The Just Journey

The International Movement for a Just World (JUST) is an advocacy and action group established in 1992 with the aim of highlighting global injustices while striving for a just world guided by universal spiritual and moral values.

JUST is guided by the following principles:

  • To develop public awareness about the iniquities and injustices in the existing hegemonic global system
  • To create a better understanding, at the popular level, of how control and domination of the global system by a privileged minority challenges human dignity and social justice everywhere
  • To nurture a deeper appreciation among people of the urgent need for alternative institutions and arrangements at the global level which are more conducive to the emergence of a just world
  • To raise global consciousness on the crucial importance of fostering attitudes, values and ideals at both the personal and community level which will help sustain a just world
  • To inculcate within the human family, a universal, spiritual and moral vision of life rooted in God Consciousness which will serve to guide humankind in its quest for a just world

The JUST membership though small is drawn from thirty-nine countries. Slightly more than half of our members are from Malaysia where JUST was born and which continues to host the JUST headquarters. I am especially proud of the fact that JUST is a truly multi-religious and multi-cultural organization.

JUST is led by a fifteen member Executive Committee elected at its Triennial General Meeting. Its day-to-day activities are managed by a small office with three full-time staff. There is also a twenty-one member International Advisory Panel.

JUST runs a website www.just-international.org; publishes a monthly bulletin, the JUST Commentary; produces books and monographs; holds in-house forums; organizes an annual youth program; initiates public campaigns; networks with like-minded organizations, institutions and governments; and participates in seminars and conferences.

Having obtained an idea of what JUST is and what it does, it may be appropriate at this juncture to ask why it was established in the first place. With the emergence of a unipolar world in the nineties led by the United States, my friends and I felt that a hegemonic pattern of power would set in and this would result in grave global injustices. There was an imperative need to counter these injustices and to articulate an alternative vision of a just world guided by spiritual principles and moral values that the human family as a whole could identify with.

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The importance of such a vision became all the more urgent in the face of a thesis that was gaining some traction at that time about an impending clash of civilizations. It explains why right from JUST’s early years we have placed a great deal of emphasis upon the harmonious interaction among civilizations.

This is a challenge that humanity must address with courage and candor especially when global power is shifting from the West to the East. For this monumental shift to occur without a major upheaval there should be some appreciation within the influential strata of society of our inter-connectedness, our shared values and our common destiny as a single human family.

JUST intends to focus on fostering this understanding as we strive towards social justice and the dignity of all creation in the midst of this changing pattern of global power. What are the values and principles, the attitudes and ideals harnessed from humanity’s collective spiritual and moral wisdom that should guide us in this endeavor?  We hope to attempt to answer this and other related questions through roundtable discussions, writings and lectures in the coming years.

It will be no easy task. There are activists and intellectuals who have a clear grasp of the global power structures and the changes taking place but have very little empathy for the wisdom embodied in our great philosophical traditions. On the other hand, there are women and men who feel deeply about the perennial wisdom of the ages but have scant understanding of contemporary geopolitical and geo-economic realities. It is only those who can integrate both these perspectives into a holistic vision of change and commit themselves to this noble mission of establishing a strong and secure spiritual and moral foundation for a just world who will be able to contribute to our humble struggle.

I know that there are many fine people in the US who share this vision of global justice and its underlying perspectives. I hope and pray that they will join JUST in its journey.

Dr. Chandra Muzaffar is the President of the International Movement for a JUST World (JUST), an international NGO based in Malaysia, which seeks to critique global injustice and to develop an alternative vision of a just and compassionate civilization guided by universal spiritual and moral values.