IDEAS 2501 TO 2600
Decide to be peaceful
Render others peaceful
Be a model of peace
Irradiate your peace
Love passionately the peace
of our beautiful planet
Do not listen to the warmongers,
hateseeders and powerseekers
Dream always of a peaceful,
warless, disarmed world
Think always of a peaceful world
Work always for a peaceful world
Switch on and keep on, in yourself,
the peaceful buttons,
those marked love,
serenity, happiness, truth,
kindness, friendliness,
understanding and tolerance
Pray and thank God ever day for peace
Pray for the United Nations
and all peacemakers
Pray for the leaders of nations
who hold the peace of the world
in their hands
Pray God to let our planet at long last
become the Planet of Peace
And sing in unison with all humanity:
"Let there be peace on Earth
And let it begin with me."
My Spiritual Journey
Speech by Dr. Robert Muller in Sao Paolo in October 1998 at a conference
organized by the Coalition for Religious Freedom, Falls Church, Virginia, USA
I was born with a deep spirituality. When I was a child I looked at the stars, at the moon, at nature and at the whole Creation as miracles. I also considered human life to be a miracle. We spoke German in Alsace-Lorraine at the time and I used to say: "Das Leben ist gˆttlich, life is divine." I used this word because it was the biggest adjective I could find.
My father could not understand it. Here was a four years old boy who was going around saying that life was divine and who took his cap off when he met an old person. He asked me: "Why do you greet old people?" I answered: "Because they know so much about life." That was my attitude as a little boy.
I couldn't understand that just across the river there were people called Germans whom we as French people were supposed to hate. Why were these borders between humans? We looked alike and they had names like Muller and Schneider which were the names of my father and mother. Why could the sun, the clouds, the birds, the winds, the moon cross the border freely and I could not?
I would leave the house early in the morning to go to church and attend the mass at dawn, attended mostly by old people. There I was fascinated by the prayers, the playing of the organ by an old invalid and above all by the "elevation" of the host by the priest. That represented to me the consciousness and union with the heavens, the endless, mysterious universe and God.
Then came education. French education prohibited religious education. This was due to the separation between church and state established by the Revolution against the Church leaders of France coalesced with the King and the aristocrats to exploit the people. In Alsace-Lorraine we got a separate statute allowing religious education, but it was voluntary, did not count for the grading and it was ridiculized by our professors. As a result I began to forget my spirituality, replaced by the values of French education. My deep love for nature however persisted as well as my respect for old people. I will never forget the death of my 80 years old grandfather at which I saw a Catholic sister hold his hand and help him to die peacefully, praying with him and telling him about heaven.
Then came World War II. We were refugees twice. The Nazis occupied us. I had many adventures because I did not want to serve in the German army. I experienced German prison. I was a partisan, a member of de Gaulle's mountain fighters in France. I saw the most horrible acts between two white, highly civilized countries. There was no spirituality in all that. But there was an incident which I have never forgotten: we had captured a group of French people who had collaborated with the Germans. They were condemned to death. When they were taken to their place of execution in the woods where they had been forced to dig their graves, I saw the men protest, throwing themselves on the ground, having to be pulled by their legs. But there was one woman who walked in peace, praying. When she was shot she was reciting the Hail Mary and her last words before falling into her grave were to forgive us. I finished her prayer and never forgot her example of deep spirituality.
When the war was over and I returned home, I learned that my father had spent several months in prison because I had escaped from the Germans. He asked me what I was going to do with my life. I replied: "I will work for peace. I do not want my children and grandchildren to see the horrors I have seen in this war." He said that there were no peacemakers on this planet and that I would lose my time. But during my doctorate of law studies at the University of Strasbourg I participated in a French essay competition on the subject "How would you govern the world?" I won the essay which earned me an internship with the United Nations in an abandoned war factory near New York City. I was hired as an official and stayed with the UN for the rest of my life.
The first surprise I had at the United Nations was that they had a meditation and prayer room and that the meetings of the General Assembly started with a minute of silence for prayer or meditation. I said to myself: "This is wonderful. That is exactly what we should do when we meet among nations and people: we should invoke spirituality to fully understand what we are doing and pray for good results."
Another surprise was our second Secretary General, Dag Hammarskjˆld. He came to the United Nations as a very rational economist. But he went every Sunday to a church or meeting place of another religion. When he died we found on the night table of his bedroom in New York the book of a mystic Thomas Kempis. When you read his Markings, or Journal, now published in many languages, you will see how from a pure rationalist at the beginning he became himself a mystic, almost in constant communion and dialogue with God.
Another surprise to me was U Thant, the Buddhist Secretary General whose direct aide I was for two years. He was the most deeply spiritual person I have ever known. He once said to me: "Robert, I cannot understand you Catholics who limit spirituality to an hour in church on Sunday. I am a spiritual person from the moment I wake up until I go to rest." One day I said to him: "When you receive visitors, why don't you tell them to do something for peace and a better world?" He answered: "How could I do that? These people come to see me to tell me something. I must therefore open myself to them, empty myself of my self, so that I can receive them entirely as a human brother or sister."
From my experiences and lessons at the United Nations I decided to write a book on spirituality recommending that all religions should work together, with spirituality as their common values and objective. I called it New Genesis, the Birth of a Global Spirituality, published in several languages. Ever since that time I have been working toward the recognition of a global, all-human spirituality, out of which the various religions were born, either with one God, several gods or spirits, or nature and the Earth herself as the manifestation of the Great Spirit, or even a deeply spiritual person doing good for the Earth and humanity without belonging to any religion.
What is this concept of spirituality? In my view: it is very simple. It is what I felt as a little boy. It is to receive from the religions help to understand the mystery of the universe and time. This is what all religions have in common. They help us, they elevate us, while the mysteries of the universe and time have never been resolved by the scientists, not even by Einstein. They will always remain mysteries. Religions give us hope that there is a spirituality, a soul in us which binds us as sentient beings with the entire universe and time, that we are children of God, active, living cosmic beings, each one the true miracle I felt already to be as a child.
As a consequence I created several spiritual associations in the UN and brought many outside spiritual associations in contact and relation with the UN. I had contact with the Mayor of Assisi who at my suggestion arranged for the Pope to have yearly meetings in Assisi with the heads of other religions. I convinced U Thant to invite the Pope to the UN and was put in charge of that visit. I could write a whole book What the UN Taught Me About Spirituality as I wrote What War Taught Me About Peace.
The greatest chance given to me was the invitation to be the opening speaker of the second World Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1993. I made a passionate appeal to the religions to create a world organization similar to the United Nations. Why? Because it was not sufficient for the religious leaders to meet, there was need also for a permanent organization with an inter-religious Secretariat to study in common all religions of the world and their contributions to a global spirituality as we have done at the UN for peace and other common ideals and needs of humanity. In my view there was an absolute need for a spiritual Renaissance on planet Earth. I also made an appeal that the Parliament of Religions should not wait another hundred years to meet again but should meet before the year 2000. Bishop Edmund Tutu heard me and decided to invite the Parliament to meet in South Africa in December 1999. Six thousand people from around the world attended it.
My proposal to create a world organization of religions is being implemented. The Charter of a United Religions Organization, still called Initiative was adopted June 2000, in Pittsbough. That organization can then help the peaceful resolution of the several religious conflicts we still have on this planet, develop a common modern global science of spirituality, a strategy and a methodology of spirituality (e.g. prayer, forgiveness, sanctity, thanksgiving, confession and so many other helpful practices). It will create a different, better, spiritual world, with religions united in a wonderful, non-fundamentalist diversity.
There are now many good signs of a spiritual Renaissance in the world: the World Bank is meeting with spiritual leaders to see how poverty in the poor countries can be healed. Harvard University has conducted a vast survey of the contributions of the religions to the environment and safeguard of the Earth. Secretary General Kofi Annan will meet in the year 2000 with the leaders of the main religions of the world. A World Commission on Global Consciousness and Spirituality has been formed.*
This is where we stand. I will leave with you various extracts of texts I have distributed to the Parliament of Religions at its Chicago session. One of them describes my vision of a spiritual world in the year 2013, twenty years after that Chicago session. Another is a chapter on the UN and Spirituality from my Testament to the UN published after I retired from the UN and became the first one-dollar-a-year Chancellor of the newly created UN University for Peace in demilitarized Costa Rica.
Let me finally report on this great experience in my life: when you are a deeply spiritual person in the sense of doing good, working for the great ideals of humanity, suppressing injustices, helping the poor, the downtrodden and the helpless, you are recompensed with untold happiness. The invisible forces of the universe make sure of it. Extraordinary circumstances and coincidences come your way. You take good care of your health in order to live longer and do more good. You feel younger. You do not fall sick nor become old. You have no time to think of it.
Let me tell you the anecdote of a beautiful coincidence. A few years ago I got the UN General Assembly to adopt a resolution of the return of stolen works of art to their countries of origin. Each year a number of such returns are reported. One day, during a mission to Hungary I heard the people complain that the United States did not return the golden crown of their beloved king Saint Stephen. They kept it as a war memento in the cellars of Fort Knox. It was a long difficult story but with my obstinacy I finally obtained its return to Hungary where it is displayed in all its glory. Later I met in California a wonderful US lady of Hungarian origin with whom I fell in love. That was six years after my first wonderful wife from Chile died. Barbara Gaughen became my wife, although she is 18 years younger than I. She is the most extraordinary companion I could expect to help me in my efforts for peace and a better world. On 11 June 1994 she told me that there were 2000 days left to the year 2000 and that since I had so many ideas I should write one down every day to have a total of them by the 1st of January of 2000. I did and as a result four volumes of 2000 Ideas and Dreams for a Better World are available for the year 2000. From these ideas I was able to extract 56 pages of ideas on religion and spirituality. Well, I have come to the conclusion that it was St. Stephen in heaven who made us meet and get married because I got his crown returned to his beloved Hungary! I will ask him if it was the case when I meet him in the other world.
There is still so much to do. It is not even governments who are responsible for the current disorders in the world. It is the lack of spirituality, the lack of respect for God, for His miraculous creation which I loved so much already as a child. Please, dear friends, be the active defenders of these miracles so that we can at long last become the paradise of peace, beauty and happiness God and all religious leaders wanted us to become, a true jewel in the universe. The progress I have seen achieved since the horrible World War II gives me good hope, even conviction that we will succeed.
To end, let me play to you in memory of my grandfather who taught me to play it, the Ode To Joy of Beethoven on my little ten holes harmonica. Its words written by Schiller about the brotherhood of all humans are very appropriate to our hearts and souls at the end of this conference.
* I have the honor of being its co-chairman with Dr. Karan Singh of India.
Ode to Joy
Translation of Schiller's original German 1785 Version
Joy, beautiful spark of Gods,
Daughter of Elysium,
We enter, fire-drunk,
Heavenly, thy sanctuary.
Thy magic powers re-unite
What custom's sword has divided
Beggars become Princes' brothers
Where thy gentle wing abides.
Be embraced, millions!
This kiss to the entire world!
Brothers - above the starry canopy
A loving father must dwell.
Whoever has had the great fortune
To be a friend's friend,
Whoever has won the love of a devoted wife,
Add his to our jubilation!
Indeed, whoever can call even one soul
His own on this earth!
And whoever was never able to must leave
Tearfully away from this circle.
Those who dwell in the great circle,
Pay homage to love!
It leads to the stars,
Where the Unknown reigns.
Joy all creatures drink
At nature's bosoms;
All, Just and Unjust,
Follow her rose-petalled path.
Kisses she gave us, and Wine,
A friend, proven in death,
Pleasure was given even to the worm,
And the Cherub stands before God.
You bow down, millions?
Did you sense the Creator, o world?
Seek him above the starry canopy.
Above the stars He must dwell.
Joy is called the strong motivation
In eternal nature.
Joy, joy moves the wheels
In the universal time machine.
Flowers it calls forth from seeds,
Suns from the Firmament,
Spheres it moves far out into Space,
Where our telescopes cannot reach.
Joyful, as His suns are flying,
Across the Firmament's splendid design,
Run, brothers, run your race,
Joyful, as a hero going to conquest.
As truth's fiery reflection
It smiles at the seeker.
To virtue's steep hill
It leads the sufferer on.
Atop faith's lofty summit
One sees its flags unfurl,
Through the cracks of burst-open coffins,
One sees it stand in the angels' chorus.
Endure courageously, millions!
Endure for the better world!
Above the starry canopy
A great God will reward you.
Gods one cannot ever repay,
It is beautiful, though, to be like them.
Sorrow and Poverty, come forth
And rejoice with the Joyful ones.
Anger and revenge be forgotten,
Our deadly enemy be forgiven,
Not one tear shall he shed anymore,
Nor feeling of remorse shall pain him.
The account of our misdeeds be destroyed!
Reconciled the entire world!
Brothers, above the starry canopy
Judge God as we are judged.
Joy is bubbling in the cups,
Through the grapes' golden blood
Cannibals drink gentleness,
The despair of heroic brothers --
Flies away from your seats,
When the full rummer is going around,
Let the foam gush up to heaven:
This glass to the good spirit.
He whom star clusters adore,
He whom the Seraphs' hymn praises,
This glass to him, the good spirit,
Above the starry canopy!
Resolve and courage in great suffering,
Help where innocence weeps,
Eternity to sworn Oaths,
Truth towards friend and enemy,
Men's pride before Kings' thrones--
Brothers, in good and in blood,
Crowns to those of merit,
Defeat to the liars bred!
Close the holy circle tighter,
Swear by this golden wine:
To remain true to the Oath,
Swear it by the judge above the stars!
Delivery from tyrants' chains,
Generosity towards the villain,
Hope on the deathbeds,
Mercy from the final judge!
Also the dead shall live!
Brothers, drink and chime in,
All sinners shall be forgiven,
And hell shall be no more.
A serene hour of farewell!
Sweet rest in the shroud!
Brothers -- a mild sentence
From the mouth of the final judge
of the dead!
IDEAS 2601 TO 2700
26 February 2000
Today for the first time in my life, in Anacortes, USA on a beach with a beautiful view of the calm, magnificent Pacific Ocean and a dark forested island called Beaver Island due to its shape, all this beauty overflown by three noisy helicopters and a little airplane, the toys of beings called humans, I was overpowered by the feeling that I should love only God's nature and forget humans with their crazy pursuit of endless new inventions, accumulation of goods and wealth, and accelerating the destruction of the Earth.
I had the vision of a clear, clean, resplendent, beautiful paradise Earth only with nature, vegetation, animals and birds, totally devoid of humans. I saw it untouched, tranquil, peaceful, undisturbed, floating with all its splendor in the vast universe at the apex of its evolution.
This was the first time in my life that I had this overwhelming feeling. Henceforth I must be even harder in my judgments of humanity.
Later in the evening the Earth talked to me:
"I'm so glad that this happened to you, that you had this revelation after the long observing journey of your life. Now you will understand my loss of faith in the human race of which I was so proud as the most evolved, advanced life form of my body. I could never understand how humans could make so many errors and even get to the point of now recklessly, thoughtlessly destroying me.
But I cannot lose hope and do not want humans, my children all made of me, to disappear. I want them to change course, to change their values. I count very much on you to enlighten them. Please do not give up. Do not fall into that extreme. You have always been a man of hope. I placed you in positions to see the totality of me and of humanity and to try the impossible. The human species must not disappear. It still can and must become the highest form of my evolution. I have not taken all these pains over millions of years to make the human species the most advanced marvel on my surface and let it now destroy me and itself. Please do not give up your wonderful love for me and for humanity. Remember that humans are living cells, children of mine, cosmic units as you are."
"Okay, dear Mother, I will listen to you because mothers are always right. They are pure love and love is the only means that can save and fulfill us."
Incidents Regarding
the United Nations Flag
There is a French proverb which says: "jamais deux sans trois," never twice without a third time: Popular belief applies this in particular to mishaps, accidents and failures of good projects.
The following anecdotes show the relevance of that peoples' wisdom to the first world organization of this planet, the United Nations and its flag.
In 1970, year of the twenty-fifty anniversary of the UN, when I was a direct Aide to Secretary General U Thant, he received a telegram from Thor Heyerdahl, the explorer and navigator, who asked him for permission to fly the UN flag on the Ra II, a papyrus boat on which he wanted to attempt a new ocean expedition. U Thant asked me for my advice. I said: "Yes, by all means, give him your permission. For the first time ever a boat will fly the UN flag on the ocean of this planet and typically it is a paper boat, as weak and fragile as the UN. But I have the foreboding that it will bring bad luck to Heyerdahl whose boat will probably sink. Evil forces never want new, good ideas to succeed and they usually win three times before they are defeated."
I drafted a warm cable to Thor Heyerdahl and to his small multinational crew for U Thant's signature, authorizing him to fly the UN flag. A few weeks later the news was broadcast around the world that the boat had sunk! The crew was saved but the UN flag went down with the paper boat.
Fifteen years later, in 1985, I was in charge of the celebration of the fortieth anniversary of the UN. Among the numerous initiatives taken by the people, a group of Australian mountaineers decided to climb Mount Everest and to plant the UN flag on it. Their leader came to ask for permission to use the UN flag. I had to leave for a mission on the day of his visit and I asked my Japanese colleague Masatsuno Katsuno to receive him and to give him permission. But I added: "For heaven's sake give him my own UN flag which is in my office. By God's favor I am usually blessed with luck in my undertakings. It is possible that my personal flag will bring them better luck."
When I returned from mission, Katsuno told me that he had given them an ordinary UN flag instead of mine, because he thought that my flag should continue to bring luck to ourselves and to the UN! I commented to him: "You will see, something wrong is going to happen."
Later during the year the news was broadcast that the Australian team had climbed Mount Everest, but there was no mention of the UN flag. I sent the teamleader a telegram asking for a picture of the flag floating on Mount Everest and to issue it to the press. When the picture arrived, what did I see? The flag had been planted upside down, the supreme discourtesy to flag protocol! I was dismayed but not surprised. Something like that had to happen but at least no accident had occurred to the team. I asked the UN photolab to "doctor" the picture and redress the flag but they refused. So I went to a private photolab and had it done for the modest sum of sixty dollars which I paid happily. But a mischievous colleague in the UN leaked the story to the New York Times which was all too happy to publish the upside-down flag and the story with its usual disparaging comments on the UN!
A third occasion offered itself in 1990, during the forty-fifth anniversary of the UN and tenth anniversary of the UN University for Peace. After ten years, only 31 governments out of 160 had ratified the University and even less had given it any money. At my retirement from the UN in 1986, I had gladly accepted to become its one-dollar-a-year Chancellor hoping to bring them 'chance'! Unfortunately, since people usually pay for war and pray for peace, I was unable to obtain for it more than a million dollars from a Japanese philanthropist, Mr. Sasakawa. During a stay in New York, I was asked to send to the University a set of all the flags of nations which had ratified the University, and also a new UN flag, their old one having weathered away. This time I decided to wrap my own flag and to send it to them. In order to avoid a third mishap, I placed it on the altar of the UN Meditation Room asking for God's blessings. Were the evil forces defeated this time? Not quite. When the flags arrived, the University was hit by an earthquake which destroyed a good part of it. Even its water supply was disrupted. But an ample underground source was found and the buildings were rapidly rebuilt. With this the bad luck of the UN flag had come to an end.
Regarding the sparing use of the UN flag on this planet it is a consolation to know that its story is the same as that of the US flag which could seldom be seen in the United States in the 19th century. The state flags were the rule. It was not until World War I and especially World War II that the US flag became widely used, replacing progressively the state flags. The same will happen with the UN flag: it merely will require time until the people will finally recognize the oneness of our planet and of the human family.
You, dear reader, can help this process accelerate. Order the UN flag from the UN gift shop (Tel: 212-963-7700) and display it, especially on international days proclaimed by the UN, including the 24th of October, anniversary of the birth of the UN. Display it at all gatherings, conferences or graduations where human brothers and sisters from other nations are present. Follow the example of the Europeans who display side by side the national flag, the flag of Europe and the UN flag. US citizens could similarly display the US flag, the flag of the Americas and the UN flag. Governments could even innovate and adopt flags which would have on one side the national flag and on the other side the UN flag. It is high time that this planet and humanity be recognized as the supreme concerns of all people.

February 2000
We are now in the momentous year 2000 when a first World's Peoples' Assembly will be held in Samoa and a UN General Assembly at the heads of states level will look at the global problems which are besetting the Earth and see how they could be solved.
In view of the "never twice without a third time" rule, I add the following:
The first attempt to create an international or world government was the League of Nations. Several governments, especially the US which had authored the project, did not join it. This allowed Hitler and Mussolini to get into power and led to World War II and to the end of the League of Nations.
The United Nations, conceived again by the US in 1945 and located on its soil, had many successes which I describe in several of my books, and includes today practically all countries on Earth (189 of them). But since the end of the cold war, the US wants to dominate and rule the world alone. It sees the UN as an obstacle, no longer ratifies its decisions, neglects, ignores and opposes it more and more. My dream is therefore that the story of the UN flag be repeated: that a Charter of a new UN be written and adopted, putting an end to the present UN thus conceding a second victory to the evil forces. A UN Charter revision would also give a voice to the 137 governments of the present 189 members, which did not participate in the drafting of the 1945 Charter and of the UN's creation 55 years ago.
Soon thereafter, under the pressure of the colossal globalization forces besetting this planet, there will be major catastrophes which will put an end to capitalism and to the second UN. Then, at long last will we see a repetition of what happened to the Confederate States of America when they were transformed into the Federal United States, namely the birth of a proper Earth government in the form of a Federal United World or an Earth Government or a United Nature. Then the evil forces against the progress of humanity will give up, having had their three victories. The quicker this will happen, the more will be salvaged of our beautiful Earth. These views of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin apply fully and prophetically today:
The primary cause of all disorders lies in the different states governments and in the tenacity of that power which pervades the whole of their systems.
George Washington
Laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more enlightened, as new discoveries are made and manners and opinions change, with the change in circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. One might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy, as civilized society to remain forever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors.
Thomas Jefferson
It is also timely to remember in the middle of the United Nations Decade of the Indigenous People (1995-2006) that the Great Indian Confederacy of the Iroquois provided a model for the transformation of the thirteen colonies into the United States of America.
"It would be a strange thing," wrote Benjamin Franklin, "if six nations of ignorant savages should be capable of forming a scheme for such a union and be able to execute it in such a manner that it has subsisted ages and appears indissoluble; and yet that a like union should be impracticable for ten or a dozen English colonies to whom it is more necessary and must be more advantageous and who cannot be supposed to lack an equal understanding of their interests."
Who is today the head of state of the stature of Benjamin Franklin, who will make this text his own, replacing in it the words "ten or a dozen English colonies" by "189 nations"?
IDEAS 2701 TO 2800
To Stop War and Individual Acts of Violence and Destruction
received by Robert Muller anonymously:
The sender has not given his name and address, because he is a man of 96 with body troubles, and a poor memory: so under the circumstances he would not like to get involved in correspondence about the matter.
We can think of the world as one without war as something new, an invention. Every invention starts with just an idea, a concept, a vision. It seems that many people have a vision of a far happier way of living than that which we experience, and would like this vision developed into a living reality: The reality of our global human family living comfortably, enjoyably, fearlessly, caringly, lovingly and happily in friendly world-wide harmony, and cooperation.
There is no scientific law of external nature nor instinct (natural urge) of internal human nature, which makes this aspiration impossible. Clearly those who profit by war will be opposed to an ethical and happy way of life run by altruists.
The market forces' money way,
Creating ruination,
Loving money from a war,
Loving it much more than folk
The system force to fight,
Is bound to pass away one day,
When the Human Family can
With righteous indignation
Reject its harmful practices
And quit its bad employment
For there we folk cannot enjoy
The happiness all seek
A bad system has its day,
Such as Dictator Communism;
And the greedy money way
Which pollutes the air we breathe:
And brings the miseries of war
But such a system will not stay
Good folk reject its misery
Unhappy people don't work well
Economies like slavery.
When people seeking happiness,
Discover it can only come
Through goodness in its many forms
Not through the vice of greed
They cease to go to war and kill
Folk who might have been good friends.
So then with better motivation
Willingly and well they work
The system which is fair to all
The Ethical Economy.
We shall be holding hands all round the world when we forget capitalism and start working in the ethical economy of the first Humanitarian World Government.
Massive Righteous Indignation and Suitable Action to Stop Future War
I shall live and let others live.
I shall be non-violent if not attacked.
I seek life without fear or hatred.
I wish to live in a state of no-war:
That is permanent peace; without the sorrowful effects of war on peace-loving families; without the lunacy and futility of war, because it cannot cure the many ills from which we suffer; without war's cutting short the lives of human beings'; without the dislocation of careers of survivors; without the loss to families of their male parent; without war's subjection of women to rape; without the pain and agony of war and lifelong incurable injury to the bodies of many veterans; without war's colossal wastage of materials, and its harmful effects on the environment; without the destruction of the works of man, and the possible nuclear destruction of all life.
I know we can eliminate war if my fellows of our global human family will have the enterprise, courage and vision to do what I am going to do - sign the Peace Seekers' Declaration.
For "without vision the people perish."
Preamble to the Peace Seekers Declaration
We peace seekers of our global human family differ in many ways; but we all share at least one thing - the instinct or natural urge of self-preservation. We all want to go on living, so why be so foolish as to kill one another?
In the past we have been forced to do so by a powerful nation ruler, government, or military dictator. Since nuclear weapons have come into existence it is high time for us billions of our human family to refuse any longer to be military slaves and kill one another.
When a man kills others legally in war, or illegally in peacetime, he disobeys the best moral law for human happiness, the Reciprocity Law; namely, 'Do not do to others what you would not like done to yourself.' Bad rulers have forced good men to disobey that law and be bad and kill in war other members of our human family.
May all of us human beings, in seeking happiness, at long last obey that Reciprocity Law, and now in our billions refuse to fight in war outside our own country. If most people refuse to fight aggressively, i.e. outside their countries, frontiers, there could be no war, not even one in self-defense.
The Peace Seekers Declaration
The aim of this Peace Plan, which I surely share with many others, is to make a marvelous change for the better in the history of man namely, to stop forever the bad practice of war.
In each nation there would be volunteer Peace Planners in every city, town, village. The Chief Peace Planner at any place would invite peace-seekers to come, in some order, to a central room or office to sign 'The Peace Seekers Declaration'. Namely, that the peace seeker agrees to sign two statements, firstly, that he or she refuses to support in any way an external war, i.e. one to be fought outside one's own nation, (except in the case of an attacked friendly neighbor nation calling for help.) But willingly support, in a suitable way, a war fought to defend the national homeland from an attacking enemy.
Secondly, 'Except in self-defense I shall not do at any time any act of violence which injures or may injure a person or persons of our global family, however, different from myself, even if offered a bribe in money, a gain of some sort, a gift, anything of benefit, privilege, honor or the like.'
Each peace-seeker would put his or her signature, whether legible or not, on a large lined sheet of strong paper. Peace Planners would also go from house to house to collect more signatures.
Each nation would need a volunteer Humanitarian Peace Plan Coordinator to whom the wide-spread Peace Planners would send their lists of signatures.
At a certain time this national coordinator would make public the number of peace-seeker signatures, and call for more, especially from those who had hesitated.
If a nation had a large number of peace-seekers, its government would be unable to go to war externally, and fight away from its homeland.
The following is an extract from Bertrand Russell's excellent book Political Ideals.
"Few men seem to realize how many of the evils from which we suffer are wholly unnecessary, and that they could be abolished by a united effort within a few years. If a majority in every civilized country so desired, we could, within twenty years, abolish all abject poverty, quite half the illness in the world, the whole economic slavery which binds down nine tenths of our population; we could fill the world with beauty and joy and secure the reign of universal peace. It is only because men are apathetic that this is not achieved, only because imagination is sluggish, and what always have been is regarded as what always must be. With good-will, generosity, intelligence, these things could be brought about."
Lord Russell (Bertrand Russell) goes on to say that the world is full of preventable evils which most people would like to see prevented.
Among other things, this could be done by a World Humanitarian Government possibly elected through a plebiscite conducted by a union of all the world's humanitarian organizations.
* *

Three Samples of Ideas
Nuclear Age
Peace Foundation
100 Ideas for Creating a More Peaceful World
by David Krieger
Creating world peace takes many forms, but surely it begins with individuals. Here are 100 ideas for creating a more peaceful world. I encourage you to play your part in creating peace. It continues to be the most significant challenge of humankind, and requires the efforts of each of us.
1. Be generous with your smiles.
2. Commit daily acts of kindness.
3. Respect the Earth.
4. Walk in the forest.
5. Plant a tree.
6. Contemplate a mountain.
7. Don't pollute.
8. Live simply.
9. Skip a meal each week, and send $5.00 to an organization helping the hungry.
10. Erase a border in your mind.
11. Teach peace to children.
12. Read Chief Seattle's Letter to the US President.*
13. Be honest.
14. Demand honesty from your government.
15. Think about consequences.
16. Commit yourself to non-violence.
17. Support non-violent solutions to global problems.
18. Speak up for a healthy planet.
19. Demand reductions in military expenditures.
20. Be fair.
21. Pledge allegiance to the Earth and to its varied life forms.
22. Think for yourself.
23. Ask questions.
24. Recognize your unique potential.
25. Join an organization working for peace.
26. Be less materialistic.
27. Be more loving.
28. Support an Arms Trade Code of Conduct.
29. Oppose all weapons of mass destruction.
30. Sign the Abolition 2000 International Petition.
31. Work for an international ban on land mines.
32. Use your special talents for a more harmonious world.
33. Listen to your heart.
34. Help the poor.
35. Fight against militarism.
36. Study the lives of peace heroes.
37. Help create a community peace park or garden.
* See Annex II to ideas 2001 to 2500.
38. Commemorate the International Day of Peace in your community (the third Tuesday in September).
39. Help strengthen the United Nations.
40. Support the creation of an International Criminal Court to hold individual leaders accountable for crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide.
41. Read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and demand that your government live by it.
42. Be aware of the rights of future generations. Sign the Cousteau Society Bill of Rights for Future Generations.
43. Make decisions as though all life truly matters. It does!
44. Join an action alert network.
45. Make your voice heard by speaking out for peace.
46. Laugh more.
47. Play with a child.
48. Support health, education and the arts over more weapons.
49. Help educate the next generation to be compassionate and responsible.
50. Accept personal responsibility for creating a better world.
51. Sing.
52. Write a poem.
53. Organize a church service on the theme of peace.
54. Learn about another culture.
55. Help someone.
56. Support the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF)
57. Climb a mountain.
58. Clear your mind.
59. Breathe deeply.
60. Sip tea.
61. Express your views to government officials.
62. Fight for the environment.
63. Celebrate Earth Day.
64. Think like an astronaut, recognizing that we have only one Earth.
65. Be constructive.
66. Ring a bell for peace.
67. Plant seeds of peace.
68. Work in a garden.
69. Change a potential enemy into a friend.
70. Watch the movie Amazing Grace and Chuck.
71. Share.
72. Be more peaceful.
73. Send a note of appreciation.
74. Tell your friends how much they matter.
75. Say "I love you" more.
76. Don't tolerate prejudice.
77. Demand more from your elected officials.
78. Walk by the ocean, a river, or a lake.
79. Recognize that all humans have the right to life.
80. Respect the dignity of each person.
81. Be a leader in the struggle for human decency.
82. Watch the movie The King of Hearts.
83. Send sunflowers to world leaders, and call for a world free of nuclear weapons.
84. Oppose technologies that harm the environment.
85. Loose an argument to a loved one.
86. Read Hiroshima by John Hersey.
87. Walk softly on the Earth.
88. Appreciate the power of the sun.
89. Speak out for global disarmament.
90. Support a stronger world order.
91. Teach non-violence by example.
92. Remember that "No man is an island."
93. Spend time in nature.
94. Boycott war toys.
95. Be thankful for the miracle of life.
96. Read All Quiet on the Western Front or A Time to Love and a Time to Die by Erich Maria Remarque.
97. Remind your leaders that peace matters.
98. Oppose violence in television programming for children.
99. Listen to Beethoven's Ode to Joy.
100. Celebrate peace.
For additional ideas on creating peace visit the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation's Web Site at We would also welcome your ideas. All of us can make important contributions for peace by our ideas and actions. Send your ideas to us at the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, 1187 Coast Village Road, Suite 123, Santa Barbara, CA 93108, (805) 965-3443, Fax (805) 568-0466, E-mail: wagingpeace@napf. org.
Some Ideas for Robert Muller from Don Tilley:
Director, Prairie Peace Park Lincoln, Nebraska
"Where children's vision come to life"
1. Place three courses on 'Peacemaking' on website for the UN University for Peace, for people to take and respond by e-mail: Course #1 - How we can develop a peaceful world; Course #2 - How you can develop inner peace; and Course #3 - How you can deepen your friendship with others. Each course would offer a different version for children, youth, adults and be in several languages. These courses on Peacemaking would be funded by a philanthropic organization. Upon completion, each participant would receive an award of achievement that s/he has obtained the knowledge and skills suggested in the respective course.
2. A representative from the University for Peace or the United Nations offers to meet with each state legislature in the United States each year for three days to make linkages between local/state issues to their global counterparts. For example, if the city or state has garbage and waste problems, these problems (and solutions) would be viewed from a global perspective -- so the state can relate to the whole world.
3. Parents of every baby when born be given a Peace Packet with suggestions about how to raise the child as a Peacemaker. Establish a website/e-mail for parents to call up to receive counsel on how to cope with raising the child as a Peacemaker and to see how parents in all parts of the world are sharing examples about the rearing of their children as Peacemakers.
4. The University for Peace or the United Nations offers a behavior inventory in each school for each child as a rite of passage. When child reaches 12 years of age, s/he demonstrates traits expected of a Peacemaker: 1) able to resolve conflicts peacefully with others, 2) able to deal with own upsetness/violent thoughts, and 3) able to show how the United Nations helps develop a peaceful world.
5. Set up a model UN with youth from every nation in the world on world-wide web and e-mail. Each month, one issue would be presented by UN Secretariat for one hour on world television (Ted Turner?) and radio. These youth would respond to this issue for a week by e-mail. Secretariat would attempt to shape the responses of youth toward solution. The recommendations of the youth would be submitted to the Secretary General of the UN and to all media in the world.
6. Each state legislature mandates that each high school student study several world problems each year and search for solutions to these problems, while reviewing the efforts of the UN.
7. The leaders of Habitat of Humanity receive a billion dollars each year by governments to extend their program to great numbers. Control would be kept by leaders of Habitat of Humanity, with no conditions imposed beyond their current guidelines.
8. Once every two years the world holds a world-wide celebration day on world television to honor being alive, enjoying the wonder of life. During this time, 'oracles' (those with special gifts as the women from Delphi) would give prophecies -- issuing warnings, hope and world perspective about different problems and vision on world television.
9. A parallel youth UN would be set up in New York to deal with the same problems at the same time which the UN is facing. These youth would serve for staggered terms of two years. They would announce their recommendations on a regular basis. The regular UN would consider each recommendation by the youth.
10. A course would be set up in each high school about how to feel loved, regardless of circumstances.
11. Religious leaders take groups on pilgrimages to humane, successful economic models such as the Mondragon cooperatives in Spain.
12. Develop a world mission statement to guide the development of the world. The mission statement would emphasize good, participatory management of development of the world, humane practices, and purpose for the world. Each multinational corporation would be expected to be guided by this mission statement and relate it to their own mission statement.
13. Set up weekly participatory spiritual exercises on world television to enable people to free themselves from obsolete myths, old roots of violence, and enter into powerful feelings of empathy for persons throughout the whole world.
14. Hold a year of jubilee every ten years when wealth/income would be moved toward equity and economic democracy, in both individuals and nations.
15. The University for Peace/the United Nations encourage technology to move from conquering nature to nurturing humans by providing a number of 'devices' that enable individuals to deal with their defensive behavior and inner problems, relationships, and experience the world as it could become. These experiences could replace the need to achieve and prove selves to others.
Don Tilley, Director
Prairie Peace Park
P.O. Box 95062
Lincoln, NE 68509
402 466-6622(office)
402 795-2144 (park) (summer)
Fax: 402 466-6741
Continuing the Momentum of the UN Decade of Disabled Persons
by Alan Reich
President of the World Committee on Disability
March 18, 1999
Dear Robert:
I am happy to try to be responsive to your request for ideas for action upon the celebration of the Bimillennium. I recall well our meeting in 1983 with Secretary General PÈrez de Cuellar when we established the Bimillennium Foundation.
You will note that some of my ideas relate to the world of disability; others are of more general concern. Here it goes:
1. Establish a United Nations agency of disability (your idea)
2. Multiply the resources of the United Nations by 10 or 20 by conducting a serious fundraising campaign worldwide - including schoolchildren, corporations, wealthy individuals - for all United Nations non-political activities
3. Establish an F. D. Roosevelt disability training center to train volunteers to send them worldwide to exchange ideas and assist disabled persons - a special Peace Corps
4. Convene a United Nations disability "brainstorming" conference lead by you to generate ideas on world action on disability
5. Link disabled children in developing countries with disabled children in advanced countries through school-to-school and sister-city programs
6. Place a statue of UN founder Franklin D. Roosevelt in a wheelchair at the United Nations to inspire visitors (disabled and non-disabled alike) and show what is possible for a disabled person
7. Vastly strengthen and expand promotion of the F. D. Roosevelt International Disability Award to motivate governments to pursue full participation as called for in the United Nations World Program of Action Concerning Disabled Persons.
8. Establish a comparable award to recognize the United Nations agency making noteworthy progress toward the full participation goal of the World Program.
9. Similarly recognize an outstanding non-governmental organization (NGO)
10. Have all UN agencies and recognized NGO's include disabled persons in their leadership bodies.
11. Establish a disability lectureship series sponsored by United Nations information offices worldwide.
12. Have the United Nations conduct an enlightened public relations program focusing on disability to give the UN itself a more "human face" and thus expand the awareness of how important and effective the UN can be improving the human condition.
13. Mount a massive program for technology for the disabled - focusing on prostheses, electronic devices, wheelchairs, etc. - using moneys saved from arms reduction
14. Have UNESCO establish special prize to recognize nations for progress in closing the education gap between disabled and non-disabled
15. Have the Secretary General ensure disability is prominently included in every Administrative Coordinating Committee meeting.
16. Have the University for Peace in Costa Rica invite Henry Betts (Special Emissary of the World Committee on Disability) as a guest lecturer on the theme "It is ability not disability that counts"
17. Recognize through a prestigious award (perhaps through the World Health Organization) medical scientists for great discoveries and progress in conquering disabling conditions
18. Have the Pope issue an encyclical on humankind and disability. (I personally spoke with him twice about this, but he hasn't done it yet. I'm sure he would do it for you, Robert.) On the other hand, he did host the first-ever World Vatican Conference on Disability - attended by 9,000 people from throughout the world - at our request in 1991.
I'll be interested to know of your reaction to these thoughts. I'm sure most if not all of these ideas already have occurred to you.
With all good wishes,
Alan A. Reich
Please dear readers, write down your own personal and professional ideas for a better world. Innumerable ideas by many people will change humanity for the better and save our beautiful Earth. To ideaize, to create a world movement of ideas might be the next phase of our evolution.
Robert Muller
World Committee on Disability
910 Sixteenth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20006 USA
202-293-5960 TDD 202-293-593-5968 Fax 202-293-7999
IDEAS 2801 TO 2900
The following was sent to the Christian Science Monitor by its author, Lou Torok, an inmate at the Chillicothe, Ohio Correctional Institution. In the note accompanying the prayer, he wrote, "This was written after I viewed the ruins of Attica Prison in New York State on television. It seems to me that a new defining of basic issues is needed to bring our human problems back into focus.
A New World Prayer
I recognize that I belong to the family of humankind
Made up of all human beings
Of every race, color, creed and ideology
Now living on the Planet Earth.
I understand that there can be no common good
Without an individual good.
I am responsible for myself
And for all human beings who share this
Earth with me. I know that our enemies
Are those among us who will not
Join in sharing the responsibility
For our common good.
I accept my own personal responsibility
To replace darkness with light
To replace hatred with love
To replace suspicion with trust
To replace lies and hypocrisy with honesty
To replace abuse with fairness
To replace frustration with patience
To replace fear with understanding
To replace bias, prejudice, and discrimination with tolerance
To replace ignorance with knowledge
To replace indifference with concern
And to replace apathy with action.
I believe that all are entitled
To equal opportunities
To live, to grow, and to flourish
As human beings
With dignity and self-respect.
I acknowledge that it is far better
To live and work for peace
Than to die for peace.
As a member of the Family of humankind
Now living on this Planet Earth
I thus commit myself
And challenge my children
And their children to DO AS WELL.
Lou Torok

issued by the Earth Council in Costa Rica after years of preparation and world-wide consultation it was communicated on 24 March 2000 to all governments and the media
We stand at a critical moment in Earth's history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.
Earth, Our Home
Humanity is part of a vast evolving universe. Earth, our home, is alive with a unique community of life. The forces of nature make existence a demanding and uncertain adventure, but Earth has provided the conditions essential to life's evolution. The resilience of the community of life and the well-being of humanity depend upon preserving a healthy biosphere with all its ecological systems, a rich variety of plants and animals, fertile soils, pure waters, and clean air. The global environment with its finite resources is a common concern of all peoples. The protection of Earth's vitality, diversity, and beauty is a sacred trust.
The Global Situation
The dominant patterns of production and consumption are causing environmental devastation, the depletion of resources, and a massive extinction of species. Communities are being undermined. The benefits of development are not shared equitably and the gap between rich and poor is widening. Injustice, poverty, ignorance, and violent conflict are widespread and the cause of great suffering. An unprecedented rise in human population has overburdened ecological and social systems. The foundations of global security are threatened. These trends are perilous - but not inevitable.
The Challenges Ahead
The choice is ours: form a global partnership to care for Earth and one another or risk the destruction of ourselves and the diversity of life. Fundamental changes are needed in our values, institutions, and ways of living. We must realize that when basic needs have not been met, human development is primarily about being more, not having more. We have the knowledge and technology to provide for all and to reduce our impacts on the environment. The emergence of a global civil society is creating new opportunities to build a democratic and humane world. Our environmental, economic, political, social, and spiritual challenges are interconnected, and together we can forge inclusive solutions.
Universal Responsibility
To realize these aspirations, we must decide to live with a sense of universal responsibility, identifying ourselves with the whole Earth community as well as our local communities. We are at once citizens of different nations and of one world in which the local and global are linked. Everyone shares responsibility for the present and future well-being of the human family and the larger living world.. The spirit of human solidarity and kinship with all life is strengthened when we live with reverence for the mystery of being, gratitude for the gift of life, and humility regarding the human place in nature.
We urgently need a shared vision of basic values to provide an ethical foundation for the emerging world community. Therefore, together in hope we affirm the following interdependent principles for a sustainable way of life as a common standard by which the conduct of all individuals, organizations, businesses, governments, and transnational institutions is to be guided and assessed.
1. Respect Earth and life in all its diversity.
a. Recognize that all beings are interdependent and every form of life has value regardless of its worth to human beings.
b. Affirm faith in the inherent dignity of all human beings and in the intellectual, artistic, ethical, and spiritual potential of humanity.
2. Care for the community of life with understanding, compassion, and love.
a. accept that with the right to own, manage, and use natural resources comes the duty to prevent environmental harm and to protect the rights of people.
b. Affirm that with increased freedom, knowledge, and power comes increased responsibility to promote the common good.
3. Build democratic societies that are just, participatory, sustainable, and peaceful.
a. Ensure that communities at all levels guarantee human rights and fundamental freedoms and provide everyone an opportunity to realize his or her full potential.
b. Promote social and economic justice, enabling all to achieve a secure and meaningful livelihood that is ecologically responsible.
4. Secure Earth's bounty and beauty for present and future generations.
a. Recognize that the freedom of action of each generation is qualified by the needs of future generations.
b. Transmit to future generations values, traditions, and institutions that support the long-term flourishing of Earth's human and ecological communities.
In order to implement these four broad commitments, it is necessary to:
5. Protect and restore the integrity of Earth's ecological systems, with special concern for biological diversity and the natural processes that sustain life.
a. Adopt at all levels sustainable development plans and regulations that make environmental conservation and rehabilitation integral to all development initiatives.
b. Establish and safeguard viable nature and biosphere reserves, including wild lands and marine areas, to protect Earth's life support systems, maintain biodiversity, and preserve our natural heritage.
c. Promote the recovery of endangered species and ecosystems.
d. Control and eradicate non-native or genetically modified organisms harmful to native species and the environment, and prevent introduction of such harmful organisms.
e. Manage the use of renewable resources such as water, soil, forest products, and marine life in ways that do not exceed rates of regeneration and that protect the health of ecosystems.
f. Manage the extraction and use of non-renewable resources such as minerals and fossil fuels in ways that minimize depletion and cause no serious environmental damage.
6. Prevent harm as the best method of environmental protection and, when knowledge is limited, apply a precautionary approach.
a. Take action to avoid the possibility of serious or irreversible environmental harm even when scientific knowledge is incomplete or inconclusive.
b. Place the burden of proof on those who argue that a proposed activity will not cause significant harm, and make the responsible parties liable for environmental harm.
c. Ensure that decision making addresses the cumulative, long-term, indirect, long distance, and global consequences of human activities.
d. Prevent pollution of any part of the environment and allow no build-up of radioactive, toxic, or other hazardous substances.
e. Avoid military activities damaging to the environment.
7. Adopt patterns of production, consumption, and reproduction that safeguard Earth's regenerative capacities, human rights, and community well-being.
a. Reduce, reuse, and recycle the materials used in production and consumption systems, and ensure that residual waste can be assimilated by ecological systems.
b. Act with restraint and efficiency when using energy, and rely increasingly on renewable energy sources such as solar and wind.
c. Promote the development, adoption, and equitable transfer of environmentally sound technologies.
d. Internalize the full environmental and social costs of goods and services in the selling price, and enable consumers to identify products that meet the highest social and environmental standards.
e. Ensure universal access to health care that fosters reproductive health and responsible reproduction.
f. Adopt lifestyles that emphasize the quality of life and material sufficiency in a finite world.
8. Advance the study of ecological sustainability and promote the open exchange and wide application of the knowledge acquired.
a. Support international scientific and technical cooperation on sustainability, with special attention to the needs of developing nations.
b. Recognize and preserve the traditional knowledge and spiritual wisdom in all cultures that contribute to environmental protection and human well-being.
c. Ensure that information of vital importance to human health and environmental protection, including genetic information, remains available in the public domain.
9. Eradicate poverty as an ethical, social, and environmental imperative.
a. Guarantee the right to potable water, clean air, food security, uncontaminated soil, shelter, and safe sanitation, allocating the national and international resources required.
b. Empower every human being with the education and resources to secure a sustainable livelihood, and provide social security and safety nets for those who are unable to support themselves.
c. Recognize the ignored, protect the vulnerable, serve those who suffer, and enable them to develop their capacities and to pursue their aspirations.
10. Ensure that economic activities and institutions at all levels promote human development in an equitable and sustainable manner.
a. Promote the equitable distribution of wealth within nations and among nations.
b. Enhance the intellectual, financial, technical, and social resources of developing nations, and relieve them of onerous international debt.
c. Ensure that all trade supports sustainable resource use, environmental protection, and progressive labor standards.
d. Require multinational corporations and international financial organizations to act transparently in the public good, and hold them accountable for the consequences of their activities.
11. Affirm gender equality and equity as prerequisites to sustainable development and ensure universal access to education, health care, and economic opportunity.
a. Secure the human rights of women and girls and end all violence against them.
b. Promote the active participation of women in all aspects of economic, political, civil, social, and cultural life as full and equal partners, decision makers, leaders, and beneficiaries.
c. Strengthen families and ensure the safety and loving nurture of all family members.
12. Uphold the right of all, without discrimination, to a natural and social environment supportive of human dignity, bodily health, and spiritual well-being, with special attention to the rights of indigenous peoples and minorities.
a. Eliminate discrimination in all its forms, such as that based on race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, language, and national, ethnic or social origin.
b. Affirm the right of indigenous peoples to their spirituality, knowledge, lands and resources and to their related practice of sustainable livelihoods.
c. Honor and support the young people of our communities, enabling them to fulfill their essential role in creating sustainable societies.
d. Protect and restore outstanding places of cultural and spiritual significance.
13. Strengthen democratic institutions at all levels, and provide transparency and accountability in governance, inclusive participation in decision making, and access to justice.
a. Uphold the right of everyone to receive clear and timely information on environmental matters and all development plans and activities which are likely to affect them or in which they have an interest.
b. Support local, regional and global civil society, and promote the meaningful participation of all interested individuals and organizations in decision making.
c. Protect the rights to freedom of opinion, expression, peaceful assembly, association, and dissent.
d. Institute effective and efficient access to administrative and independent judicial procedures, including remedies and redress for environmental harm and the threat of such harm.
e. Eliminate corruption in all public and private institutions.
f. Strengthen local communities, enabling them to care for their environments, and assign environmental responsibilities to the levels of government where they can be carried out most effectively.
14. Integrate into formal education and life-long learning the knowledge, values, and skills needed for a sustainable way of life.
a. Provide all, especially children and youth, with educational opportunities that empower them to contribute actively to sustainable development.
b. Promote the contribution of the arts and humanities as well as the sciences in sustainability education.
c. Enhance the role of the mass media in raising awareness of ecological and social challenges.
d. Recognize the importance of moral and spiritual education for sustainable living.
15. Treat all living beings with respect and consideration.
a. Prevent cruelty to animals kept in human societies and protect them from suffering.
b. Protect wild animals from methods of hunting, trapping, and fishing that cause extreme, prolonged, or avoidable suffering.
c. Avoid or eliminate to the full extent possible the taking or destruction of non-targeted species.
16. Promote a culture of tolerance, nonviolence, and peace.
a. Encourage and support mutual understanding, solidarity, and cooperation among all peoples and within and among nations.
b. Implement comprehensive strategies to prevent violent conflict and use collaborative problem solving to manage and resolve environmental conflicts and other disputes.
c. Demilitarize national security systems to the level of a non-provocative defense posture, and convert military resources to peaceful purposes, including ecological restoration.
d. Eliminate nuclear, biological, and toxic weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.
e. Ensure that the use of orbital and outer space supports environmental protection and peace.
f. Recognize that peace is the wholeness created by right relationship with oneself, other persons, other cultures, other life, Earth, and the larger whole of which all are a part.
As never before in history, common destiny beckons us to seek a new beginning. Such renewal is the promise of these Earth Charter principles. To fulfill this promise, we must commit ourselves to adopt and promote the values and objectives of the Charter.
This requires a change of mind and heart. It requires a new sense of global interdependence and universal responsibility. We must imaginatively develop and apply the vision of a sustainable way of life locally, nationally, regionally, and globally. Our cultural diversity is a precious heritage and different cultures will find their own distinctive ways to realize the vision. We must deepen and expand the global dialogue that generated the Earth Charter, for we have much to learn from the ongoing collaborative search for truth and wisdom.
Life often involves tensions between important values. This can mean difficult choices. However, we must find ways to harmonize diversity with unity, the exercise of freedom with the common good, short-term objectives with long-term goals. Every individual, family, organization, and community has a vital role to play. The arts, sciences, religions, educational institutions, media, businesses, nongovernmental organizations, and governments are all called to offer creative leadership. The partnership of government, civil society, and business is essential for effective governance.
In order to build a sustainable global community, the nations of the world must renew their commitment to the United Nations, fulfill their obligations under existing international agreements, and support the implementation of Earth Charter principles with an international legally binding instrument on environment and development.
Let ours be a time remembered for the awakening of a new reverence for life, the firm resolve to achieve sustainability, the quickening of the struggle for justice and peace, and the joyful celebration of life. * *
When I read this text aloud on Mt. Rasur, the Earth exclaimed:
"Dear Robert, I cannot believe it: humanity might at long last be on the right way! May God and the cosmic energies of the universe bless all those who gave birth to that Charter."
IDEAS 2901 TO 3000
How to at Long-last Attain Paradise on Earth
When modern technology was born it was natural that it devoted itself exclusively to the improvement of human conditions. The Earth was of its concern only for information, investigation and exploitation for the benefits of humans. A second important motive for its growth was the interest of nations which wanted to industrialize themselves as soon and intensively as possible to increase the well-being of their people, their power and positions in the world.
This has continued until today with one additional factor: giant world corporations were born with the same strong power interests as those of nations, the two often joining forces. In addition the Darwinian concept of competition and survival of the fittest applied both to these corporations and to nations.
It is only in the 1970's with the sudden phenomenal growth of the world population and its settlements, of world consumption and transport that this situation received a serious warning: the 'environment' - in reality the whole Earth was being affected in its airs, waters, nature and species', i.e. the 'biosphere' or thin layer of life surrounding it.
On the eve of the year 2000, twenty-seven years after the first UN World conference on the Environment in Stockholm in 1972 and seven years after the second such conference in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, the situation is practically unchanged: industries, nations, big business and investors continue on the same course, i.e. increase profits, wealth, power and positions in the world, or were it only because it is so difficult, risky and cumbersome to change.
As a result, for the first time in the entire human history the Earth is in danger of death and with it humanity too.
Who will have the courage to look this situation straight into the face and raise a voice resonating in the entire world, provoking revolutionary wake-ups in the current mis-evolution of the Earth and of humanity? Our entry into a new century and millennium offers to humanity's leaders a great opportunity and an immense obligation to do so.
When the UN Economic and Social Council adopted in 1970 the proposal of Sweden to hold the first World Conference on the Environment I exclaimed to a group of Ambassadors, "From today on the world will never be the same." Three decades later many governments, industries and the world of finance still do not recognize the new, fundamental changes which must take place in the evolution of this planet.
All humanity, all its leaders, groups, communities, cultures, religions, enterprises, professions, educators, families and individuals must henceforth take care of the Earth, think of her always, not misuse, not overuse, not destroy, not unnecessarily consume her. We must love her and care for her as our greatest capital. Perhaps this might be the turning point in human history and civilization. We will, for the first time learn so much from the Earth. We must let her teach us and be able, at long last, to live in peace and harmony with her, with other life forms on Earth, with the heavens and with each other. Wise and filled with an incredible knowledge and new wisdom we humans must never repeat again the errors made by our forefathers since Adam and Eve. It will not be paradise lost, but paradise at long last understood and regained.
The preceding requires as stated earlier in these volumes that all basic segments of human life on Earth must be reviewed and rethought fundamentally and with a very long third thousand years future in view as we enter the 21st century and third millennium. These are:
a new political system for planet Earth
a new economics
a new education
a new media and communications
a new democracy
a new global leadership
a spiritual Renaissance and inter-religious cooperation
a non-violent human society
a well-preserved planet
a decent well-being for all humans
a stabilization of the world population
right human settlements on the planet
the disarmament, demilitarization, denuclearization and global security of the planet
a new science and technology
a new anthropology, sociology and new ways of life
a new human biology
a new philosophy, cosmology and long-term view of evolution
a new world ethics and justice
a new world psychology
a new science and art of planetary management
an art and cultural Renaissance
Such basic future oriented reconsideration is taking place currently in a growing number of institutions, conferences and peoples' associations around the world. We can therefore be optimistic.
I recommend that in addition to yearly states of the world conferences and reports there should also be yearly long-term thinking and future oriented conferences and reports on all the above basic segments of human life on planet Earth.
I give an example: thanks to the UN's World Conferences on Population and warnings against excessive growth, the world population will be 6.1 billion in 2000 instead of the 7.3 billion estimated in 1970 on the basis of the growth at that time. 1.2 billion people were thus not added to the human population. The yearly increase is now 78 million against 80 million last year. The estimate is that we will be 8.91 billion in 2050, of which 1.16 billion (a decline of 40 million from 1.2 billion) in the rich countries and an increase from 4.7 to 7.75 billion (an increase of 3.05 billion) in the poor countries. This is still much too high and rapid to take care of the human factor in the Earth situation. Hence my recommendation that the UN should hold soonest a World Population Emergency Conference. All this represents a case of basic rethinking of one human segment in the fate of the Earth. And this should be done year after year for all segments. The current yearly States of the World Report and Conferences must henceforth be accompanied by yearly Future of the World Reports and Conferences.
I hope that not only the United Nations and governments whose main task it will be, but all universities, institutions, entities and associations on Earth will take up this challenge, undertaking the above fundamental reviews, rethinking and futurologism, thus helping this planet to become at long last the true peaceful, evolving paradise and success in our solar system and in the cosmos it is meant to be.
A useful exercise would be to assemble under each of the 21 segments the ideas and building blocks contained in these 3000 Ideas and Dreams for a Better World born from my whole adult life as a world and humanity servant in the first world organization of this planet, the United Nations. This can be done easily by extracting from Volume V, the Index of the first 2000 Ideas and the two Indexes of the third thousand ideas (Volume VI and VII), those ideas relevant to each segment. The result would be a significant contribution to the building of the right future, of paradise Earth. The actual ideas under any segment can be easily printed out of the computer. Contact Carolyn Hawkins, my co-worker: 255-A Elise Place, Santa Barbara, CA 93109, Tel: (805) 568-0909, Fax: (805) 968-5081.
An Appeal to All Heads of States Meeting
at the United Nations in September 2000
I sent the following Appeal end of August 2000 to the heads of states of all 189 member countries of the United Nations with the following letter in English, Spanish, French or German as appropriate:
28 August 2000
Dear Mr. Head of State,
I pray Your Excellency with all my heart to visualize how you wish to be remembered by future generations for your proposals and actions in the unique historic meeting of heads of state in September 2000 at the United Nations. I took the liberty, as a fifty years long servant of the United Nations, to express some of my ideas and dreams in the enclosed Appeal to you.
May God inspire you and reward you
with lasting fame.
Yours in peace,
Robert Muller
Chancellor Emeritus
Former UN Assistant Secretary General
My Appeal to All Leaders of Nations
for their meeting at the United Nations in September 2000
I joined the United Nations world service in 1948 as a young man who had been in a German Gestapo prison, a French Resistance fighter and had seen the most horrible atrocities of war and destructions. I came from Alsace-Lorraine, a province of France bordering Germany, where my grandparents knew three wars and changed nationality five times between France and Germany, without leaving their village. I was a very pessimistic young man. If this had happened between two highly civilized countries, how could I expect white and black countries, communists and capitalists, rich and poor nations, thousands of religions and ethnic groups to be able to live together and cooperate in peace? Surely there would be an incident which would trigger off another world war within twenty years. Well, there was no third world war.
In an emptied war factory in Lake Success where the United Nations was first located, a British delegate asked me what I was doing there. I answered: "I came here to work for peace, because I do not want my children and grandchildren to know the horrors I saw in the war." He answered: "I pity you, because you will lose your job. This organization will not last more than five years." Well, it celebrates in the year 2000 its fifty-fifth anniversary.
I was also told in Lake Success that decolonization was the priority item on the agenda of world affairs and that it would take the United Nations from one hundred to one hundred fifty years to solve the problem. Well, the UN did it in forty years. I was told the same about racism, apartheid, women's rights, human rights, indigenous people, the cold war, and I could cite other examples.
I have been involved in the creation of several new specialized agencies and world programs in the economic and social fields, including the world-wide United Nations Development Program where I was one of the first two UN officials working with Paul Hoffman, the former Administrator of the Marshall Plan. The UN listened to me when I suggested to channel to the poor countries the surplus foods which the rich countries used to burn, and created the World Food Program. The World Bank listened to my idea to give low-interest loans to infrastructure projects in the poor countries and created the International Development Agency. When I look at the list of the 32 UN specialized agencies and world programs, I am astonished that I played a role in the creation of eleven of them!
I have seen the UN system assemble information on practically every aspect of our Earth and of the human family. Who remembers that until 1952 we did not even know how many people lived on this planet? Today a world population census takes place world-wide in all countries in the same year. Future generations will appreciate the statistical work and global information of the UN as a true turning point in human history.
Through the United Nations I have seen the seas and oceans, the moon and outer space be declared the commons of humanity. I have seen the birth of first concerns for the environment, a word coined in the UN when it convened the first world conference on the environment in Sweden in 1972. And the UN did the same for the world's waters, deserts, oceans, climate, atomic energy, children, women, the aging, the handicapped, etc.
I entered the UN as an intern and was privileged to rise over the years to Assistant Secretary General working directly with three Secretaries General. When I look back, I feel that I owe the UN a truly magical life.
And retirement was not the end. It turned into a 'refirement'! Three days before I retired from the UN in 1986, after 38 years of service, Rodrigo Carazo, the President of Costa Rica, a man whom I greatly admire, proposed that I should become the one-dollar-a-year chancellor of the recently created UN University for Peace in Costa Rica of which I was his co-founder. I accepted with delight to continue to work for a UN agency and to spend the rest of my life in a demilitarized country to which I would give the highest mark for its initiatives and successes at the UN: the creation of the post of High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Nobel Peace Prize to President Oscar Arias, the celebration of the International Day of Peace and the world cease-fire obtained by Costa Rica for the World Olympics and the week of the fiftieth anniversary of the UN.
And how could I have ever dreamt that I would be some day appointed member of a world commission of eminent persons on the funding of the UN and co-chairman, with Dr. Karan Singh of India, of a World Commission on Global Consciousness and Spirituality?
And that all borders between fifteen western European countries, including in my hometown in Alsace-Lorraine, would be suppressed and a European Union created?
And that there would be in the world 34 Robert Muller Schools providing the right education I received from the United Nations after the nationalistic mis-educations by France, Germany and the United States?
And that the Global Peoples' Assembly meeting in 2000 in Samoa would declare me its Lifelong President?
Yes, from a very pessimistic young man after World War II, I have been transformed by the UN into an optimistic elder who believes in the success of humanity. I am infinitely grateful to the UN for having taught me that planet Earth is my home, that humanity is my family and that it was worthwhile to devote my entire life with passion, enthusiasm and faith to the great objectives for which this Organization, a truly unprecedented, ominous meta-biological organism of the Earth and of humanity was created. In the face of colossal obstacles and the shortsightedness of some nations, the UN has performed many miracles.
And now, as I look to the future and further progress, I am told that proper Earth government is impossible! I make this prediction: within twenty years we will have a proper government and administration of planet Earth and of humanity. Why? Because the current troubles, injustices, wastes and colossal duplications of national expenditures, especially on armaments and the military, of 189 nations will force us to. It is inevitable. The salvation of this planet and survival of the human species depend on it. Noone can for long go against evolution. Nation-states must adapt or they will disintegrate, even the biggest one, the United States. Unknown forces will force them to.
During my long world service I had this habit: whenever I receive numerous letters from people around the world pointing at a new challenge or necessity whose time has come, I open a file: within a few years these signals of humanity's global brain and heart become a major trend.
Well, since the 50th anniversary of the UN, my mail abounds with letters calling for proper Earth government, a world federation of states, proposals of other systems for a better global management of this planet. I have therefore decided to return to the dream of my youth, when after World War II I wrote an essay on world government which opened to me the doors of the United Nations. At the age of 77 I have decided to make proper Earth and human government the last and greatest priority of my life. The Earth's survival requires an enormously strengthened second generation United Nations, or a UN transformed progressively into a world union on the model of the European Union, or a United States of the Earth on the pattern of the great precedent of the United States. On the eve of a new century and millennium it is a matter of life or death for the Earth and humanity.
May the heads of states meeting in the UN General Assembly 2000 hear this appeal. I speak in the name of all my school-mates of the class of 1939-40 of the LycÈc of Sarreguemines in Alsace-Lorraine who were killed in French or German uniforms. I plead with you, I beg you, I implore you to change the course of the world into permanent peace, justice and well-being. God, all the saints in heaven, all the souls of tens of millions of people, including mothers and children killed in so many wars will thank you. Please make the World Assembly 2000 one of the most unique, memorable events in all human history. Please lay the foundations for a permanently peaceful, wonderful, well administered unique planet Earth circling in the incredible, heavenly universe of billions of stars and galaxies.
* *
Robert Muller
(Written for the last summer solstice of the second millennium)
21 June 1999
I dream that we humans,
the most advanced miracle
of life in the universe
will lift our sights, hopes and dreams to the year 3000
and make the third millennium
a tremendous, unbelievable cosmic success.
I dream that all governments will join their minds and hearts
to manage this beautiful Earth and its precious humanity
in peace, justice and happiness,
That all religions will join
in a global spirituality,
That all people will become
a caring family,
That all scientists will join
in a united, ethical science,
That all corporations will unite
in a global cooperative
to preserve nature and all humanity.
I believe that once and for ever,
we will eliminate all wars, violence and armaments
from this miraculous planet.
I dream that the incredible and
growing distance between rich and poor,
between and inside nations
will be eliminated as a blemish
to the miracle of life.
I dream that we will stop the destruction
of our miraculous, so richly endowed planetary home.
I dream that we will eliminate all lies, corruption
and immoral advertisements for purely monetary purposes.
I dream that we will all live
simple, frugal lives in order
not to tax unduly the precious
resources of our planet.
I dream that each decade and centennial
will be celebrated as a great
world wide thanksgiving for our successes.
I dream that we will succeed in making our planet
the ultimate success of God,
of the mysterious forces of the
universe of which each of us
is a miraculous, cosmic unit.
I dream that the United Nations will
declare a yearly World Thanksgiving Day
Dear brothers and sisters,
dear children, youth, adults and elderly,
dear spirits of all the departed
let us join forces in fulfilling God's loving destiny intended for all of humanity
Let us prepare the year 3000
as the most extraordinary celebration
of our grandiose, mysterious journey
in the star studded heavens.
Let us make this third millennium
a Jubillennium filled with overflowing peace, happiness and thanksgiving.
Dr. Robert Muller
Chancellor Emeritus,
UN University for Peace
Former UN Assistant Secretary General
Epithets Given to Robert Muller
in the second half of 1999
A pragmatic saint
A rare gift to the world
A healer of all nations
A world Mason
A man who should be speaking in cathedrals
A seeder of cosmic energies
A guide of humanity into the new cosmic age
The last great dreamer of the 20th century
The one man volcano of ideas on Mt. Rasur
A walking world worrier
A day and night thinker about the world and humanity
The millennium maker
The greatest dreamer of the UN
One of the greatest dreamers in the world
A necklace of love affairs
For many people, their favorite man on the planet
The Tolstoy of the United Nations
An electrifying speaker
An incredible fountain of global knowledge and ideas
One of the greatest humans inhabiting today this marvelous planet
We thank God constantly for your presence in this world
The greatest man on Earth
A divine human who believes in the divinity of life
A fool who has still hope for humanity
The prophet of Mt. Rasur
The visionary of the UN University for Peace
A world center of ideas
A Niagara of ideas
The greatest dreamer on Earth
An active luminary
Archangel Rafael
Our planetary prophet
A man with a contagious passion
An extraordinary, incredible man
A man whose passions are contagious
The best speaker in the United States
The conscience of the UN
The mentor of international and world education
The optimist in residence at the United Nations
A global optimist
The man whose syndrome is the universe
The wise man of the UN
The intellectual of the UN
A living example of Saint Paul's rejoicing
The philosopher of the UN
A realistic idealist
The UN's prophet of hope
A fool
A hopeless dreamer
An irrealistic dreamer
One of the world's biggest worriers
A naive prophet
A life dedicated in service to our human family and God
One of the world's great spiritual leaders and teachers
The lone world visionary on sacred Mt. Rasur in demilitarized Costa Rica
A man fully awake to his personal dreams and values and to their fulfillment
The water that appears every two thousand years on Earth to inaugurate the new age
Mother Teresa and Robert Muller, the two greatest persons of the 20th century
A man whose relentless efforts are bringing about major changes in the world.
A man to be thanked for his presence in this world's journey toward a lasting peace
A speaker who uses from his tears to his harmonica to inspire and move audiences
The ideal international civil servant fulfilling the wishes of Dag Hammarskjˆld for that function
A man who from a life of public service was transformed into a contemplative like Dag Hammarskjˆld
The man who helps to preside over the greatest coordination of the positive the world has ever seen
The ideal to which all educators should aim, namely a contributor of knowledge, ideals, dreams, concrete proposals and emotions.
One of the luminaries who hold in their hands the mission to lead the destinies of humanity through the irradiation of their conscience
One of the keepers of the millennium spirit who embodied the vision and potential of this historic moment
A wonderful asset to the world who has made a tremendous difference by changing our consciousness from fear to love
A man who has made the most extraordinary contributions to the intellectual, political and social life of this world
One of the most lively presences in this world to nourish a lasting of greatness for the whole human race in this marvelous planetary home
The man who is always in sessions of sweet silent thought in communion with the future, the planet, humanity and the universe