2005 Ordinary General Meeting

A) At its 2005 annual meeting in Rome (Italy), the General Assembly of the IONA (International Organization New Acropolis):

DECLARES its concern about the natural disasters that have taken place in the course of this year in different parts of our planet and in particular about the tsunamis which have devastated South East Asia, and the waves of cold in Northern Europe which caused the deaths of hundreds of people.

In this respect, the General Meeting of IONA

RECOMMENDS to the national Delegations associated with IONA

  1. that they encourage activities that take into account the progressive climate change which the Earth is undergoing and promote awareness-raising activities concerning the need to preserve the ecological balance so that future generations can inherit a habitable planet;
  2. that they co-operate with other organisations of an ecological and humanitarian nature in order to act, within the means available to them, in cases where a natural catastrophe affects a particular part of the planet, either by travelling to the place of the disaster or by sending the necessary humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of the affected populations which, as a general rule, are also the most socially and economically deprived.

B) As was already pointed out in the General Declaration of the General Meeting of 2004, the General Meeting of IONA

REITERATES its concern about the process that could be called “medievalisation” which is becoming apparent within our contemporary society. Its most significant symptoms are the absence of values – not only transcendent values, but also everyday values – thus giving rise to a society in which increasingly “man is a wolf to man” (homo homini lupus), according to the Hobbesian definition. This tendency needs to be exchanged for the idea which illuminated Seneca, that “man is sacred to man” (homo sacra res homini). The insecurity of cities, the lack of social solidarity, indifference towards the suffering of others, materialistic selfishness, compulsive consumerism, the daily violence that is reflected in the media, are just some of the symptoms of a society which, as it becomes “medievalised”, is falling sick.

For these reasons,
IT RECALLS the Report presented by the International Director of IONA at the European Congress held in Alicante in December 2004 concerning the need to generate a social alert in the face of this psychological decline which is beginning to affect a large part of the society of our times. As was pointed out on that occasion, certain “medieval thought forms” have appeared, leading to processes of atomisation whereby individuals are enclosing themselves within urban tribes, sects, and religious fundamentalisms, collectively generating a sense of social and psychological separateness resulting in hatred, violence and wars.

In view of such circumstances,
IT RECOMMENDS working tirelessly in favour of a “renaissance” of moral and spiritual values, with the aim, not only of recovering those values, but above all of transmitting them to future generations. The philosophical attitude to life is one which can set out a basic catalogue of those values which must be founded on solidarity, tolerance, freedom of thought and beliefs and the sense of independence, so as not to be dragged down by the moral and ethical decline of these times which, amongst other symptoms, are characterised by a lack of hope in the future which the younger generations are experiencing.

C) The General Meeting of IONA

WISHES TO EXPRESS its satisfaction with the different activities carried out by the national Delegations associated with IONA during 2004 in the context of social action, tolerance, non-discrimination and freedom of thought.

DECLARES that humanity should not forget the sacredness of the human being and therefore recommends to the associated Delegations that they continue to promote, within the framework of their different activities, an awareness that emphasises respect for different beliefs, ethnic groups, social status or gender.

RECALLS, furthermore, that the constitutional and founding principles of IONA contain in their first point the need to promote fraternity among human beings without distinction of creed, race, sex or social status, in order to encourage a society and an international community which will be more just and supportive, as is also contained in the United Nations Charter.

D) The General Meeting of IONA

SUBSCRIBES to the proposal of the Council of Europe to declare the year 2005 as the “European Year of Citizenship through Education”, given that its objective is to launch a Europe-wide campaign to disseminate programmes relating to education. It is pointed out that an education based on the promotion of moral values, human rights, tolerance and cultural pluralism is an investment for the future of Europe.

BEARING IN MIND that in the month of April 2005 a conference will take place in Warsaw (Poland) on the role of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the field of education for democratic citizenship,

IT RECOMMENDS to the national Delegations associated with IONA in Europe that they participate in this proposal and promote what has been proposed by the Council of Europe, given that one of IONA’s fundamental principles is the promotion of the education of human beings.