Global Common Society International (GCS) International
The GCS Movement is a non-governmental social movement directed towards constructing a spiritually beautiful, materially affluent and humanly rewarding society. It is a global movement which is focused on five major activities: a movement for actualizing a healthy society, improving standards of living, protecting nature and the environment, restoring human dignity, and promoting world peace with the spirit of GCS: Goodwill, Cooperation, and Service.
They hold consultative status with the UN ECOSOC based on their network connecting local clubs, regional chapters, national chapters, and the international headquarters.
The GCS Movement was first proclaimed, in 1975, at the fourth IAUP triennial conference held in Boston, U.S. The Boston Declaration was adopted by 600 presidents from prestigious universities around the world, officially launching the GCS Movement. In 1978, under the leadership of Dr. Young Seek Choue, 77 world leaders, including the former President of the Philippines H.E. Diosdado Macapagal, the former Korean President H.E. Bo-Sun Yun, Nobel prize recipient Dr. Charles B. Huggins, President of International Red Cross Hon. E. De La Mata, and the former UN Under-Secretary General Hon. Bohdan Lewandowski, joined the campaign as co-initiators.
Prior to reaching international prominence, the GCS Movement originated in Korea through an illiteracy eradication program and the rural enlightenment movement in the 1950's, developed through the Movement for Material Well-being in the 1960's, and continued to evolve into the 1970's. The GCS Movement is also believed to have directly influenced the development of the Korean government-led New Village Movement.
The GCS Movement spread world-wide in the 1980's, as club members strove to build a global cooperative society in order to establish world peace. The GCS International was particularly active in 1981, playing a key role in the UN's establishment of the International Day of Peace and the Year of Peace, which contributed to build momentum towards ending the Cold War. In 1998, the GCS International adopted the Magna Carta of Global Common Society to promote world citizenship, and in 1999, the GCS International hosted the 1999 Seoul International Conference of NGOs. The Conference represented the first major NGO gathering dedicated to primarily to the question of how NGOs themselves might become better organized and empowered on a global level to address issues across the whole spectrum of human progress.
Implementation of UN-related Programs
GCS International advocates strongly for world peace and to reach this end, GCS contributed to the creation of "International Day of Peace and "International Year of Peace." GCS continues to celebrate these events with various commemorative events and academic conferences. One such activity is the Oughtopia Peace Prize which is awarded to those individuals who work tirelessly for world peace. In addition, GCS actively supports peace movement campaigns and scholarly work on peace, including a comprehensive encyclopaedia on peace.
International Friendship and Cultural Exchange Program
In order to promote the global village ideal, GCS International actively participates in international friendship and cultural exchange programs. GCS endorses sister-city programs and other exchange programs between GCS clubs and sponsors a Global Youth Leadership Program.
Development Programs and Humanitarian Activities
GCS International is a staunch believer of humanitarian work and sponsors various humanitarian and overseas development programs for developing countries and emergency relief programs for disaster-struck regions.
GCS provides emergency-relief supplies, fundraising and volunteer services for civilians suffering from natural disasters and war. Examples of such humanitarian programs include: treatment for child victims of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster; feeding starving children in Africa, assisting tsunami victims in Southeast Asia, among others.
Medical Service Programs
GCS International actively sponsors medical service programs for developing countries.
Each year, GCS sends out GCS medical service volunteers to provide free medical aid to developing countries lacking in medical infrastructure.
GCS International’s Hanmaeum Volunteer Program provides long-term medical services and emergency relief supplies to developing countries in Asia such as Mongolia, Philippines and Kazakhstan and also to regions in Africa.
Movement to Restore Humanitarianism
GCS International’s response to modern civilization is to improve human society by harmonizing the spiritual culture and the materialistic civilization by a movement to restore humanitarianism. GCS International is concerned by the adverse effects of modern materialistic civilization and thus, sponsors activities that endorse ethics and humanitarian education. One example is the international seminar on restoration of societal ethics in the 21st century, held in China, birthplace of Confucius. GCS has also conducted numerous international academic seminars in Korea on ethics and humanitarianism. Furthermore, GCS Korean headquarters developed teaching materials on ethics for children that were used as curriculum materials for GCS clubs.
Development Projects to Support Korean Diaspora
GCS International uses variety of development projects to aid Korean diaspora who live in difficult conditions in developing countries. Since 1997, GCS has developed projects for two regions in China’s Yianbian region. Over the years, such projects to increase the welfare and income of the diaspora (e.g. "income-doubling program") have developed through progressive modes of infant-stage, foundational planning stage, to expansionary stages. GCS has sponsored model agriculture development projects for Koreans in the Alma Mata region in Kazakhstan.
GCS International Annual General Conference
GCS International holds an annual GCS general conference during which each country’s national representatives participate. The conference is a meaningful opportunity for GCS to analyze its activities during the past year, to encourage individual participation from its members and to plan the upcoming year’s activity and goals.
Environment Movement and Other Service Activities
Each GCS Club engages in numerous activities concerned with its three spirits and five major activities. The GCS headquarters of each country, promotes activities that fit the country’s situation and needs. For example, GCS Korean headquarters developed the program "Brighter Society, Better Conduct"for Korean youth in order to foster and award youth service and leadership. GCS also sponsors many service activities such as building shelter for homeless seniors, assisting the poor, scholarship programs and environmental.See more