Sunday, 2 October 2022

Humanity Care 22: UPGs and SDGs 22

 

Global Integration Updates 
Special News--October 2022
Issue 76
View this email in your browser

 Global Integration Updates
Common Ground for the Common Good 
Be the people we need--Build the world we need

Special News--October 2022
Perils, Paralysis, and Hope

Sustainable Development or Sustainable Destruction?

A Message to the United Nations General Assembly--
and to the World 



UN image: Opening address at the UNGA by S-G Guterres, 20 September 2022

"Progress on [major global] issues and more is being held hostage by geopolitical tensions. Our world is in peril--and paralyzed. Geopolitical divides are: Undermining the work of the Security Council. Undermining international law. Undermining trust and people’s faith in democratic institutions. Undermining all forms of international cooperation. We cannot go on like this.....But by acting as one, we can nurture fragile shoots of hope...." UN Secretary-General António Guterres at the UN (20 September 2022) (bold font added for emphasis)
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Overview
In this Update we enter into the world of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the 77th one which commenced 20-27 September 2022 at the UN in New York. We feature the opening address by UN Secretary-General António Guterres on 20 September.  

Mr. Guterres again (and over and over!) raises the alarm about the major issues plaguing our world--primarily humans palguing humans via geopolitical tensions, conflicts, climate change, poverty, etc.). And he calls for urgent action and solidarity by member states and the world community for the sake of people and the planet now and in the future. 


The title and theme of this Update--perils, paralysis, hope--reflects our summary take-away from Guterres' address. In spite of the ongoing perilous picture that he paints, the Secretary-General also emphasizes "hope": hope for collaborative change for the common good in line with the fundamental values and commitments of the UN Charter (1945).

Sustainable Development or Sustainable Destruction?
Or something in-between like Sustainable Survival

For many people, including ourselves, hearing yet another dark message about the state of the world can lead to a variety of responses: It can stir up a sense of "doomsday message fatigue," or lead to a sense of helplessness and hopelessness, or fill us with immobilizing fear. Perhaps though it can also stoke the fires of responsible resolve to work on a couple important issues in our personal lives and lifestyles, in our communities, and in our spheres of influence. We surely hope so!

Are we as humanity heading towards ubiquitous destruction rather than equitable development? Or perhaps a standoff between the two: basic survival? We do not know. But we are not losing our hope--nor our faith and love! 

We finish the Update with our Personal Reflections about "being people of faith-hope-love." We also include the message by Archbishop Justin Welby on 19 September 2022 at 
the funeral service at Westminster Abbey for Elizabeth II. The funeral, much of which was organized in advance by the Queen herself, was viewed by an estimated and unprecedented global audience of over four billion people. Here is one excerpt for starters about her exemplary life of service and underlying faith and hope in God:


We will all face the merciful judgment of God: we can all share the Queen’s hope which in life and death inspired her servant leadership. Service in life, hope in death. All who follow the Queen’s example, and inspiration of trust and faith in God, can with her say: ‘We will meet again.’” You can access the full text HERE and the video HERE

Applications--Making It Personal
--Explore. Read the five excerpts below from Guterres' speech. How does the message of "perils, paralysis, and hope"--or any other major theme--fit with your experience and understanding of the world today?
--Relevance. Dive deeper into the speech by listening to and/or reading the entire speech
. Consider a few ways that the perspectives are practically relevant for your life and work.
--Discuss. Share and discuss this Update with others. Perhaps have a go at relating the message (address) of Secretary-General Guterres with the message (sermon) of Archbishop Welby.


Going further--see these Global Integration Updates:
--
Arming the World--Promoting Positive Peace (September 2022)
--
Climate-Conflict-Corruption: Safeguarding People and the Planet (July 2021)
--Doomsday: Next Stop, Global Dis-Integration? (June 2017)


Warm greetings,
Kelly and Michèle

     
MCAresources@gmail.com

Featured Resources
Perils, Paralysis, and Hope
Sustainable Development or Sustainable Destruction?

A Message to the United Nations General Assembly--
and to the World 



UN image: S-G Guterres' opening address to the UNGA, 20 September 2022

"The divergence between developed and developing countries…is at the root of the geopolitical tensions and lack of trust that poison every area of global cooperation, from vaccines to sanctions to trade. But by acting as one, we can nurture fragile shoots of hope…So, let’s develop common solutions to common problems--grounded in goodwill, trust, and the rights shared by every human being." UN Secretary-General António Guterres at the UNGA (20 September 2022)

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Here are five excerpts from the UN Secretary-General's opening address to the UN General Assembly on 20 September 2022. Note that in spite of the ongoing dire picture that he paints, he also emphasizes "hope"--hope for collaborative change in line with the fundamental values and commitments of the UN Charter for the common good.

Click HERE for the video of the address
Click 
HERE for the text of the address
Click 
HERE to access UN WebTV in order watch archived events and speeches on various issues at the 77th UNGA.

--Excellencies, Ladies and gentlemen, Our world is in big trouble. Divides are growing deeper. Inequalities are growing wider. Challenges are spreading farther. But as we come together in a world teeming with turmoil, an image of promise and hope comes to my mind...

--Excellencies, We need action across the board. Let’s have no illusions. We are in rough seas. A winter of global discontent is on the horizon. A cost-of-living crisis is raging. Trust is crumbling. Inequalities are exploding. Our planet is burning. People are hurting – with the most vulnerable suffering the most. The United Nations Charter and the ideals it represents are in jeopardy. We have a duty to act. And yet we are gridlocked in colossal global dysfunction. The international community is not ready or willing to tackle the big dramatic challenges of our age. These crises threaten the very future of humanity and the fate of our planet. Crises like the war in Ukraine and the multiplication of conflicts around the globe. Crises like the climate emergency and biodiversity loss. Crises like the dire financial situation of developing countries and the fate of the Sustainable Development Goals.  And crises like the lack of guardrails around promising new technologies to heal disease, connect people and expand opportunity.

 --Excellencies, Progress on all these issues and more is being held hostage by geopolitical tensions. Our world is in peril – and paralyzed. Geopolitical divides are: Undermining the work of the Security Council. Undermining international law. Undermining trust and people’s faith in democratic institutions. Undermining all forms of international cooperation. We cannot go on like this.

--Excellencies, The climate crisis is coming on top of other heavy weather. A once-in-a-generation global cost-of-living crisis is unfolding, turbocharged by the war in Ukraine. Some 94 countries – home to 1.6 billion people – many in Africa – face a perfect storm: economic and social fallout from the pandemic, soaring food and energy prices, crushing debt burdens, spiraling inflation, and a lack of access to finance. These cascading crises are feeding on each other, compounding inequalities, creating devastating hardship, delaying the energy transition, and threatening global financial meltdown. Social unrest is inevitable – with conflict not far behind. It doesn’t have to be this way. A world without extreme poverty, want or hunger is not an impossible dream. It is within reach. That is the world envisaged by the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals. But it is not the world we seem to have chosen. Because of our decisions, sustainable development everywhere is at risk. The SDGs are issuing an SOS. Even the most fundamental goals – on poverty, hunger and education – are going into reverse. More people are poor.  More people are hungry.  More people are being denied health care and education. Gender equality is going backwards and women’s lives are getting worse, from poverty, to choices around sexual and reproductive health, to their personal security.

---Excellencies, The divergence between developed and developing countries – between North and South – between the privileged and the rest – is becoming more dangerous by the day. It is at the root of the geopolitical tensions and lack of trust that poison every area of global cooperation, from vaccines to sanctions to trade. But by acting as one, we can nurture fragile shoots of hope. The hope found in climate and peace activists around the world calling out for change and demanding better of their leaders. The hope found in young people, working every day for a better, more peaceful future. The hope found in the women and girls, leading and fighting for those still being denied their basic human rights. The hope found throughout civil society seeking ways to build more just and equal communities and countries. The hope found in science and academia, racing to stay ahead of deadly diseases and end the COVID-19 pandemic. The hope found in humanitarian heroes rushing to deliver lifesaving aid around the world. The United Nations stands with them all. We know lofty ideals must be made real in people’s lives. So let’s develop common solutions to common problems — grounded in goodwill, trust, and the rights shared by every human being. Let’s work as one, a coalition of the world, as united nations. Thank you."


Note: Recall that the UN General Assembly (UNGA) "is the main policy-making organ of the [United Nations]. Comprising all Member States, it provides a unique forum for multilateral discussion of the full spectrum of international issues covered by the Charter of the United Nations. Each of the 193 Member States of the United Nations has an equal vote. The UNGA also makes key decisions for the UN, including: appointing the Secretary-General on the recommendation of the Security Council electing the non-permanent members of the Security Council, [and] approving the UN budget. The Assembly meets in regular sessions from September to December each year, and thereafter as required. It discusses specific issues through dedicated agenda items or sub-items, which lead to the adoption of resolutions." (quote from the UNGA website)



Personal Reflections
Being People of Faith-Hope-Love in a Perilous World
And a  Messsage about the Life of Elizabeth II


Funeral for Queen Elizabeth II at Westminster Abbey, 19 September 2022

As people of faith who practice Christian spirituality, we are committed to responsibly engage with others in the challenges facing our world, locally through globally, while holding firmly to our belief that both fundamentally and ultimately we are in God's hands. We pray that God's purposes "will be done on earth as it in heaven;" acknowledge that prayer, repentance, and relationship with God are key to human-planetary wellbeing; and live in hope for the time when God through Jesus Christ will decisively intervene in human history with equity--righteousness and justice--to restore all things. And in the meantime...we seek to embrace lifestyles that prioritize a deep, practical love for truth, peace, and people.

We do not want to further problematize our world's plight by focusing primarily on the negative. Rather we want to also promote the many examples of the good going forward, as people of good will find common ground for the common good. 


In line with these reflections above, we want to share the message (sermon) by Archbishop Justin Welby on 19 September 2022 at the funeral service at Westminster Abbey for Elizabeth II. It was watched by an estimated and unprecedented global audience of over four billion people. She was a remarkable woman with a steadfast underlying faith as a follower of Jesus ChristYou can also access the full text HERE and the video HERE.

Kelly and Michèle
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Archbishop Justin Welby giving the sermon at the funeral for Queen Elizabeth II 
 Wesminster Abbey, 19 September 2022

Message by Archbishop Justin Welby about the life of Queen Elizabeth II

The pattern for many leaders is to be exalted in life and forgotten after death. The pattern for all who serve God – famous or obscure, respected or ignored – is that death is the door to glory.

Her late Majesty famously declared on a 21st birthday broadcast that her whole life would be dedicated to serving the nation and Commonwealth.

Rarely has such a promise been so well kept! Few leaders receive the outpouring of love that we have seen.

Jesus – who in our reading does not tell his disciples how to follow, but who to follow – said: ‘I am the way, the truth and the life.’ Her late Majesty’s example was not set through her position or her ambition, but through whom she followed. I know His Majesty shares the same faith and hope in Jesus Christ as his mother; the same sense of service and duty.

In 1953 the Queen began her coronation with silent prayer, just there at the High Altar. Her allegiance to God was given before any person gave allegiance to her. Her service to so many people in this nation, the Commonwealth and the world, had its foundation in her following Christ – God himself – who said that he “came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

People of loving service are rare in any walk of life. Leaders of loving service are still rarer. But in all cases those who serve will be loved and remembered when those who cling to power and privileges are long forgotten.

The grief of this day – felt not only by the late Queen’s family but all round the nation, Commonwealth and the world – arises from her abundant life and loving service, now gone from us

She was joyful, present to so many, touching a multitude of lives.

We pray especially for all her family, grieving as every family at a funeral – including so many families round the world who have themselves lost someone recently – but in this family’s case doing so in the brightest spotlight.

May God heal their sorrow, may the gap left in their lives be marked with memories of joy and life.

Her late Majesty’s broadcast during COVID-19 lockdown ended with: ‘We will meet again’ -- words of hope from a song of Vera Lynn. Christian hope means certain expectation of something not yet seen.

Christ rose from the dead and offers life to all, abundant life now and life with God in eternity.

As the Christmas carol says, “where meek souls will receive him, still the dear Christ enters in.”

We will all face the merciful judgment of God: we can all share the Queen’s hope which in life and death inspired her servant leadership.

Service in life, hope in death. All who follow the Queen’s example, and inspiration of trust and faith in God, can with her say: ‘We will meet again.’”



Member Care Associates
MCAresources@gmail.com

Member Care Associates Inc. (MCA) is a non-profit, Christian organization working internationally from Geneva and the USA. MCA's involvement in Global Integration focuses on the wellbeing and effectiveness of personnel and their organizations across sectors (e.g., mission, humanitarian, peace, health, and development sectors) as well as global mental health and integrity/anti-corruption, all with a view towards collaboratively supporting sustainable development for all people and the planet. Our services include consultation, training, research, resource development, and publications.



Global Integration
 
 
Global Integration (GI) is a framework for actively and responsibly engaging in our world--locally to globally. It emphasizes connecting relationally and contributing relevantly on behalf of human wellbeing and the issues facing humanity, in light of our integrity, commitments, and core values (e.g., ethical, humanitarian, human rights, faith-based). GI encourages a variety of people to be at the “global tables” and in the "global trenches"--and everything in-between--in order to help research, shape, and monitor agendas, policies, and action for all people and the planet. It intentionally links building the world we need with being the people we need.
 
Our Global Integration Updates are designed to help shape and support the emerging diversity of 
global integrators who as learners-practitioners are committed to the "common ground for the common good."  2015-current (75+ issues). Some examples of foundational ones:

Doomsday?--
June 2017
Living in Global Integrity--April 2017
Peace and Security--December 2016
Global Citizenship--June 2016
Faith-Based Partners in Transformation--August 2015


Global Pearl
The image at the top of the Update (global pearl) is a cover detail from our edited book, 
Global Member Care (volume 2): Crossing Sectors for Serving Humanity (2013). William Carey Library. 
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Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability;
it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be coworkers with God,
and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. 

Martin Luther King, Jr., 
Letter from a Birmingham Jail (April 1963)

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.
This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”

Martin Luther King Jr. Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, 1964

Friday, 2 September 2022

Humanity Care: UPGs and SDGs 21

 

Global Integration Updates 
Special News--September 2022
Issue 75
View this email in your browser

 Global Integration Updates
Common Ground for the Common Good 
Be the people we need--Build the world we need

Special News--September 2022
Arming the World

Promoting Positive Peace
Facts for Advocacy and Action from 10 Sources


Boy in a "rebel" camp--Central African Republic--source unknown
 
“The clouds that parted following the end of the Cold War are gathering once more. We have been extraordinarily lucky so far. But luck is not a strategy. Nor is it a shield from geopolitical tensions boiling over into nuclear conflict. Today, humanity is just one misunderstanding, one miscalculation away from nuclear annihilation." UN Secretary-General António Guterres. Remarks to the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1 August 2022)
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Overview
Welcome to the 75th issue of our Global Integration Updates! We are celebrating nearly eight years of providing strategic resources and personal reflections via the Updates to help "shape and support the emerging diversity of global integrators who as learners-practitioners are committed to the common ground for the common good."

In this Update we focus on the various ways that the world is being outfitted for, participating inand being impacted by armed conflicts. Specifically, and in the context of summoning us all to promote "positive peace" in our lives and world, we share summary statistics and information from 10 respected sources about national military budgets and military personnel, arms-selling and arms-buying countries, nuclear arsenals, civilian firearms and homicides, mines and munitions, UN Peacekeeping missions, forcibly displaced people, child soldiers, etc.

For many people, including ourselves, reviewing the summary statistics and information below can be both surprising and alarming it can also be saddening and maddening! But we do not lose hope--nor our faith and love! See our Final Thoughts at the end about "being people of faith-hope-love in our fractured world." We echo the words of Martin Luther King Jr.:

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.
This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”

Martin Luther King Jr. Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, 1964

Our Purpose
Our purpose in compiling these summary statistics and information is to help us all better track with the "big picture" of the "offense and defense industry." However, we are not offering specific analyses or judgements. Rather we hope that this collective (all-in-one-place) information will inspire you and many others towards greater awareness, advocacy, and action to promote positive peace in our world. 

"Positive Peace is defined as the attitudes, institutions and structures that create and sustain peaceful societies. The same factors that create lasting peace also lead to many other positive outcomes that societies aspire to, including: thriving economies. better performance on ecological measures. Other factors that improve with Positive Peace are measures of inclusiveness, wellbeing and happiness. Therefore, Positive Peace can be described as creating an optimal environment for human potential to flourish." Executive Summary (page 4), 
Positive Peace Report 2020, Institute for Economics and Peace


Applications--Making It Personal
--ExploreChoose one or more items below that you want to explore further including summary statistics, reports, and organizations. 
--Relevance. Consider a few ways that the materials are practically relevant for your life and work.
--Discuss. Share and discuss this Update with others in view of “advocacy and action” to promote positive peace.


Going further--see these Global Integration Updates:
--
Staring War in the Face (April 2022)
--
Peace on Earth: Sharing our Stories and Strategies (January 2022)
--
Climate-Conflict-Corruption: Safeguarding People and the Planet (July 2021)
--
Genocide: Bearing Witness… (December 2020)
--
Doomsday: Next Stop, Global Dis-Integration? (June 2017)


Warm greetings,
Kelly and Michèle

     
MCAresources@gmail.com

Featured Resources
Arming the World
Promoting Positive Peace
Facts for Advocacy and Action from 10 Sources


Image from the cover of Children in War, Christoph von Toggenburg/ICRC (2009)

“We are a world in pieces.
We need to be a world at peace.”
UN Secretary-General António Guterres

UN General Assembly, 19 September 2017

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One: Global Citizen
10 Heartbreaking Facts About Ongoing Conflicts Around the World (April 2022)
“1. There Are at Least 27 Live Conflicts Right Now. According to the Council on Foreign Relation’s 
Global Conflict Tracker [see image below in this Update], there are currently 27 ongoing conflicts worldwide. The tracker categorizes conflict into three groups: “worsening,” “unchanging,” and “improving.” Right now, there’s not a single conflict described as “improving.” Of those worsening are the conflict in Ukraine, the war in Afghanistan, political instability in Lebanon, the war in Yemen, the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, and the conflict in Ethiopia....
 
3. 2 Billion People Currently Live in Conflict-Affected Areas. A 
quarter of the entire global population lives in conflict-affected areas. Some of the worst affected places are Ethiopia's Tigray region, South Sudan, Syria, Yemen, and Afghanistan. According to the UN, last year, 84 million people were forcibly displaced because of conflict, violence, and human rights violations. This year, it is estimated that at least 274 million people will need humanitarian assistance."

Image source: Council on Foreign Relations, Global Conflict Tracker



Two: United Nations
A New Era of Violence and Conflict

“The nature of conflict and violence has transformed substantially since the UN was founded 75 years ago. Conflicts now tend to be less deadly and often waged between domestic groups rather than states. Homicides are becoming more frequent in some parts of the world, while gender-based attacks are increasing globally. The long-term impact on development of inter-personal violence, including violence against children, is also more widely recognized. Separately, technological advances have raised concerns about lethal autonomous weapons and cyberattacks, the weaponization of bots and drones, and the livestreaming of extremist attacks. There has also been a rise in criminal activity involving data hacks and ransomware, for example. Meanwhile, international cooperation is under strain, diminishing global potential for the prevention and resolution of conflict and violence in all forms.” (excerpt from the summary)

United Nations Peacekeeping
“UN Peacekeeping helps countries navigate the difficult path from conflict to peace. We have unique strengths, including legitimacy, burden sharing, and an ability to deploy troops and police from around the world, integrating them with civilian peacekeepers to address a range of mandates set by the UN Security Council and General Assembly.”



Three: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)
SIPRI Yearbook 2022 provides an overview of developments in international security, weapons and technology, military expenditure, arms production and the arms trade, and armed conflicts and conflict management, along with efforts to control conventional, nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.” Below are some examples from the Summary. See page 18ff also for information on chemical, biological, and health security threats.


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Four: International Rescue Committee
Top Ten Crises the World Cannot Ignore in 2022 (updated July 2022)
“The International Rescue Committee has released its 2022 Emergency Watchlist, a global list of humanitarian crises that are expected to deteriorate the most over the coming year. Most Watchlist countries—the top ten in particular—have experienced almost non-stop conflict over the last decade, hampering their ability to respond to global challenges like COVID-19 and climate change. These 20 countries are home to 10% of the global population but account for 89% of those in need of humanitarian aid worldwide. (N.B. The 2022 Emergency Watchlist was compiled before the Russian invasion of Ukraine. For updates on the humanitarian situation inside Ukraine, and for refugees who have fled to neighboring countries, please visit our Ukraine Crisis page.)

Displaced families, and in particular 
women and girls, are disproportionately affected by the crises, which are more than a series of unfortunate events, stresses David Miliband, IRC president and CEO. “The story told by the Watchlist makes a bigger argument,” he writes in the report, “not just that there are more poor and more people forcibly displaced, but that the scale and nature of humanitarian distress around the world constitutes a system failure.”
 
The IRC has produced a Watchlist each year for over a decade. Over this time, it has evolved from a purely internal aid for emergency preparedness planning into a public report that warns global leaders, policymakers and concerned citizens not just where crises are deepening but why they are deepening and what can be done about it.”



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Six: Landmine and Cluster Munitions Monitor
Summary of Landmines
“Casualties. 2020 was the sixth year in a row with high numbers of recorded casualties due to mines, including improvised types, as well as cluster munition remnants and other explosive remnants of war (ERW). The continuing high casualty total recorded is mostly the result of increased conflict and contamination observed since 2015. In 2020, at least 7,073 casualties of mines/ERW were recorded: 2,492 people were killed and 4,561 people were injured, while the survival status was unknown for 20 casualties. The 2020 total represents an increase from the 5,853 casualties recorded in 2019, and is more than double the lowest annual recorded total (3,456 in 2013). The vast majority of recorded mine/ERW casualties were civilians (80%) where their status was known. In 2020, children accounted for half of all civilian casualties where the age was known (1,872). As in previous years, in 2020, men and boys made up the majority of all casualties (85%) for which the sex was known.”
 
See also the 
Summary of Cluster Munitions.



Seven: Small Arms Survey
Global Firearms Holdings
“There are more than one billion firearms in the world, the vast majority of which are in civilian hands. The Small Arms Survey estimates that of the one billion firearms in global circulation as of 2017, 857 million (85 per cent) are in civilian hands, 133 million (13 per cent) are in military arsenals, and 23 million (2 per cent) are owned by law enforcement agencies. Our studies suggest that the global stockpile has increased over the past decade, largely due to civilian holdings, which grew from 650 million in 2006 to 857 million in 2017.”

 

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2022 update of the Small Arms Survey’s Global Violent Deaths (GVD) database
“According to the latest update of the Small Arms Survey's Global Violent Deaths (GVD) database, loss of life resulting from interpersonal violence decreased substantially between 2016 and 2020. The GVD database collates data on homicides and direct conflict deaths into a single ‘violent death’ indicator (not including suicides), dating back to 2004. In its 2022 update, estimating lethal violence as of the year 2020, the database reveals that the global rate of violent deaths decreased from 9.1 per 100,000 people to 6.8 per 100,000 people between 2016 and 2020. Similarly, firearm-related violent deaths on the global scale decreased from 3.9 per 100,000 in 2016 to 2.7 per 100,000 in 2020. In total, 531,000 people died violently in 2020, out of which 40 per cent (211,000) were killed by firearm.
 
However, while the decrease in the global violent death rate and count suggests a positive trend, the impact of ongoing conflicts (such as in Ukraine), as well as recent increases in homicides in some countries, risk reversing it. This also implies that possible progress towards meeting 
Target 16.1 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—reducing all forms of violence and related death rates—would similarly be stymied.”


 
“Thousands of children are serving as soldiers in armed conflicts around the world. These boys and girls, some as young as 8 years old, serve in government forces and armed opposition groups. They may fight on the front lines, participate in suicide missions, and act as spies, messengers, or lookouts. Girls may be forced into sexual slavery. Many are abducted or recruited by force, while others join out of desperation, believing that armed groups offer their best chance for survival. We are working to prevent the use of child soldiers and to hold accountable the people who send children to fight.” 
“What is a child soldier? Any girl or boy below the age of 18 who is recruited or used by an armed force or armed group, in any capacity. A child soldier is not just someone who is involved in fighting. They can also be those in other roles such as cooks, porters, messengers, human shields, spies, suicide bombers or those used for sexual exploitation. It includes children recruited and trained for military purposes, but not used in war.”
 
How many child soldiers are there? There are an estimated 250,000 child soldiers in the world today in at least 20 countries. About 40% of child soldiers are girls, who are often used as sex slaves and taken as “wives” by male fighters
 
Where are child soldiers recruited? Fifty countries still allow children to be recruited into armed forces, according to Child Soldiers International. Many non-state armed groups also recruit children. The UN Secretary-General’s annual “name and shame” list for 2017 highlighted the armed forces of Afghanistan, Myanmar, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for recruiting and using under-18s for armed conflict. But non-state armed groups also recruit children in these and other countries.”


Ten: Institute for Economics and PeaceVision of Humanity


Institute for Economics and Peace (2022)

Global Peace Index 2022
“This is the 16th edition of the Global Peace Index (GPI), which ranks...163 countries comprising 99.7 per cent of the world’s population, using 23 qualitative and quantitative indicators from highly respected sources, and measures the state of peace across three domains: the level of societal Safety and Security; the extent of Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict; and the degree of Militarisation. In addition to discussing the findings from the 2022 GPI, the report includes an analysis of the military conflict in Ukraine. It covers likely increases in military spending, new and emerging uses of technology in the war, its impact on food prices and global shipping routes. The report also contains a deeper analysis on violent demonstrations around the world....
 
Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008. It is joined at the top of the index by New Zealand, Ireland, Denmark and Austria. Afghanistan is the least peaceful country in the world for the fifth consecutive year, followed by Yemen, Syria, Russia and South Sudan. All of these countries have been among the ten least peaceful countries for the last three years....Of the 163 countries in the GPI, 84 recorded deteriorations, while 77 recorded improvements and two recorded no change in score. Fifteen of the 23 GPI indicators deteriorated between 2008 and 2021 while eight improved. Two of the three GPI domains deteriorated since 2008, with Ongoing Conflict deteriorating by 9.3 per cent and Safety and Security deteriorating by 3.6 per cent....

Moving forward, the 2022 GPI reveals a world in which many nations have begun to recover from the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, many of the ramifications of the lockdowns remain, including supply chain disruptions and delays, product shortages, higher energy and food prices. It is also a world that is suffering from increasing inflation, the highest levels in forty years in some countries and without an improvement in sight. The rise in food and fuel costs has increased food insecurity and political instability globally, but especially in low-resilience regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and MENA. It is in these already unstable conditions that Russia launched an attack on Ukraine in February 2022. The conflict will only exacerbate these issues further. The conflict will accelerate global inflation, with Western sanctions further contributing to shortages and hikes in prices. The impacts have been only partially captured in 2022 GPI. These near-term implications to global peacefulness may lead to deteriorations in food security, increases in militarisation and military expenditures in Europe, and greater likelihood of political instability and violent demonstrations." (excerpts from the Executive Summary)



Final Thoughts
Being People of Faith-Hope-Love in a Fractured World

I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality.
This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”

Martin Luther King Jr. Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, 1964

 

As people of faith who practice Christian spirituality, we are committed to responsibly engage with others in the challenges facing our world, locally through globally, while holding firmly to our belief that both fundamentally and ultimately we are in God's hands. We pray that God's purposes "will be done on earth as it in heaven;" acknowledge that prayer, repentance, and relationship with God are key to human-planetary wellbeing; and live in hope for the time when God through Jesus Christ will decisively intervene in human history with equity--righteousness and justice--to restore all things. And in the meantime...we seek to embrace lifestyles that prioritize a deep, practical love for truth, peace, and people.

We do not want to further problemitize our world's plight by focusing primarily on the negative. Rather we want to also promote the many examples of the good going forward, as people of good will find common ground for the common good. And we affirm, in the words of Martin Luther King Jr., that human progress comes from "the tireless efforts of [people] willing to be coworkers with God."


Kelly and Michèle



Member Care Associates
MCAresources@gmail.com

Member Care Associates Inc. (MCA) is a non-profit, Christian organization working internationally from Geneva and the USA. MCA's involvement in Global Integration focuses on the wellbeing and effectiveness of personnel and their organizations across sectors (e.g., mission, humanitarian, peace, health, and development sectors) as well as global mental health and integrity/anti-corruption, all with a view towards collaboratively supporting sustainable development for all people and the planet. Our services include consultation, training, research, resource development, and publications.



Global Integration
 
 
Global Integration (GI) is a framework for actively and responsibly engaging in our world--locally to globally. It emphasizes connecting relationally and contributing relevantly on behalf of human wellbeing and the issues facing humanity, in light of our integrity, commitments, and core values (e.g., ethical, humanitarian, human rights, faith-based). GI encourages a variety of people to be at the “global tables” and in the "global trenches"--and everything in-between--in order to help research, shape, and monitor agendas, policies, and action for all people and the planet. It intentionally links building the world we need with being the people we need.
 
Our Global Integration Updates are designed to help shape and support the emerging diversity of 
global integrators who as learners-practitioners are committed to the "common ground for the common good."  2015-current (70 issues). Some examples of foundational ones:

Doomsday?--
June 2017
Living in Global Integrity--April 2017
Peace and Security--December 2016
Global Citizenship--June 2016
Faith-Based Partners in Transformation--August 2015


Global Pearl
The image at the top of the Update (global pearl) is a cover detail from our edited book, 
Global Member Care (volume 2): Crossing Sectors for Serving Humanity (2013). William Carey Library. 
------
 
Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability;
it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be coworkers with God,
and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. 

Martin Luther King, Jr., 
Letter from a Birmingham Jail (April 1963)

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

Humanity Care: UPGs and SDGs 20

 

Global Integration Updates 
Special News--August 2022
Issue 74
View this email in your browser

 Global Integration Updates
Common Ground for the Common Good 
Be the people we need--Build the world we need

Special News--August 2022
Repentance and Reconciliation

Learning from the Pope's Pilgrimage of Penance



Pope Francis in Maskwacis, Alberta, Canada July 25, 2022. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane
 
"Dear brothers and sisters! I have come to your native lands to tell you in person of my sorrow, to implore God’s forgiveness, healing and reconciliation, to express my closeness and to pray with you and for you. I am here because the first step of my penitential pilgrimage among you is that of again asking forgiveness, of telling you once more that I am deeply sorry. Sorry for the ways in which, regrettably, many Christians supported the colonizing mentality of the powers that oppressed the indigenous peoples. I am sorry. I ask forgiveness, in particular, for the ways in which many members of the Church and of religious communities co-operated, not least through their indifference, in projects of cultural destruction and forced assimilation promoted by the governments of that time, which culminated in the system of residential schools." 
Pope Francis, 25 July 2022Maskwacis, Alberta, Canada
---------

Overview
In this Update we probe into the crucial need for repentance (including giving and receiving apologies and forgiveness) and its central place in the efforts to further reconciliation (including restoring trust and relationships). It is a tough topic with huge implications for the wellbeing of all people and the planet!

Repentance involves a significant shift in one's thinking and behavior as a result of understanding and acknowledging wrongdoing. Reconciliation involves a significant shift in broken relationships from alienation and animosity towards reconnection and restoration. There is so much more of course that could be said about these terms--please excuse the brevity here of our definitions!


Specifically we present Pope Francis' current week-long "Pilgrimage of Penance" in Canada among Indigenous peoples and feature his 30 minute address on 25 July (links to the text and to the video). His public apology to Indigenous peoples on behalf of the Church has been long overdue and from our perspective reflects the courage and contrition needed to own the long-term grievous wrongdoings in the past and their ongoing negative consequences.

"I myself wish to reaffirm this, with shame and unambiguously. I humbly beg forgiveness for the evil committed by so many Christians against the Indigenous peoples."

Repentance is Good
We believe it is good to repent and to seek reconciliation as much as possible and that this is something to be practiced by us all (people of faith or of no particular faith) and at all levels: individual-interpersonal-institutional-international and everything in-between. There may be other terms used rather than repentance and reconciliation such as "full apology" and "relational restoration" respectively yet the basic core aspects remain the same--to acknowledge wrongdoing and take responsibility for one's actions with a view to heal broken relationships. "I was wrong--I am sorry--Please forgive me--I will change--Let's maintain or restore our relationship." 

We think that there is so much to learn from the Pope's address as well as the long and arduous process that it has taken to admit and repent from wrongdoings. The same is true for other institutions and countries who have been willing to confront ingrained leadership, systemic, and structural deviance and cultures of corruption. Agreeing on the "truth" and way forward however can be quite a challenging process for two or more parties in conflict since there can be so many issues, identities, and resources etc. at stake not to mention misinformation and disinformation etc.! Robert Schreiter’s sobering comments on reconciliation at the societal level are also applicable at all levels:
 
“Truth-telling, struggling for justice, working toward forgiveness: these are three central dimensions of the social process of reconciliation. In all situations I know, they are never undertaken on a level playing field; the consequences of oppression, violence, and war are not predisposed to honesty, justice, and even good intentions in all parties. Nor are the processes, for the most part, orderly. And they never seem complete, In fact, we usually experience them as truncated, prematurely foreclosed, high-jacked by the powerful....We can find ourselves acquiescing to half-measures, half-truths, compromised solutions.” (Schreiter, 2005, quoted in 
Wise Doves and Innocent Serpents? Doing Conflict Resolution Better).

Applications--Making It Personal
Consider these items below as you review the materials in this Update--especially reading the text and/or watching the video of the Pope's 25 July address:

1. How is the Pope specifically apologizing: acknowledging wrongdoingtaking responsibility, demonstrating changesmaking amendsseeking to restore relationships, calling for justice? Is anything missing?

2. What helps and hinders "unambiguously" acknowledging wrongdoing and making full apologies? Can you cite other organizations and leaders that have publicly apologized fully (with or without having been "caught" for wrongdoing)?

3. List a few take-aways for your personal life and for your work settingsHow might this example among Indigenous peoples be supportive of any efforts to reconcile with others?

4. Where else in the world is cultural genocide taking place currently? See the final section below on "Cultural Genocide--Into USA history and current practices internationally."


Going further--see these Global Integration Updates:
--
Genocide: Studying, Preventing, Confronting, Punishing, Healing (December 2020)
--
Wellbeing for Who? Global Reports from Seven Sectors (February 2020)
--
Peace, Justice, Inclusion and Strong Institutions: SDG 16+ (December 2019)


Warm greetings,
Kelly and Michèle

     
MCAresources@gmail.com

Featured Resources
Repentance and Reconciliation
Learning from the Pope's Pilgrimage of Penance


Pope Francis is in Canada to personally affirm Indigenous peoples and to apologize for the Church's abusive and catastrophic roles in their history and lives including in residential schools.
25 July 2022
Maskwacis, Alberta Canada

"Dear brothers and sisters, many of you and your representatives have stated that begging pardon is not the end of the matter. I fully agree: that is only the first step, the starting point. I also recognize that, “looking to the past, no effort to beg pardon and to seek to repair the harm done will ever be sufficient” and that, “looking ahead to the future, no effort must be spared to create a culture able to prevent such situations from happening” (Letter to the People of God, 20 August 2018). An important part of this process will be to conduct a serious investigation into the facts of what took place in the past and to assist the survivors of the residential schools to experience healing from the traumas they suffered." Pope Francis, 25 July 2022Maskwacis, Alberta, Canada

-----------

"A woman sings Canada's national anthem in the Cree language during a visit by Pope Francis" Maskwacis, Alberta, Canada July 25, 2022.  Adam Scotti/Prime Minister's Office/Handout via REUTERS."

Text
--Read the text of Pope Francis' 25 July address 
HERE

--See the short commentary by the Editorial Director of Vatican News HERE
"Remembering the devastating experiences in residential schools is shocking, indignant, painful, but necessary."

Pictures
See 40+ pictures of the Pope's tour in Canada 
HERE (Reuters)


Videos 
--Watch the video (30 minutes) of Pope Francis' 25 July address 
HERE

--Watch somme of the short videos of the Pope's "Pilgrimage of Penance" in Canada on the Vatican News site HERE 



Cultural Genocide
Into USA history and current practices internationally



 

Screenshot from the opening of the PBS documentary described below

--See the Vox documentary on Native American children and boarding schools in the USA HERE (2019, 14 minutes)"How the US stole thousands of Native American children."

--See the PBS documentary on Native American children and boarding schools in the USA HERE (2017, 57 minutes). "A moving and insightful look into the history, operation, and legacy of the federal Indian Boarding School system, whose goal was total assimilation of Native Americans at the cost of stripping away Native culture, tradition, and language. #NativeAmerican #Indigenous #IndianBoardingSchools"

--And there are other countries currently doing the same with "colonial
re-educational and vocational etc." boarding schools where indigenous children and people are being forcibly assimilated in order to change their cultures (including political and religious beliefs) in line with those of the state and dominant party in power.

--See the 
Wikipedia entry on "Cultural Genocide" including the many historical examples


--See the Wikipedia entry on "Truth and Reconciliation Commissions" including descriptions of various commissions



Member Care Associates
MCAresources@gmail.com

Member Care Associates Inc. (MCA) is a non-profit, Christian organization working internationally from Geneva and the USA. MCA's involvement in Global Integration focuses on the wellbeing and effectiveness of personnel and their organizations across sectors (e.g., mission, humanitarian, peace, health, and development sectors) as well as global mental health and integrity/anti-corruption, all with a view towards collaboratively supporting sustainable development for all people and the planet. Our services include consultation, training, research, resource development, and publications.



Global Integration
 
 
Global Integration (GI) is a framework for actively and responsibly engaging in our world--locally to globally. It emphasizes connecting relationally and contributing relevantly on behalf of human wellbeing and the issues facing humanity, in light of our integrity, commitments, and core values (e.g., ethical, humanitarian, human rights, faith-based). GI encourages a variety of people to be at the “global tables” and in the "global trenches"--and everything in-between--in order to help research, shape, and monitor agendas, policies, and action for all people and the planet. It intentionally links building the world we need with being the people we need.
 
Our Global Integration Updates are designed to help shape and support the emerging diversity of 
global integrators who as learners-practitioners are committed to the "common ground for the common good."  2015-current (70 issues). Some examples of foundational ones:

Doomsday?--
June 2017
Living in Global Integrity--April 2017
Peace and Security--December 2016
Global Citizenship--June 2016
Faith-Based Partners in Transformation--August 2015


Global Pearl
The image at the top of the Update (global pearl) is a cover detail from our edited book, 
Global Member Care (volume 2): Crossing Sectors for Serving Humanity (2013). William Carey Library. 
------
 
Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability;
it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be coworkers with God,
and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation. 

Martin Luther King, Jr., 
Letter from a Birmingham Jail (April 1963)