July 12, 2003
Report to New York Yearly Meeting (NYYM)
7/23/2003, Lake George, New York.
TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION 911 (GTRC911)
MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT COMPACT *
In Sept. 2000, world leaders adopted the UN Millennium Declaration. The goals are specific, and include eradication of dire poverty affecting about 1.3 billion people by the year 2015.
Rich and Poor countries affirmed these goals:
1. In Nov. 2001 at the launch of the 'Doha Round' on International Trade,
2. In March 2002, at the UN 'Financing for Development Conference', the Monterrey Consensus, and
3. In Sept. 2002 at the 'World Summit on Sustainable Development'.
These commitments are pooled to constitute the Millennium Development Compact (MDC).
The MDC calls on stakeholders, Rich and Poor, to embark afresh on shared responsibilities.
Responsibilities of the Poor:
1. Insist on increased donor assistance,
2. Accept donor insistence on better governance and accountability in the use of donor assistance.
3. Hold politicians of the Poor accountable for achieving poverty reduction,
Responsibilities of the Rich:
1. Provide for genuine financing,
2. Create and adhere to better rules for the international system.
1. National Development strategies must be based on solid evidence, good science, proper monitoring, proper evaluation,
2. Within 1. Above, poor countries must have the freedom to maneuver the implementation of the designs created by donor countries, while
3. Ownership under 1. and 2. Above, must belong to the poor countries,
4. Programs must respect rule of law, honesty, transparency and human rights.
As to why this consensus has been arrived at, the Compact states:
1. Just as globalization has systematically benefited some of the world's regions, it has bypassed others, as well as many groups within countries,
2. Thus, the need for the Millennium Development Compact: without it, poor countries will remain trapped in poverty, with low or negative economic growth.
3. Public (global) investments in poor people spur economic growth, while economic growth sustains such investments.
And to realize the above, the Compact states:
1. National strategies for the Millennium Development Goals must include a commitment to women's rights to education, reproductive health services, property ownership, secure tenure and labor force participation,
2. The Millennium Development Compact is based on shared responsibilities among major stakeholders,
3. International financial institutions should put the Millennium Development Goals at the center of their analytical, advisory and financial efforts for developing countries,
4. Because most donors have agreed to align their programs with Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers, it is even more important that these documents highlight the support needed to achieve the goals,
5. Nevertheless, though the Doha Round has been dubbed a "Development Round" early attempts to put development at the fore have produced stalemate and frustration, and
6. Many current technologies urgently need to be supplemented by technological breakthroughs, such as vaccines or new drugs for HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.*
All this, after some elites, (not all haves), have successfully waged war over decades to control land, and brief 'star wars' to control resources, belonging to others.
An approach to remedy the problem of poverty that has beset half the global population despite the fruits of 400 years of industrialization is outlined in the Compact. GTRC911 (www.gtrc911.org) will in its own efforts, draw upon the consensus arrived at in the MDC and call upon the declared good intentions of the Rich and Poor stakeholders.
Is MDC implement able (see 5. above), as it stands? While hard work has led to the laudable Compact, probably not, as it lacks a common basis between the Rich and the Poor for sharing; that some have become Rich and others remain Poor without their minimum needs being met, is not sufficient reason to ensure sharing. The outcome need not have been so, though it always has been so; and that need not deter us.
The Poor do not seek charity. We must embrace the welfare of others even after participating in implied wrong. We must examine what it is in our past trials that may enable us to opt for justice at these levels while leaving us content and happy. Things have to be made right in social justice, for us to move on with vigor, in the human endeavor beyond social justice that seeks our attention.
The intent of GTRC911 is to help break away from the standard cycle of 'destroy, rebuild, relish applause', by acknowledging the Truth behind the MDC, by seeking Reconciliation between the Rich and the Poor, and invoking and arriving at a consensus to implement Restorative Justice as the active spiritual impetus for the why of MDC (in addition to the acknowledged economic) while global consciousness, including all NGOs and the global vernacular Press, stand witness to the effort.
Can we (the protagonists and the antagonists) jointly succeed by 2030 in Meeting the Minimum Needs of All (MMNA) without a Restorative Justice Compact (RJC) between the Rich and the Poor?
Those who work on the commission must strive to arrive at a 'bargained spiritual transaction' (RJC) between the Rich and the Poor based strictly on the principle of nonviolence, within a culture of human rights that approaches Shalom, that approaches Om, in our individual and corporate daily lives.
To assist GTRC911 in this effort, it is proposed that a Global Quaker Group from Quakers everywhere, be formed, and GTRC911 embark on a Business Plan translating discernment into action, open to all.
Dr. M. Radh Achuthan, Peconic Bay Monthly Meeting of Friends.
* Ref: The Millennium Development Compact, UNDP, Human Development Report 2003.