Report on lecture tour for

International Peace Week in Costa Rica

Glen T. Martin, September 20-25, 2012

My lecture tour was organized by Celina Garcia and Fundación CEPPA (the Center for the Study of Peace) in San Jose, Costa Rica, an organization that has been working with WCPA for several years to promote awareness and understanding of the Earth Constitution in Costa Rica and Latin America. Celina is a Vice-President of WCPA and long-time coworker in the struggle for a world of peace with justice. My excellent schedule was arranged by Stephanie Vargas and the media coverage provided by Orianna. Both Stephanie and Orianna work for Fundación CEPPA. We traveled to the northern province of San Carlos for several days and then back to San Jose, Costa Rica’s capital, for the last three days.

The Provence of San Carlos in Costa Rica annually celebrates International Peace Week with lectures, public gatherings, and with music, song, and dance. The Costa Rican Center for the Study of Peace (Fundacion CEPPA) in San Jose, which works with the international Alternatives to Violence Movement (AVP) throughout San Carlos (with schools, prisoners, teachers, police, etc.), has close contacts with the several universities where my lectures were organized.

 Each lecture was presented as an interactive version of my paper "Ethical Dimensions of Being Human in the 21st Century" which included an outline handed out with a Spanish translation as "Dimensiones éticas del las humanidad para el siglo XXI." We also offered a Spanish brochure listing some major world problems and  how these might be addressed, and a copy of the book El Manifiesto de la Federactión de la Tierra y Una Constitución para la Federactión de la Tierra (IED Press, 2011). El Manifiesto is a translation of my "Manifesto of the Earth Federation" which is published in English in the volume World Revolution through World Law (IED Press, 2005).

The first lecture was with about 50 students and faculty from the Collegio Technologico (ITECR) in Santa Clara. The response was very positive. I invited them to identify the central problems they had in Costa Rica, and they came up with the problems of social violence, poverty, unemployment, corruption among politicians, environmental pollution and climate change, and multinational corporations responsible for much of this.

At Collegio Technologico

We then discussed other countries in the world (including the U.S.) and they concluded that every country in the world was experiencing some form of these same problems, including the problem of wars and militarism. They agreed that their future in Costa Rica was endangered because our human future on this planet is endangered everywhere. The problems are interrelated and interdependent and no country alone can solve them.

The question becomes, then, how can we create a world system that represents the 99% of humanity who desire peace, justice, environmental protection, and the ending of poverty. How can we establish real democracy (democracia real) within our individual countries but also within the world, since the former cannot happen unless we become world citizens and establish real democracy worldwide? Clearly the UN does not give us a democratic regime for the world and clearly the UN has failed to deal effectively with all these problems. Hence, we need a real world parliament and real Earth Constitution establishing real democracy through enforceable world law: the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.

At 6:15 that evening we had another presentation at the National Technological University (UTN) in Cuidad Quesada, about 30 minutes drive from the first college. The audience here was larger, about 100 students and faculty. We divided the audience into two halves (nearly equal), one needing translation and the other speaking English so the translator could stay on one side of the room and make the lecture more efficient. This was a lively group with much participation. They in general were older, many who had returned to school as adults. They were very enthusiastic, including the Directora, the Dean, and the bilingual teacher who translated. A number of students bought the book, and many more took brochures. Our three hosts took us out to dinner after the event and invited me (or someone from WCPA) to return in January to do a workshop for their teachers. They want their teachers to imbibe this global perspective.

At National Technological University in Cuidad Quesada

The following day (September 21st), we participated in the big peace festival organized by the community in the gymnasium of the local town. My colleagues from Fundación Ceppa, Stephanie and Orianna, set up a CEPPA display featuring Japanese peace cranes and both young women gave speeches to the 300 or more people assembled there (see the photo above). I spoke briefly to congratulate the assembly on their vibrant community of peace.

Stephanie (left) and Orianna (right) at the World Peace Festival

That evening at 5 pm I had a scheduled presentation at another university in Cuidad Quesada: the University of San Jose. The room was filled with some teachers, administrators and adult students of the university, perhaps 50 in all. The President and owner of the University (which has extension campuses around Costa Rica), Greivin Arrieta Chacón, was part of the program. He introduced the program and me, saying that it was very important for students to have knowledge about the world that we live in and that the future depended on such informed world citizens.

My presentation was very well received with good questions and discussion. The University President then summarized my presentation for about 10 minutes. He did an excellent job of reviewing the development of the argument and the conclusion and urged the students to pay attention to what I had said and pursue knowledge and understanding of our world situation and the solution of uniting the world under a genuinely democratic constitution. The President then took us out to dinner after introducing me to many members of his administrative staff. He invited us to give this presentation at other campuses of the University around Costa Rica.

With University of San Jose President Greivin Arrieta Chacón after the presentation.

The next morning we had a presentation at the Catholic University of Cuidad Quesada at 10 AM. The audience involved about 30 students and faculty. There were good questions and a good response, many took the brochure in Spanish and two purchased the book and, as with the previous lectures, asked me to sign it for them. After the event, we met with the administrator who organized the event and the director of the school who treated us to refreshments. The atmosphere was very positive. From there we drove back to San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica, where my next two lectures were scheduled.

On September 24th at 5:30 PM we were scheduled at the University of La Salle in San Jose. Celina, Stephanie, Orianna and myself drove to the university in Celina’s car. We set up the banner for Fundación CEPPA in the front of the auditorium and laid out brochures and books on a table at the front. One of the two translators assigned to us (two teachers) had already read my book "El Manifiesto y La Constitución" and told us she liked it very much. The auditorium was full, perhaps 150-200 people, the majority of them were law students; many others were working on graduate degrees in education or psychology, with some professors also present. Celina Garcia spoke at the beginning and then the Director of the school. I had two hours with a break in the middle when the university was serving a cafeteria style dinner to everyone in the audience.

This group was the most articulate and participatory of all so far. Many critically thoughtful and highly informed and intelligent people were in the audience and addressing the problems under discussion of violence, environmental destruction, and political corruption in Costa Rican society, the U.S., and in the world. We looked at the statistics concerning world power, world ownership of assets and resources, transnational corporations, and world militarism. I used a Power Point presentation of my travels to places where we have supporters around the world that Celina had translated into Spanish. I described to them the differences between the UN system and international law and the movement for emerging world law, democratically legislated, that can effectively address these problems on the local and global levels and create the positive vision of a real possible future for humanity.

The atmosphere was very positive and at the end a number of people purchased "El Manifiesto y La Constitucion" (for 5000 colones or 10 dollars) and also took the brochure in Spanish (free). We all felt encouraged and empowered by the response.

At LaSalle University in San Jose

The following day I was scheduled at the University of Costa Rica with two other speakers: Dr. Gustavo Gutierrez Espeleta, of the University of Costa Rica School of Biology and M. Sc. Luis Guillermo Solis Rivera of the University’s School of Political Science (and candidate for the presidency of Costa Rica in next year’s national elections). I was schedule to speak for 45 minutes and the other two for 20 minutes each. The topic was "How to Control Multinational Corporations?" and my presentation addressing that topic was called "Multinational Corporations, Costa Rica, and the Trap of Empire: A Path toward Genuine Freedom for all Nations."

The audience included about 30-35 people, some of whom were professors, and one of whom had written a book on multinationals and globalization. Discussion was lively and there was interest in our work for democratic world law. Two books were purchased and a number of brochures taken after the event. The following day (September 26) I flew back to the U.S. and finished preparing this report. In Costa Rica, on that day, Stephanie Vargas gave a follow-up workshop on the Earth Constitution and Celina Garcia signed a cover letter for sending the Earth Constitution to all Latin American heads of state.

The theme at the University of Costa Rica was "How can we control the multinational corporations?"

The Earth Federation Movement is growing rapidly. Now is the time to promote the Earth Constitution in every way on every venue from You Tube and Facebook to lectures and in print. Let us keep the Earth Constitution before the public in very way possible.  What is at stake is the future of Humanity and our precious planet Earth.   Let’s do it!      GTM.

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