General Declaration 2009
At its 2009 Annual Meeting in the town of Bol, on the Island of Brac (Croatia), the General Assembly of I.O.N.A (International Organization New Acropolis) declares as follows:
Faced with the crisis that has erupted throughout the world, the General Assembly of I.O.N.A wishes to express its concern over the fact that the crisis is not only having material effects, with disastrous results on the world economy, but is also affecting the fundamental values which form the very basis of human co-existence.
It therefore resolves:
- To reaffirm its conviction that philosophical knowledge is one of the fundamental ways of strengthening values and fostering a stoical attitude to the vicissitudes of life, that helps people to face misfortunes with greater self-control and a calm state of mind.
- That, etymologically, the term “crisis” means “change” and that, as such, every “turn of events” is a fundamental opportunity to take stock, both personally and collectively, that can help us to distinguish what is permanent and valid from what is passing and superfluous. As Albert Einstein pointed out, when referring to crises, “Let's not pretend that things will change if we keep doing the same things. A crisis can be a real blessing to any person, to any nation. For all crises bring progress. Creativity is born from anguish, just as day is born from the dark night. It is in crisis that inventiveness, discoveries and great strategies are born”.
- However, a large part of Humanity is destitute and the crisis, far from acting as a stimulus, may cause it to sink even further into poverty. In view of this, from its centres in more than fifty countries around the world, I.O.N.A. is in a position to offer significant help, by providing material, psychological and spiritual support to those most in need, to help them face the crisis more effectively.
- In the framework of World Philosophy Day, which is a UNESCO initiative that takes place every year, I.O.N.A will continue, as it has been doing for more than three consecutive years, to develop a wide-ranging program of commemorative activities linking philosophy to the arts, history and the promotion of philosophical values and ideas, offering a varied range of activities, as illustrated in the Yearbook published by the institution.
- The I.O.N.A General Assembly reiterates its conviction that there is a need to continue to protect the environment as an essential support for human beings and the natural habitat in which they can develop their potential, and also to develop the awareness that the Earth is the common home of Humanity. Accordingly, in all countries where I.O.N.A has centres, it should make a particular effort to promote ecological balance, both through courses and lectures for the promotion of environmental awareness and, above all, through specific and practical actions for the protection of the natural environment, such planting trees, caring for and cleaning natural environments, and providing assistance in the event of disasters, whether natural or man-made.
- As resolved at the previous year’s General Meeting, I.O.N.A will continue to participate in international events at the invitation of the United Nations and the Organization of American States (OAS), as scheduled in its Program of Activities for the coming period. In particular, it will continue to contribute as a member of the Advisory Committee of the Inter-American Program on Education for Democratic Values and Practices of the OAS, together with other international organizations working in Latin America in the field of “citizenship education”.