View this email in your browser
Recent News                                                                                    April 2020 
Initial reflections on the pandemic
Within the span of a few months, our global society and systems have been tested in new and profound ways. A widespread discourse is emerging regarding the next stage of our collective lives. The limits of national sovereignty in a global system are becoming apparent as a nation’s advancement is intrinsically bound with that of others and with the global community. While the immediate concern is to address practical matters of policy and organization to ensure that humanity is better prepared, it is equally necessary to revisit and assess the fundamental principles guiding our current system of global governance. This will require a profound reexamination of the attitudes and assumptions which currently underlie it.

At the same time, countless acts of service, resilience, selflessness, resourcefulness, and creativity exhibited all over the globe inspire reflection on the irreplaceable role and contribution of the individual to our societies. The extent to which people are generously looking out for one another and alleviating feelings of alienation, despair and loneliness, becomes a direct indicator of a community’s resilience. Beyond ensuring the provision of material means and maintaining institutional structures, an essential dimension of a well-functioning society, therefore, relates to its ability to foster and tap into the capacity of its members to build new patterns of collective life. 

The emerging appreciation for our inherent oneness and interdependence calls for a process of systematic and purposeful learning about the harmonization of relationships between individuals, institutions and communities - from the local to the global.

We look forward to exploring some of these themes with you in the weeks to come. If you would like to join an upcoming meeting on this issue, please email
Artificial Intelligence: An informal brainstorming session hosted by the BIC brought various stakeholders together to consider the role of technology in the advancement of society
On March 2, experts, policymakers and civil society representatives came together for an informal brainstorming session around a topic that is reshaping human society and attracting the attention of policymakers at an increasing pace: artificial intelligence (AI). During this exploratory session, participants aimed to unpack the deeper questions underlying the beneficial and just use of AI. 

The participants noted the need to address these questions in an ongoing conversation, among them the following: What is the role of technological progress in the advancement of a society? How will AI affect the way people find meaning and purpose in their lives, particularly as it reshapes mankind’s economic life? How does our understanding of human nature shape how we view AI? How can we ensure that AI contributes to the well-being of all of mankind? This informal meeting tried to provide an open space for various stakeholders to address some of the above themes in an atmosphere of joint learning.
Exploring the role of non-migration policies in relation to drivers of migration together with the Joint Research Center
The EU Policy Lab of the Joint Research Center of the European Commission and the Bahá'í International Community (BIC) have hosted a series of meetings amongst experts from the European Commission, academia and civil society representatives to consider the links between non-migration policies and the movement of populations.

The series of meetings, the reports of which are published in the blog of the EU Policy Lab (13 November 2018, 4 July 2019, 7 November 2019) has been concerned with how to mobilize non-migration policies to support the implementation of Objective 2 outlined in the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, which aims to "minimize the adverse drivers and structural factors that compel people to leave their country of origin". Similar to past meetings, the next meeting, which will hopefully take place in the foreseeable future, will consider the links between agricultural policies, rural knowledge generation, and migratory patterns in the context of the ever-deepening relationship between Europe and Africa. 

Participants engaging in this ongoing conversation gradually identified constructive lines of inquiry relevant to sustainable and long-term policymaking. The BIC Brussels Office commented that "the purpose of these meetings is to explore how policies can be shaped in a way that ensures the well-being of all and does not put one part of the world at odds with another. The reality of our interdependent world is that policies have implications beyond their intended thematic and geographical scope and therefore need to be evaluated against the effects they have on other continents."
Joint meeting with MEPs from the Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup (ARDI) of the European Parliament on how language can foster a sense of shared identity 
At a recent European Parliament panel discussion, the Bahá'í International Community (BIC) led an exploration of how language can be developed that celebrates diversity and simultaneously fosters a strong sense of loyalty to all of humanity.

The panel, attended by some 40 policymakers and civil society representatives, was hosted by MEPs Julie Ward and Samira Rafaela from ARDI and chaired by the BIC Brussels office. The focus was on how institutions and social actors can address the root of the issue: that although celebrating diversity and advocating co-existence represent a step forward, a shared identity is needed to chart a path towards harmonious societies.

“Beyond our individual identities,” said Rachel Bayani, representative of the BIC, in her remarks at the forum, “we need to conceive of an overarching, shared identity, one which can unite, which is based on the understanding that humanity is one and that all the peoples of the world are part of the same human family.”
Copyright © 2020 Bahá'í International Community Brussels office, All rights reserved.

Transparency registration number : 30317703883-03

The Bahá'í International Community (BIC) is an international non-governmental organization with affiliates in over 180 countries and territories. It currently has offices in Addis Ababa, Brussels, Geneva, New York, Jakarta.

Bahá'í International Community - Brussels

Rue Henri Evenpoel 52-54, Brussels 1030
+32-2-644 6463

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Baha'i International Community Brussels · rue Evenepoel straat 52-54 · Brussels 1030 · Belgium