Declaration passed at the symposium "The Future of Life and the Future of our Civilization"
(Frankfurt University, May 2-6 (2005))
PROTECTION OF LIFE AND OUR CIVILIZATION
The world-wide community of scientists form a unique society that aims to discover universal truths. Academic Andrei Sakharov once noted that "The formula E=mc^2 holds true on all continents". Sadly, some important discoveries of this community continue to be used for destructive purposes. The three particularly alarming issues that we wish to raise are:
The application of science for the production of armaments and other military technology that have not succeeded in preventing human conflicts and wars;
The fast pace of application of technology leading to degradation of the environment and emerging ecological imbalances that continue to erode the symbiotic relationship between man and nature; and
The continued poor state of value placed on life and on the basic human right to live with dignity, freedom and harmony.
Today we are witness to many bloody conflicts and other destructive activities (trans-national criminals, drug-dealers, terrorism, etc). Even the basic human right - the right to life - is often not guaranteed. It is important that scientists all over the world collaborate to protect and improve our lives and our civilizations, based on the common moral principles as defined in the UN declaration of the rights of man. Many of these intertwined issues were deliberated upon by a group of scientists, technologists and environmentalists at an International Symposium "The Future of Life and the Future of our Civilization" held at the Goethe University in Frankfurt/Main (Germany) during 2-6 May 2005 and they adopted the following Declaration.
Being deeply concerned over the poor state of national and international affairs, global changes, ecological catastrophes, continued investment in ever more powerful weapons, arms races and international conflicts that are undermining the future of mankind; and
Recognizing the paramount importance of the active involvement of scientists, technologists and other intellectuals in addressing these problems and finding viable solutions to them:
We, the participants in the Symposium on "The Future of Life and the Future of our Civilization", unanimously recommend that an "INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR GLOBAL STUDIES" be established under the auspices of the UN or one of its Agencies.
This Center should draw upon the expertise of leading scientists, technologists, economists, sociologists, geographers, and others from different parts of the world to suggest effective measures for the protection of life and our civilization.
Such a Center should be international and independent of political and religious influences, and through careful and unbiased analysis create consensus that advises governments and other policy making bodies or individuals.
The Center should track, analyze and provide long term prognosis of the spectrum of events that may affect the safety and wellbeing of life on the Earth. These should include catastrophes due to military applications in space or to events of ecological, technological, atmospheric or hydrospheric nature.
The Center should seek to bring together preeminent specialists from throughout the world, and bring to bear all available methodologies to provide solid, scientifically-based predictions and proposed solutions.
THE OBJECTIVES OF THE PROPOSED CENTER SHOULD BE:
to collect and analyze information about any events with the potential to threaten the safety of life on Earth;
to provide scientific and analytical support to the many branches of the UN;
to reduce and mitigate losses due to ecological and socio-economic disasters;
to reduce and eventually to stop the production and distribution of all weapons. In particular international controls and restrictions on the weapons of mass destruction should be adhered to, starting first by the actions of scientists.
to strengthen efforts towards promotion of peace and harmony among all different peoples of the world.
to protect basic human rights and to evolve an international order built upon a solid foundation of openness, dialogue, transparency and good-neighbourly relations.
We express our hope that international laws will be enacted and acknowledged by all nations. Violation of the safety of our planet should be considered a grave crime against humanity. We propose that all countries reduce their military investments by 0.1 % every year and the money thus saved should be used to provide health care and education to all people. In addition, individuals, foundations, and nongovernmental organizations should be encouraged and empowered to continue to work with the poor and the needy.
We consider that a scientific approach to analyzing, anticipating and resolving issues related to the long term health and safety of our planet and its citizens must constitute the very foundation of the center.
We have a choice: to stress the environment beyond its capacity for regeneration and to live with conflict, war, poverty, hunger and disease, as we are doing today, or to embrace a new dawn and create freedoms and opportunities for all. It is time to take a stand!
In full concurrence and support thereof, we affix our signature below.