Ramesh Jaura: Human Rights for all in an Equal World

Milena Rampoldi, ProMosaik e.V. inteviews Ramesh Jaura, Director-General and Global Editor
of the International Press Syndicate with headquarters in Berlin and associate
headquarters in Tokyo and Toronto. Jaura is also co-founder and President of
the Global Cooperation Council established in 1983. She asked Mr Jaura about the objectives of INPS, the importance of the internationalisation of the matters, about human rights, and peace promotion.

Milena Rampoldi: Which are the most important
objectives of INPS?
Ramesh Jaura: The International
Press Syndicate
(INPS) and its flagship, IDN-InDepthNews focus on Issues Beyond the News – news that is
either often overlooked by the mainstream media or is disseminated without any
background and context. Genuine and fair global governance built on the bedrock of
social justice and global citizenship, a culture of peace facilitating a
nuclear weapons-free world, and South-South, North-South and triangular
cooperation in the interest of ensuring human rights and civil liberties are
the lynchpins of the news and analysis we provide.
INPS also focuses on sustainability within and beyond the
framework of the 17
Sustainable Development Goals
that aim to transform the world by 2030,
while we recognise the fundamental importance of cross-cultural communication
reflected in trends in arts and culture.
INPS provides news and analysis reflecting the concerns of the
marginalised sections of the societies in rich, middle and low-income countries
and building bridges between citizens and public institutions, whether
national, sub-regional, regional, international, inter-governmental or
non-governmental with a view to making information more democratic and

MR: What are the main issues you talk
about internationally?
RJ: The main international issues we address are fostering
global citizenship, raising awareness of the need for a nuclear weapons free
world, and sustainable development.
The three issues are in fact interrelated: A feeling
that beyond our local and national existence, we are citizens of a globalized
world, a world that never before was so close to us and yet distant as it is
mow, a world that constrains us to feel like global citizens. Because even
local and national problems have acquired global dimensions and global problems
impact individuals in countries around the world, and unless we address these
from that perspective, we would never succeed in solving these whether they
appear tiny or huge.
As global citizens, we need to be aware that nuclear
weapons – unlike small weapons that have the potential to create havoc, albeit
over limited stretches of land – are weapons of mass destruction. Which once
deployed, would impact the remotest corners of the world, indiscriminately killing
men, women and children and causing unforeseeable and perhaps irreparable
damage to the environment – thus making life on planet Earth nearly uninhabitable.
Viewed from this perspective, humanitarian
consequences of nuclear weapons are devastating and pose a veritable threat to
development, in fact make sustainable development impossible. It is with this
in view that on September 25, 2015, countries adopted a set of goals “to end
poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all as part of a new
sustainable development agenda.” Each goal has specific targets to be achieved
over the next 15 years. For the goals to be reached, everyone needs to do their
part: governments, the private sector, civil society and people like you.

MR: What are the best strategies to
fight for human rights?
RJ: Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever
our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour,
religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our
human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated,
interdependent and indivisible.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone
document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with
different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world, the
Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on
10 December 1948 General Assembly resolution 217 A as a common standard of
achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time,
fundamental human rights to be universally protected.
The fight for human rights needs a multipronged
strategy that aims at: ending poverty in all its forms everywhere; ending
hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition and promoting
sustainable agriculture; ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for
all at all ages; ensuring inclusive and quality education for all and promote
lifelong learning; achieving gender equality and empower all women and girls; ensuring
access to water and sanitation for all; ensuring access to affordable,
reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all; and promoting inclusive and
sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all.
The fight for human rights should inevitably involve reducing
inequality within and among countries; making cities inclusive, safe, resilient
and sustainable; ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns; urgent
action to combat climate change and its impacts; conserving and sustainably using
the oceans, seas and marine resources; sustainably managing forests, combating
desertification, halting and reversing land degradation, halting biodiversity
loss; and promoting just, peaceful and inclusive societies.

MR: Which are the most important
local issues for you?
RJ: We look at local issues from a global perspective. Because as
exploited above, local issues reflect the issues the humankind is confronted
with on a global scale: poverty, hunger, lack of education, access to water,
sanitation, and health facilities. Equally the lack of gender equality and preponderant
social and economic inequality plague the society at local levels too. These
are the issues that are of enormous importance to us.

MR: ProMosaik e.V. thinks that it is
fundamental to connect NGOs and to write about their work. What do you think
about it?
RJ: Yes, indeed. Non-governmental and civil society
organizations have come to play a vital role in today’s world at the local,
national, sub-regional, regional and international levels. This is because they
feel the pulse of the marginalized and deprived sections of the people.
However, it is important to ensure that also the NGOs and CSOs remain
transparent and accountable to the general public and are not viewed as infallible.
We at INPS are open to reporting the NGO activities. In fact we work in close
partnership with the Global
Cooperation Council
that was set up in 1983 as North-South Forum with a
view to promoting genuine dialogue between the developing and industrialized

MR: Which best strategies should be
implemented to promote peace?
RJ: Peace is not
the absence of armed conflicts and localised or larger wars. Peace has to be
embedded in a culture of peace. As the UNESCO Constitution says: “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the
minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed.” The same Constitution highlights that “a peace
based exclusively upon the political and economic arrangements of governments
would not be a peace which could secure the unanimous, lasting and sincere
support of the peoples of the world, and that the peace must therefore be
founded, if it is not to fail, upon the intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind”. Priority
therefore should be given to building
peace in the minds of men and women – by peace education, education for
non-violence, tolerance, acceptance, mutual respect, intercultural and interfaith
dialogue and reconciliation. Peace strategies need be guided by thinking
and actions that promote understanding between conflicting and warring parties.
This is easier said than done as experienced by currently 16 peacekeeping operations led by the
United Nations. And yet such efforts must continue.