In the city of Guadalajara, on July 15th, 1998, within the framework of the first edition of the International Summer University “Science and Life”
The signataries below, members of different academic bodies convened in the year in which the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is being commemorated, in consonance with its basic principle that “freedom, justice and peace in the world are based on the recognition of the intrinsic dignity and on the equal and inalienable rights of all the members of the human family” and after a fruitful and pondered dialogue and the rich exchange of experiences, agree to propose to the world and to its leaders the following:
In the name of the independence of science and of its calling to the genuine service to the whole of humanity, we reject scientific research subservient to the designs and interests of the powerful. The greatest ill of humanity is the increasingly growing inequality among peoples. While undernourishment is still assailing certain regions of our planet, bulimia and anorexia cause suffering to people in other regions; while life expectancy in Africa is only fifty-five years, in Europe it is above seventy-five years. We believe that the overcoming of these and all the other inequalities must constitute the top priority of scientific work and of the funds destined to it.
As well, we inform the governing powers of the world and international organizations about the unflagging determination of scientists and humanists to repudiate the practices of experimentation, research and work that in any manner undermines the value and dignity of human life in any of its situations from its inception to its termination. We thus denounce the efforts carried out by multinational pharmaceutical corporations to file patents and to control the use and distribution of drugs that by and larg serve the interests of the rich nations.
Equally, we manifest our rejection of the policy of consolidating the hegemony of the established powers that aim at perpetuating themselves by means of population control in the poor nations. This control is often exercised through the use of economic coercion originated in the foreign debt.
We also inform the decision-makers of international policy and culture that make up a globalized economy that we denounce the cultural manipulation which represents the imposition of the Western consumer model on the hopes of freedom, peace and self-esteem of all those peoples who thus see how their non-marketable wealth and therefore their greatest asset is downgraded.
Lastly, we oppose the attempts to tag a price on the environment which sustains the lives of the poorest peoples by means of terms of trade and commercial rules that are controlled and designed by the richest and most powerful nations.
In view of all these unbalances and inequalities in the face of which science is often a passive although a non-conforming witness, those who sign this Declaration wish to propose, as priority tasks tending to improve the vital situation of all the inhabitants of the planet and to ensure a future to the coming generations, the following urgent actions:
1.- The spreading of a true culture of life promoting the greatest respect equally to all persons on the basis of the principle of non-exclusion and by means of the promulgation of universal rights that provide special protection to the weakest, such as the human embryo and the terminally ill patient. As well, we support the spreading of a culture of donation without frontiers which at the same time consecrates the freedom of access to vital organs for the maintanance of life and the respect for the dignity of the donor.
2.- The recognition of the social protagonism not only of the individual and the State, but also of the family, of the neighborhood community and of indigenous peoples. Through this we recognize the priority of a child’s right to have a family above and beyond the legitime interests of parents to adopt a child, for which reason the international juridical framework must facilitate adoption across all types of frontiers, always protecting, first and foremost, the rights of the child and his or her personal development.
3.- The granting of priority of human beings over merchandise by means of the universal recognition of the freedom of movement and settlement.
4.- The promotion of a genuine democracy by the sharing of power with those who have less. Efforts must be made in the direction of replacing the apparent global democracy (“one nation, one vote”) by “one person, one vote” in the different international arenas. And
5.- The claiming, on behalf of science, of true independence and freedom with the aim of solving the most urgent and heartfelt human needs, doing away with all funds granted to protect the interests of the powerful, and, at the same time, giving priority to an education that is integral, plural and humanistic.
In Guadalajara, State of Jalisco, Mexico, July 1998.
The present Declaration can be subscribed to by any person who shares its principles and aspirations and wishes to adhere to it from the date of its promulgation. In order to do this it is necessary to send in personal data (name, institution and address) to the Inter-American Science and Life Foundation (cl. 119, n° 0-60. Usaquén, Bogotá, Colombia), or to: