An ethical think-link.

Author:Goldman, Sacha

In view of the increasingly perilous world context, the International Ethical, Political and Scientific Collegium is committed to responding intelligently and forcefully to the decisive challenges facing humankind. An appeal calling for the Collegium's establishment was made public in February 2002 in New York and its membership was officially presented on 2 April 2003 in Brussels before the European Parliament. Unlike other high-level groups. Collegium members and associate members, signatories of the Appeal, are scientists, philosophers and present and former Heads of State and Government, recognized for their probity, expertise and unquestionable dedication to ethical values.

Co-chaired by Michel Rocard, former Prime Minister of France, and Milan Kucan, who at the time of the Collegium's founding was President of the Republic of Slovenia, the group's members include; former Presidents Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil and Alpha Oumar Konare of Mali; Ruth Dreifuss, former Federal Counsellor of Switzerland; philosophers Edgar Morin and Jurgen Habermas; political analyst Benjamin Barber; international law professor Mireille Delmas-Marty; Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights; Nobel Prize winners Joseph Stiglitz and Amartya Sen; as well as former Ambassador of France to the United Nations Stephane Hessel, who was also present at the creation of the United Nations itself.

The Collegium has expanded its perview in the last two years. Bearing in mind the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the priority of the Collegium is reinforcement of the role of international organizations, given the global nature of current problems. The MDGs represent the fundamental challenges that prompted the Collegium to draft its Declaration of Interdependence, which commits the Collegium to actively contribute in the quest for responses to legal and ethical challenges faced by contemporary society.

At Collegium meetings in New York in the fall of 2003, the Memorandum on "The Role of the United Nations" was officially presented to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and made available to Member States during the General Assembly session. Their interest took the form of direct contacts with the Collegium and attendance at its meetings.

In accordance with its goals--as expressed in the Appeal, in the Declaration of Interdependence and the Memorandum--the Collegium is currently undertaking a series of studies to be...

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