Unitive Justice and Global Security Circle
Members of the SDG Thought Leaders Synergy Circle
also participate in the Unitive Justice and Global Security Circle which have adopted this statement.
DECLARATION FOR UNITIVE JUSTICE
Elena Mustakova, Scott Alan Carlin, Bob Atkinson, Jonathan Granoff, Joni Carley, Jude Currivan, Audrey Kitagawa, David Lorimer, Chief Phil Lane Jr., Earl Possardt
Our civilization faces its next great evolutionary leap – interdependent planetary cooperation toward building the ethical, cultural, governmental, and legal structures that protect global human security. This leap is propelled by emergent scientific knowledge of unity as our existential reality, and it requires a new understanding of justice based on a unitive narrative.
Unitive justice is a system of balance and inclusion acknowledging a living web of interconnectedness of all life and offering meaningful support to all involved in instances of injustice by simultaneously restoring and maintaining community harmony. As practiced by Indigenous communities, this system of justice served to bring the community together as a whole and can now be a model for the emerging global community. Unitive justice transcends and replaces punitive justice. A fully functioning global system of unitive justice can reshape and prepare communities worldwide for effective human security, conscious interdependence, and equitable relationships on all levels.
In the Anthropocene era, when humanity has become the dominant force in shaping planet Earth, we have reached a tipping point where we recognize that our current structures, which over emphasize the pursuit of security through military nationalism, must change to a human security model based on the necessity of protecting our one planet home. We are reminded by indigenous peoples of the truth that we must live in harmony with the regenerative processes of nature.
Eight billion people living in a world with profound social, economic, and political inequalities, and without recognizing the limits of nature, is pushing the Earth’s living systems toward collapse. Gender inequity, colonialism, slavery, racism, religious prejudice and bigotry, and other forms of oppression, along with current debt- and military-based norms, have led to a system of disequilibrium and injustice that no longer serves humanity and that endangers the entire planet.
At the same time, we have reached a point where our technological innovations governed by market forces are exacerbating environmental degradation, and the advanced modern weapons we produce diminish security the more they are perfected. The pursuit of war to achieve political ends presently puts humanity at risk of extinction.
Climate change, the biodiversity crisis, new global pandemics, and other planetary boundaries demonstrate the need for a new context for re-defining justice. These threats cannot be met at the governance level of cities, states, or nations, and require new levels of global cooperation through governance structures that can achieve sustainable human security.
We the Peoples, must now choose to either disregard our current destructive systems or to forge a new unitive path of truth, justice, and human security. Now is the time for a unitive understanding of justice that transcends our many limited loyalties, that both honors and unites our cultural identities, celebrates diversity, and transforms the scarcity economic mindset, which promotes outdated, dysfunctional, and destructive systems.
Unitive justice acknowledges the harm caused by exclusionary hierarchies of power and responds to the prophetic words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “a threat to justice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Unitive justice is a call to acknowledge the wounds of injustice in our painful past. Unitive justice is a new horizon where all of us can rise together, collaboratively, toward greater wholeness, universal security, and deeper, more systemic justice.
Unity as the Purpose of Justice
Unitive justice provides a new framework wherein the interdependent nature of our global crises becomes the crucible for cultivating loving kindness and for strengthening our communal responsibility to the greater whole.
Emergent scientific knowledge of our biological evolution and of the Cosmos is revealing that unity is not merely an aspiration to be hoped for beyond all odds, but rather that unity is our existential reality. Our quest to grasp this fundamental truth propels an emergent evolutionary leap toward unitive consciousness, wholeness, and interdependent planetary cooperation, enabling effective governance of human conduct that protects rather than endangers the living systems of the planet. Unitive justice provides a practical link between the emergent understanding of our existential unity and our individual lives.
It recognizes that there can be no justice for children without just relationships among genders, no economic justice without environmental justice, and no justice for one cultural group through oppressing another. Unitive justice transcends our understandings of retributive justice and helps to transform our current emergency into the emergence of a just and flourishing future for All. Unitive justice provides new ground for protecting the integrity and wellbeing of individuals and communities, for harmonizing and celebrating our cultural differences, and for creating effective political engagement to address global challenges. It offers a common platform for the vast number of global movements that are working toward a unified and peaceful world.
Unitive justice recognizes that the human family is one, and that the rights of the individual to have their inherent dignity and safety protected, as upheld by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1949), are dependent on the safety and prosperity for the whole. Unitive justice provides a critical pillar for establishing human security, grounded in the science of our interdependent relationship with the natural world and with each other. Unitive justice calls for the establishment of institutions and the rule of law that protect human security, and free us from dysfunctional, violent, and unjust practices and systems. It promotes ethical, cultural, governmental, and legal structures that best accommodate the reality of our unity.
Unitive justice simultaneously advances human freedom while also embracing a renewed ecological consciousness. Unitive justice requires a regenerative relationship with Nature wherein we no longer regard it as an object, a thing we possess, but as “a unique, indivisible, self-regulating community of interrelated beings.” Unitive justice is a call to join hands in honoring the Earth Charter: “To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny.”
While this effort specifically addresses SDG 16, Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions, unitive justice is a call for collectively working together as truth tellers and ambassadors of love to acknowledge the interlinkages between all 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the interdependencies among all beings