Global Citizenship: A New and Vital Force.

Author:Bachelet, Michelle
Position:Global Citizenship issue

The idea of global citizenship goes back a long way, but in its current iteration it played its most significant role in the process that began with the creation of the United Nations in 1945 and the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, continuing with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement in 2015. This has been a period during which lessons were learned, tragedies were experienced and progress was made and during which the idea and the institutions promoting an inherent and universal dignity of the human person gradually matured.

In this way, both the Charter of the United Nations and the preamble of the Universal Declaration represent the beginning of the "... recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family", which are today our minimum standards in the international arena, and which is the foundation for today's global citizenship.

Throughout this period of over seventy years, the United Nations has played a key role in enabling the concept to mature and adapt to the reality of globalization in its various aspects. It is now understood as a type of citizenship that transcends what is purely national, is unrelated to a specific identity and/or territory, and embraces a constantly evolving global ethic.

Global citizenship exists at various levels, in numerous contexts and at different times, with no single identifiable institutional framework. In the new world order, it seeks to expand its scope and democratize a decision-making process that can radically affect basic aspects of our societies, especially in people's lives, particularly those of minorities and the disadvantaged. Global citizens act without limits or geographical distinctions and they do so outside the traditional spheres of power. Their goal is to defend human dignity and to promote social accountability and international solidarity, in which tolerance, inclusion and recognition of diversity occupy pride of place in word and deed, reflecting the multiplicity of actors involved in the actions of global citizenship.

These actions are producing real results. In its 2016 report, the Global Citizenship Commission describes the development of the rights associated with universal dignity as those that constitute human rights. Although progress has sometimes been uneven and there have been serious setbacks, they have won general acceptance. They have come to...

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