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Sustainable development and respect for diversity are intimately linked

Posted by Tristan Lecomte on 8 December 2010

The Foundation has, from the start, stated that defending peace and promoting the sustainable development of our planet, necessarily entails respect for the diversity of cultures and more generally all forms of life. President Chirac is passionate about the cause of the First Peoples and has always encouraged dialogue between cultures as the very foundation for peace and the guarantee of a more harmonious, durable, richer development.

Given the hegemony of a dominant ideology and the market system that standardizes tastes and broader societal choices, we must offer solutions that are by definition different and complementary. We can not solve the current economic, social, and cultural crisis with a single model, but rather by working through the combination and complementarity of different visions. This is a feature of the sustainable development movement, it is inherently tied to natural Biodiversity but it is also by nature tied to a Biodiversity of approaches and solutions.

We cannot leave oil behind unless we combine all sources of renewable energy, unless we adjust the current neoliberal model by adapting it to the social and environmental constraints of each country or continent, unless we change the world by ceasing to create blocks and conflicts between civilizations.

Each individual must create a personal life model

This vision directly echoes President Chirac’s decision not to intervene during the second Iraq war, and in so doing, ending the binary and hegemonic vision held by the United States at the time.

Respect for each and everyone’s diverse point of view, for their participation in harmoniously changing the world, all the while allowing each his or her freedom; this is a message that offers particular depth to the concept of Sustainable Development. The theme is approached here in terms of subsidiarity. Each individual must create a personal life model, more in harmony with himself and the Planet. This would replace the current model, often based on a dominant ideology that impoverishes the world and leads into a dead-end.

One of the Fondation’s most powerful messages is that it is up to each of us to observe and participate in these multiple visions that enrich our daily lives and help build our future World.

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