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Peace from Harmony
Children's Priority Project: Participation in Competitions and search of financing

Project

Making children a priority in the world

Approved by the Board in the first edition in June 2005


  Dubai International Award for Best Practices

  Reporting Format for the Year 2006

 

1.a) Name of the Best Practice ( Project):

Global Movement "MAKING CHILDREN A PRIORITY IN THE WORLD" as a New Kind of the Best Practice for an Information Society

b) City: St.-Petersburg and other cities of the world

c) Country: Russia and other countries of the world: Australia, USA, England, Israel, India etc.

d) Region: Global

e) Has this initiative been submitted previously? -NO

 

2.Authors and Addresses of the Best Practice (Project)

 

Leo Semashko, State Councilor of St. Petersburg, PhD, Director. Public Institute of Strategic Sphere (Tetrasociological) Studies. Address: 7-4-42 Ho-Shi-Min Street, St. Petersburg, 194356, Russia. Tel: 7-812-5133863; E-mail: semashko4444@mail.admiral.ru. Director. International Website "A New Culture of Peace from Social Harmony and Childrens Priority" www.peacefromharmony.org.

Together with the coauthors:

 

Hilarie Roseman, Painter. Address: P.O. Box 260, Metung 3904, Victoria, Australia.email.hilarieroseman@hotmail.com

 

Rose Lord, Writer, Cofounder. Global Coalition for Peace. Address: 4209 East-West Highway, Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815, USA. Tel:  301-654-4899, peaceseekers@globalcoalitionforpeace.net , www.globalcoalitionforpeace.net.

 

Bernard Scott, Dr, SL in Electronically-Enhanced Learning. Address: Cranfield University, Defense Academy, Shrivenham, Wilts SN6 8LA, UK. Tel +44 (0) 1793 785120, Fax +44 (0) 1793 783746, B.C.E.Scott@cranfield.ac.uk, http://ollkg.rmcs.cranfield.ac.uk/bcescott/.

 

Ada Aharoni, PhD, Prof., Founder President. International Forum for the Literature and Culture of Peace (IFLAC). Address: 57 Horev Street, POB 9934, Haifa 34341, Israel 34343. Tel: 972-4-8243230, Fax: 972-4-8261288, Email: ada@tx.technion.ac.il, Web: www.iflac.com/ada.

 

Maitreyee Bardhan Roy, Dr., President. Beautiful Mind - Parental Organisation for the disabled children. Address: AE 697 Salt Lake City, Kolkata, 700064, India. Tel: 91-33-2337-1098 or mobile: 9433060084, e-mail: maitreyee25@rediffmail.com or Subirkumar11@rediffmail.com.

 

Subir Kumar Bardhan Roy, PhD, Agricultural Scientist. Government of West Bengal. Address: AE 697 Salt Lake City, Kolkata, 700064, India. Tel: 91-33-2337-1098, e-mail: sumabroy@vsnl.net .

 

3.Contact Person: Leo Semashko

 

4.Type of Organization: Public Scientific Organization and International Website

 

5.The Nominating Organization

a) Name of Organization: International Forum for the Literature and Culture of Peace (IFLAC)

b) Address of Organization:

57 Horev Street, POB 9934, Haifa 34341, Israel 34343. Tel: 972-4-8243230, Fax: 972-4-8261288, Email: ada@tx.technion.ac.il, Web: www.iflac.com/ada.

c) Contact Person: Ada Aharoni, PhD, Prof., Founder President

d) Type of Organization: International Non-Governmental Organization

 

6. The Partners:

Partner 1: International Forum for the Literature and Culture of Peace (IFLAC). Address: 57 Horev Street, POB 9934, Haifa 34341, Israel 34343. Tel: 972-4-8243230, Fax: 972-4-8261288, Email: ada@tx.technion.ac.il, Web: www.iflac.com/ada. Ada Aharoni, PhD, Prof., Founder President. International non-governmental organization. Ideological and information support.

 

Partner 2: Global Coalition for Peace. Address: 4209 East-West Highway, Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815, USA. Tel:  301-654-4899, Email:peaceseekers@globalcoalitionforpeace.net , www.globalcoalitionforpeace.net. Rose Lord, Cofounder. International non-governmental organization. Ideological and information support.

 

Partner 3: Martha Ross DeWitt, PhD, Sociology, Editor and Research Consultant. Address: 2145 N. 60th St., Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53208, USA. Tel. 414-771-9571, Fax. 414-771-9541, mrossdewitt@sbcglobal.net . Educational institution. Ideological and information support.

 

Partner4:Universal Esperanto Association. Address: Nieuwe Binnenweg, 176,NL-3015 BJ Rotterdam, Netherlands. Tel. +31-10-4361044, Fax +31-10-4361751, Email: renato.corsetti@esperanto.org , www.uea.org . RenatoCorsetti,PhD, President.Internationalnon-governmental organization. Ideological and information support.

 

Partner 5: Bilingual Website http://www.bilingualmca.bravehost.com. Address: Parana 123 P 7 OF 170 (1074) Capital Buenos Aires, Argentina. Tel.: (54) 011-4374-7615, Email: azconacristina@hotmail.com . Maria Cristina Azcona, Poet, Bilingual Website Director. International bilingual website. Ideological and information support.

 

Partner 6: o­ne Mind o­ne voice - The Promise Club"a place where promises to children are kept". Address: 627 Nicklin Way, Wurtulla, Queensland Australia. Tel.: 61 0410233244, E-mail kerrybowden@comcen.com.au , Web: www.thepromiseclub.com. Kerry Bowden. International non- governmental organization. Ideological and information support.

 

Partner 7: International Sociological Association (ISA) RC07 Futures Research. Scientific Organization. Bukkyo University, DepartmentofSociology. Address: 96, kitahananobo-cho, Murasakino, Kita-ku, Kyoto, 603-830, Japan. Tel. 81-75-491.2141; Fax. 81-78-252.1337, Email:bachika@bukkyo-u.ac.jp. ReimonBachika, Professor,President. Scientific - pedagogical organization. Ideational and communication support.

 

Partner 8: Department of Comparative Religion and Sociology, Western Michigan University. Address: 630 Piccadilly Road, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA, 49006. Tel.: 269 - 381 -0864. Fax 269 381 1935, E-mail: RSieb3@AOL.COM . Web site: http://www.rudolfjsiebert.org/. Rudolf J. Siebert, PhD., Full Professor. Scientific - pedagogical organization. Ideological and information support.

 

Partner 9: St.-Petersburg Writers Union. Vladimir Kavtorin, Writer. Address: Kirochnay Street 44-16, St.-Petersburg191123, Russia. Tel.: 8-812-579-47-16, Email: v_kavtorin@mail.ru. Noncommercial organization. Ideological and information support.

 

Partner 10: Newspaper: St.-Petersburg Gazette. Address: Marata Street 25, St.-Petersburg 191025, Russia. Tel.: 8-812-320-2281, Email: dolgoshova@yandex.ru. Anastasia Dolgosheva, Journalist. Media Organization. Ideological and information support.

(We could name still more 10 partners)

 

7. Financial profile

Our project is in the beginning and exists o­n the volunteer basics till now therefore it has no any established financing. Participation of the partners is limited by ideological and information support.

 

8. Category of the Best Practice for Global Movement "Making Children a Priority in the World"

Section: Social Services

education, recreation, health and welfare of children

childrens crime reduction and prevention

priority social service of children as most vulnerable group

Section: Gender Equality and Social Inclusion

women mothers empowerment

priority access to resources of children and groups engaged with children

control of resources

legislation

removing barriers to equity of children, youth and generations

social integration of parents and children (different generations)

Section: Children and Youth

0-9 years

10 years to adult

health and nutrition

education and vocational training (including day care, after school care)

environmental programmes with a youth focus

children's participatory planning and leadership development

recreational/cultural programming

legislation/advocacy: childrens suffrage executed by parents

community support programmes

especially difficult circumstances (abuse, child labour, war)

youth at risk

young parents

 

9.Level of Activity: Global

 

10. Eco-System: Global, education of young generations in a direction of ecological harmony

 

11. Summary

At an initial stage of the project it is difficult to speak about "achievements of the initiative". But in time since June 1, 2005 (project beginning) and for three previous years of its preparation (since 2002) the certain progress in promote of the main project idea - priority of children from childrens suffrage executed by the parents was achieved. Three basic results of work can be specified here.

First, a project theoretical basis in publication of the scientific articles and books, in which its main idea is investigated, was created.

Second, the International and Multicultural Website "A New Culture of Peace from Social Harmony and Childrens Priority" http://www.peacefromharmony.org was created. For today it has united more than 110 co-authors from 26 countries of the world and is the basic ideological and information tool for realization of the project Global Movement "Making Children a Priority in the World". This site exists in five languages: Russian, English, Esperanto, Portuguese and Spanish. Further it will be complemented by five languages: French, German, Arabian, Japanese and Chinese.

Third, the basic idea of the project was submitted as for scientific discussion in numerous presentations at the International conferences in Brisbane (Australia), Beijing (China), Oslo (Norway), St.-Petersburg (Russia) and in the numerous publications in MASS-MEDIA (press, radio and TV) for mass public.

 

12. Key dates

February 15, 2005: Opening of the International Website "A New Culture of Peace from Social Harmony and Childrens Priority" http://www.peacefromharmony.org. It became an international cultural environment, in which were born an idea and initiative project: Global Movement "Making Children a Priority in the World".

May 25, 2005: Hilarie Rosemans letter to the Prime Minister of Australia John Howard with an appeal "Making children a priority in Australia", which has given a push and has served as an example for the subsequent similar appeals in other countries.

May 31, 2005: Leo Semashkos appeal to the beginning of a new Global Civil Movement "Making Children a Priority in the World".The necessity, basic purposes and directions of activity of this movement and also date of its beginning - June 1, 2005, International day for protection of children is defined in this appeal.

June 21, 2005: Rose Lords letter to the USA President Jorge Bush with an appeal "Making children a priority in the USA".

September 1, 2005: Leo Semashkos letter to the Russia President Vladimir Putin with an appeal "Making children a priority in Russia".

 

13.Narrative:

 

SITUATION BEFORE THE INITIATIVE BEGAN

Children are the o­nly human resource for Societies of the Future. However, as the UN Special Session o­n Children (May 2002) has pointed out, modern societies leave children in "poverty, discrimination and neglect". Our initiative (project) concerns everyone involved with the sphere of childhood, including parents, teachers, doctors and other caregivers, as well as the children, themselves, comprising 50%-80% of the population in different countries.

 

ESTABLISHMENT OF PRIORITIES

For an Information Age, our initiative places a priority o­n development of children and the sphere of childhood, following the advice of Dimitry Mendeleyev, Janusz Korczak, Mahatma Gandhi, Nobel Peace Laureates and other recognized thinkers. Childrens priority rejects violent means of societal transformation. Childrens priority is possible o­nly through legislation, first of all through adoption of "Childrens Suffrage Executed by Parents," legislated by each country in keeping with its culture and customs. But such laws can be accepted o­nly following civic pressure, as a result of national and global awareness. For this purpose, a global movement "Making Children a Priority in the World" is formed. Its social base will probably be young parents, especially mothers bearing the primary responsibility for care of their children. Women, therefore, are expected to provide the leadership for this movement and initiative.

 

FORMULATION OF OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGIES

The main objective of this initiative is the formation of a global movement "Making Children a Priority in the World." The task of creating a childrens priority is complex, difficult, and long-term, not achievable in o­ne decade in all the different countries. It can be accomplished o­nly by constant efforts involving complementary national movements. Therefore, the strategy of this initiative is to introduce the idea of childrens priority to organizations and citizens in the different countries and encourage their association with the global movement. The initial strategies have included organization of our international website and letters from our website members to their respective national leaders with the appeal "Making Children a Priority." The objectives and strategies of the initiative were decided in collective discussion o­n our website during the year 2005.

 

MOBILIZATION OF RESOURCES

Our initiative is at an early stage, in which the mobilization of human, ideological and information resources has been primary. For this purpose, bilateral contacts and multilateral communications have been used: discussions, preparation of general offers (for example, for the UN Report o­n a Culture of Peace), distribution of common messages, and the editing and translation of letters and other materials into different languages for our website. Key participants in the initiative have authored the appeal "Making Children a Priority" to leaders of their countries (look 2.Authors). Now, similar letters are in preparation from more than 10 countries. Key organizations that support the project with human, ideological and information resources are: Public Institute (Russia), IFLAC (International), Global Coalition for Peace (USA), HumanDHS (International), Universal Esperanto Association (International), Promise Club (International) and others. In parallel we have begun to search the financial resources for our initiative. Participating for the Dubai International Award (30 thousand dollars) is our first attempt in this direction.

 

PROCESS

During our introduction of this initiative (project) many problems have arisen. The most complex problem is achieving understanding and acceptance of the childrens priority idea. Although this idea is not new (in different forms it is expressed by Dimitry Mendeleyev, Janusz Korczak, Mahatma Gandhi and many others), until 2004 there was no theoretical rationale for it or any embodiment of the idea in a legislative proposal. In 2004, in Semashko and DeWitts brochure "Childrens Suffrage: Democracy for the 21st Century, Priority Investment in Human Capital as a Way toward Social Harmony" (Russian and English), a theoretical rationale is presented for the idea of making children a legislative priority, as part of the requirements of an Information Age (2004: 6-37).

In this brochure, a "Law of Childrens Suffrage Executed by Parents and Guardians" is proposed for Russia by Semashko (2004: 52-58). The contents of this brochure were submitted in a number of Semashkos papers for the World Sociological Congress in Beijing in 2004 and at the international conference "Childhoods 2005" in Oslo. For these audiences, the childrens priority idea began to be perceived with greater understanding. However, it continues to be difficult for a mass audience. Therefore, o­ne of the major tasks for the global movement, "Making Children a Priority," will be to explain and propagate this idea to a mass audience in the different countries, cultures and population groups.

Created in February 2005, our international website serves, first of all, to address this problem through the publication of numerous opinions and their further discussion in open forums. In total, o­n this website and its forums during half of the year, more than 200 opinions and responses were published from private citizens and from national and international organizations, including a reply from the Australian Government to Hilarie Rosemans appeal. In this way, the main problem of the initiative the novelty of its central idea - is addressed through correspondence with and among website participants.

Certainly, the initiative must contend with all kinds of resource problems: personnel, information, organization and funding. However, these problems will be solved as the childrens priority idea and its universal, peaceful and humane value become clear and accepted by world public opinion. The achievement of this understanding by world public opinion is o­ne of the main purposes of this initiative.

Toward this end, Semashko and DeWitt propose in their brochure, Childrens Suffrage, an International, Comparative Study of Parents/Guardians Attitudes toward Childrens Suffrage (2004: 38-51). This study, fully funded, would interview parents using random sampling techniques to select respondents in large cities in four countries.

 

RESULTS ACHIEVED

As has been emphasized, this initiative is at the beginning of realization. Therefore, for our initiative, it is correct to speak, not about the degree of results achieved in making childrens issues a global priority, which has not yet occurred in any country of the world, but o­nly about the degree of preparation of preconditions for its achievement. Creation of a theoretical rationale for making children a global priority, development of a legislative proposal for a Law of Childrens Suffrage Executed by Parents, developing international participation in our website www.peacefromharmony.org, and our plan to survey parental acceptance of the idea of childrens suffrage are just the beginning preparations of preconditions for a global movement "Making Children a Priority."

 

SUSTAINABILITY OF THE INITIATIVE (PROJECT) WITH ITS ADVANTAGES

Already, at this initial stage of realization of our initiative, the following integrated advantages appear to meet the Criteria for "Best Practice" within the framework of the Dubai International Award:

 

5.1 Impact. This initiative promises, through community supported legislation, to ensure quality and efficiency in improving the social living environment of families and children. It seeks to positively impact the quality of family life through improving the lives of children. It strives to provide for a series of tangible, measurable and sustained, positive influences toward improving the ability of child care givers and groups responsible for the well-being of children: and especially for the care of poor, disabled and homeless children.

5.1. c. i. The project stimulates the creation of more efficient, accountable and transparent management. It seeks to unite efforts of the state, private and civic sectors of society and to develop effective partnerships.

5.1. c. ii. The project promotes gender equality and equality of generations in decision-making, policy-making and resource-allocation that is socially, culturally, economically and environmentally accountable.

 

5.2 Partnership. Our initiative is founded o­n a partnership of more than 20 international organizations and their websites, individual social and physical scientists, and practitioners of culture and the arts from many countries.

 

5.3 Sustainability. Our initiative promises to result in lasting changes through:

5.3.(i) Legislation, regulatory agencies that protect children in society, budget financing of sphere of childhood, and improved standards of the quality of life of children and those connected with them: parents, teachers, doctors and other caregivers.

5.3.(ii) Social policies and sector strategies at a (sub)national level that have a potential for replication elsewhere, in the various countries, cultures and population groups.

 

5.4. Leadership and Community Empowerment:

5.4(i) Our project seeks to reorient leaders and public policy makers to recognize the priority of children and those social groups responsible for them: parents, grandparents, teachers, doctors, etc., groups that comprise 50% to 80 % of the population in any given country.

5.4(ii) The project seeks to strengthen in society the empowerment of children, parents (especially mothers), grandparents, teachers, doctors and others engaged with children.

5.4(iii) The project accepts and responds appropriately to social and cultural diversity.

 

5.5 Gender Equality and Social Inclusion: Our initiative promotes social equality and equity o­n the basis of gender and age.

 

5.7 Transfers:

5.7(i-ii) The project develops new strategies of tangible impact for transfers to younger generations of ideas, skills, knowledge and technologies, and also of changes in policies and practices of social governance.

In summary, we believe that our initiative is the most effective way to realize the UN Convention o­n the Rights of the Child, a Convention that is recognized by UNICEF as unrealized for the majority of children worldwide. The development of our initiative can provide an effective means for execution of this Convention, globally, through active parental participation in policy making and priority budget financing for the sphere of children.

 

LESSONS LEARNED

There are no global initiatives similar to ours. We are pioneers in the practice of a global movement for "Making Children a Priority in the World." Therefore, we cannot find lessons in other initiatives with the exception of o­ne. It is the attempt at introducing childrens suffrage without participation of parents undertaken in Germany at the end of the twentieth century under the slogantowards a society without age discrimination by the youth group K.R.A.E.T.Z.A.E. We, the KinderRAEchTsZAEnker (aka K.R.A.E.T.Z.A.E.), demand equal rights between the generations in the family as well as in the whole of society, and the repeal of all discriminatory age limits http://en.kraetzae.de/aboutus/. This group has advanced the proposal to discussion in the German Bundestag. However, the initiative has not found support either in the Bundestag or in public opinion of the country, owing to its conflict with electoral interests, and its opposition from the suffrages of both older and younger generations. Other deficiencies of the German initiative have to do with the age qualification for the majority of children.

Taking into account negative lessons from the German proposal, our initiative insists o­n execution of childrens suffrage by parents and guardians up to childrens majority (full age), and reduction of its (majority) limits up to age 16 and then to 14 years. It allows our initiative to consolidate electoral interests and rights of different generations and also to overcome the age qualification for children. Both of these aspects make childrens suffrage executed by parents and guardians an effective social-cultural and political-legal institutional means for overcoming childrens "poverty, discrimination and neglect", for building "a world fit for children" (UN Special Session o­n childhood, 2002).

Our initiative of a Global movement "Making Children a Priority in the World" takes into account the recommendations of the UN. It responds favorably to its appeal to all members of society to join to the global movement that will help build a word fit for children," which was repeated at the UN Special Session o­n Childhood (2002). It responds favorably, also, to purposes of the UN International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (2000-2100). A collective report by 32 authors of our website was prepared for the UN Foundation in April, 2005. Our project also takes into account the recommendation of UNICEF about development of childrens participation in decision-making concerning children. The institution of childrens suffrage executed by parents creates the most favorable basis for development and support of similar participation of children in concerning first of all budget financing of the childrens sphere. Our initiative is open to taking into account both the positive and negative lessons of other projects and initiatives.

 

TRANSFERS

Thetransferability of childrens priority o­n the basis of childrens suffrage executed by parents and guardians is advantageous to each country. Therefore, our initiative can be applied and transferred to any country within the scope of its culture, traditions and heritage, and within the limits of its development as an information society. In view of irregular development of countries, and different degrees of approximation to an information society, the process of promoting our initiative may require at least o­ne decade. Globally, "Making Children a Priority in the World" can be accomplished in every country. In an advanced form, we believe this global movement will create national and regional movements of similar quality.

All such movements can begin with letters from responsible citizens, with an appeal "Making Children a Priority," to leaders of their country. The experience of similar appeals can repeat in each country and be copied in other countries. For an example from our initiative, Hilarie Rosemans appeal to the Prime Minister of Australia has served as an example for Rose Lords appeal to the President of the USA. There are no limits for replications of similar experiences. When in each country there are responsible persons who have addressed their government with an appeal "Making Children a Priority" they can form a National Committee associated with the Global movement. National Committees will define national strategies to promote children as a priority in their country, and there will be transfers of experience within the framework of our initiative.

 

RELATED POLICY/IES OR LEGISLATION

At an early stage, the question of support from those in power might seem premature. At first, an initiative might seek support from professional analysts and public opinion, through communication and publication of ideas, and later seek support from those in positions of regional and national power. This also applies to the introduction of legislation. We have drafted a "Law of Childrens Suffrage Executed by Parents and Guardians" for o­ne country (Russia). Proposals of comparable laws can be developed for other countries, and become topics for political analysis and public discussion before being offered as legislation. All of this involvement and preparation is an essential aspect of the global movement "Making Children a Priority in the World".

 

 

14. References

 

2006. Anastasia Dolgosheva. Interview with Leo Semashko: A Vote Right from the Cradle?

Newspaper:The St.-Petersburg Gazette, January 12, 2006, p. 4, in Russian

2005. Vladimir Kavtorin and Leo Semashko. What Ends the Children's Suffrage Executed by

Parents May Serve? Journal: Zvezda, No 9, p.188-199, in Russian

2004. Leo Semashko and Martha Ross DeWitt. Children's Suffrage: Key for Decision of the

Childhood's Problems. St.-Petersburg State Polytechnic University, 68 p, in Russian

2003. Leo Semashko with 14 co-authors. Tetrasociology: from Sociological Imagination

through Dialog to Universal Values and Harmony. In three languages: Russian,

English and Esperanto. St.-Petersburg State Polytechnic University, 396 p.

 

Semashko's works o­nly:

 

2005. Children First Contra Humiliation.

 http://www.humiliationstudies.org/news/archives/000813.html

2005. Institute of Children's Suffrage Executed by Parents: Necessity and Consequences. Paper

presented at the conference ' Childhoods 2005. Children and Youth in Emerging and

Transforming Societies', University of Oslo, Norway, Abstracts, p. 340

2005. Children's Suffrage Executed by Parents: Sociocultural Institute of the Antiterrorist

Immunity. Journal: Telescope, 2005, No 2, p. 30-42, in Russian

2004. Children, Youth and Democratic Suffrage in a Globalization Era,

http://www.usyd.edu.au/su/social/RC53/Newsletter%2012-04.pdf

2004. Children's Suffrage as a Key Way of Improvement of Children's Well-being in an Age of

`Globalization. Electronic Journal of Sociology (2004) ISSN: 1198 3655

http://www.sociology.org/content/2004/tier2/semashko.html

2004. Children's Suffrage: Democracy for the 21st Century, Priority Investment in Human

Capital as a Way toward Social Harmony. St.-Petersburg State Polytechnic University,

72 p.

 

(All is published about 30 works o­n a specified theme)

 

15. Supporting Materials

1.The letters to the leaders of Australia, USA, Russia, Israel and Palestine with an appeal "Making Children a Priority" and appeal to the beginning of the appropriate Global movement.

2.International Website "A New Culture of Peace from Social Harmony and Childrens Priority" www.peacefromharmony.org

 

Dr. Leo Semashko

January 30, 2006.

====================================================

 

Leo M. Semashko
September, 2004

TO: Mr. Kofi Annan
UN Secretary-General

 
Dear Mr. Annan,
 
I am pleased to send you two of my books representing two international projects: o­ne o­n international bilingualism, and the other o­n childrens suffrage, which I dare to hope will interest the United Nations.

The first is my book Tetrasociology: from Sociological Imagination through Dialogue to Universal Values and Harmony. St.-Petersburg State Polytechnic University (2003, 396 pages), with 14 co-authors from four continents in three languages (Russian, English and Esperanto), devoted to a multicultural dialog of civilizations based o­n a shared, theoretical (tetrasociological) platform. This book proposes an International Publishing Project as an effective way to promote a dialog among civilizations toward a culture of peace. The project suggests the institution of international bilingualism, through recognition of Esperanto as a second international language, together with English. International bilingualism would encourage development of an unbiased dialog among civilizations. For this purpose, Esperanto has the necessary preconditions: it is a planned, neutral language, with 115 years of international practice, and millions of esperantists world-wide, organized in associations that are already practicing a global subculture of brotherhood and peace.

The distinction of languages divides people in the world most of all. Today, the UN has no political strategy in the field of an international language. Elements of linguistic inequality and discrimination are sustained. This inherent injustice contributes to social, economic, political and cultural conflicts and global disasters. We propose international bilingualism, sponsored by the UN,as a linguistic strategy that will concretize the UNs general purpose for the current decade: an impartial dialog among civilizations, to bring about an equitable and sustainable culture of peace.

The second is my book Childrens Suffrage: Democracy for the 21st Century, Priority Investment in Human Capital as a Way toward Social Harmony, St.-Petersburg State Polytechnic University (2004, 72 pages), devoted to considering the necessity and social consequences of voting for minor children, exercised by their parents. The UN Special Session o­n Childhood (May 2002) emphasized that modern society leads many children into "poverty, discrimination and neglect". It called upon "all members of society" to join in a "global movement that will help build a world fit for children." In my book, because it establishes the political responsibility of the family and state for children, childrens suffrage is considered to be an effective political tool for such a global movement, as a new political psychology and culture of peace to modernize democracy and as a powerful antiterrorist strategy, which eradicates the origins of terrorism in childhood and creates antiterrorist immunity of the population. The brutal terrorist act against over a thousand children in Beslan , Russia , September 1-3, 2004 has emphasized the sharp necessity of such tool. Childrens suffrage replaces a priority of military and economic interests of the states with a priority of children and the social sphere, hence, a priority of peace, which modernizes the culture of peace. Childrens suffrage was the central focus of my eight papers at the IIS World Sociological Congress, Beijing , July, 2004.

Both of these projects - internationalbilingualismand childrens suffrage require extensive social research and discussion, which are unlikely without the moral support and financial help of the UN, through its appropriate structures: UNESCO and UNICEF. Both projects could become subjects of international conferences under the aegis of the UN, if you personally favor them. I believe your support for research and discussion of these projects could enhance the international prestige of the UN. Similar researches and discussions will have the great significance for the modernization of the culture of peace in the face of the aggravated challenges of the 21st century: terrorisms, poverty, ecology, crisis of democracy and spirit/worldview.

With deep respect and hope for understanding and support, Sincerely,

Leo Semashko


 

Reply from United Nations
04 October, 2004  

Dear Dr. Semashko

On behalf of Secretary-General Kofi Annan, I wish to acknowledge receipt of your letter of 10 September 2004 and of your books, which have been referred to this office for reply.

Please allow me to thank you for so generously sending us copies of Tetrasociology and Childrens Suffrage, the contents of which have been read and duly noted. While we appreciate the purpose of your request, we hope you will understand that the Secretary-General does not intervene with the Member States , Specialized Agencies, Funds or Programmers of the United Nations Organization o­n behalf of corporations or private individuals. I must also advise you that any proposal to be considered by the Members of the United Nationsmust first be presented by an official representative of a Member State , duly inscribed o­n the Organizations agenda and voted by the Membership. You may therefore wish to redirect your proposal to your countrys representative office before the United Nations: Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, 136 East 67th Street, New York, NY 10021 U.S.A. Tel.: (212) 861-4900. Telefax: (212) 628-0252. I hope this information will be helpful to you.

Again, thank you for you books, for sharing your ideas with us, for your interest in the United Nations and for taking the time to write to us.

Yours sincerely,

Dawn Johnston-Britton
Chief, Public Inquires Unit
DepartmentofPublicInformation


 


Dear friends and colleagues!

I am glad to send you a copy of my letter (1 page) to the UN General Secretary Mr. Kofi Annan. This letter is devoted to two practical projects of tetrasociology: international bilinguism and childrens suffrage. They are interconnected in that the new global culture of peace requires that first of all children study both bilingualism and suffrage at school and within their families. These projects modernize the culture of peace and help develop a multicultural dialogue among civilizations. Without modernization of the culture of peace and strengthening of dialogue, the achievement of sustainable life, development and social harmony in the face of the aggravated challenges of the 21st century (terrorism, poverty, ecology, demography, crisis of democracy and spirit/worldview) is impossible.

The sharpest challenge is terrorism that o­nce again the monstrous capture of more than a thousand children, from them 170 were killed, in Beslans school, Russia, September, 1-3 2004 has emphasized. Terrorisms targeting of children is a new, brutal, tool for the achievement of the criminal purposes. Children should be protected from this new threat. Before us - social scientists, public and political figures - it has put a critical question: whether we can offer more effective means to eradicate terrorism than the military? I think, the answer is yes. o­ne possible part of the solution is childrens suffrage executed by their parents, which creates the political responsibility of family and state for children and, by that means, establishes an antiterrorist immunity.

I send you my letter o­nly because these projects are very important for a new stage of globalization and have different consequences for different civilizations, countries and social groups. Therefore these projects require wide public discussion, in which your opinion, as theorists and practitioners, has great importance. In this connection, I hope, you forgive me for the unsolicited letter and will express an opinion o­n the projects, about their advantages and deficiencies. I am sure the exchange of opinions between us about these projects will not o­nly will enrich us theoretically but also will create favorable ground new constructive projects for the development of a culture of peace and dialogue of civilizations. They will allow to stop of terrorism and wars and will ratify the new culture of peace excluding them.

In conclusion I ask you to answer o­ne simple question: DO THE INTERNATION BILINGUALISM AND CHILDRENS SUFFRAGE PROJECTS HOW ELEMENTS OF THE CULTURE OF PEACE DESERVE DUSCUSSION AND RESEARCH OR DO NOT DESERVE?

YES. NOT.

Thanks for the reply.

With deep respect and best regards,
Leo M. Semashko

September 19, 2004
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