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<p>An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come. Victor Hugo</p> <p>. . . for with freedom  come responsibilities. Nelson Mandela</p> <p>Do what is right.  Rosa Parks</p> <p>True peace is not merely the absence of tension, it is the presence of justice. Martin Luther King, Jr.</p> *

January 2014

Front Page
Rediscovering Nelson Mandela for the Twenty-first Century

Nelson Mandela’s passing has triggered, in the past few weeks, tributes to the man and reflections on his action. The man’s outstanding character made of his action much more than just a struggle for a people’s emancipation. How can we build a fair and free society in the twenty-first century based on the teachings offered by Mandela in the twentieth century? What would be the geographic scope of action? What would our paradigms be? What strategies would we draw up, for what goals? What obstacles would we find along the way?
Many are now asking what can be learned for the twenty-first century from Madiba’s personal and political life. There will be few answers to this question, and probably none actually up to the challenges of the coming decades, which far outweigh the challenge, seen in Mandela’s time as impossible, of overthrowing the Afrikaner Apartheid regime.

This article is intended as a sort of “practical guide” of ideas or proposals to be debated. To prevent the capitalist offensive from transforming the current economic ad social Apartheid into a future political Apartheid, we have several possible options, including, among others, a global peaceful revolution for a democratic transition that will lead to building a permanent World Citizens Parliament.
Also available in Chinese.

EXCLUSIVE: The Mandela World Liberation Front chooses the FnWG as a launch pad and a platform for debate


In the midst of our putting this issue together, we received the first statement of the Mandela World Liberation Front (MWLF). We were surprised, intrigued, and delighted … in that order. After Mandela’s passing, we had decided to let the foreseeable wave of tributes to him pass, then dedicate our newsletter to post-Apartheid South Africa—in the context of southern Africa, of Africa, and of the world at large. But most of all, to reflections on how take up the values he handed down and make of them a driving force in this critical moment for the planet and humankind. The MWLF’s request added fuel to our approach because we are convinced that world governance needs commitment from the greatest number of people for its foundations to be solid. The force and the spirit of the MWLF allows Mandela’s force and spirit to be projected into the twenty-first century and into the world in order to help us make our much-needed world governance a reality. We therefore specially urge you today to take part in the debate proposed by “Rediscovering Mandela” and by the the MWLF’s first statement. What are your thoughts on these positions? Come and discuss them and feel free to spread the word! Click on the corresponding links and respond on line.

FnWG Team

“It always seems impossible, until it’s done.”
— N. Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, 1995

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Mandela World Liberation Front (MWLF)
Mandela World Liberation Front (MWLF) – Statement No. 1

Why have we offered the MWLF an open forum? We liked their first statement for its vitality, for its ethical positioning, for its announced intention to be part of a broad movement of debate and action, and above all, because it addresses the need to embrace and take over Mandela’s struggle, actualized to contemporary, hence global, challenges.
“Mandela is dead! Long live Mandela! . . . We are resistance and we are demanding. . . . We are the rainbow nation-world. We are a world liberation front. . . . We are everywhere. We are interconnected. We are organizing locally and globally. . . . Mandela lives! The struggle goes on!”
(Statement also available in Chinese.)

Like a Rainbow Nation

This music video was produced by the FnWG to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison and is based on Mandela’s inaugural speech when he became president of the Republic of South Africa. Pretoria, May 10, 1994.
Featuring Nelson Mandela and performed by Mr. Cool, Lee and Matt from Mozambique.

Legal Principles of a New World Governance
Giving Africa Voice within Global Governance: Oral History, Human Rights and the United Nations Human Rights Council

This paper presents three key arguments that need to be taken into account during the process of remaking of the world order and recreation of a new global governance architecture. It raises the issue of the African continent and the African people being perceived as a problem to be solved rather than a voice to be heard within global politics. It makes a case for the use of oral history as an ideal medium to bring the voices of “second-class players” to the notice of the Human Rights Council and as a key methodology in the current endeavor to understand different situations of human rights violations. Finally, it grapples with the important question of whose values and whose voice should underpin the universal human rights discourse and global governance.

Proposal Paper
What South Africa Does the World Need?

Yes, this Proposal Paper was written by Paul Graham in the twentieth century. Its intention was, and still is, to stimulate a conversation about the existing opportunities to change the world and the extent to which South Africa can and should contribute towards that. It celebrates the human effort to achieve liberty, equality and fraternity and the ways in which these elude us even as they invigorate, as Wordsworth recognized after the French revolution. During the twentieth century South Africa came to occupy a place in the global consciousness out of all proportion to its size. This paper will remind us of some of the reasons for this, of the romance of the moment, of the slow dying embers of that romance, and of the quest that both South Africans and their friends continue on. It asks the question: Is this quest worth continuing or, like the Grail, will it come to stand for an unrequited moment to which all look back in true nostalgia – the pain of recalling the past?

News from our Allies
Abahlali baseMjondolo & the Popular Struggle for the Right to the City in Durban, South Africa

First, if you are not familiar with dph (dialogues, proposals, stories for global citizenship), we hope you will be glad to learn of it. We have chosen for this issue from their database an experience report that highlights what we all know: that just abolishing Apartheid and instituting democracy is only a first step in the right direction, and that the road left to travel remains full of hardship, obstacles, and struggle for every man and woman’s rights. The theme here is one we have frequently pointed to: the right to the city in a rapidly urbanizing world generating masses of urban dwellers with no proper housing.

World Governance Index
South Africa, Central Africa Republic

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 visualize emerging issues and problems and help them to reflect on the necessary solutions.
In this issue of the FnWG newsletter, we are offering the 2011 WGIs for South Africa and the Central Africa Republic, as compared to their respective 2008 WGIs, the first still struggling to make democracy work for all, and the second plunged into violent civil strife for lack of basic governance.

See or publish the WGI map.

The IGM map and indicators are also available in Chinese.

World Governance Index
Proposal Papers
Dossiers and Documents
Document Database
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