Henceforth, our country should be the universe. Flora Tristan Whenever you are in doubt, recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man. Gandhi Two dangers constantly threaten the world: order and disorder. Paul Valéry Do what is right. Rosa Parks *

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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 contribute to understanding the complexity of the debates that are at stake. The idea is to help to structure the debates around the four themes covered by each of the papers:

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* ETHICS: Ethical and Philosophical Foundations for Biocivilization

The crisis that we are immersed in at the beginning of the twenty-first century is an unprecedented experience of everyday life, one that is more felt than thought about. To think about it is to follow an uncertain path, a path that is yet to be laid out but is nonetheless an urgent and necessary task.

* ECONOMY: For a Fair and Sustainable Economy

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The seriousness of the current environmental crisis is an expression of a deeper crisis, a crisis of civilization afflicting modern capitalism, characterized by the predominance of an unregulated market, financial speculation, unbridled consumerism, a constant quest for growth, economic injustice, and widespread poverty. The current and foreseeable destructive consequences of a convergence of systematic and recurring crises underscore the urgent need to make far-reaching changes to the economic and political organization of contemporary societies and open the door to a sustainable and fair world united in solidarity.

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* TERRITORIES: Paradigm Shifts That Need to Be Made for the Transition

Territories are objectively being called to play a decisive role in designing and leading the necessary transition. Whatever the subject, a city and a region are the best scale at which to approach the transition effectively. The most frequent definition given to territory is that of a physical space delimited by borders and governed by subnational territorial authorities. Actually, a territory is something completely different: it is a place of high density, a hub of relations among actors internal and external to it, a crossroads of numerous flows of matter, information, energy, and persons. Emphasizing the need to define and reinforce the territory as actor does not in any way mean returning to the olden ages, when territories were each practically self-sufficient. Much to the contrary, every territory today has its stakes in a globalized system. Recognizing the major role of territories in the transition thus calls for new capacities for managing and benefiting from the flows going through them.

* GOVERNANCE: For a Fair and Democratic Architecture of Power

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Building new governance is not only an institutional or theoretical question confined to the political or sociological spheres. All governance proposals and plans depend on the action and mobilization of a huge majority of people, actors, movements and populations. This is a critical issue, and ideas and proposals play a crucial role in this action and mobilization. This is why we need to remodel governance architecture by incorporating it into the perspective of biocivilization for the sustainability of life and of the planet. The architecture of a citizens’, solidarity-based, and fair governance must be rooted in solid ethical and philosophical foundations.

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