An International Network of Engineers and Scientists for Global Responsibility (INES) was founded in 1991 in Berlin at the international congress “Challenges - Science and Peace in a Rapidly Changing Environment“ on November 29th, 1991.
The primary aim of the Network is to encourage and facilitate international communication among scientists and engineers seeking to promote international peace and security, justice and sustainable development and working for a responsible use of science and technology. More details are given in the founding statement. The Network will comprise both member organisations and individual members. On behalf of the Founding Group we invite you to become a member of the Network activities. Initial projects which are expected to evolve from the Berlin Congress will be announced during or after the Congress. Communication among members shall be facilitated by a newsletter, working groups and congresses.
Rapid changes in our environment and our societies are forcing us to become more conscious of our role in the world. Science and technology are employed in a world-wide competition for military and economic power. The impacts of this competition have global implications. We have entered a phase in which global developments are in conflict with basic requirements for human survival. Large stocks of weapons for mass destruction, the overexploitation of common limited resources, and a heavily unbalanced world economy provide fundamental challenges to human civilisation and may even threaten its further existence.
The end of the cold war and the progress towards democracy and national self-determination in many regions provide important opportunities to resolve long-standing threats to international security. Dismantling the vast nuclear and conventional arsenals and demilitarising international relations remains high priority. However, after the decline of international bipolar divisions, many major problems remain. Regional and inter-communal conflicts, together with the proliferation of weapons technologies, threaten local and global security. Newly recognised problems such as climate change, ozone depletion and loss of species diversity raise new challenges regarding energy use, population growth and other aspects of development. Gross inequalities and injustice between and within industrialised and developing countries undermine military, economic, social and environmental security. Developments in science and technology have helped to create global interdependence and to make us more profoundly aware of the planet's condition. Many engineers and scientists play a key role in both the processes that threaten international security and those that provide hope for the future. International organisations and norms are being developed to tackle common problems, and many structures for regional cooperation are emerging to overcome national divisions.
The engineering and scientific community is intrinsically international, with informal networks and channels of communication. However most existing professional organisations are highly specialised. It is now time to establish a multidisciplinary international network of engineers and scientists for global responsibility to promote the following aims:
- to encourage and facilitate international communication among engineers and scientists seeking to promote international peace and security, justice and sustainable development, and working for a responsible use of science and technology, including
- to work for the reduction of military spending and for the transfer of resources thus liberated to the satisfaction of basic needs,
- to promote environmentally sound technologies, taking into account long-term effects,
- to enhance the awareness of ethical principles among engineers and scientists, and to support those who have been victimised for acting upon such principles.
- In order to accomplish these aims members and bodies of the network will promote collaborative and interdisciplinary research relating to such issues,
- publicise relevant research, contribute to education and scientific training, and inform the public and professional colleagues,
- facilitate and undertake expert and responsible contributions to relevant policy debates, and advocate changes in national and international policies pertinent to the above aims.
We are convinced that it is our continuous task to reflect on values and standards of behaviour which take into account basic human needs and our interrelationship with the biosphere.
Membership of the network is open to non-governmental organisations and individual engineers and scientists. It will be a network, seeking to provide a central resource for, and promote co-ordination amongst, its members. We hope that the synergy of different approaches will facilitate steps from vision toward action.