“We stand at a critical moment in Earth’s history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. ..” These words from the Earth Charter challenge us as we look to the future and to sustaining life on our planet. The Earth Charter is a UN-commissioned declaration of principles for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global society for the 21st century. It has been called the “Declaration of Interdependence”. It instills the shared responsibility we have to one another and to the planet itself.
Daily we struggle with issues of war, the environment, educational opportunity and economic injustice. We typically fail to recognize the interconnectedness of these issues or feel overwhelmed by their scope and enormity. We thus miss opportunities to address them and effect change.
The Earth Charter was drafted over a 10 year period by thousands of individuals from 77 countries. It was launched at The Hague Peace Palace in 2000. It has subsequently been endorsed by thousands of organizations representing millions of individuals worldwide. The Earth Charter is an expression of hope and a call to help create a global partnership at a critical juncture in history.
The Earth Charter focuses on four principle areas. These areas encompass many of the issues we grapple with in today’s society.
Respect and Care for the Community of life.
Social and Economic Justice
Democracy, Nonviolence and Peace