New Age Civilization

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New Age Civilization of the 3rd Millennium

The Earth Community wants people from all civilizations to be represented in the Global Dialogue on Earth Management to be held in August 2002. The global dialogue is about all civilizations becoming global and thinking as one civilization. It is about humanity. This is what the New Age Civilization of the 3rd Millennium is about: all Peoples together, the Human Family, the Earth Community, the Global Community, Global Governance, Global Economic Cooperation, Earth Governance, Earth Environmental Governance, and the Earth Government.

Life is the most precious gift ever given by God to the Universe. Life allows Souls to be conscious of God in as many different ways as possible. Life is the building block through which Souls can have a meaningful relationship with God. Today our species is evolving to rid itself of the old thoughts and old ways that are threatening its future and survival. This is a survival reaction and is very real. Our species will accomplish the evolutionary leap within a generation. The next step is the creation of new thoughts, thousands of them. Healthy thoughts! The kind that will sustain Earth. The Will of God is for our species to reach Him in the best possible ways.

The New Age Civilization is here and is growing. We see today the seeds of this new civilization. They include all social, political and religious aspects of our lives. All of our ways and values are changing and evolving. Actions by government and business leaders that lead to revolution and war must be curtailed. Power based on greed is not in the best interest of humanity as it leads to the violation of human rights and destruction.

Businesses have taken the role of government and now hold largely the responsibility of wrongdoings. They are the new leading body of the world. They are now held accountable for anything from the pollution of the planet, poverty, human rights violation, resources depletion, conflicts and wars, and disasters such as flooding and climate changes.

The world we see today aims at "making a profit" the most important aspect of our lives. The European Union uses an economic model based entirely on improving its economic edge in the world. Asia is following in the same step. Now the proposed Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) would also use a similar way of dealing with the other trade blocks of the planet.

Globalization and trade blocks are at the roots of the New Age Revolution. They are causing it. Our species evolutionary leap for survival is caused by the New Age Revolution.

Earth Community believes all citizens have the right to share the wealth in the world. Foreign investment and the trade agreement must protect and improve social and environmental rights, not just the economy. A sustainable development in the world would mean finding a sound balance among the interactions designed to create a healthy economic growth, preserve environmental quality, make a wise use of our resources, and enhance social benefits. Free trade cannot proceed at the expense of the environment, labour rights, human rights and the sovereignty of a nation. Free Trade leads to an increase in poverty by giving investor rights priority over government decision-making. Employers will be looking for more concessions from workers. Small businesses will find it more difficult to grow and compete against large corporations.

Free Trade encourages countries to change their economic infrastructures to be in line with the free trade policies of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Many member countries have already prioritised economic growth over social aspects and human rights.

The World Trade Organization, foreign corporations and world business leaders claim that Free Trade brings sweeping democracy to all. They claim trade globalization is a forerunner of democracy in nations where it is non-existent. The Earth Community Organization does not believe that democracy will automatically succeed in a global free market. In fact, Free Trade is itself a flagrant abuse of democracy.

Free Trade entrenches corporate power at the expense of democratically elected officials from local communities, municipal governments, provincial governments, national governments and states. It is a form of "world anti-government" (such as the European Union block) as citizens lose the ability to act in their best interests and find sound solutions to their own problems. Citizens become disconnected with the decision-making process. Their lives are then driven by the desire of making profits. Fear is used to force people to behave with the dollar sign as their god. In such scenario, democratic principles lose meaning and no longer prevail. All that we have worked for over the past decades to build sustainable communities is gone with Free Trade. People were never asked to discuss and were never invited in its development. The principles of a sustainable development are let go and replaced by the desire of the world business leaders to make larger profits.

People are concerned about the lack of public consultation in free trade negotiations. Civil society groups were left outside the gates during the past Free Trade conferences. The decisions by trade bodies must not be allowed to take away the rights and responsibilities of local communities. A local community will find it impossible to make decisions about planning, public health, local control over water, waste, zoning, or environmental issues because the rights of corporations to profits would be deemed to take precedence.

In consequence of globalization, the new economic and political distribution of power around the world has become very different then we were used to. It has become very intangible, in constant motion and affected by global markets. Giant new markets are forming all over the world. Competition is hardening. National economies can no longer insure or guarantee rights of possession on any property. National borders no longer mean protection, security, cultural boundaries, resources ownership, political and economic control.

Globalization and the trade blocks intensify all aspects of human life and are at the roots of the Peoples Revolution of the New Age . Globalization is a process interaction which involves growing economic interdependence of countries worldwide with implications and impacts on social, cultural, political, environmental and familial aspects and rights. Geographical and political limits become less and less significant.

Economic globalization is seen by the growing interaction and interdependence of the world's different nations and corporations. Interactions include capital flows, flows of material goods, and labour. Markets, technologies and consumption patterns gradually let go their national or local character and become international and global. Economic globalization leads to globally more standardized sets of products.

Political globalization facilitates the spread of individualism and thus Western consumer society.

Cultural globalization is concerned with a change of the different sets of values that are connected to tradition, religion and different political systems. Cultural globalization is fed by information passing geographical boundaries through communication systems and media, like TV, Internet, advertisement etc. Cultural globalization homogenizes the sets of value systems of different cultures via constantly evolving.

The globalization of consumption can be observed. Market analyses can prove the existence and the demand of certain products worldwide and the presence of corporations in different countries of the world. A globalization of consumption is actually taking place because we observe that certain products are sold with success all over the world. Globalization of consumption represents an environmental danger. The consumer society is blamed for causing the largest part of environmental problems through resource depletion, emissions and wastes.

Trade with developing countries

In multilateral trade, developing countries have three major concerns:
* The Uruguay Round has not done much to improve market access for their exports of goods and services.
* World Trade Organization (WTO) rules were found unbalanced in many important development related areas including the protection of intellectual property rights and use of industrial subsidies.
* Inadequate or inexistent human and financial resources have rendered impossible the use of opportunities offered by WTO to developing countries.

These concerns are not likely to find sound solutions within the FTAA.

People living in developing countries find no interest to enter into negotiations with wealthier trading partners. The increasing gap between rich and poor nations will make it even unlikely of successful multilateral trade negotiations.

The effects of globalization and the creation of planetary trade blocks give rise to global problems such as:

* unemployment in industrial nations
* poverty increases world-wide ~ entire countries in a state of starvation
* environmental degradation
* national interests of a country changing and becoming more trade oriented and trying to go with the wave of global trade
* international interests of a country take prime importance
* in developing countries, national debts constrict the institutions of the national state and contribute to the destruction of the economic activity which, in turn, as the effect of creating unemployment
* national currencies of many countries are affected by national debts and contribute in destroying social life, creating ethnic conflicts and civil wars
* the large corporation is becoming larger and getting more power and control falls into the hands of a few people
* globalization is another way of keeping control on our lives in the hands of a few people
* with globalization we have no control and no say in our future and the world becomes a game played by a few people just as it has always been throughout history, leading to revolutions and war
* with globalization there is no sense of direction and meaning, no security for the individual, just a few people getting richer and controlling us all

Trade and the world economic system

The globalization of the world economic system is proceeding at a very rapid pace, and is wrongly promoted as being welfare-improving. This phenomenon is also present in the arena of international finance. In this area, however, the presumed virtues of globalization are far from being materialized. Trends show that developing countries in the global economy are faced to achieve a stable economic growth by a faster growth. The global economy is unstable. Serious biases against the underprivileged exist. It was found that in the world's poorest countries the interactions between trading and financial systems have had significant negative impacts on their growth. Global capital movements have kept poverty and unemployment on the rise in developing countries. The gap between the rich and the poor is widening. This shows a failure of the new economic system of the world in building an equitable system of global economic governance. Most developing countries show a trend of widening trade deficits and falling or stagnant growth rates. Their efforts to close the payments gap through increased exports to developed countries have failed. An increase in exports required growth in world demand but world growth has been low. Export earnings were not sufficient in financing the debt.

A sound solution to trade issues

A new approach to trade and development issues was suggested: business leaders are to conduct their affairs with responsibility, cooperation and compassion. A larger flow of private foreign investment would accelerate further growth and bring stability. Progress on access to markets in industrialized countries is the key to overcoming the payments facing developing countries. The international trading system needs to be fair to all global economies. Their are aspects leading to unfair competition. Protectionism is at its highest in developed countries. For example, the heavy subsidization of agricultural output in the industrial countries cuts out imports from developing countries. Protectionism was also observed for industrial products such as clothing and textiles, low-tech and high-tech products. The industrialized countries were found to make use of antidumping procedures and health and safety standards against successful exporters in the developing countries.

Trade vs consumption

Perceiving and understanding the human population in its role as a consumer is very important because consumers collectively spend two thirds of a country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). They buy and influence the purchase of an increasingly wide array of products. Despite the fact that we are making consumer decisions in an emerging global community, people are still being taught how to be "good consumers", when actually the word consume means, "to destroy, use or expend". The enormous productive capacities and market forces of the planet have been committed to satisfying human needs and desires with little overall regard to the short-term or long-term future of life on the planet, or life in other nations or in future generations. There are many different types of consumers and they all need to be taken into account separately: teen, young adult, elderly, low income, disabled, illiterate, and ethnic. Each type of consumers need to be understood from the point of view of a global perspective; a global perspective that challenges materialism and promotes ecological responsibility, humanitarianism, well-being, consumer ethics and the Earth Community concepts. These concepts were developed to sustain Earth and they include world conditions, global problems and issues, global citizenship, stewardship of the ecosystem of the Earth, a moral and a spiritual community, universal values, and global interconnections.

Consumption in developing countries has risen much faster over decade than in the industrialized countries due to their high rate of population growth, fast urban development, increased motorization and industrialization. In the OECD countries, a decline in world prices does not usually stimulate consumption because taxes on oil products account for most of the price to end-users.

The Earth Community Organization is concerned with the sustainability of current levels and patterns of consumption and with the economic, political, personal, environmental, availability of resources, societal and spiritual impact of excessive, run-away consumption. About 20% of Earth’s people account for 80% of the world's total consumption. We have assigned ourselves the task of finding ways to make consumption, consumer rights and responsibilities:

* Fair to the well-being of others
* Socially responsible and sustainable to future generations
* In line with the universal values
* In line with human rights and responsibilities

Consumers' rights impinge on the rights of other humans living in Earth Community. The right to choice is the consumer right that refers to the right to have a range and variety of goods and services at competitive, fair prices and variable, satisfactory quality. In order to assure choice in the developed country markets, governments have implemented trade laws to facilitate cross border transactions and transnational corporations (TNCs) have set up business off shore so they can lessen the cost of the production process. The goods that are available in the developed country markets are provided by slave labour, child labour, sweatshops or in countries that allow the TNCs to forego adhering to pollution or ecological concerns and human rights in pursuit of profit. Labour rights are abused in efforts to earn more profits. This leads to abhorrent working conditions, job insecurity and low living standards (all human rights). Consumers in developed countries have been socialized to want more and more things to consume but have not been socialized to appreciate the impact of their consumption choices on the human rights of other people; that is, they are not being responsible for their decisions.

Responsible consumption within the Earth Community means:

  • Awareness of global dynamics, the state of the planet, and the differences of other cultures
  • Being concerned with the impact of consumption and production on the environment
  • Acceptance of notions of voluntary simplicity and conservation
  • Knowing the consequences of resource management decisions
  • Living a sustainable life style
  • Be aware of the impacts of new and different technologies
  • Be aware of the impacts of economic development on the integrity of both developed and developing local indigenous communities, infrastructures and natural environments
  • Be aware of the impacts on human rights, political stability, societal well-being, cultural sustainability, familial well-being, quality of life and standards of living of other nations
  • Be aware of the impacts of a decision made by a family living in developed country to consume a particular good on the household subsistence, production and community activity of a family living in a developing country; and be aware if that decision would affect poverty, potable water, food diversity, arable land, security from war, education, communications

Consumers operate in an impersonal market economy where they make choices unburdened by guilt or social obligations; they just have to be able to pay. But a typical global community consumer see himself/herself as part of a larger whole that is affected by a collectivity of individual consumption decisions and has to question the global integrity of purchasing a product, and will decide not to purchase at all if the integrity is being challenged.

Sound trade solutions within Earth Community

Earth Community has initiated a global dialogue to discuss a sustainable development as a widely-discussed alternative to currently unsustainable economic development patterns. It is all the more attractive because it may be cast in terms compatible with the market economy. However, there must be a social dimension to the concept, a vision, for it to become a viable alternative to unrestrained economic growth. The Earth is no longer a self-regulating planetary system. Its future will depend on human action and the continuation of natural ecosystems will be achieved because people want them to be preserved. Acceptance of sustainable development by society may depend on cultural values and even spiritual notions about the relationship of humankind to the Earth.

People will not accept a view of sustainable development that recreates a technologically more advanced version of a basic peasant society, especially if they have only recently developed economically. For societies to accept a sustainable development and to continue to grow within, the new way of living must accept cultural diversity, encourage individual expression, allow social change, offer opportunity, and examine values. There must be ways to permit opportunity and growth without ecological compromise. Achieving sustainable development may therefore be linked with policies emphasizing community, the value of information, originality in ideas, and the arts.

Humanity embarks on a new path in history, the inevitability of World societies living, sharing, and creating economic partnerships interactively is, beyond doubt, that which we must confront. Our creativity today may influence tomorrow's socio-economic strategies and contribute to the evolution of human societies - an evolution directed towards a global partnership with each other, and, most importantly, with our natural environment. Many socio-political infrastructures created for global industries neglect the environment and do not promote environmental sustainability. It is proposed the restructuring of knowledge that governs society, a strategy aimed to change the focus of the capitalist economy and considered Indigenous peoples and their nurturing of spiritual and environmental partnership with nature - a valuable and integral part of their socio-economic structure.

A corporation will now be required to operate its business as per global ethics:
  • Be concerned with issues such as climate change, bio-diversity, pollution prevention and adopt high standards
  • Minimize environmental degradation and health impacts
  • Be responsible for the environmental impact of its products and services throughout their cycle
  • Adopt a wide environmental code, and policies, health and safety practices and procedures aimed at reducing resource and energy use in each stage of a product or service life-cycle
  • Set up appropriate management systems to implement policies
  • Conduct annual checks and balances and provide reports to the community
  • Respect the political jurisdiction of national communities
  • Respect human rights, social and cultural rights
  • Recognize its political and economic impact on local communities
  • Contribute to the long-term social, cultural, environmental and economic sustainability of the local communities
  • Respect the rights of indigenous peoples, their culture and land, and their religious and social customs; provide employment and training opportunities
  • Ensure that each employee is treated with respect and dignity and is not subjected to any physical, sexual, psychological or verbal harassment or abuse
  • Respect employees' right to freedom of association, labour organization, and free collective bargaining
  • Provide equal pay for work of equal value
  • Recognize the responsibilities of all workers to their families, and provide for maternity leave, and paternity leave
  • Ensure that their be no barriers to the full participation of women within the company
  • Participate in the creation of child care centres and centres for the elderly and persons with disabilities where appropriate
  • Ensure no discrimination on grounds of race, ethnicity, or culture
  • Ensure that persons with disabilities who apply for jobs with the company receive fair treatment and are considered solely on their ability to do the job; provide resources and facilities which enable them to achieve progression in employment in the company
  • Provide training to all employees to conduct their activities in an environmentally responsible manner
  • Work with organizations concerned with children's rights, human rights and labour rights to ensure that young workers are not exploited
  • Ensure that a mechanism is in place to address ethical issues of concern raised by employees
  • Make sure that the company's policies balance the interests of managers, shareholders, employees, and other affected parties
  • Adhere to international standards and protocols relevant to its products and services
  • Adopt marketing practices which protect consumers and ensure the safety of all products
  • Conduct or support research on the environmental impacts of raw materials, products, processes, emissions and wastes associates with the company and on the means of minimizing such adverse impacts
  • Make a sustainable use of renewable natural resources such as water, soils and forests
  • Conserve non-renewable natural resources through efficient use and careful planning
  • Conserve energy and improve energy efficiency of internal operations and of the goods and services being sold

Employing participatory approaches in identifying needs, solutions and designing specific mechanisms for poverty alleviation reduces the risk of program failure. Building the capacity of the poor to develop their own strategies for overcoming poverty and supporting these strategies enables us to ensure sustainability of poor people’s own initiatives. Poverty exists everywhere, and it takes dramatic forms in developing countries where governments have a hard time in coping with the basic needs and demands of their populations.

The distribution of wealth around the world demands more compassionate approaches to bridging the continuously widening gap between the rich and the poor. Understanding the economic and social development of a balance world is a priority of the Earth Community Organization. The eradication of poverty in the world is a priority and our responsibility. The interaction of poor health, poverty and environmental deterioration has been measured and was found to have a direct relationship with the stage of economic and social development of a country. Policies to combat poverty should not damage the environment. Environmental policies should not create poverty.

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