10 Principles of Global Citizens

Before we get to the 10 principles, let’s get some context: who is a Global Citizen?

​The answer to this question is both very personal, but also powerful. It has the potential to reengineer our future of global devastation through climate change, because a mass global movement for energy transformation and sustainability is unprecedented. Fossil fuels and the destruction of our environment that they cause would be a primary target of this movement. The reason that the fossil fuel lobby made a strong showing at last year’s COP26 meeting was because the industry fears an entirely appropriate revolution based on science and justice.

​The internet has been the almost universal means of communication that has enabled global citizenship to be available to all. We see global citizens such as Elon Musk using Starlink satellites to replace internet communications in Ukraine as it comes under vicious attack by Russia. The significance of this action should not be underestimated; global citizens everywhere need to be able to “see” each other in free communication.

​Russia is also effectively waging war on global citizens by denying its national citizens access to free internet information, instead relying on a blizzard of state propaganda. This is galvanising global citizens of all stripes – commercial, hackers, media – to action. Autocrats take note; it is increasingly difficult to information block your own people when they see free access to globally generated news and information as a right.

​When we define global citizenship and commit to it, we create a framework for the world to reorganise its systems to create integrated responses to climate change and all of the other threats that we face right now. There is no alternative: global citizens need to engage with global politics in order to achieve this systemic change.

​Educational initiatives have been critiqued for subsuming the concept of global citizenship into existing governance structures, rather than acknowledging that global citizenship is a radical departure from the past. Intrinsically political threats we need to address include war, the threat of nuclear strikes, natural disasters caused by climate change, societal disruption and refugees, famine, pandemics, human rights abuses and threats to democracies, rising inequality, out of control corporate carbon emitters and the corrupted politics that enable them. The reality is that time is running out for our fragile natural world and its species.

​We are all global citizens by default because we live on the earth, yet global citizenship, a term endlessly appropriated by everyone from advertising agencies to the United Nations, has been granted no widely recognised “home”, and few agreed principles. Organisations like Global Citizen [globalcitizen.org](http://globalcitizen.org/), Avaaz [[email protected]](http://[email protected]/), wikimedia [commons.wikimedia.org](http://commons.wikimedia.org/) and many climate change activist organisations are demonstrating global citizenship. Yet we should be more, provide more resources. A global pandemic has driven home how interconnected we all are, and how truly global disasters will bring all of us down.

​We need to drive the concept of global citizenship forward to create an artificial intelligence driven information and enhanced media system to calibrate best practice and universally inform people of their options to action. It is past time for a global voting system to be set up. Democracies are faltering under the weight of past mistakes, autocrats are depriving their people of basic freedoms, yet we witness a shared will.

​The use of sanctions imposed by individual nations and the European Union on Russia (despite the latest failure of the United Nations to deal with the superpower veto) plus the exclusion of Russia from sport and global society generally, shows the power of of global opinion. It is an indication that global citizenship is alive and well, despite decades of illegality by other superpowers such as the United States in pursuing aggressive actions around the world. Global laws should apply to all, and global citizens should act to ensure that they do.

​Each of us can make a difference and none of us are too humble to be heard. Each individual may perceive their ethical actions as a global citizen in a different way, but we can divide the spheres that we are working in to three:​


​In the personal sphere, for example, we take on responsibility for reducing our carbon emissions, for example, educating ourselves in the best way to combat global warming, whether by planting trees or grassland as appropriate, eating less or no meat, using renewable energy, and purchasing in a mindful way. Whether it is lifestyle changes, commitment to climate change action on the ground, advocacy (which can carry great personal risk) donations of time and money, each individual has a part to play. We need to pull our support and capital from unethical commerce.

*Community *(including national politics)

​In the community setting, for example, we advocate environmentally friendly initiatives, we support politicians who advocate climate change reform, we oppose coal, oil and gas extraction, and we support renewable energy. We also support measures for resilience in the face of natural disasters, and demand global responses to natural disasters and humanitarian crises. We support peacekeeping in our region and across the globe.


Globally, for example, we seek a voice and a vote, as we work together to reform a global economic and political order that has been hijacked by the fossil fuel corporations and the politicians who support the continuing plunder and ruination of global natural resources. As the window of time to prevent catastrophic global warming closes in our faces, we seek out and support global citizenship projects across all fields of ethical human endeavour, and we close down ecologically disastrous forms of commerce. We condemn war, ecological destruction and human rights abuses as though they are happening outside our own door.

​Above all, we share global principles that create the trust that enables us to build a better world.

​Here are ten principles of global citizenship, some set by the United Nations, others by the tacit acceptance of the principles in internet operations that underpin the internet sphere. Some are a logical extension of those principles into the global political space. All are accepted worldwide or represent the values we all share as global citizens.

Ten Principles of Global Citizenship

​Maintenance of universal internet access and authenticated public information

​Safeguarding of privacy of electronic communications, bans on spy applications

​Collaborative global response in the event of natural disasters and conflicts, resilience collaboration

​A universal internet vote to enable global democracy and support of action to combat climate change and wars that represent existential global threats

​Outlawing of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction

​Development of a global artificial intelligence mediated collaborative governance strategy to assure sustainability and limit climate change

Respect for human rights

​Equality under a global legal system

​Ethical open commerce enabling ecological sustainability and the welfare of all species

​Collaborative governance for failed states

​The answer to the question posed above: You are a global citizen, and you will define what that means to you.

​If you support the principles, I request that you share this post.