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<p>Henceforth, our country should be the universe. Flora Tristan</p> <p>Whenever you are in doubt, recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man. Gandhi</p> <p>True peace is not merely the absence of tension, it is the presence of justice. Martin Luther King, Jr.</p> <p>The world is for the public good, such is the Great Way. Confucius</p> *

March 2012

Front Page
Proposal Papers for the Rio+20 Peoples Summit

The FnWG has been working with numerous stakeholders to develop proposals for the Peoples Summit in Rio+20 since late 2010. This has resulted in a set of four Proposal Papers that are intended to contribute to everyone’s understanding of the complexity of the debates that are at stake and to help to structure the debates around the four themes covered by each of the papers:

  • Ethical and Philosophical Foundations for Biocivilization
  • For a Fair and Sustainable Economy
  • Paradigm Shifts That Need to Be Made for the Transition
  • For a Fair and Democratic Architecture of Power

Even, and perhaps especially, if you will not be in Rio, we would be very grateful if you read these papers, because they are still working papers and your contributions, comments, and improvements will be welcome at:


This issue is devoted to the Rio+20 Peoples Summit to be held from June 15 to 23, 2012. We have focused on the work that we have initiated since 2010 and to which we have contributed in preparing for this meeting. Unlike the official UN Summit, which will not be able to ignore the fiasco of their 40 years’ worth of decisions since the 1972 UN Stockholm conference on the environment but will stubbornly pursue their usual approach, which is to accommodate the interests of precisely those forces that are indisputably responsible for our current critical situation, the Peoples Summit will seek to open the vital pathways to the paradigm shifts we need for our preservation and to how we can accomplish them. Our work is the result of contributions from networks and individuals from every region and every sector, because any proposal and conception of governance will depend on the action and mobilization of vast majorities of persons, actors, movements, and peoples. This is the true decisive issue.

Such action and mobilization will be shaped by proposals and ideas. So we are also asking you, whoever and wherever you are, to join this participatory and inclusive approach that will guarantee the viability of breakthrough proposals not only for a better future, but for any future at all. Your input will be valuable!

FnWG Team

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Citizens’ Reappropriation of Politics
Imagine All the People: Advancing a Global Citizens Movement

All over the world people have been mobilizing, sometimes with amazing results, sometimes with tragic ones. How can we change the world? The time has come for a Global Citizens Movement (GCM). Margaret Mead’s famous dictum – “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has” – requires a caveat: the moment must be ripe. The time is propitious. The burning question is no longer if or when, but how? Can the GCM crystallize with sufficient speed and scale? Learn about the ongoing Widening Circle Strategy, and start your own circle!

A new historical moment?

At the moment in history when humankind urgently needs the diversity and multiplicity of cultures, ways of knowing, thinking and living within the entire network of life, the challenge we are facing is not to promote “green” capitalism. If we fail to stop the machine of destruction and inequality and to open a new historical period of social and environmental justice, what is at stake is whether humankind can survive.

Video filmed during a plenary session at the Thematic Social Forum in Porto Alegre, January 2012, in preparation for the Peoples Summit.

Proposal Paper
The Passenger. Copyright Dorothy-Shoes
Rural Areas and World Governance

Rural areas include managed forested areas, farming areas, and settled areas. These areas offer a huge diversity of situations, from prosperous zones to those in decline, from sparsely populated areas, possibly on the point of being abandoned, to zones of high population density that are very active, with a network of towns and trade activities. Three key issues can be distinguished:

  • political and cultural capacities of rural areas;
  • production of economic resources (food, fuel, and textiles);
  • protection of vital natural resources (water, soil, biodiversity).

The proposals presented in this paper, by Matthieu Calame, are classified according to these three categories.

Proposal Paper
What Brazil and What Amazonia Does the World Need?

Facing the threat of a world organized by relations that destroy life and generate exclusion, inequalities, and violence, we need to think about how to build a fair, global society rooted in both diversity and solidarity. From the standpoint of Brazil, an emerging global power, but threatened by a huge social divide, and from that of Amazonia, the planet’s lung, which the market in its blindness is seeking to possess and wipe out, this paper presents proposals for change based on the experience of the organizations and actors of Brazilian society and of other regions of the world.

Peoples Summit at Rio+20
Another Future Is Possible

Come and reinvent the world at Rio+20! We can do it, and to do so we already have viable proposals, in many cases already validated by the experiences of a broad variety of networks, non-governmental organizations, and different kinds of social movements.
We are offering you here the compilation "Another Future Is Possible" with excerpts from the documents that were developed by the thematic groups at the Thematic Social Forum of Porto Alegre this past January 24-29. This compilation is not a finished summary, but organizing these texts according to the four main themes that structured the work at the Porto Alegre Forum provides a more structured and relevant view. This compilation thus seeks to contribute to the work to be accomplished by the civil-society organizations and networks that will come together at the Peoples Summit at Rio+20 next June 2012.

News from our Allies
Including the Excluded in Global Politics

We still have a way to go before the planet is governed in a truly democratic way, with serious consideration of all the world’s different voices. What is behind their current exclusion? What kind of strategies can be implemented to move in the direction of their inclusion? Is this even possible? Building Global Democracy convened a 3-day workshop in Rio in April 2011 to explore these vital issues. Some 35 people—activists, policy makers, and researchers—from 24 countries all over the world offer us their proposals for countering the current exclusions.

World Governance Index
Brazil, Colombia

The Forum for a new World Governance launched the World Governance Index - WGI project in 2008. The idea was to develop a “tool” that would allow the players in charge of governance to be aware of the emerging issues and problems, and to help them to find the necessary solutions.
For Rio+20 and this issue of the FnWG newsletter we are offering you the WGI 2011 for two major Amazonian countries as well as their ranking compared to their WGI 2008.

See or publish the map of the WGI.

World Governance Index
Proposal Papers
Dossiers and Documents
Document Database
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About Us
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