Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile: Yearnings for a new Constitution

The G9 Network has fostered dialogue and the exchange of ideas to actively contribute to the debate on the new Magna Carta. “The new constitution should be written considering the rich constitutional history of the country, -not from a blank page-, and it is important to emphasize that it cannot be a list of topics and priorities that can later be assumed by laws and regulations, but that, in a special way, it should be a broad framework that is written to provide guidelines for our coexistence and life in common, ”says Rector Ignacio Sánchez, vice president of the G9 Non-State Public Universities Network, in a column in Voces La Tercera .

“The country is developing a crucial process that means writing a new Constitution. In universities, we have prepared ourselves through interesting analyzes and debates with the participation of academics, experts, opinion leaders and the broad voice of a citizenry from various sectors who are eager to contribute with their ideas and proposals. The initiative We Have to Talk about Chile, which has had the active participation of the country’s universities, accounts for this process of active listening.

In this citizen discussion, important basic needs have appeared to be addressed in the new Magna Carta. From the G9 Network we have fostered dialogue and exchange of ideas to actively contribute to this debate. The new constitution should be written considering the rich constitutional history of the country, -not from a blank page-, and it is important to emphasize that it cannot be a list of topics and priorities that can later be assumed by laws and regulations, but rather In a special way, it should be a broad framework that is written to give guidelines for our coexistence and life in common.

“Some of the main values ​​to take care of in this new social order are respect for life -from conception and until natural death-; respect for the dignity of the person; religious freedom for all of us who live in our country, independent of people’s creed and beliefs, and unrestricted care and respect for human rights as a basic principle of a democratic society “- Rector Ignacio Sánchez, vice president of the Network of Non-State Public Universities G9.

The new Constitution will require carrying out work to evaluate the political order and form of government that we want for our country, together with proposing a broad agreement on the basic rights and duties of citizens. As a priority, some of the main values ​​to take care of in this new social order are respect for life -from conception to natural death-; respect for the dignity of the person; the religious freedom of all of us who live in our country, regardless of the creed and beliefs of the people; and the care and unrestricted respect of human rights as a basic principle of a democratic society. These are aspects that from our universities we long for our country.

In a very special way, equitable and inclusive public education, together with respect for the freedom of education, -with the preferential right of parents to decide the education of their children and strengthening different educational models and proposals in all their levels are also crucial to safeguard. In this sense, promoting a broad and plural higher education, together with a determined support for science, humanities, art and the creation of new knowledge, are at the base of our proposals as a network of traditional universities, of evident meaning and public action.

“Promoting a broad and plural higher education, together with a determined support for science, humanities, art and the creation of new knowledge, are at the base of our proposals as a network of traditional universities, of evident meaning and public action” – Rector Ignacio Sánchez, vice president of the Network of Non-State Public Universities G9.

Along with the above, the recognition and appreciation of our native peoples is crucial, since we have to build a more harmonious society, which is based on a relevant social cohesion agreement. We need to respect and honor our history in the construction of our future, so this look must be an integral part of the new fundamental charter. Likewise, sustainability and the construction among all of a common house in which the socio-environmental principles of a life that is focused on an integral ecology, -oriented to the care of the new generations, are respected, must be an integral part of our constitutional proposal.

It is evident that the constitutional process that has begun in our country represents a great challenge for all of us who want to build a more integrated and cohesive country. We need to work to achieve a new way of relating, in which respect and appreciation of a life in community is at the center of our coexistence. Understanding our history, -incorporating actively our native peoples and the traditions of the country-, with an integrated vision of the future, will be the way in which it can become a reality within our national community. This work is aimed at providing better living conditions and greater well-being to the new generations. In this task, our universities of public sense and orientation manifest a decided commitment to the future of the country and its inhabitants ”.

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