November 29, 1991
Rapid changes in our environment and our societies are forcing us to become more conscious of our role in the world. Science and technology are employed in a worldwide competition for military and economic power. The impacts of this competition have global implications. We have entered a phase in which global developments are in conflict with basic requirements for human survival. Large stocks of weapons for mass destruction, the over-exploitation of common limited resources, and a heavily unbalanced world economy provide fundamental challenges to human civilization and may even threaten its further existence. The end of the cold war and the progress towards democracy and national self-determination in many regions provide important opportunities to resolve long-standing threats to international security. Dismantling the vast nuclear and conventional arsenals and demilitarizing international relations remains a high priority. However, after the decline of international bipolar divisions, many major problems remain. Regional and inter-communal conflicts, together with the proliferation of weapons technologies, threaten local and global security. Newly recognized problems such as climate change, ozone depletion and loss of species diversity raise new challenges regarding energy use, population growth and other aspects of development. Gross inequalities and injustice between and within industrialized and developing countries undermine military, economic, social and environmental security.
Developments in science and technology have helped to create global interdependence and to make us more profoundly aware of the planet's condition. Many engineers and scientists play a key role in both the processes that threaten international security and those that provide hope for the future. International organizations and norms are being developed to tackle common problems, and many structures for regional cooperation are emerging to overcome national divisions.
The engineering and scientific community is intrinsically international, with informal networks and channels of communication. However most existing professional organisations are highly specialized. It is now time to establish a multidisciplinary international network of engineers and scientists for global responsibility to promote the following aims:
In order to accomplish these aims, members and bodies of the network will
We are convinced that it is our continuous task to reflect on values and standards of behaviour which take into account basic human needs and our interrelationship with the biosphere. Membership of the network is open to non-governmental organizations and individual engineers and scientists. It will be a network seeking to provide a central resource for, and to promote coordination among, its members. We hope that the synergy of different approaches will facilitate steps from vision toward action.
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