The first Caux Forum, in July 2008, took a holistic approach, exploring the roots of human insecurity in poverty, poor governance, wounded memory, environmental degradation and religious and cultural differences.
Now we confront a cascading economic crisis and a growing rapidity in global warming. Caux Forum participants have been among those proposing a ‘Green New Deal’ to address these crises. They are encouraged that the concept is being taken up by national leaders in both developed and developing countries as an effective way to revive growth, stimulate employment, build sustainable economies and lay foundations for the low carbon prosperity the world needs.
Caux Forum 2009 focused on these two crises, and their underlying causes. As various political leaders have emphasized, these crises take us into uncharted waters. Technology can help towards solutions, but cannot provide all the answers. We need radical change in the world’s ways of dealing and deciding.
Solutions depend on finding unprecedented levels of trust and collaboration across boundaries of sector, nation, culture, party, privilege, regional antagonism and historic memory. President Obama’s call for “a new era of responsibility” must become a reality.
Caux, the Swiss centre of reconciliation operated by Initiatives of Change (IofC), offers a unique ambiance in which to address these issues. With its emphasis on listening, dialogue and personal responsibility, it provides a space where interactions on a deeper plane often give unexpected impetus to the quest for solutions.
What strategies will most advance human security? What might be our contribution to these, individually and collectively?
We are grateful our deliberations on these matters were launched by Prince El Hassan bin Talal, known across the world for his commitment to advancing human security.
Ambassador Mohamed Sahnoun
Founder and Chair, Caux Forum for Human Security
The challenges which the global community faces are daunting, but they are not insoluble. They do, however, call for a profound change in lifestyles and attitudes, particularly in the developed world. To believe this is possible may be an act of faith, but to believe the challenges will be met without such change is naïve.
Profound changes are possible. Deep-seated enmity can give way to cooperation. Environmental destruction can give way to sustainable practices. Corruption can give way to integrity.
The second Caux Forum sought responses to these challenges under four broad themes:
Dealing with the global economic challenge
Crisis can be a time of opportunity. How can this crisis spur us to create economies and policies which enable the developing countries to thrive and the developed to become sustainable?
Dealing with the global climate change challenge
How can we attain the level of international cooperation, particularly between the developed and developing world, which will enable us to meet the challenge of climate change?
Strengthening the fundamental conditions of good governance — national and international
In many countries, effective governance is under serious strain. What strategies could strengthen the rule of law and encourage transparency?
Deepening cultural dialogue and understanding
A growth in inter-cultural understanding and respect is fundamental to the resolution of innumerable global and regional challenges. Often this growth hinges on our readiness to deal with past wrongs. What strategies will encourage this growth?