Le Cercle de Réflexion des Nations




               Today our planet has been thrown into chaos by the sudden and violent collapse of the global economy. In the resulting turmoil, States must avoid the dangers of being themselves driven into bankruptcy, while fighting the spectre of a social wreck that would unfailingly lead to civil wars and the rise of dictatorships. The threat to world peace is growing more than ever. In assessing the causes of this chaos, States concur that this unprecedented situation hides a deep weakness in human behaviour, a failure to observe fundamental human duties. The principle of such duties was set out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 10 December 1948. The document refers to the “duties” that everyone owes to the community (Article 29) and states, in its Preamble, that each individual is considered to be a member of the human family  everyone acting towards one another in spirit of brotherhood. Accordingly, all the peoples of the United Nations are brothers bound in the heart by the spiritual blood ties that derive from belonging to the same human family.  This spiritual brotherhood must generate spiritual duties capable of guaranteeing the rights.


             But rights without prerequisite duties are liable to be threatened.  Therefore no State should be blamed if some of these universal rights are not always respected, since the behavioural model for the spiritual duties has not yet been defined. For want of duties, it is undeniable that, the destruction of the Earth would necessarily bring about the disappearance of all human beings. Yet, the “right to life, liberty and security of person” (Article 3 of the Declaration of 1948). It is therefore a fundamental, universal right and thus the first duty is to preserve human life from extinction. In this regard, however, the alarming way has already been laid out by the “Declaration of the Duty of Man” which was adopted on 1 March 2006 at United Nations Headquarters, at the behest of the Cercle de Réflexion des Nations.  This fundamental and visionary text, which was adopted in the presence of representatives of 18 countries, states that:

“Earth being the prime heritage of mankind.
 it is the foremost duty of man to protect it”

              This statement confirms that human duties will result from a state of mind based, not on coercion, but on a reflex of self-control, freely accepted as a model of spiritual strength and courage.


            Indeed liberty without a heart and based on the absence of sharing, such as has dominated the world economy over the past decades, not only ignores the “spirit of brotherhood”: of the 1948 Declaration and “Man’s first duty” of the 2006 Declaration, but is also contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations while directly threatening international peace and security.


             For all those reasons, it now seems imperative that the United Nations General Assembly should adopt a “Declaration of Human Duties ” in order to emerge from global chaos and preserve the frail equilibrium of world peace by defining the principles of a new human behaviour.

             Thus this way, this new free man of the twenty-first century could very well draw his inspiration from ideals patterned on the broad models that have enlightened mankind, partaking all at once of traditional philosophies and religions as well as of those empirical standards that, historically, have emerged in times of conflict in certain countries. The new world governance will have to build on those duties stemming from spiritual brotherhood, to act with a view to ensuring a balance with liberty and to dip into man’s heart where peace blossoms. With this in mind, the Cercle de Réflexion is establishing a Commission on Human Duties , which may be supported by national committees to be opened in Member States and Observer States of the United Nations to seek out elements of human wisdom, enriched by the experience and culture of the peoples of each country. To act together is to act for peace, for “together, we are peace.”


     New York, 10 April 2009



     Michel Thao Chan                               Jean-Luc Pérez

Founders of the Cercle de Réflexion des Nations