealth, the Movement of Non-Aligned countries, the South Summit and the Organisation of Islamic Conference. At the sixteenth meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) held in Georgetown, Guyana, in July 1995, CARICOM heads expressed their support for a New Global Human Order. In the Declaration of the South Summit held in Havana in April 2000, Heads of State and Government of the Group of 77 and China stressed, inter alia, "the need for a new global human order aimed at reversing the growing disparities between rich and poor, both among and within countries, through the promotion of growth with equity, the eradication of poverty, the expansion of productive employment and the promotion of gender equality and social integration."

The concept of the New Global Human Order gives serious consideration to the problems of developing countries. As is well known, globalisation has significant negative consequences on a large number of these countries. In response, many developing countries have to face up to these challenges by adopting a range of coping mechanisms that have increasingly proved unsustainable.

The high-level panel report on financing for development, chaired by former President Zedillo of Mexico, articulated one of the many gaps indicating that ". . . . despite recent worthy efforts, the world has no fully satisfactory mechanism to anticipate and counter global economic shocks . . . . and that . . . . global economic decision-making has become increasingly concentrated in a few countries. Tensions have worsened as a result. For a range of common problems, the world has no formal institutional mechanism to ensure that voices representing all relevant parts are heard in the discussion."

The fundamental dilemma in the governance of international affairs is that markets are being articulated as the final arbiter to address environmental, legal, social and political issues. These difficulties are further compounded by the claims that the economy should dictate its rules to society and not the other way around.

The proposal for a New Global Human Order is intended to promote a re-examination of international cooperation and partnerships and to explore the prospects of a viable consensus on people-centred development as a central pillar of the work of the United Nations and other international institutions in the development process in the twenty-first century.

The General Assembly resolution of 2000 sought the views of member states and agencies and organisations of the United Nations in promoting the New Global Human Order. In response to this resolution, the UN Secretary-General's report on the New Global Human Order, issued in 2002, indicates that the concept requires greater precision as to its constituent parts particularly on the questions of inequalities in the process of global decision-making and access to resources.

The New Global Human Order takes into consideration the importance of multilateralism. Currently, the international system for multilateral cooperation continues to undergo deep changes with the challenges for development, peace and security being principal themes. The fervent hope for lasting peace, stability and universal prosperity all around the world remains a powerful driving force for progress. In the past decade, governments and people of all countries enhance changes and cooperation which led to the mapping out of the United Nations Millennium Declaration issued in 2002. The Millennium Declaration indicated not only that global integration poses the greatest challenge for the new millennium but that democracy, fundamental freedoms, and access to basic services are as essential to reducing poverty and promoting human development as economic growth. In this context, the government of Guyana is of the view that to maintain the momentum of the Millennium Summit it is necessary to ensure that the commitments made by the Heads of State and Government are translated into action.

It was tragic that while the Millennium Summit had given rise to new hopes and motivation, the events of September 11, 2001 in the United States and their repercussions have taken the global economy into greater uncertainty and fragility. However, the international community’s response so far in the fight against terrorism demonstrates the importance of multilateral cooperation in pursuing a common cause. It also confirms the importance of a comprehensive approach and symmetry by which governments have acted both nationally and internationally designing specific measures for concrete actions.

At the centre of the government of Guyana's proposal of the New Global Human Order is the call for the establishment of a just and humane system of international relations. These should be based on a comprehensive people-centred sustainable development policy and program, aimed at the eradication of poverty and for the full development of the human potential to make globalisation beneficial for all countries and peoples. A people-centred development approach will rely heavily on the potentially rich heritage and home-grown skills of each community as the strength for the foundation of sustainable development. In this regard, globalisation is viewed not merely as the flow of goods, services and capital, but as a means to strengthen institutions and other structures in society to participate and benefit in the global economy.

Establishing such benchmarks will enhance capacity building and the establishment of solid foundations for open trade, investments and more reliable sources of capital flows. The New Human Global Order recognises the tensions in the current international system of multilateralism between the "agenda for development" and the "agenda for peace" and suggests common solutions to address those issues in the broad areas of human development, human rights and human security. The proposal seeks to promote a strong political consensus and a broad-based global partnership to combat poverty and promote human development throughout the world through a long-term and integrated approach to development.

At the United Nations, Guyana has taken up the issue of advancing the concept of the New Global Human Order by building on the recommendations in the Secretary-General's report with a view to promoting a more effective system for international development cooperation. On this basis, Guyana is seeking the continued active support of all states, and particularly those of CARICOM, on the proposal for a New Global Human Order. Guyana continues to seek the support of all states in other international bodies.

But not only Governments have to be involved in this process. It is, therefore, very important for the academic community and civil society on the whole to directly participate in this enterprise. Their proposals are imperative for nourishing the idea and their suggestions on programmes to be applied will certainly help to give it the momentum it needs. It is necessary for such involvement since the proposal for a New Global Human Order is aimed at ensuring all round human development. Civil society therefore has to form a partnership with governments to help bring about such a result.

February 9, 2003


Remarks on the Occasion of the Launching of Manifesto 2000 for A Culture of Peace and Non-Violence.

By Minister Of Foreign Affairs Clement Rohee (National Cultural Centre - October 1, 1999)

The event which we are gathered here today to launch is one that is of great relevance and importance to us all as Guyanese men, women and children. As you are aware UNESCO - one of the specialized agencies of the United Nations has launched a world wide appeal to the peoples of the world calling upon us to embrace each other in our respective countries in an effort to promote a culture of peace and non-violence at all levels of society.

It is not perchance that, in today's world, characterized by ethnic wars, intra state violence, unspeakable crimes against humanity, gross and systematic violations of human rights and the emergence, of humanitarian crises with the concomitant "humanitarian interventions" that Guyana, a long standing member of United Nations has committed itself to actively participate in this global quest for peace and non-violence.

In this regard, it would not be out of order if we ask ourselves what do the events in Bosnia, Rwanda, Kosovo and East Timor means to us? Are these events simply European, African and Asian dilemmas? Do they have any relevance to our situation here in Guyana. Have we learnt any lessons from these events if so, what?

Moreover, it is apposite to note that this launch comes at a time when the political fortunes of our country have taken a further turn in the direction of positive change given the fresh and youthful presidential dispensation obtaining in our country.

The promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence in Guyana must be placed in the context of our national realities and peculiarities, that is why when the Preparatory Committee sat down to plan a programme of activities to observe the twin objectives of peace and non-violence, it was unanimously agreed that these activities must be fashioned to reflect our hopes and aspirations as a people and to take into account our own political history and experiences as well as our unique cultural diversity. We also agreed that these activities must reflect our world view on questions of peace and non-violence.

The pursuit of these twin objectives, looked at in the context of the current situation obtaining in the world today, must be a source of great concern and deep interest to all peace loving and progressive-minded people the world over. It is for this reason that we Guyanese must think globally and act locally.

The Government's appeal for the establishment of a new Global Human Order is consistent with the call for the peoples of the world to promote a culture of peace and non-violence within there respective countries.

The establishment of a New Global Human Order envisages the pursuance and the implementation of policies human development that is, development which puts people first and to facilitate growth with equity and social justice.

Peace and non-violence cannot be sustained without human development and human development must mean adherence to participatory, creating jobs, reducing poverty, sharing wealth and constant growth in the standard of living of all the people.

Nowadays there is must talk about globalization, a phenomenon that has brought in its wake more question that answers for countries such as ours.

Globalization of the world economy offers a mix of opportunities and challenges, but for developing countries such as ours there is bound to be more challenges than opportunities, it is for this reason that as we seek to interpret events as they unfold at the global level we must at the sometime make every effort to place in a local context these global development and effect appropriate changes and measures that will bring sustained social and economic security to the Guyanese people.

The opportunities offered globalization and trade liberalization must not be squandered because of political instability, violence and the constant threat to our fledgling democracy that is why the question may well be posed, how best can we Guyanese assist in promoting a culture of peace and non-violence in our society?

After all, it is time for real and sustained action not more talk.

Given the socio-political and economic realities obtaining in our country, there is every justification for joint actions and confidence building measures if we are to create a climate of peace and non-violence in our country.

In this respect, experience has shown that much can be achieved by working together in the Community Policing Groups, the Community Development Councils, Parent/Teachers Associations and the Local Government Bodies; by participating in producer and consumer cooperatives, in women's and Youth Development Councils and Sports Organisations as well as in established bodies such as the Trade Unions, the Religious and other Non-Governmental Organisations.

At the political level, we need to engage each other in more energetic and open dialogue, formally and informally and in sometimes brief, sometimes prolonged dialogues at all levels, at the parliamentary, the Inter-Party and between the Government and Social Partners. To give life to the promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence we need to take a fresh look at what we understand by dialogue. In this regard, creative and innovative approaches to the whole question of dialogue should be examined and if needs be adopted by all the actors who have a vested interest in working for the common good of Guyana.

In a national dialogue for the promotion of peace and non-violence, there should be no winners or losers. In fact, in any real dialogue all participants make a contribution to the achievement of shared objectives.

The promotion of a culture of dialogue in our society could play an important role in making our efforts at promoting peace and non-violence a success. But dialogue must be a process leading to successful relationships and building of confidence among the parties concerned.

Dialogue should not be viewed as an instrument for decision making, moreover, it should precede and be distinguished from formal negotiations. The purpose of the dialogue must be to remove long standing stereotypes, overcome mistrust, achieve mutual understanding, to shape and ground visions with shared objectives to discover new common ground, to gain new perspective and insights, to stimulate new level of creativity and to strengthen existing relationships on the ground.

This launching therefore, presents each and every one of us with a splendid opportunity to contribute in our way, individually and collectively to the lofty endeavour of promoting a culture of peace and non-violence through dialogue and understanding at all levels of our society.

We should grasp this opportunity with every ounce of strength at our command with greater determination, commitment and enthusiasm as we move as a nation into the 21st century with one common goal: to make Guyana a land of peace, progress and prosperity.

I thank you.