Transhumanismo y tecnociencia. Un enfoque basado en los derechos humanos

[ppt side event] transhumanismo y tecnociencias -GINEBRA 15.6.2017

Este texto pretende ser un resumen de la presentación que Juan García realizó en el side event “Transhumanisme et ciberculture. Les relations entre la science et les droits de l’homme.”

La resolución del Parlamento Europeo de 16 de febrero de 2017 se centra en tres ámbitos importantes. En primer lugar, la implicación ética y deontológica para la dignidad humana de las máquinas capaces de adquirir autonomía y sustituir a los humanos a la hora de prestar cuidados y hacer compañía. En segundo lugar, se fija en las consecuencias que pudieran derivarse para las políticas sociales europeas, véase en empleo. Y en tercer lugar fija la necesidad de establecer un marco jurídico que facilite la industria e investigación de forma que refleje los valores intrínsecamente europeos y humanistas que caracterizan la contribución de Europa a la sociedad.

En general, cuando pensamos en tecnología pensamos en las Técnicas de Comunicación e Información. Sin embargo, nos hallamos en medio de una tecnorrevolución donde existen nuevos tipos de tecnología que además son convergentes. En este amplio grupo de tecnologías podríamos distinguir otros dos: aquellas tecnologías que se centran en lo orgánico del ser humano para modificarlo (genética, nanotecnología) y aquellas que lo hacen para recrearlo (robótica) Estas tecnologías están en condiciones de reescribir el futuro y de transformar nuestra visión del mundo y de nosotros mismos.

Es en este contexto donde surge el transhumanismo como marco ideológico alternativo que da sentido a las tecnologías convergentes. Si las tecnociencias tienen como referencia los derechos humanos, el transhumanismo se deshace de ellos, siendo su única finalidad el perfeccionamiento tecnológico.

Según el transhumanismo hay una responsabilidad moral de mejorar tecnológicamente al ser humano, no solo de manera individual, sino también en su conjunto. Sería el transhumanismo un momento evolutivo hasta llegar al post-humano, momento en que la inteligencia artificial se podría fusionar con la inteligencia humana a todos los niveles.

El Instituto sobre el futuro de la humanidad, de la Universidad de Oxford, en la Declaración del Transhumanista, afirma que éste es un movimiento cultural e intelectual cuyo deber moral es mejorar las capacidades físicas y cognitivas eliminando los aspectos no deseados y no necesarios como el envejecimiento, el padecimiento o la misma muerte. Podemos decir que los tres pilares del transhumanismo son la búsqueda de la superinteligencia, la superlongevidad y el superbienestar.

El problema es que dibujar la mejora humana de manera puramente artificial y colectivista no está exento de problemas éticos. El enfoque transhumanista enmascara la defensa de una naturaleza humana puramente natural y orgánica basada únicamente en la tecnología. Es preciso favorecer el desarrollo de posiciones tecnocientíficas que permitan el desarrollo humano integral. La postura que choca con el transhumanismo por su defensa de la vida y dignidad de los seres humanos se llama bioconservadora. El propio Parlamento Europeo, a través del STOA, se ha distanciado de las posturas transhumanistas al considerar éste solamente la función corporal y corgnitiva.

La Declaración Universal de los Derechos Humanos habla en este sentido del derecho de la persona a gozar y participar del progreso científico. El derecho a la cultura y el derecho a la ciencia están muy relacionados.

Hay múltiples ejemplos del uso del progreso científico y tecnológico en interés de la paz y en beneficio de la humanidad. La Declración de la UNESCO de 1975 proponía que “los Estados adopten medidas para evitar que los logros científicos se utilicen en detrimento dfe los Derechos Humanos, las libertades fundamentales y la dignidad de la persona.

Termina Juan García su intervención con la pregunta del periodista francés Guillebaud en “El principio de la humanidad”: ¿Cómo podemos promover los derechos del hombre si la ciencia pone en duda la definición de hombre? ¿Cómo conjurar los crímenes contra la humanidad si la definición misma de humanidad resulta problemática?

Trans-humanism and Cyber-culture

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A public side event was held on Wednesday June 14, 2017 at the Palais des Nations focusing on Trans-humanism and Cyber-culture, the objective of this event presented by Osman El Hajjé, followed by Juan Garcia, Alfred Fernandez and Alfred de Zayas was to reflect on the relationship between human rights and science and technology. This is of crucial importance when developments in biology, nanotechnology and computers in particular pose fundamental human rights challenges. It is a matter of looking at science in the light of human rights and of placing respect and protection of rights, especially economic, social and cultural rights – especially cultural rights – at the center of sustainable human development.

The Trans-humanism definition, explained deeply by Alfred Fernandez, is a movement to slow aging in the capacity physic. Singularity is the moment when in the years of 2040 to 2080 that technologies will take over the humans. Big companies such as Google, Twitter, and Facebook are investing billions of dollars wanting technologies to regulate global warming and not humans, but it will take over humans eventually.

The topic’s event was chosen due to the fact that there is a huge gap between developing countries and developed countries explained Juan Garcia. Everyday, more and more futuristic robots and technologies are being created in every domain almost starting a technological revolution. More precisely is focus on two domains, which are the organic domain of the human beings; either to make it better or to recreate it. Secondly, the information ad communication technic is creating virtual spaces. Trans-humanism by definition is the social and scholarly advancement development that attests the craving to on a very basic level enhance the human body and its present condition. This is done through procedure of innovation development to upgrade physical and mental limits.

In general, when technologies evolves it only evolves with the communication, however many types of technologies are evolving and creating robots in every domains, as stated earlier. The distinguishing of technology that affects human and science to recreate can already be made.

To conclude, we have seen that everyday the world is advancing as well with its technologies and on how technology is placed in every department with each a very specific ask to follow, now the question to be thought of is, Can trans-humanism and cyber-culture develop it self to a point where we will live in harmony with machines? Or is the development of trans-humanism going too far where robots will control us?

 

Eloise Christophi

“The Right to International Solidarity: Meeting with the Independent Expert on the revised draft declaration”

Last Thursday, 8 of June, a public side event on the right to international solidarity was held at room IX of the UN Palace. OIDEL co-organize this event with the Associazione Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII and other NGOs of the CINGO WG on international solidarity. The event was opened and moderated by Jorge Ferreira.

Msgr. Ivan Jurkovic, Nuncio to the United Nations, first introduced solidarity as a broad concept that involves a fact or condition, a principle, a moral value. It is founded on the idea that we are debtors of society and, being ethical in nature, its implication for human life is also ethical. However, despite being all these things, it is currently unrealized, under threat. It gives way to the States’ sovereignty, when in theory both concepts are not opposed, since the principle of solidarity is linked to the principle of subsidiarity.

In this line, Ms. Virginia Dandan, Independent Expert on Human Rights and International Solidarity and author of the draft declaration on the human right to IS, added that, in a time when nationalism and segmentation are arising, IS must come to stop them. Its definition and implementation are explained in the draft, as well as the obligations that it entails. However, Ms. Dandan was clear that IS necessarily means action; it cannot be left behind in plans. And, since IS is already a principie in people’s lives, it is therefore necesary to make sure that it becomes a pinciple in the life of governments as well. You can find the link of the draft declaration here: http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Issues/Solidarity/ProposedDraftDeclarationSolidarity.pdf

Following on, Mr. Alfred-Maurice de Zayas, the UN Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order, stressed the relevance for his mandate of the recognition of such a right. He also spoke about the need of working on a draft declaration on the human right to peace, even though the States deem there are no legal grounds for it.

Finally, it was Ms. Maria Mercedes Rossi, from the Associazione, who intervened. She explained how IS has an individual and a collective dimension. She said the latter corresponds to the African way of thinking: “I am because we are”, while the former corresponds to the Western way, which she finds rather arrogant. She also questioned the States’ allegation according to which the human right to IS has no legal basis and defended the need of making a right out of it in order to make it effective.

Afterwards, during question time, Ms. Dandan, and Ms. Rossi explained the difference between preventive solidarity, which tackles root causes and has a long-time frame, and reactive solidarity, which is deployed ex post (i.e. after a natural disaster, calamity) and has an instant time frame. They declared that preventive solidarity is the one that is needed, using the example of starvation in the world, which has root causes that have to be dealt with.

As a conclusion, Ms. Dandan stated that the road to right’s protection is a long one. International Solidarity is a choice one has to make; poverty is a fight that must be fought every single day. Sympathy will not do; as she said, even dogs can feel.

However, the actual conclusion was made by someone from the public, who requested to speak and quoted Pope Francis: “Nothing in Nature lives for itself. Rivers don’t drink their own water. Trees don’t eat their own fruit. Sun doesn’t give heat for itself. Flowers don’t spread fragrance for themselves. Living for others is the rule of Nature.”

 

Eugenia de Lacalle

Agenda 2030: the role of Human Rights Education

The seminar How can Human Rights Education and Training be promoted through the Education 2030 Agenda, especially Target 4.7? is organized by the NGO Working Group on Human Rights Education on Tuesday the 30th of May at the Palais des Nations (Room XXV, 14h30 -16h30).

This meeting was planned with the co-sponsorship of the States Platform on Human Rights Education and Training (Brazil, Costa Rica, Italy, Morocco, The Philippines, Senegal, Slovenia and Thailand) and the UNESCO Liaison Office in Geneva.

It will focus on Human Rights Education and Global Citizenship Education as established in target 4.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals.

The organisers  believed useful to bring together various initiatives to update all stakeholders, including the Member States. It will be an occasion to discuss monitoring mechanisms and practices, together with difficulties and obstacles.
OPENING REMARKS:
H.E. Mr MAURIZIO ENRICO SERRA, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Italy

Mr ABDULAZIZ ALMUZAINI, Director, UNESCO Geneva Liaison Office

PANELISTS
LYDIA RUPRECHT, Team Leader, Education for Sustainable Development & Global Citizenship, UNESCO

GILBERTO DUARTE SANTOS, Crime Prevention & Criminal Justice Officer, Education for Justice, UNODC

ELENA IPPOLITI, Human Rights Officer, Methodology Education & Training  Section, OHCHR

VILLANO QIRIAZI, Head of the Education Policy Division,Council of Europe (tbc)

GIORGIA MAGNI, Junior Researcher, International Bureau of Education, IBE-UNESCO

MODERATOR
CLAIRE DE LAVERNETTE, Chair of the NGO Working Group on Human Rights Education and Learning

 

REFUGEES AND ASYLUM SEEKERS Edmund Rice International, May the 4th, Room XXVI

The side event organized by “Edmund Rice International” outlined the situation of the UK policies in the same day in which the UK underwent the UPR (Universal Periodic Review) at the UN.

EPI’s representatives focused on the conditions of refugees in the UK, starting from the consideration of the programs the government has put in action.

The panelists shown that, with regard to the other European countries, the UK receives only the 5% of the total flow of immigrants, number that will easily allow the improvements needed. Nonetheless, wealthy UK finds itself behind poorer countries in the ranking of European States providing quality support to the refugees. In addition, in 2016, 70% of the requests for asylum were refused, either for the absence of a document recognized or the condition of statelessness.

The accepted refugees, according to the regulations, are granted 28 days of accommodation by the government, after which they are left with no house, no employment aid and no support.

From this analysis, ERI recognized a number of charitable safety nets present in England that help refugees through these hard times. Even so, they found that the majority of asylum seekers are marginalized, constantly on the move, living in a limbo with no security or hope for the future.

In April 2017, the British Red Cross published “Can’t stay, Can’t go”, a Report on the condition of asylum seekers in the UK, highlighting how this condition of uncertainty, lack of legal representation and knowledge of the language, is the cause of enormous distress.

The other Report issued by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), “Refugees Welcome?”, focused on the absence of real projects and solutions to address the emergency of refugees. In the document, APPG suggests integrative strategies, English language teaching and to prolong to 50 days the governmental accommodation.

These Reports are in line with the intervention made by the EPI and other member States during the UK session at the UPR. They found though that the answers of the Ministry of Justice to the questions do not mirror the actual situation in the UK.

During the UPR pressure was made to ameliorate the conditions of asylum seekers and their transitions into society; at the same time, the panelists stressed, no attention was given to other very serious issues linked: food poverty and homelessness.

The representative of the “Trussel Trust”, for the elimination of food poverty in the UK, reminded that no data nor attention has been given by the government to address the issue of food poverty. Generally caused by benefit changes and delays, this condition could be easily avoided by governmental interventions and programs.

Homelessness in Northern Ireland is another issue very sensitive and not addressed in the UPR nor by the government. “Welcome” organization’s data show grave marginalization of the problem of a small region with a troubled historical background where the condition of homelessness touches 18,628 persons, 52% of which are single male adults.

In conclusion, the welfare reforms and safety net claimed by the Ministry of Justice at the UPR session, according to the representative of Welcome, cannot be found on the ground. Furthermore, the panelists find necessary for the government to recognize organizations as more than safety net and to implement its project in order to reach the standards set in the international documents that the UK signed.

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Beatrice Bilotti

93th Council of the OIEC:

Last week OIDEL participated in the OIEC Council in Beirut. OIEC – Catholic International Education Office. OIEC is the entity that represents Catholic Education around the world, around the 70% of non-governmental schools are catholic.

The Council of the OIEC was from Thursday 27th until Saturday 29th April. Many issues were discussed but we would like to highlight the presentation of the new OIEC representation around the International Organizations.

Additionally, OIDEL made a presentation on “Education 2030: The role of civil society”. The presentation was an occasion to present the new challenges of the international community and to show the role of Catholic Education in the implementation of the new agenda. Moreover, OIDEL took the opportunity to show how Catholic Education can improve the realization of the right to education in other UN mechanisms.

Among the events OIDEL take part we can highlight the participation of two other events. One was an audience with the President of Lebanon Michel Aoun, in the Baabda Palace. The other one was the participation on a conference on the importance of the TIC for the realization of the right to education. Conference organized by the Lebanese Catholic Education and the Ministry of Education of Lebanon.

The whole trip was a wonderful experience and we look forward that OIDEL can play an important role in this new phase of the OIEC, and we also look forward to contribute with all the regions and countries that are part of it.

 

Ignasi Grau

18th Session of the Working Group on the Right to Development

This weekly session of the Working Group (WG) was organized as a place to discuss about criteria and sub-criteria written in the draft of the Declaration on the Right to Development (RTD) and find a common language to agree upon. OIDEL has participate on this Working Group as part of the CINGO.

This WG has been working on the RTD for years, discussing on the principles and identifying the necessity of indicators and criteria. They represent an innovation, a new vision of human rights in which individual and collective rights are interrelated in the process of guaranteeing an equal and fair development for all.

The invited experts presented, from different perspectives, the reasons of the importance of this document and the need of a comprehensive development of standards and indicators. Some of them stressed also the importance of a link with the language of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to gain consensus and they discussed on the issue of the nature of the document, whether it should be legally binding or not.

During the discussion, it was addressed the issue of consensus and the need of a joint, equilibrated action, recalling also Goal 17 of the SDGs, but the difficulties were numerous, starting with the US declaration of no further engagement in the discussion and the polarization between developing and developed countries.

Some of the States present, as the one represented by the European Union, expressed disagreement on the necessity to adopt a legally binding document. Furthermore, the EU reminded the numerous reserves they have on the language of the criteria and sub-criteria.

Following this statement, some States as Egypt, Venezuela, Iran, Equator, together with NAM and CINGO[1], reminded the WG that the document shall be finished between this and the 19th session and there has been sufficient time to come up with comments and modifications to discuss instead of just taking a disagreeing position.

From this moment on, the WG found itself at an impasse, the EU and Japan were asking for more time to consult on the documents, more than the one already given by the numerous recesses. The other States, supported by NAM and CINGO, were appealing the States to engage in a constructive dialogue to use at best the time given. Neither formal nor informal meetings helped the States to move from this strong polarization. Nothing broke the division created during these sessions, not even the sensible words of the Chairperson Ambassador Zamir Akram or the appeal of CINGO to remember that the WG exist to ameliorate the life of people and not to take political positions.

During this last day, NAM held a private meeting after which presented a document with recommendations and conclusions discussed during an informal. In this occasion too, the States couldn’t agree on the issue of the legally binding document nor on the respect of the deadline for the drafting of this Document on the RTD.

 

Beatrice Bilotti

[1] Group of organizations consulting and presenting a united front in the WG in which OIDEL is an active participant.