The Human Family
A Vision of the Peoples of the World
We, the peoples of the world, having just stepped into the future
the uncharted territory of a new century and a new Millennium - have already made
two momentous discoveries. The first is that we are members of one human family sharing a
single planet. The second is that we not only have the right but also the power and the
means to change the world we live in for the better. These two discoveries are among the
most important we have ever made. They can literally shape our lives, and guide and
inspire us as we embark on the next phase of the great adventure.
A brief summary of our beliefs and intentions now follows:
. . .that our past has much to teach us, and that we can learn as much, or more, from our
mistakes as we can from our successes;
. . .that by acknowledging those mistakes, we can prepare the way for
reconciliations and renewed friendships between us;
. . .that our differences of nationality, culture and history are a source of the richness
of human society;
. . .that tolerance and open-mindedness, backed up by positive action, can heal most of
the wounds we have inflicted on each other;
. . .that we are all entitled to our beliefs, customs and preferences but we have
no right to impose those beliefs, customs and preferences on others;
. . .that the primary purpose of education from now on should be to encourage and empower
the personal growth of every student, and to eliminate fear, arrogance and aggression from
the syllabus once and for all;
. . .that competition is healthy only so long as it does not lead to ruthlessness,
dishonesty and unscrupulousness;
. . .that honor, respect, kindness and compassion should no longer be thought of as
virtues but rather as an essential part of our nature, without which we are incomplete;
. . .that our governments should reflect the will of the people they serve; that they
should guide, advise and lead us - but not compel or attempt to control us;
. . .that men and women have much to learn from each other, and good reason to respect
each other; and that they make better partners and colleagues than rivals;
. . .that in all matters affecting the quality of our lives and our future, men, women and
children should all have an equal voice;
. . .and that, in view of the interconnectedness of all people and all things, we should
now consider ourselves to be citizens not only of our country and our race, but of the
. . .to face the future with confidence and self-respect, but without arrogance or feeling
. . .to share our knowledge and experience, our strengths and resources with others;
. . .to remember that in all our encounters and relationships, we are not only
representing ourselves, but our family, our country and our race;
. . .to contribute whatever we can to the quality of human life;
. . .to do whatever we can to protect the Earth, whose gifts we have taken for granted and
whose hospitality we have abused;
. . .to do whatever we can to create, and to help others to create, another way of life on
Earth - a life without poverty, disease, crime, famine, fear, injustice, oppression,
insecurity, hatred and war.
And who is going to perform this miracle?
We are. . .
The Human Family
A Vision of the Peoples of the World
The above draft has no author - it wrote itself because it wanted to do so.
Like any first draft it is incomplete, its purpose being to prompt others to create and
publish a more evolved and complete Vision of the Peoples of the World - an informal code
of honour and practice that will set the seal on our lives and on human relations for
generations to come.
We urge those who are privileged to draw up this document to do so in a language that will
be understood by us all - especially our children.
As The Human Family is intended merely as an expression of certain universal ideals,
rather than as a proposed treaty or some other instrument that would require official
ratification, it has been submitted for no more than the general assent and
approval-in-principle of the Members of the United Nations.
The Human Family was broadcast on Christmas Day 2000 on BBC Radio 2 in London, and again
on Thursday, 8 February. Hundreds of e-mails were sent in by listeners, all of them
endorsing this project in the strongest possible terms. At the suggestion of Mr Kofi
Annans office, I have sent The Human Family to the UK's Permanent Mission to the UN in New
York, as an individual cannot submit a resolution or proposal to the General Assembly.
I am particularly grateful to Jean Hudon of Quebec, who suggested that the original
sub-title of this Declaration, A Constitution for the Peoples of the World should be
replaced, as a Constitution would have to be ratified, and might find itself mired in a
quicksand of committees and legal procedures. He urged me to think of the document as an
informal mission statement that people in all countries would be glad to endorse.
Positive feedback is already coming in from all over the world, and time will tell if the
project has landed on fertile soil, and will eventually be adopted.
The Human Family was broadcast on Christmas Day 2000 on BBC Radio 2 in London, as the
climax of the Johnnie Walker show, and again on 8 February, 2001 when an estimated two
million people tuned in. Literally hundreds of listeners wrote to Johnnie and me.
We know this is the lead people have been waiting for.
And, at the suggestion of another of Johnnie Walkers
listeners, The Human Family has been submitted to the Secretary General of the British
Presented by: Michael Joseph. E-mail: email@example.com
TO LIST OF ARTICLES