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Culture of Responsibility and the Role of NGOs

Culture of Responsibility and the Role of NGOs
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“There is at the moment a very important revolution in world politics going on. The NGO revolution is possibly the biggest change in world politics since the defeat of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War."
—John O’Sullivan, Editor-In-Chief, United Press International

"For years, the non-governmental community has been in the front line in the fight to secure human rights and fundamental freedom, and our record of achievement has been quite impressive, indeed. But what we need to do now is to move beyond the question of rights, to human responsibility. I believe that we have a very unique opportunity to help build a new kind of society, that we can indeed demonstrate to the United Nations and the world that non-governmentalism can be effectively responsible non-governmentalism. If this were to be done, then I think the non-governmental community will have made a quantum leap forward."
—Dr. Noel Brown, President, Friends of the United Nations

"As a former president of an NGO, I consider non-governmental organizations to be an invaluable contributor to the advancement of human rights and democracy worldwide. NGOs not only provide a voice to advocate rights, but they provide a model for democratic participation. They help to enable the practices of democracy to become a habit. This is as true for established democracies as it is for incipient democracies. It is also true for those who fight for democracy."
—Lorne W. Craner, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor

" Without question, human rights NGOs have been significant for more than 150 years. …NGOs interested in human rights have a variety of responsibilities that they fulfill. Their numbers have grown extraordinarily; their legitimacy and importance cannot be minimized. Eleanor Roosevelt’s curious grapevine has ramified widely."
—Dr. Claude Welch, Director of the Human Rights Center, SUNY Buffalo, Author, NGOs and Human Rights: Promise and Performance.

There is a revolution taking place, a sweeping change that is impacting all parts of our society: human rights, education, politics, the environment, business, and even the war on terrorism. This revolution is the explosion in numbers, importance, and diversity of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These not-for-profit entities have forged an effective middle ground between the governmental and corporate realms, and are now impacting policies, delivering services, guiding agendas and advancing initiatives that once were nearly exclusively the arena of the state and business.

With this increased impact comes increased responsibility. One fundamental truth about good, just and healthy government and society is that they depend on a culture of responsibility. NGOs share with the governmental and corporate realms a social responsibility to address the extraordinary challenges of our time, whether they be wars, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, the environment, human rights, or disease. As advocates and agents of a more just, ethical, and caring society, NGOs help to foster a culture of responsibility among people and institutions, and nurture conscientious concerns in the emerging global culture. They also have an internal responsibility to follow the highest code of ethical conduct in their own activities.

Many of the papers and presentations in this collection deal in general with the theme of NGOs and responsibility. Others deal more specifically with how the NGO community impacts issues of human rights, terrorism, politics, the environment, the family, and other central components of the human experience. Overall, this book offers a unique perspective into the accomplishments and constraints of the non-governmental community, and recent trends in global non-governmentalism.


Preface xi

Part I: NGOs and Culture of Responsibility
1. The Role of the Non-Governmental Community in Building a Culture of Responsibility: A Human Imperative for the Twenty-first Century
Noel Brown
2. Social Justice in Today’s World
Oscar Arias Sánchez
3. NGO Core Values and True Responsbility
Chung Hwan Kwak
4. Volunteering—Reconnecting a Disconnected Society: The Volunteer Movement Creating a Culture of Responsibility
Mei Cobb
5. Good Governance and Civic Engagement
William Reuben
6. Standards for NGOs: NGO Legitimacy, Integrity, Accountability, and Responsibility
Jerry John Rawlings

Part II: NGOs, Human Security, and the United Nations
7. Legal Personality and the Role of Non-Governmental Organizations and Non-State Political Entities in the United Nations System
Ruth Wedgwood
8. Rights and Duties in a New Challenging World
Shireen T. Hunter
9. Iraq, Terrorism, and the Culture of Irresponsibility
Laurie Mylroie
10. Women and Peace in South Asia
V. Mohini Giri
11. The Right of the Ukraine to Call for Nuclear Disarmament
Leonid M. Kravchuk
12. Conflict Prevention in Europe and the Economic Dimension
Mihaela Dimitrescu

Part III: NGOs and Human Rights
13. Human Rights NGOs as the Motors of Change
Claude E. Welch
14. Human Rights Challenges, NGOs, and the US Government’s Commitment
Lorne W. Craner
15. Religious Freedom and the Role of NGOs
Paul Marshall
16. Human Rights Challenges in the New Century
Alexandra Arriaga
17. A Working Paradigm for Human Rights Discourse: Report on an Interactive Session on Human Rights
Thomas J. Ward and Alexa Fish Ward

Part IV: NGOs and Environmental Protection
18. NGOs and Environmental Conservation
Frederick A. Swarts
19. The Power and Ethics of Environmental NGOs in this Era of Earth Two
Gary Gardner
20. Ecotourism and the Non-Governmental Sector and Business Sector
Megan Epler Wood
21. World Religions and Ecology
Mary Evelyn Tucker
22. Sustainable Community Building
Donald B. Conroy

Part V: NGOs, the Family, and International Organizations
23. International Law, Social Change, and the Family
Richard G. Wilkins
24. NGOs and the Assault on the American Family
Seriah L. Rein

Part VI: NGOs and the Media
25. A Responsible Media and NGOs
Philip V. Sanchez
26. A Critique of NGO-Media Relations
John O’Sullivan
27. Getting Media Coverage for Your NGO
Melissa Hopkins
28. Media Relations: Building Personal Relationships with the Media
James Weidman

Part VII: Resources for NGOs
29. Fundraising and Getting Grants
Theresa Rudacille
30. Strategic Management of NGOs
Margaret E. Hayes
31. Networking
Karen M. Woods

Part VIII: Excellence in the NGO Community
32. Human and Proud of It
Noel Brown
33. Peace Begins with Each of Us
Oscar Arias Sanchez
34. Helping Knowledge
Hassan Ali Cisse
35. The Circumpolar Arctic as a Barometer of the Globe’s Environmental Health
Sheila Watt-Cloutier
36. Women and Change: A Clear Message To Women of My Region
Wajeeha Al-Baharna
37. The First Battle Is a Battle of the Home
Charles A. Ballard
38. Religions Together: A Common Vocation for Peacemaking
William E. Swing
39. Transition To a Culture of Peace
Frederico Mayor Zaragoza

Part IX: Diversity of NGOs
40. Searching for a New Vision: Global Common Society
Woon Ho Kim
41. International Voluntary Service: Eighty Years of Promoting Peace by Teaching Nonviolence and Fostering a Culture of Responsibility
Peter Coldwell
42. Global Healing: Ethical Imperatives for Sustainable Development
David W. Randle
43. Estonian Association Anti-AIDS: Twelve Years of Activity
Ljudmilla Priimägi
44. The Democracy School
Ruta Pels
45. “Simurg” Association of the Culture of Azerbaijan
Fuad Mammedov
46. Action on Disability and Development (ADD)— Cambodia
Srey Vanthon


TAJELDIN HAMAD is the secretary general of the World Association of NGOs and FREDERICK SWARTS is the director of the Waterland Research Institute. ANNE RANNISTE SMART is the WANGO African Regional Coordinator.

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