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A New Name for 'Remaking the World'
Thursday, August 16, 2001

Initiatives of Change is the new international name for the Moral Re-Armament (MRA) movement.

Press Release: Caux - Switzerland

Initiatives of Change is the new international name for the Moral Re-Armament (MRA) movement. This international network - known for its role in post-war reconciliation in Europe as well as between Japan and the Philippines - was started in the 1930s by American-born Frank Buchman (1878-1961) with the aim of 'remaking the world'.

Cornelio Sommaruga, President of the Swiss Foundation for Moral Re-Armament and former head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, speaking at the Caux international conference centre, said, 'This new name relates to our core message that the individual has the power to bring change to the world, as we each begin with ourselves. The old name was a product of its time. The new name reflects more adequately our initiatives for social justice in a world where the gap between rich and poor is ever widening. It underlines the individual's responsibility for society.'

Rajmohan Gandhi, former Indian senator and biographer of his grandfather Mahatma Gandhi, spoke in the name of MRA's International Council: 'With the new name, ethical and spiritual values remain the centre of our reflection and of our action. The content remains the same, although the label has changed. This new name says better what we are - an international network of people of all generations, cultures and religions, involved in personal and global initiatives.'

The new name has been the result of a 2-year process of consultation with the grassroots. Some tens of thousands of people in 80 countries are estimated to be part of this network, which is loosely organized as formal membership is not required. National bodies in 37 countries will be invited to affiliate to a new international association which is being established, announces the International Council. In each country Initiatives of Change will continue to be administered by entities appropriate to local laws and tradition which will have the freedom to continue operating under their current name.

In recent years, the movement has been active in regions of tension such as Lebanon, the Middle East, former Yugoslavia, the Horn of Africa, Cambodia, as well as in civil society on every continent. Initiatives of Change will continue to run major outreach programs, including Agenda for Reconciliation for peace-building; Hope in the Cities working for racial justice and healing; Foundations for Freedom, a training program in values for democracy; and Creators of Peace, an international women's initiative. MRA has also run international business conferences on social responsibility in Caux for the last 28 years. Its conference centre Asia Plateau in Panchgani, India, runs similar training programs for industrial leadership.

'Globalizing responsibility - expanding hearts' is the theme of this year's conferences at the international centre in Caux, Switzerland, which have so far been attended by some 2,000 people, from 75 countries.