From different parts of the world, a number of humanists have reflected on the present moment and prepared this declaration and campaign which Pressenza is happy to endorse.
Health is a universal right.
Above market economics and financial speculation.
With this appeal we are responding to the responsibility that we have been called upon to accept. We will use all our strength to overcome the coronavirus emergency. And we will do so as best we can by staying at home, continuing to do our work, where necessary, and helping those in need in every way we can. We will be responsible and try to convince those around us to do the same.
We will continue to be responsible, even when this situation is behind us, when we will have to pay the price for the catastrophe that will affect millions of people – beyond the loss of so many affected people in inhuman conditions – with extremely serious consequences for healthcare and the economy.
But we also demand that you, our representatives, those to whom we have delegated very important decisions and to whom we are also entrusting our lives and those of our loved ones, assume your responsibility as well.
We are not naive and we know perfectly well that we are not just experiencing an accident, but instead paying the price for completely wrong priorities and unacceptable choices.
People’s health, scientific research and life itself have been subordinated to other things: the market, financial choices and respect for economic parameters that have nothing to do with the well-being of the community.
This virus didn’t create the contradictions we’re experiencing, it just helped us to see them. Today, the consequences are plain for all to see. It is clear that the mechanisms that have regulated our society so far do not guarantee our well-being and even threaten our survival.
The difficulties, the lack of coordination, the slowness and indecision with which our governments have responded to this emergency have shown us clearly how much their hands are tied by the markets, the financial system and the blackmail of the global economy. To tell us that this is inevitable is to admit that there is no longer any point to our democracy. And this is unacceptable, immoral and counter to human evolution. We demand that our governments represent the interests of the people and not the markets.
We recognize the mistakes we’ve made. We naively thought that by following certain economic prescriptions, by submitting to economic blackmail, we would save ourselves from the situation into which millions of people have been put in so-called “developing” countries. But today, faced with this crisis, faced with the threat of new wars, new possible pandemics and ecological disaster, we realize that none of us can feel safe unless the well-being of all is guaranteed, just as we realize that there are no longer separate peoples but only one large human family.
The solidarity that is being shown, the mutual aid between individuals, between regions, between States, shows the direction in which we must move.
We will no longer be manipulated by hate campaigns that only serve to divide us.
None of us is isolated, none of us is expendable and no one can save themselves alone.
The progress of a few ends up being progress for no one.
We ask all our countries’ governments to immediately:
– make every effort to overcome this crisis, giving it absolute logistical and economic priority until the danger has passed. Human life is the most important value.
– adequately and permanently strengthen public health facilities and adapt them to our real needs. Their functioning should no longer be measured in terms of productivity but in terms of their capacity to improve public health and prevention. This strengthening should also cover research and staff training.
– provide massive, appropriate and non-repayable grants to support individuals, families and productive enterprises that will be greatly damaged by this emergency. These funds must in no way be compensated for by new cuts to public spending, but must be raised from the wealth that has been concentrated in the hands of a few individuals, banks and hedge funds in recent decades. For example, by taxing speculative investments and taxing the income of large companies that currently do not pay taxes in the countries where they operate. It is urgently necessary to cut other budget items such as those related to military spending, especially missions abroad and the purchase of new supplies and equipment.
– create an international emergency fund managed by the UN in order to support the most economically fragile countries (such as sub-Saharan Africa), where this pandemic risks having the most devastating consequences. This aid must in no way be converted into new debt.
As for us, we will no longer be simply passive spectators.
We have felt the need to come together and to listen to what’s in the depths of our hearts. We have rediscovered what is essential in life and we will make it the foundation of our existence. We will change our priorities and cultivate our best aspirations. We are many, of all generations and cultures, and our strength will be such that it will no longer be possible to ignore us.
“We are at the end of a dark period in history and nothing will ever be the same as before. Little by little, a new day will dawn. Cultures will begin to understand one another; peoples will experience a growing yearning for progress for all, understanding that progress for the few ends up being progress for no one. Yes, there will be peace, and out of necessity it will be understood that the outline of a Universal Human Nation is beginning to appear.” – Silo, 2004
Humanists for the #UniversalRightToHealth
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