Profesor Vicent Martínez Guzmán

Friday, August 24, 2018

El Profesor Vicent Martínez Guzmán, sembrador de paz, de paces, ha culminado la fase visible de su excepcional trayectoria humana y educativa. Se ha ausentado pero son tantas las semillas que sembró y la luz que emanó sobre la convivencia pacífica, la justicia y la libertad que seguirá estando presente, como referente primordial, en el comportamiento cotidiano de tantísimas personas que le mantendrán en sus brújulas y de muchísimas más que lo incorporarán. 

Sentía por él una admiración y una amistad extraordinarias. Seguirá donde estuvo, donde está: en la vanguardia de la cultura de paz y de la no violencia que prevalecerán en la nueva era que se avecina. Seguirá siendo “un crit de la consciencia”. 

A todos sus familiares, discípulos y amigos mi más profunda condolencia.

Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan passed away

Saturday, August 18, 2018

To his wife, family, relatives and all the members of the United Nations System, my deepest condolences. 

He was always in the forefront in favor of equal human dignity, peace and full exercise of the human rights. 

Kofi Annan will always remain for all of us and many people in the world as a reference and guidance in our everyday behavior. 

With highest esteem, 

Federico Mayor Zaragoza 
Former Director General of UNESCO (1987-1999) 
President of the Foundation for a Culture of Peace

La mujer, “piedra angular de la nueva era”

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Me lo dijo el Presidente Nelson Mandela en 1996 en Pretoria, cuando yo le manifestaba mi decepción por la escasa aceptación que en aquel momento había conseguido la cultura de paz frente a la cultura de imposición, violencia y guerra que había prevalecido durante siglos. “Se debe a que desde el origen de los tiempos unos cuantos hombres han mandado sobre el resto de los hombres y la totalidad de las mujeres”. En efecto, la inmensa mayoría de los seres humanos nacían, vivían y morían confinados en muy reducidos espacios. Y eran, lógicamente, silenciosos, temerosos, obedientes… “Si quieres la paz, prepara la guerra” era el siniestro proverbio que todos seguían –y siguen hoy gobernantes irresponsables- marginando a la mujer “en la casa, la cocina y la costura”… 

”¡Lo vamos a cambiar todo!”, han proclamado millones de mujeres el 8 de marzo de 2018. ¡Qué bien! ¡Qué bien que la igualdad sin cortapisas permita establecer los nuevos rumbos que tanto deseábamos y que el poder absoluto masculino impedía! 

Gracias a la tecnología digital, los seres humanos ya pueden hoy saber lo que acontece en todo el mundo y expresarse libremente. “Cambiar el mundo, amigo Sancho, no es locura ni utopía sino justicia”, escribió Cervantes. Se trata ahora, ahora por fin, de poner en práctica la lúcida expresión con que se inicia la Carta de las Naciones Unidas: “Nosotros, los pueblos… hemos resuelto evitar el horror de la guerra a las generaciones venideras”. Entonces era prematuro. Y “los pueblos” fueron representados exclusivamente por Estados y por hombres. 

En la conversación que mencionaba al principio, el Presidente Nelson Mandela completó su aseveración del papel central de la mujer en la nueva era “porque la mujer sólo excepcionalmente utiliza la fuerza cuando el hombre sólo excepcionalmente no la utiliza”. 

El pilar fundamental de todos los derechos humanos es la igual dignidad. Así lo corrobora la Carta de Derechos Fundamentales de la Unión Europea del año 2000 que, al parecer, no han leído atentamente la mayoría de los actuales líderes europeos. Ahora sí, después del 8 de marzo, puede tener lugar la transición histórica de la fuerza a la palabra. De esta manera buena parte de los inmensos caudales que se destinan hoy a la defensa de los territorios podrían invertirse en la seguridad alimentaria, sanitaria, medio ambiental y educativa de los habitantes de estos territorios tan protegidos. 

Es intolerable que frente a las grandes amenazas globales - nuclear, extrema pobreza, cambio climático- y con procesos potencialmente irreversibles, no existan recursos cuando el G7, la Unión Europea y el gobierno español se han apresurado a incrementar (¡hasta el 80% en el caso de España!) los presupuestos de defensa. 

Es igualmente intolerable que la insolidaridad y la falta de apoyo al desarrollo para una vida digna en sus lugares de origen, haya resultado en miles de inmigrantes ahogados y desaparecidos en el Mediterráneo… 

Mujer, igualdad total. Ha llegado el momento de esclarecer tantos horizontes sombríos. Todavía estamos a tiempo. Como en los versos de Tennyson en Ulises: “Venid, amigos míos,/ aún no es demasiado tarde para buscar un mundo nuevo../.. con la voluntad de resistir, de no rendirse”...

Desvivirse para vivir armoniosamente, para, todos distintos, sentirnos unidos por unos principios universales que guían nuestro destino inexorablemente común. Como en el barco leonardino que, cuando se abate la tormenta y se encrespan las aguas, súbitamente no hay a bordo mujeres y hombres, pobres y ricos, negros y blancos, jóvenes y adultos... sino únicamente pasajeros que deben colaborar afanosamente para mantener el buque a flote… 

“El Roto” nos advierte magistralmente en su viñeta del 9 de marzo de que es imprescindible que a partir de ahora todos los días del año ratifiquemos con nuestra conducta lo proclamado el 8 de marzo, de tal forma que este día sea el principio de todos los días, el principio de la inflexión histórica hacia la nueva era en la que los seres humanos vivan, como recomendaba Miguel Hernández en uno de sus preciosos versos, “con el amor a cuestas”.




What keeps us irresponsibly silent?

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Where are the voices that were proclaimed so much? The voices of the marginalized, of the forgotten, of the young whose future is darkened even more by a handful of currencies, of the academic, scientific, artistic communities ... that should be at the forefront of the great popular mobilization that today is imperative and urgent? Only women, fortunately, seem to have understood that now, in the face of potentially irreversible processes, the time has come for "We, the peoples," as so lucidly and prematurely expressed in the United Nations Charter...

They will be, as predicted by Nelson Mandela, the "cornerstone" of the new era. It is necessary to act without delay if we want these new times become a reality. Facing the global challenges that threaten humanity as a whole -nuclear, extreme poverty, climate change- we cannot postpone our reaction... because tomorrow may be too late.

I never tire of repeating that it is ethically inadmissible that more than 4 billion dollars are invested in arms and military expenditures every day, while thousands of people die, most of them girls and boys from one to five years old. However, it is a shame! that not only the investments in defense have not decreased but, at the request of President Trump, they have increased ... And in Spain the government has hurried to announce, without having any protest immediately after, that will increase it 80%!

On the other hand, the proposals to carry out the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) and the Agreements on Climate Change that would allow the great transition from an economy of speculation, productive delocalization and war, to a knowledge-based economy for a global, human and sustainable development, have slowed down.

And silence.


The unusual President Trump has announced with great fanfare that he will not put into practice the measures that would prevent a further deterioration of the habitability of the Earth, so wisely promoted and endorsed by his predecessor.


And silence.

In cyberspace, where there must be millions of "whatsApp" and "twitters" to warn the Republican President of the United States that if he continues to seriously affect the future of humanity, we will stop buying American products...

And silence.

Trump further marginalizes the United Nations and reinforces the nonsense and inefficient plutocratic groups (G7, G8, G20) invented by Reagan  and Thatcher’s neoliberalism...


And silence.

When it is more urgent a new concept of security, and work of and lifestyle... When it is essential to invent a different future and remind us every day that the future is still in the to-do list (perhaps already for a short time)... we look on the other side, the governors appear discouraged and obedient, the media, almost all the voice of their master, are taken care in distracting the peoples....

And silence.

Here is what I wrote in Berlin on October 22, 2011. Today is much timelier:

"I pretended I did not know ... and now I bear the responsibility in my conscience, sleepless night and day.


It is an unavoidable

duty

contemplating

the whole world.
There are no excuses.


We can no longer

claim

that we did not know.


Hurry up
because we never

know

if we could take

the next step.

The inscrutable
mystery

of existence

does not allow

delays.

Take advantage of

every moment.

Do not waste
a moment.

Yes, wait

but do not wait calmly. "



Let us not wait for one more moment:  let us raise our voice in order that   great popular outcries allow us to look in the eyes of future generations and say: "We have done our duty."

Education? Philosophy

Thursday, February 1, 2018

The first thing that the new Director-General of the UNESCO -Mrs. Audrey Azoulay- has done is to send a message to the world on the occasion of the World Philosophy Day -November 16th- which also coincided with the day she took office as head of the Directorate General of  UNESCO.

Philosophy is essential if we aim to be “free and responsible” -such as an “educated human being” should be according to article 1 of the UNESCO’s Constitution. Philosophy is a must if we want to fully exercise the unique capacities of human beings: thinking, imagining, foreseeing, creating! As stated by the Director-General in the first part of her message, philosophy shall allow us “to transform human societies”, to implement all radical changes that the current worldwide situation urgently needs. “Progress -told me once in Oxford Prof. Hans Krebs- consists in seeing what others too can see..., and thinking what no one else has ever thought”.

Today it is essential and most urgent to promote Philosophy at all levels of education, taking into account that most approaches and reports   mistakenly consider education to be the same than training, and knowledge to be the same than information (and what is even worse, the same than news).

Philosophy and arts education are essential to be able to “direct one’s own life with sense”, according to the wise words of Francisco Giner de los Ríos. “Philosophy creates the intellectual conditions for change, sustainable development and peace”, as highlighted by the Director-General. And she ends up saying: “I call upon all Member States to take up this message, which resounds in the heart of UNESCO’s mandate”


What a good start for Director-General Audrey Azoulay and her difficult mission! It’s a very positive sign. I wish her all the best.

P.S.: President Trump has announced once again -he’s done it already twice!- that United States shall withdraw from the UNESCO at the end of 2018. It is obvious that Trump -who has scorned the agreements signed by his predecessor on the Earth’s habitability- does not realize, with his habit of only looking at himself, the damage that his attitude could cause not only to American young people and children, but also to the entire world. The remedy, which can still be effective, lies in Philosophy, in UNESCO...

Pope Francis: the solution is the culture of peace on a world level

Monday, January 29, 2018

Pope Francis, in his traditional speech at the beginning of the year before the Members of the Diplomatic Corp accredited to the Holy See, delivered on January 8, addressed with clarity and courage the essential question of peace.

I recommend reading the full text, but I have selected some paragraphs below that I consider particularly important:

"Peace is not built by vaunting the power of the victor over the vanquished. Future acts of aggression are not deterred by the law of fear, but rather by the power of calm reason that encourages dialogue and mutual understanding as means of resolving "..." Peace is consolidated when nations can discuss matters on equal terms. This was envisaged a hundred years ago –on this very date – by then President of the United States, Thomas Woodrow Wilson, who proposed the establishment of a General League of Nations with the aim of promoting for all States indistinctly, great and small alike, mutual guarantees of independence and territorial integrity...”

The Pope emphasized the importance of "freedom, justice and peace in the world, which are based on the recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family," as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms.

He referred to the fact that "the constant pleas for peace rising from land rent for violence seem to be less and less effective in the face of war’s perverse logic. This scenario cannot be allowed to diminish our desire and our commitment for peace, because we are aware that without peace,  integral human development becomes unattainable ... convinced that peace is a necessary condition for development that, at the same time, requires "dealing with injustice and eliminating, in a non-violent way, the causes of  discordance that lead to wars".

I consider important what the Pope emphasized: "The promotion of a culture of peace for integral development requires persevering efforts in favour of disarmament and the reduction of the recourse to the use of armed force in the handling of international affairs."

He also referred to his "Message for the World Day of Peace" this year in which he suggested four "cornerstones" for action: welcome, protect, promote and integrate. He pointed out that "integration is a “two-way process, entailing reciprocal rights and duties” that should be taken into account in this Europe in which hundreds of immigrants arrives daily seeking a better future...

We are facing a moment of inflection. Ecological movements, human rights, equality, democracy and disarmament are among the most powerful social movements of our time and their convergence in the "great alliance" of mobilization for a culture of peace is essential to success. None of these movements can succeed fully on their own ... All of them need a culture of peace to achieve their full objective ... Without peace, there can be no democracy, no universal human rights, no protection for the environment, no equality for women ... This "interdependence" of its different parts is one of the most important and valuable contributions of the culture of peace.


This speech of the Pope is a document of great value and opportunity to which, however, the media have devoted very little space and interest. That is why I return to mine some words of Iñaki Gabilondo: "Do you know the most impressive of this news? It is not news." Most of the media are "the voice of their master" and still do not give the necessary importance to what is really important. They are accomplices.

Attention: 1 January 2018: New year, new life (this may be our last chance) It is of the utmost importance for citizens to stop being a passive audience. It's time for action

Friday, January 12, 2018

We’re paying too much attention to cell phones and “smart” tablets! We must start reflecting, imagining... considering what has not yet been considered... creating!

As stated by Maria Novo, a “time reappropriation” is essential if we want to fully exercise the unique capacities of human beings. Only thus shall we be able to take a new direction, to change -against all odds- current trends which are solely focused on economic growth, on having instead of being.

Since we are facing potentially irreversible processes, global transformations cannot be further delayed and they all require a steady and renewed effort. I fully agree with Amin Maalouf when he says that “unprecedented challenges require unprecedented solutions”.  The time yet to come is still to be built... and it must be invented! “We cannot solve the problems the world is facing today -said Albert Einstein- with the same pattern of thinking that initially caused them”.

As a scientist I’ve focused from the very beginning on the prevention of diseases of the newborn that may cause a permanent damage on his neuronal system (I wrote many years ago a book entitled “Tomorrow is Always too Late”); I’ve always drawn attention on and am increasingly concerned with the need to face -with a new concept of security that shall not only include territorial security but also security of people who live in these territories- big global threats (degradation of the environment, extreme poverty, nuclear weapons).

The approval by the United Nations of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the agreements on Climate Change signed in Paris in November 2015 seemed an adequate and timely step to at least keep the situation under control and avoid a greater danger. But neoliberalism -who has led us to the current conceptual, social and economic drift of humanity- has not allowed to allocate to these specific aims the minimum resources required. To make things worse, President Trump has declared that he will not meet the commitment made by his predecessor to address climate change... and the European Union, that has become a weak and strictly monetary organization, has not reacted as strongly as it should to the insult that the behaviour of Mr. Trump represents for young generations all over the world.

Trump and the “soft” leaders found everywhere are ignoring the dramatic and critical message of many thousands of scientists from 184 countries who have alerted that it will soon be too late... The financial interests of a few are still put ahead of the legitimate interests of “We, the peoples”... As recently mentioned by Iñaki Gabilondo, the media power has become so great that the following can be said: “You know what the most amazing thing about this news is? That it is no news anymore”. Most of the media have become “their master’s voice” and continue to disregard these serious warnings. They are accomplices.

And on top of that, we have just learned that the Spanish government “has confirmed to the NATO that its military expenditure will grow by 80%”. We could not have imagined a more unfathomable and malicious way to augur a year 2018 that shall be better than the previous one.

Let’s react! Today we can express ourselves. Through a public outcry at a planetary scale, we, the citizens of the world, must tell the world that we need to take action without delay... and we must let Trump know that if he doesn’t change his attitude, we will no longer purchase American products.

Let’s focus on the essential reasons that should make us transform our daily behaviour! This is the only way we can make year 2018 become the year of a “new life”.