We, citizens of the peoples of the Earth, are aware of the mortal danger weighing on the future of our common humanity. In fact, a double climactic disturbance threatens life on our planet. The first disturbance is ecological and concerns the risk facing our Earthly Home – our "Mother Earth" in the words of the first peoples – of becoming uninhabitable for an increasing number of people. If the temperature rises to 2 degrees Celsius, it would affect more than a billion human beings, and much more if it goes higher. The average increase in warming is accentuating extreme events such as floods, droughts, fires, plagues, cyclones and storms.
But the world is facing another kind of devastation: a social, political and emotional "Ice Age" fueled by broadening inequalities. Existential fears are giving rise to hateful ideologies that wreak havoc on societies by turning people against each other, especially against the most vulnerable. These hate-mongering political movements exploit the fears of falling down the social ladder, and this results in a struggle between the victims at the bottom: the workers, the precarious, the homeless, the immigrants. Those who feel threatened with losing the little they have fear that others – even poorer than they are – will take their place.
In its ambition, its cynicism and its inequality, market fundamentalism has given rise to a monstrous pairing: identity fundamentalism, which can assume religious, nationalist, xenophobic forms, expressing itself through armed force and at the polling booth. The coming to power of individuals who pose a threat not only to democracy and human rights – starting with women's rights – but also to ecological balance is an increasingly dangerous manifestation of such fundamentalism. In the Philippines, Hungary, the United States, Italy, Brazil,and elsewhere, socially and environmentally unjustifiable forces threaten what is most essential to humanity: to live in peace on a inhabitable planet.
Through the orchestration of fear and the manipulation of information in electoral campaigns, irresponsible and criminal elements can now, as in the 1930s, come to power hiding under seemingly legal arrangements, taking advantage of the cynicism of some and the fear or cowardice of others.
In the face of this double risk and the global battle now presenting itself, we refuse to yield to fear or passively tolerate the spread of this deadly danger. We will organize a creative Resistance everywhere, based on the rejection of social regression, ecological irresponsibility and contempt for fundamental human rights.
Let us declare illegitimate any power not supporting the three essential pillars of humanity's coexistence on a secure planet: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the social pacts of the United Nations and the international conventions aimed at ensuring the sustainability of our planet, particularly the Paris Agreement on climate change. We refuse, through all non-violent means at our disposal, including boycotts and civil disobedience against illegitimate authority, to let ourselves be dominated or intimidated by those powers. Let us create, whenever possible, sanctuary-territories for the victims of these powers and oases of life to confront the deserts of death that jointly produce social regression, ecological irresponsibility and violation of human rights. Let us organize ourselves to build this creative Resistance, with all those who are engaged on the path of transformation of our societies and economies towards ecological sustainability and social and economic equity and justice. We will work to link all these territories and all these oases of life, from the neighborhoods of our cities and the villages of our countrysides, to our Earthly Home.
We solemnly launched this Call to Conscience on December 10th, 2018, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
The Call to consciences read in Paris Town hall on 2018 december 10 for the inauguration of Universal Declaration of Human Rights, illustrated by Yacine Ait Kaci, Elix illustrator.
By Catherine André and Anne-Marie Codur
Yacine Ait Kaci, Elyx designer, offer this draw to illustrate the Call to conscience. You can also find Elyx on the United Nations website! He is illustrating the Universal Declaration for Human Rights for its 70th birthday. Just have a look here.