The concept of the "world citizen" is not traditionally a part of the professional jargon of international development assistance. We hadn't planned a handbook section on it. We did it only after many people we interviewed in the consultation process talked about this new meta-national identity which so many felt they belonged to.
In conventional policy dialogue, the idea of a “planetary citizenship” is not at all on the agenda. Cooperation from richer countries to poorer ones is seen, in the best case scenario, as a “moral responsibility” towards those who are less fortunate; or else it is seen as a prevention of the negative impact, on richer nations, of the consequences of unmitigated world poverty: such as displacement of populations and global security threats resulting from the breakdown of governance in the poorest countries (for eg. Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia)
So, we were surprised when a relevant number of stakeholders we contacted, supported the active participation of richer nations in the global agenda for development; not a participation based on traditional policy justifications, rather based on concepts like "global responsibility for the one Earth” seen as a sort of “one country” where we, as members of mankind, are its citizens. Perhaps, this is a sign of a new sense of global responsibility that an increasing number of persons feel for issues of global governance.
At the same time, it is also a sign of the increasing distance of people from national policies and their doubts on the effectiveness of International Organizations. As emerging from interviews with stakeholders, these organizations are often seen as ineffective in overcoming the short-sighted national-centric policies that animate most foreign policies in the world.
Not that people who support the concept of “world citizenship” wish for a central world government! Loyalty to national governments and to more local identities is not seen in contrast but, on the contrary, a necessary correlation, of a wider loyalty to the planet. These are the two sides of the same love for humanity as a whole. Preservation of cultural diversity is seen as possible only as far as there is a global effort to generate synergies amongst the different local identities that contrast the uniformity now being imposed as a result of politically ungoverned economic globalization.
So as a feed back of the process of consultation, we decided:
- to organize the opinions collected under a specific development issue: issue 4 ⇒ Can we as individuals contribute to the achievement of the Global Development Agenda?
- to propose 2 new global goals for the continuation of the MDGs after 2015: