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Responsibility and rights


Transnational Action through NGO Networks (Part #14)


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36. Disregard and contempt for the rights and significance of human groups have resulted in irresponsible acts which have eroded vital social structures, processes and cultures. They have opposed full participation of all concerned groups in the solution of social problems and the compensation for inadequacies in each body's activities. They have caused the creation of an impenetrable maze of non-interacting social organs.

Action:

  • an essential part of any new programme should be consultation and contact with organizations with competence in the area in question prior to finalization of the programme.

37. Provision of status in international law for transnational associations would considerably facilitate their activities and increase their effectiveness. Such recognition should however avoid the imposition of artificial constraints upon the network of organizations to give rise to a select class of isolated unchanging entities which would obscure the presence of excluded bodies and interrelationships of social significance.

Action:

  • attention should be given to the legal aspects of international association activity, particularly when the absence of legal status hinders effective cooperation.

38. Organizations, as participants in the social process, have responsibilities for the well-being of individuals, other bodies, and society as a whole, in the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The principal respon- sibility is to make every effort to call attention to, or to counteract any, errors of omission or commission in society which special expertise enables them to detect.

Action:

  • social groups should have right of access to sophisticated information systems to communicate warning messages to responsible bodies concerning new problems which they detect.

39. The programme of an organization, whether intended or not, affects a wider sector of the organization's environment than it believes to be within its domain of interests. Organizations that wish to deal responsibly with their social surrounds must be capable of eliciting and evaluating responses from those who realize they are affected but who are ordinarily silent, and from those who are affected but may not realize it.

Action:

  • computer-based program information systems should be participative.

40. Organizations should have certain rights to protect them in the exercise of their responsibilities. These include:

  • right to be informed of matters affecting its area of special competence;
  • right to exercise activities in other countries;
  • right to negotiate and be represented at governmental meetings in its special field of competence;
  • right of participation in the formulation of programmes to combat social problems in its special field of competence;
  • right of its member bodies to participate fully in international programmes;
  • right to inviolability of offices, correspondence, and telephone conversations;
  • right to protection of funds and assets against intervention by public authority;
  • right of access to media of mass communications;
  • right to protection against any discrimination in matters of affiliation and activities;
  • right to access to voluntary conciliation and arbitration procedures;
  • right of members to further education and training.

Action:

  • further study should be made of the rights and responsibilities of international associations, possibly in conjunction with work on their legal status.

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