The concept of global citizenship involves a notion of one world government, whereby all humans are joined as citizens of the earth. This concept does not aim at replacing the government citizenship in nations, but rather superseding these citizenships. The idealists of this citizenship started it in the context of the human race meeting extraterrestrial life in the future. The organizations in favor of global citizenship also aim at being the interest groups in legislation by international bodies such as the United Nations (UN). Such legislation includes the environmental conservation, food security, poverty eradication, health maintenance and restoration. The universal declaration of human rights from the UN General Assembly of 10th December 1948 provides the Adopted Resolution 217A (III), which allows human beings to occupy any country on the earth as long as they comply with the laws in their residence. A global citizen is an individual, who identifies himself or herself with being part of the global community and who promotes values and practices of this community through appropriate actions. One of the organizations that support the global citizenship is The Global Citizens Initiative (TGCI).
The Global Citizens Initiative (TGCI)
The Global Citizens Initiative (TGCI) is an organization that seeks to build a network of global citizens all over the world. It also provides a chance for members and sponsors to join in global citizenship forums. The initiative provides members with a chance to influence mechanisms in the grass-root level that promotes global values and practices. It encourages its members to work for solutions to global issues and engages them in participating in the governance of worldwide institutions. This organization began after recognition of the fact that the globalization is spreading each day. The Internet, world economy, ease in transport around the world, infusion of culture, art and music are some of the main factors that influence the globalization. The confrontation of the issues affecting the planet in general, such as environmental degradation and global warming, also requires a worldwide audience and legislation. The organization was started in 2011, but had full operations in 2012. It has different members from more than 75 countries around the world (Allan and Thorsen 56).
Individual states cannot handle worldwide problems by themselves; hence, the need for the global citizenship arises. Different interest groups, such as the UN, International NGOs and other multinational corporations, are joining in to fill the void that individual states leave in making global decisions. This will require a worldwide perspective and individuals with knowledge in different fields. There has been a problem with these international groups, since strong economies tend to influence global decisions in their favor (Allan and Thorsen 47). This calls for an independent global community, which will raise issues without the influence of any state, organization or economy. TGCI recognizes this information and tries to collect independent views from the international community without bias. According to Ron Israel, the executive director of TGCI, their commitments are building global leadership skills and knowledge, as well as promoting teamwork for members in order to solve current global issues.
The organization’s top objectives are to build a sustainable community based on values. In order to achieve this, the organization relies on certain beliefs and principles. It recognizes the existence of a community with values that may differ, as well as other, which are similar regardless of the country. Some values, such as respect and value for life as well as condemning a murder, are similar in all the societies around the world. Some values, such as religious beliefs and cultural practices, might differ in various societies. However, the organization ignores this as a reason for the global division, but rather sees it as a reason for unity. The organization also seeks to give citizens the ability to exercise their rights as global citizens. Citizens also have responsibilities to their individual communities and countries. Therefore, it ensures that citizens exercise their global responsibilities, without compromising their loyalty to their individual countries.
TGCI gives people an opportunity to participate in development programs and give solutions to global problems. The organization gives individuals a chance to challenge the world community and administration in independent global organizations without favoritism on matters of nationality. The global institutions also require an independent feedback and suggestions from the international community without religious, political or personal influence. The organization provides the engagement of independent members to air their views on global issues and uses the information to influence independent international organizations, such as the UN, in terms of making a global legislation (Drache and Froese 69). Other international corporations and multinational investment groups may also use the information from TGCI in order to make decisions that will enhance their progress.
The Global Citizens Initiative promotes values that world leaders have tried to promote for the last eight centuries. It relies heavily on information from the general public in the world to make its decisions and push for interference from the international community. It promotes such values as religious pluralism, human rights, gender equity, participatory government, the rule of law, environmental protection, internet freedom, poverty alleviation, sustainable economic growth, eliminating armaments of mass destruction, termination and prevention of battles between countries, celebrating cultural diversity and humanitarian assistance. The initiative promotes these values among its members. It also pushes for the international legislation to support these values. It collects information from the media and other sources on the violation of the values and ensures a fast and effective handling of the problems.
TGCI also seeks to build leaders from different nationalities and cultures, who promote the practice of the global citizenship. These leaders support for programs and policies, which advocate the values of the world community, as well as setting examples for members. The leaders make certain that people can access information regarding the global citizenship as well as ensure a free membership. The leaders also take part in the global advocacy efforts with the aim of developing their leadership skills. These leaders are in more than eighty countries around the world. The organization is registered in the United States as a non-profit organization. Its governing board of trustees ensures that there is the integrity in its running and management of funds. The board has qualified members, who nurture young leaders to support the global citizenship. The organization has managed to grow over a period of one year to have over two thousand people in the eighty-four countries, especially from developing countries in Africa and Asia. It has also set up a website that has improved interactions between members. It has enabled members to communicate freely and provide information as well as views regarding their country’s situation (Myung 44). The organization has also managed to launch projects to train global citizen leaders around the world. It has also has different sponsors, who have seen the leaders’ education program to success. It has also launched participation projects of its members in advocacy of human rights in more than eight countries. These humanitarian projects have led to influence of different legislation in specific countries as well as international groups.
TGCI produces a monthly newsletter to all its members. This newsletter updates its members on recent events and activities, shaping the world’s community, as well as the organization’s sponsors and people influencing these changes. The organization has also conducted interviews with different international leaders. These interviews help in determining how worldwide political, religious and economic leaders view the global perspective, and how they apply it in their work. It also conducts community forums worldwide that enable online discussions, especially on the desertification and human rights. The information has been useful, especially to environmental groups, such as the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), in terms of organizing its activities. TGCI is emerging as an interest group in international affairs and will soon provide a strong influence all over the world.
The organization relies heavily on private donors to fund its activities. It spent approximately $100,000 during its first financial year 2011/12. It used the funds to support the global leadership training, project staff, as well as arrange the web-design and consultation. It also gets funds from pro bono services in different countries, especially the US. Different program participants also pay a tuition fee, which adds to its financial pool. The group engages independent auditors to ensure the integrity of its financial activities. Its board is made up of four members (Drache 72). The founder, Ron Israel, is the executive director. Other co-founders include Ash Hartwell (board secretary), Hisham Jabi (board member) and Nancy Devine (board treasurer). The board plans to fetch up to $300,000 to support the coordination of programs, micro-grants as well as field projects. It also plans to improve a global linkage in order to advocate for solutions to global challenges.
In terms of obtaining its membership, the group provides an application form in its website. To qualify for the membership, individuals must already be citizens in their respective countries. Membership is voluntary. Individuals applying for membership must recognize that the world is connected, and that they are part of a community of people and nations. This affirms that every individual is a member of the global citizenship. Therefore, the organization encourages people to join in order to provide a global contact for all citizens. Active global citizens will help in creating an international movement, which has the power to create a better world. The organization creates a member application procedure to ensure that all global citizens under its membership have self-awareness and promote similar values. An individual must recognize their role in the creation of a better world and enroll independently.
TGCI provides steps online that an individual can take in order to become a member and global citizen. This individual must expand his or her definition of community. This means that the individual should have the same attitude about belonging to the world community as belonging to a local town or neighborhood. Individuals should also discover worldwide values and embrace the practices that are acceptable in the worldwide community, without forgetting local beliefs and actions (Khanna 24). This will reduce international conflicts and create a worldwide perspective of a human welfare. Individuals should also have an adequate knowledge on global programs and policies. This will ensure that an individual can take part in online discussions regarding global issues. Individuals should also engage in organizations that participate in advocating for the global change. With these factors, one will become an active global citizen in TGCI voluntarily.
In the future, the organization wants to integrate more members in its portfolio. It wishes to enroll more members as global citizens, as well as conduct field training programs in different countries. It also wishes to support human rights programs in countries such as Cameroon, Bhutan, India, Fiji, Peru, Kenya, Sierra Leone and the United States of America. It also aims at training more leaders online to support the global citizenship. The group aims at expanding its enrollment in Europe, the Americas, North Africa and the Middle East. It will also organize a global forum to advocate for the signing of the Amherst Declaration on Global Citizenship, which will ensure that the media and other world leaders will support them in advocating for the world citizenship. This way, it will ensure that the initiative will continue contributing towards organization of its worldwide community forums while expanding the global citizenship.