The President of the General Assembly of the UN, Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, former chancellor of Sandinista Nicaragua, is endowing that entity with a new face. He has created study groups on a variety  of topics of special interest to those who are suffering, such as the issue of the drinking water, the relationship between alternative energy and food security, the world-wide question of indigenous peoples, and others. Perhaps the most important group, that includes great names of economics, such as Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz, is the one that seeks collective solutions to the economic-financial crisis.  Everyone is aware that the G-20 countries, no matter how important they may be, do not represent the other 172 countries, where the principal victims of the present turbulence live.  On the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of June of this year, D’Escoto hopes to unite in the  UN Assembly the heads of state of all 192 member countries, to join in the search for sustainable paths that would serve all of humanity, and not just the powerful.

More important, however, is the atmosphere that has been created: one of open dialogue, with a sense of cooperation and renunciation of all forms of violence in solving world problems. His desk is covered with the icons that inspire his life and works: Jesus Christ, Tolstoi, Gandhi, Sandino, Chico Mendes, among others.  Everybody calls him Padre, because he is still a Catholic priest, with a profound evangelical inspiration. He is a man of a great goodness, that emanates from within, and infects everyone.

Under his influence, Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, was able to propose that the General Assembly adopt a resolution to establish April 22nd as the International Day of Mother Earth.  It was unanimously accepted. I was honored to be able to expound to the representatives of the people the scientific, ethical and humanistic arguments of this conception of the Earth as Mother.

All this seems natural and obvious and of an evident humanism. However –note the irony– there are representatives of rich countries that find the behavior of Padre Miguel very strange. Not long ago an article appeared in the Washington Post echoing this sentiment. The writer said that Miguel d’Escoto talks of very strange things that are never heard in the UNO, such as solidarity, cooperation and love. He greets everyone in his speeches as “Brothers and Sisters all.” Even more strange, says the writer, is the fact that many representatives and even heads of state, such as Sarkozy, are using the same strange language.

Good Lord! In which level of Dante’s hell are we? How can a society be built without solidarity, cooperation and love, deprived of the profound feelings expressed in the UN Human Rights Charter, that we are all equal, and because of that we are brothers and sisters?

For a society that has opted to transform everything into merchandise: the Earth, nature, water and life itself, and which puts making money and consumption as the supreme ideals above any other values, above human rights, democracy and respect for the environment, the attitudes of the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations must seem strange indeed. They are not found in the capitalist dictionary.

We must ask ourselves about the human and ethical qualities of such a society. It is simply an insult to everything that humanity has preached and attempted to live throughout the centuries. No wonder it is in crisis, and more than an economic and financial one, it is a crisis of humanity. It represents the worst that exists within us, our demonic side. It has proven to be unsustainable even financially, which is exactly its central point.

Such a civilization does not deserve to have a future. Let us hope Gaia takes pity on us and does not unleash her understandable revenge.  But if for ten just men, according to the Bible, God could have forgiven Sodom and Gomorrah, we may also hope to be saved by the many just women and men that still flourish on the face of  the Earth.