Rotary & United Nations

Rotary & Global Compact Collaboration


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Rotarian Peacebuilders Strengthen the Rotary Political Policy

The Empathy Surplus Project was accepted as a UN Global Compact member March 21, 2014. Our commitment to the UN Global Compact is to strengthen the 2009 Rotary International / Global Compact Collaboration. We want to partner with individual Rotarians to help us strengthen human rights everywhere. Our sometime cognitive science advisor, George Lakoff, and our retained consultant, Joe Brewer, remind us there are two aspects of policy making, the political process: cognitive policy and material policy.

  1. Material policy consists of the nuts and bolts, what is done in the world to fulfill policy goals.Rotary International "Policy on Politics" prohibits its clubs and action groups from engaging in this part of the political process.
  2. Cognitive policy is about the values and ideas that both motivate the policy goals and that have to be uppermost in the minds of the public and the media in order for the policy to seem so much a matter of common sense that it will be readily accepted. Rotary has a history that challenges each of its member Rotarians to take the strong, caring and responsible values of their Rotary Clubs and focused on the "dignity of all people" and "the consequent human rights of the individual" into ALL of their personal spheres of influence, especially their political arenas.

The United Nations is a testament to Rotary's cognitive policy, as is another organization Rotarians help establish - the UNESCO, United Nations Education Scientific and Cultural Organization. It's motto -- Building Peace in the Minds of Men and Women -- reminds us how important cognitive policy is to peacemaking. Rotary's legacy and vision of the political process is one of collaboration versus competition, and is the reason Rotary not only helped charter the UN, it has always held the highest consultative status to the United Nations that any NGO can hold.

Empathy Surplus Project's first collaboration activity is to simply embrace the joint collaboration between Rotary International and the UN Global Compact. We also want to expand the Healthcare Is a Human Right Collaboration. And we want Rotarians to join our affiliate organizations: Caring Citizens' Congresses. Two of our three co-founders are Rotarians: Chuck Watts, Rotarian since 1981, AM Rotary, Wilmington, OH; Anita Lewis, Rotarian since 2014, Noon Rotary, Xenia, OH; and Gary Evans, New Vienna, OH.

We see our first obligation is to celebrate the long history / tradition Rotary International has in peacemaking and the advancement of international goodwill. To that end we encourage districts and clubs to create Rotary / United Nations Relationship Committees. In that spirit we invite our fellow Rotarians to join us at the annual Rotary International / United Nations Day at the UN Headquarters in New York on the first Saturday in November. RI UN Day is for Rotarians, Rotaractors and Interactors.

In October 2015 we started a dialogue with the Rotary Action Group for Peace to (1) identify a joint project we could do together, and (2) if the joint project were successful, go another step and perhaps establish an official collaboration or partnership in the spirit of the UN Global Compact / Rotary International Collaboration of 2009.

Register for Rotary Day at the UN

Rotary International & the United Nations

Join the UN Global Compact

Two ways to join the Global Compact:

  1. Business or non-business participant.
  2. Join an affiliate of the Empathy Surplus Project, Global Compact participant.
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