“We the peoples of the United Nations, determined…to reaffirm faith in fundamental rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small,…and to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,…have resolved to combine our efforts to accomplish these aims….” Preamble to the United Nations Charter
The NGO Forum on Spirituality and Values (FSV)
The NGO Forum on Spirituality and Values (FSV) is a network of NGOs inspired by these values and aligned with its objectives. It recognizes that spirituality and values are not unique to any one nation, creed, kindred, tongue or people, but are part of the heritage that belongs to each culture and to every member of the human family. Individual cultures and their underlying values are to humanity what biodiversity is to nature.
Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations, in his 2001 Nobel Peace Prize Lecture, put it this way: “In the 21st century, I believe the mission of the United Nations will be defined by a new, more profound awareness of the sanctity and dignity of every human life, regardless of race or religion.” And he further stated, in Vienna in 2005, “Clearly there is a need to unlearn our collective prejudices, to promote a continuing dialogue among the great religions, a dialogue based on the premise that diversity in thought, in belief, and in action, is a precious gift, not a threat.” FSV adopts these statements as fundamental to its spiritualty and values based beliefs and goals.
Goals of the NGO Forum on Spirituality and Values
- to encourage a spiritual, values and ethics driven perspective in all that the United Nations does, including its various agenda and programs of action;
- to promote common values and principles designed to enhance the health, safety and well-being of individuals and communities worldwide;
- to support and employ its best efforts to coordinate the expertise and resources of the multiple NGOs and to encourage participation, consultation, information sharing and networking among and by these organizations, and by civil society at large;
acknowledges the importance of engaging in dynamic dialogue. Creating partnerships and coordinating expertise is part of an effort to build bridges by voicing specific concerns and issues at the United Nations for of NGOs who can not be present.
- to participate in the work of the United Nations and in international conferences;
- to contribute written and oral statements relating to spirituality, values, justice and peace at all levels;
- to promote the right to lead a spiritual or religious way of life in full respect of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
More specifically, FSV conducts regular meetings of its members, and organizes side-events to which others are invited and which are designed to provide an increased awareness of individual and community responsibilities, making more possible the accomplishment of its objectives and those of the United Nations in general. Moreover, it publishes documents summarizing the content of meetings and seminars and presenting evidence-based knowledge which demonstrate the connection between spiritual and value based ideals on the one hand and positive individual and global change on the other.
FSV is dedicated to contributing in more diverse and significant ways to the above stated purposes, so that the highest and finest human qualities are realized and the full potential of humankind can be better expressed and preserved.