Material Rights in the spotlight at the Carnegie Peacebuilding Conversations

Material Rights in the spotlight at the Carnegie Peacebuilding Conversations

The Hague, the Netherlands - A high-level panel will come together today to discuss the importance of Material Rights and the preservation of the world’s resources during the Carnegie Peacebuilding Dialogues at the Peace Palace in the Hague.

Maasai leader Ezekiel Ole Katato, Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp, and author Thomas Rau will join the former Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende for a discussion on materials and material rights. The session will be moderated by CNN’s Nina dos Santos.

Together they will offer different perspectives on the preservation of local ownership of materials for future generations. Materials are scarce and often a source of conflict and poverty. Humankind can and should learn from these lessons of time and seek new solutions to avoid conflict and eliminate waste.

Materials could be a source of peace and sustainability if the paradigm was shifted: ownership could be retained at source and materials could instead become a service.

The discussion is based in part on the work of Thomas Rau and Sabine Oberhuber, authors of “Material Matters” and drafters of the “Universal Declaration of Material Rights”. They advocate for a material passport which creates a registered identity for materials and a set of fundamental rights for materials. In nature, everything is equally important. Materials form the very foundation of life on Earth. Therefore we need to take action to ensure a world in which the resources and materials of our closed system are perpetually available.

During the coming months, the organizers aim to further refine the Declaration.  Their intention is to present it later this year to the United Nations with a message - “The Earth is the only lawful owner of all resources and materials – because there is just one true permanent member in possession of a veto: nature.”

The session is just one of a number of important discussions on finance and peacebuilding which will take place during the Carnegie Peacebuilding Conversations. The Carnegie Peacebuilding Conversations aim to generate fresh perspectives on peacebuilding and conflict resolution through dialogue. These will explore how private capital and philanthropic efforts can be effectively tied to public goals to promote peace, now and for generations to come.

Maatschappelijke Alliantie has organised the session on Material Rights in collaboration with TurnToo, and NIBC to promote circular economy thinking and new solutions to eliminate waste.


Jan Peter Balkenende, Chairman, Maatschappelijk Alliantie:

“To be able to secure peace and prosperity in the future, mankind needs to reconsider its relationship with the earth and its natural resources adopting custodianship as a guiding principle.”

Sabine Oberhuber, Co-Founder Turntoo, Co-Author Universal Declaration of Material Rights:

“We urgently need to redesign our economic system to a circular economy, in which materials are kept in continuous cycles. The pressure on access to materials is increasing and with it global tensions.”

“A Universal Declaration of Material Rights, which prevents materials from becoming waste will relief this pressure and hence contribute to global peace.”

Robin Willing, Senior Sustainability Officer, NIBC Bank:

“Materials should have the right to not be wasted. Businesses should consider this framework for a new value creation model and an economic system which preserves natural capital.”

“The earth’s resources are finite. We have a responsibility to preserve our natural resources and ensure their availability for future generations.”


Social Media:

Twitter @Madaster @TurnToo

Social media hashtags: #CPBD2018 #materialrights #madaster #turntoo #circulareconomy

Press contact:

Maatschappelijke Alliantie

Guus Kramer, Director

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