On March 27, 2021, the 8th Assembly of the Multiconvergence of Global Networks (MRG) ratified the decision to start the experimental creation of a Parliament of Planetary Citizenship within the Networks, composed of two Chambers: a Council of the Wisdoms of the Earth’s Peoples, and an Assembly of Planetary Citizenship.

On May 29, 2021 the First Meeting of the Council of Wisdoms of the Earth’s Peoples was held. In this first exploratory meeting of the Council, the delegates discussed ratifying the Pact of Conviviality, the organization of the Planetary Citizenship Assembly and the urgent themes that will have to be given priority by the Parliament.

By Teodora C. Hasegan

Frédéric Vandenberghe, who is part of the Steering Group of the Multiconvergence of Global Networks, said that “The idea of complementing the organization of the United Nations with an organization of the United Peoples is relatively new. Given the urgency to solve the world’s problems and avoid the extinction of the human species and other beings, time is ripe to try again. Picking up an idea of The Convivialist International for a Global Citizens Parliament with two chambers, we have adopted the project and also reformulated. It still has two chambers: The Council of the Wisdoms of the Earth’s Peoples, and The Assembly of Planetary Citizens.” The Council of Wisdoms, composed of people who are recognized for their wisdom, moral exemplary or leadership of service, becomes the head of the Parliament that sets the agenda. The Assembly of Planetary Citizens forms the heart of the Parliament that deliberates and decides.

Vandenberghe explained that there will be four working groups responsible for thinking through and working out the details of the Planetary Citizenship Parliament. The first one deals with matters of urgent concern which will decide which themes the Parliament will work on; the second group deals with the constitution of the Parliament which will define the rule book and organize the next meeting; the third one, assembling the Assembly, implies a lot of coordination among the networks to select 20 people from the grassroots to represent the Assembly of Planetary Citizens; and the fourth one will deal with the question of legitimacy and representativity of the members. “Our end is to give voice to the grassroots of civil society and to democratize global governance. The vocation of the Parliament is to become a world moral forum. An experiment in radical democracy.”

The participating networks appointed two delegates to represent them as speakers. Emilce Cuda (author, professor, PhD in Social Moral Theology, member of the International Program “The Future of Work”, ILO-ICMC-Vatican) and Célio Turino (historian, writer and public policy consultant; secretary of cultural citizenship at the Ministry of Culture in Brazil in 2004/2010) represented the Economy of Francis and Clare. This organization “was born from an initiative by Pope Francis to invite humanity to a deep transformation of the relationships between human beings, and among themselves, life and nature as a whole. Pope Francis launched the concept of ‘integral ecology’ and highlights that there will be no future for life on the planet without a radical transformation of human relations in the economic and environmental realm.”\

Other speakers present at the meeting were Swamini Adityananda Saraswati (Interim Executive Director and Global Curator of United Religions Initiative, URI; Co-Founder of the Pan-African Association and former Director and United Nations Relations Manager); and Francisco Morales (Aymara Indigenous from Argentina; Indigenous writer and researcher; founder of the Circle of Writing and Indigenous Orality).

The Convivialist International (a collective of academics, intellectuals and writers over and against neoliberalism, which in February 2020 published “The Second Convivialist Manifesto: Towards a Post-Neoliberal World” signed by three hundred intellectuals from 33 countries) was represented by Alain Caillé (author and emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Paris-Ouest-Nanterre; founder of the Revue du MAUSS, an anti-utilitarian movement in social sciences).

Other speakers were Celina Yolanda Valadez (popular educator; member of the Hidalgo Solidarity Economic Circuit, Mexico; founder of Youth Dynamism; author of the educational model for the Formation Series of Economia Solidaria ea Bem Viver) and Jason Nardi (President of RIES- Italian Solidarity Economy Network; General Delegate of RIPESS EU- Solidarity Economy Europe; member of the International Council of the World Social Forum).

Another network attending the meeting was Galactica Foundation, which promotes a planetary agreement involving all types of actors, working multidimensionally and horizontally through spirituality and multidisciplinarity to build the structures we need on Planet Earth to become equal, build teams and promote new forms of cooperation to respond to the major challenges we have. Célia Marie (founder and CEO of Galactica Foundation; consultant-facilitator of transformation) represented the Foundation.

Vasna Ramasar (academic and activist, involved in environmental justice, politics of environment and alternatives to development) represented the Global Tapestry of Alternatives. This is “a process operating as a conference bringing together resistance to the dominant regime (capitalist, patriarchal, racist, modern and Western) but also creating a space that is looking to radical alternatives which are systemic and leading to transformative change. It aims to bring together groups around the world that take the local up to the global in sharing, collaborating and learning together and recognizing that we have a world where many worlds can fit, where the differences between all of us are celebrated; that we offer different perspectives on the problems of the world, on the solutions to these problems, and that we need to work together rather than next to each other.”