What values ​​should we base the next world on?

Sylvie Bukhari-de Pontual, President of CCFD-Terre Solidaire. © CCFD-Terre Solidaire

In a column that we are publishing, Sylvie Bukhari-de Pontual, president of CCFD-Terre Solidaire, hopes that the coronavirus pandemic will serve as a trigger to push citizens and states to federate around common values ​​to build a better world.


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This column - as well as other points of view from experts, thinkers, artists and sportsmen - is published as part of special days “  After the Covid-19, a new world?  », May 8, 9 and 10, on RFI's radio and digital channels.

Today, everyone agrees that there will be a before and after Covid-19. But this after, what will it be? A return to the front or a leap into the unknown, an entry into another world really and deeply renewed? Speeches are going well on all sides to make proposals. Shouldn't we start by wondering about the values ​​on which we wish to base this renewal?

The pandemic generated by the new coronavirus is not the result of chance, but of what man has done with the planet and the relationships he has woven with it and with his fellow men. It leads us to question our productivism, our exploitation of natural resources, the protection of the environment and biodiversity, our consumption patterns, the management and sharing of common goods. It challenges us on the meaning we give to the common good, on the mode of international cooperation that can build solidarity.

The Covid-19 is the tocsin who urges us to question our values ​​and our lifestyles to build the next world, to otherwise inhabit our common home.

It is to this questioning that the CCFD-Terre Solidaire, of which I am today the president, wishes to contribute by drawing on its history and experience. Indeed, from its origin, the CCFD-Terre Solidaire found its values ​​and principles in the Christian faith and the social thought of the Church. From the encyclical Populorum Progressio which promotes the development of all man and all men to the encyclical Laudato Si ' which invites to an ecological conversion systemically encompassing the development of man, the relationship to earth, to others and to God, the call is the same: "  Listen to both the clamor of the earth and the clamor of the poor  " and implement "  an integral approach to combat poverty, restore dignity to the excluded and simultaneously, preserve nature  ”.

This approach by Laudato Si ' has had an audience far beyond the Catholic sphere because its principles are shared by many who do not necessarily join us in our faith and with whom we are in fraternity. They lay the foundation for a world that rejects the violation of human rights, the dead end of our current agricultural and food models, the destruction of ecosystems, consumerism, the financialization of the economy, fiscal injustice, impunity organized by the most powerful economic actors, all discriminations.

However, with its partners from developing countries, the CCFD-Terre Solidaire has been experimenting for nearly 60 years with different alternatives that demonstrate the importance of the values ​​that underpin its commitment to serving the most vulnerable. These same values ​​must in the future found all political, economic, social and ecological construction, because they have shown their effectiveness. They have enabled thousands of women and men to take charge of their own destiny, to ensure their food autonomy, to train, to defend their rights, to imagine modes of development that preserve nature and the environment. with respect for their cultures.

From its experience and that of its partners, the CCFD-Terre Solidaire drew on essential principles to respond to the current crisis and found the world of tomorrow. Much more than rushing to imagine one or more models to come, it is urgent that citizens and States unite around common values. Here are some that seem essential:

  • work for justice in the name of the dignity of every human being
  • rediscover the harmony between humanity and nature
  • prioritize the poorest
  • recognize the universal destination of goods to work for the common good
  • defend the respect of human rights to ensure the protection of the dignity of the human person
  • promote citizen participation, engagement and organization
  • bring subsidiarity to life at all levels.

These are the values ​​that have enabled CCFD-Terre Solidaire and its partners to develop models based on international solidarity and a systemic vision of development.

This is why the CCFD-Terre Solidaire, fortified by the values ​​it has experienced and which guide it, appeals to all men and women of good will:

So that the time after is not that of indifference, selfishness, division, forgetfulness, but that of hope and confidence, let us make the choice of international solidarity , which unites and pooling each other's strengths in the service of all, and of integral ecology , which links economic, ecological, social and justice approaches while respecting cultures.

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