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Assembly > Medias > December 2001, 04

Words That Bring Together and Words That Divide:
The Difficult Process of Preparing a Charter

Words, words, words …
Words that express annoyance: "We speak about a responsible, united and plural Alliance, but where is the reference to democracy?" exclaimed a participant. Responsible? "But who is responsible and in relation to whom?" added another. Terrorism? "We are here to talk about peace" …
Words that express astonishment: "Is not the Charter's goal the happiness of man?" Happiness? Exclamations burst forth. "Let's say then that the goal is simply man." A majority? "We always forget to say that the majority of humankind is made up of women!"
Words that are controversial: "... secularity, representativeness ...", words that unite: "diversity, culture, roots … " etc.

Nevertheless, this second day devoted to workshops is not an exercise in semantics. After the exchange of views among the participants and the making of proposals, we are now in a discussion stage, in which a Charter that will take into account the whole set of elements discussed by the participants will be taken into consideration.
The work pattern is constraining. Each item is followed by discussions, objections and questions: What is the use of it? Is it a Charter for states or for citizens? "We are not preparing a final declaration," pointed out a facilitator. "We are in a process that began five years ago and that will continue …".

Everything seems to be stirring. Speeches, principles, specific proposals: the wish to change the economic order of things becomes palpable and contagious. And already the frustration of not going faster, of not being even more practical, of not seeing things even more clearly. The World Assembly goes its own sweet way and the interpreters are tired. Profuse and inspired, this new day forebodes a week-end that should deploy a whole array of proposals.
We now have to apply the general principles of this first stage of discussions to the thematic workshops. Seventeen topics have been set. All the participants at the Assembly will gather around a specific topic depending on their personal interests. Perhaps new communities sharing the same views and new identities will appear, beyond words, diversities and differences.





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