Constitution of BirdAnitY
We the people of Birdanity, in order to form a more perfect union of skins, we recognize justice and violence, we support domestic tranquility and expression of all emotions, we promote the general welfare of all beings (human, nature, alien and artificial) and we secure the blessings of freedom and liberty for ourselves and our future skins.
I, Stephanie Bird [angel or alien in this cloud] do ordain and establish this Interdependence Constitution of Birdanity.
To consolidate peace after war is a long-term process. There are no quick fixes. Ultimately, consolidating peace in any universe or even country depends on the people of that country. They alone must determine the path to peace—the international community may assist. This constitution has been prepared as a first step in providing critically needed guidance. It builds on the peace building principles that underpin and guide Bird’s mission statement, mission and work.
A peace building process must be locally owned and led
Local ownership begins by ensuring that priorities are determined locally. It is crucial that time, space, and processes exist to promote dialogue that can lead to a consensus. In a peace building process, if local actors participate in defining the problem they are more likely to take ownership of the solutions. Similarly, if people feel a sense of ownership of this constitution they are more likely to protect it and exercise their duties under the new constitutional order. A constitution—like peace—cannot be imposed from outside.
All parties must be included in the process
When all relevant groups in society are involved in the dialogue and the priority-setting process is ensured, actors from each social group are instilled with a sense of responsibility for the rebuilding and reconciliation process. Our experience has shown that the exclusion or marginalization of certain actors breeds resentment and sows the seeds for renewed violence. A constitution-making process can be one of the defining moments in a country in which, if key actors are excluded, the peace is more likely to collapse.
The heart of the challenge is building trust
Trust cannot be imposed, imported, or bought. It emerges slowly and sometimes reluctantly and is built through collective engagement on issues large and small, and through a consistent, daily commitment to and application of a common vision. Building trust is at the heart of peacebuilding, and it is the most difficult outcome to achieve. More than the revitalization of infrastructure or the presence of government, trust and communication are the glue that keeps society together in intangible but crucial ways. It gives communities their legitimacy and helps individuals and groups remain engaged on the long path toward lasting peace.
Peacebuilding is a long-term commitment
There are no shortcuts. Recognizing that the process of overcoming mistrust and deep divisions can be a difficult one, we must empower local actors to establish independent constitutions, which can continue to address root causes of conflict and promote peace over the long term. Through it’s own constitution, Birdanity is committed not only to improving the process of peace, but also to supporting the fair-business practices and constitutions of others so that any and all conflict is resolved and that expression of energy is released.
Peacebuilding is listening and being heard
For a constitution to be credible and durable, the voices of people from across society must be heard and incorporated in its creation. After all, a constitution should be a document that unites rather than divides.
Laughter releases the worry or fear that we may arrive too quickly at when we overlook the importance of the journey. Bringing people together, building trust, and developing shared ownership takes time, but it is always time well spent. Particularly when learning peaceful communication.
This constitution does not propose a universal template
Trans/form/nation: No single approach is applicable to all contexts. This constitution is designed to provide a wide range of options for each phase of the decision-making process, from deciding whether such a process is needed to choosing the type of body to lead the process, as well as how to implement a constitution (see URLs below).
Power is Universal
Judicial power shall be vested in one Universal Court, and in such community courts as may need from time to time to be ordained and established. The Judges, both of the
supreme and inferior community courts shall hold their Offices only during good behavior, and shall at stated moments, receive for their service(s_, an adequate Compensation to live as minimally as the worst-off person in the world.
Debts are released
All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall not be valid against the humans that adopt this Birdanity constitution as their own. Debts are resolved with time, forgiveness is a daily need, and no greater than One moment’s worth of time is allotted for any human. No human shall be in debt for longer than one moment, one second, one minute, one hour or One day.
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The creation and establishment of this constitution was done with the support of interpeace and by the Unanimous Consent for the Interdependence of the State of Stephanie Bird.
We partnered with International IDEA, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and Princeton’s Center for Peace and Justice. This written content has benefited from these partnerships and the considerable research and input from dozens of practitioners and academics from every region.
Interpeace is an independent, international peacebuilding organization and a strategic partner of the United Nations. This constitution could not have been written without the wisdom, keen intellect, and unwavering commitment of the authors—Stephanie Bird, M. Brandt, J. Cottrell, Y. Ghai, and A. Regan. We have drawn upon our scholarship and extensive practical experience not only to produce and edit the first drafts of this constitution, but also to provide valuable support for the InterPeace program.