CONSULTATION: proposal of themes for October 17 2018

The consultation is finished. The theme for this year, decided by the United Nations, with the important support following your contributions, is :

Coming together with those furthest behind to build an inclusive world of universal respect for human rights and dignity.

-*-*-*-*-Consultation finished in April 2018-*-*-*-*-

Share your insights and comments...

A brainstorming was held in New York to develop proposals for the theme for October 17, 2018. The informal working group agreed to propose the following themes for consideration and further consultation:

1. Ensuring that human rights are a reality for all: overcoming together the challenges of reaching those furthest behind.

2. Coming together with those furthest behind to build a world of universal respect for human rights and dignity.

Note on the themes

These two proposals reflect the fact that 2018 will mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) which will be observed at the UN and around the world. In keeping with the defense of human rights at the core of the October 17 observance it is important for the 2018 IDEP theme to reinforce and highlight the relationship between the Day and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The proposed themes stress the criticality of ensuring that no one is left behind in all efforts to end poverty and to defend the human rights and dignity of people living in poverty. Therefore, the proposed themes stress the need to reach and include those "furthest behind".

The proposed themes have not included explicitly the issue of refugee and migrants but it is the intention that these concerns will be discussed in the concept note that accompanies the theme that is eventually selected.

Two questions:

-Which one of the two proposals do you feel more comfortable with, expresses the best what’s important for you?
-Do they echo what you experience with the persons you meet and with whom you are committed? If yes, do you have examples or situations that illustrate one or the other proposal?

Your insights and comments about these two themes would be more than welcome in order for the ‘Working Group’ to continue the dialog with the United Nations.

We thank you, in advance, for your support and participation. All the best to you and those around you.

14 comments for this discussion

By France Fournier (International Committee for October 17, Collectif pour un Québec sans pauvreté, Fourth World activist), and Robert Lowe (Fourth World activist), Canada

It is well said: "universal respect", it reflects what Father Joseph Wresinski taught us: it is everywhere in the world and it is a matter of uniting for the dignity of all and the poorest. That's what he wrote on the Stone.

This is important because we hear a lot about economic rights, but there is the importance of telling people to unite; and to recognize it is consistent with universal rights, such as the right to exist, to be recognized and the right to dignity.

The very poor people come together to ensure that their rights are recognized. They participate in society, they do what they have in front of them and they give back to their community.

I am thinking of women in African countries who co-operate, because people have believed in them and allowed them to exist in their communities. It is so essential to be part of one's community, not being excluded from it.

Recognising the life skills of the poorest people, their know-how, and taking into account their thoughts, reduces prejudice by making them exist. These people are not "poor in everything". It's not just economics, but other contributions that enrich your community.

The theme of the next Fourth World People's University was prepared in a small group and I said that it was important to use the intelligence of the poorest people to take decisions. My friend Josée started a project in Africa, a shea butter cream company, in cooperation. This project is set up directly with the poorest people, and it should be the same for housing, education, etc. projects in all countries, whether they are rich or poor. Refer to what the poorest people want. For example, radio this morning talked about building more social and co-operative housing. Poor and non-poor people need to put their intelligence together and not just use the intelligence of decision-makers.
This is the prerequisite for projects to be adapted to people's needs, otherwise they will fail and everyone loses.

This theme speaks to all the peoples of the world, including refugees; there are more and more internment camps, people in camps. The countries that receive them must ask themselves how to welcome them with the greatest possible dignity. Dignity in hospitality.

The very essence of Father Joseph's message is dignity AND bonds, the need to ally ourselves with the world that asks for our opinion. It's very important for October 17th: We are doing it TOGETHER, to go further!

By Sana Sta Ana, ATD Fourth World Philippines

I like option 1. But could we shorten the words?

Just a suggestion through a contextual layout (fonts are different colors and sizes to signify diversity; and not aligned to symbolize challenges).

"Human rights for ALL" text can be circle around "Respect and Dignity".

Respect & Dignity
Human Rights for ALL

By the NGO "SEEPAT" ("Save the Environment, Drinking Water and Sanitation for All"), Burkina Faso

As you know, our organization is committed in the struggle for respect for human dignity. The most fundamental thing for every human being who lives on this earth is dignity!

Everything done to respect human dignity is salutary. That is why we ourselves have committed to reject extreme poverty by allow the poorest people to access what they need to live with dignity, i. e. clean drinking water and adequate sanitation.

Faced with these many challenges and according to our experience through our commitment to the struggle for respect for human dignity, we believe that the second theme, namely "Coming together with those furthest behind to build a world of universal respect for human rights and dignity" is in line with our common objectives of overcoming poverty.

Coming together with those furthest behind because we have the same fundamental rights and we will have to "break" the barrier between rich and poor; this is how we can build a world of universal respect for human rights and dignity.

This theme is also part of our approach, which is to reach out to the most excluded people, discuss their concerns with them and find solutions in which they take part in their own way.

To conclude, know this: "Our country may have gold, oil and diamonds, but if we are not in solidarity, it is useless; solidarity is the greatest of all the world's riches".

Bobo-Dioulasso, February 07,2018

From Gideon A., Nigeria

I feel strongly that the proposed themes are timely, as I agree that priority attention should be given to those farthest away, the un-reached, as we struggle to make universal respect for human right and dignity a reality.

I am particularly more comfortable with the first theme.

I should note that we (I and my colleagues) have come to adopt an approach to the pursuit of this ideal. We posit that the primary factor perpetuating poverty and inequality, lack of respect for human dignity and human rights, is the unjust political in which a set of persons consider power a birthright, promoting an economic system that takes necessity from many to give luxury to a few. And so our ongoing work is targeted at upturning this unjust system, and consequently addressing poverty, which itself (we believe) is the foundation of the constant violence that characterize this part of the world.

Warmest regards.