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Task for the long haul: (Cornelio Sommaruga elected President of the Swiss Foundation for Moral Re-Armament).

The former President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Cornelio Sommaruga, has been elected President of the Swiss Foundation for Moral Re-Armament, which runs MRA's conference centre in Caux.

`Our society cannot afford to neglect the significance of ethical values in human relations,' said Sommaruga, who headed the Red Cross from 1987 to 1999. `The Caux movement has worked for decades to encourage the individual's responsibility for the rest of humanity. I'm happy to be able to contribute to the globalization of this kind of responsibility.'

In an interview after his election, Sommaruga was asked why he had chosen to accept this appointment in particular. He replied that he wanted to devote `an important part of my remaining energies' to `the search for international dialogue on moral values and the commitment to grow alongside and towards other people, which are characteristics of MRA'.

Sommaruga said that he believed that `open institutions, which work for change, like MRA does' could make an important contribution to bringing about a stronger commitment to ethical values in political and economic life. `But we must be aware that this is a task for the long haul--we will need persistence and determination!'

He believed that Caux could also make a valuable contribution to the process of working through history in Switzerland and Europe: `We cannot look ahead without analyzing the errors and omissions of the past.'

Since 1996, Sommaruga has participated in the Agenda for Reconciliation sessions in Caux, which bring together people working for peace around the world. This should continue to be one of MRA's priorities over the next 10 years, Sommaruga said. `But I also attach importance to the way in which Caux can help business people and media people face up to their responsibilities in the context of the great world problems of the day and of the future: epidemics, absolute poverty, environmental deterioration, water, the arms trade....'
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Publication:For A Change
Date:Jun 1, 2000
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