NEVER TOLERATE TYRANNY!....Conservative voices from the GRASSROOTS.
Read this International Document yourself The Earth Charter Initiative:
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. To move forward we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace.
Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.
Earth, Our Home
Humanity is part of a vast evolving universe. Earth, our home, is alive with a unique community of life. The forces of nature make existence a demanding and uncertain adventure, but Earth has provided the conditions essential to life’s evolution. The resilience of the community of life and the well-being of humanity depend upon preserving a healthy biosphere with all its ecological systems, a rich variety of plants and animals, fertile soils, pure waters, and clean air. The global environment with its finite resources is a common concern of all peoples. The protection of Earth’s vitality, diversity, and beauty is a sacred trust.
The most troubling aspect of this information is that the creators and promulgators of this doctrine consider this to be “soft law” presenting it as the pattern of future laws, calling it “a new global ethic.”
“In the light of this legitimacy, an increasing number of international lawyers recognize that the Earth Charter is acquiring the status of a soft law document. Soft law documents like the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are considered to be morally, but not legally, binding on state governments that agree to endorse and adopt them, and they often form the basis for the development of hard law.”
If you have been listening for a while you will see many buzzwords in this high sounding document. If I may point a few out and give the intended definitions:
Read for yourself from this interview at the Ikeda Center, from the Chairman of the Earth Charter Initiative, Steven Rockerfeller, in his own words (emphasis, Gulag Bound’s).
Ethics and the Earth Charter:
A Conversation with Steven Rockefeller
Steven C. Rockefeller is professor emeritus of religion at Middlebury College, Vermont. He received his Master of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in New York City and his Ph.D. in the Philosophy of Religion from Columbia University. Professor Rockefeller is the author of John Dewey: Religious Faith and Democratic Humanism (Columbia, 1991) and co-editor of The Christ and the Bodhisattva (SUNY, 1987) and Spirit and Nature: Why the Environment is a Religious Issue (Beacon, 1992). From 1997 to 2000 he chaired the international Earth Charter drafting committee. He serves as a member of the Earth Charter Commission. Active in the field of philanthropy, Dr. Rockefeller is chairman of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, a trustee of the Asian Cultural Council, and a member of the Council of the UN University for Peace in Costa Rica. He was interviewed in 2001 by the Center’s Patti Marxsen.
PM: What is the Earth Charter and how is it different from existing laws and treaties?
SR: The Earth Charter is a declaration of fundamental principles for building a just, sustainable, and peaceful global community. It is a people’s treaty created by civil society under the oversight of an Earth Charter Commission. In the language of the lawyers, it can be described as a soft law document — a statement of widely shared values and aspirations as opposed to an international treaty or hard law document that is legally binding on the nations that adopt it. Soft law documents often do, however, exercise a strong influence on the development of international law.
The Earth Charter can be adopted and used by governments as well as by civil society, organizations, and businesses. The document is being circulated to all these groups. A growing number of NGOs have endorsed the document, as have many local governments. For example, the Sierra Club, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and the U.S. Conference of Mayors have endorsed the Earth Charter. We hope that the UN General Assembly will endorse or in some way recognize the Earth Charter at the World Summit for Sustainable Development in 2002.
It is also important to recognize that the Earth Charter contains a more inclusive vision than most international treaties, which tend to focus on a particular issue, such as human rights, biodiversity, or peace. Even though the Earth Charter is centrally concerned about the environment, it was recognized early on in the drafting process that if the document was to gain wide support in both the North and the South, it would have to address issues of human rights and development as well as environmental protection. The Earth Charter affirms the interdependence of the environmental, economic, social, and cultural challenges facing humanity. In this regard it provides a broad integrated vision of sustainable living and sustainable development.
PM: You have spoken elsewhere of the importance of intergenerational responsibility. How might the Earth Charter bring generations together and offer an ethical vision that cuts across time?
SR: When the World Commission on Environment and Development issued its report, Our Common Future (1987) focusing international attention on the concept of sustainable development, the chair of the Commission, Gro Harlem Brundtland, commented that fundamental to achievement of sustainable development is adoption of an ethic of intergenerational responsibility. Environmental concerns have generated a heightened sense of responsibility with regard to future generations. It is a matter of intergenerational equity. The well-being and rights of future generations provide one compelling reason why sustainable development is essential.
PM: You have also spoken about ethics as a path to the development of the self and the expansion of spiritual life. How does the Earth Charter encourage this?
SR: There are two different ways of looking at ethics. On the one hand, from the point of view of society, ethics provide a set of values and principles that promote cooperation and the common good. On the other hand, one may approach ethics from a psychological point of view and consider ethics in terms of its significance for the development of the self. Commitment to ethical values promotes the growth of the self because it leads to the identification of the self with the larger community or communities to which one belongs. In this regard, some philosophers like to talk about the democratic self, the ecological self, or the universal self. The Earth Charter ethic encourages us to identify ourselves not only with the human communities of which we are members, but also with the larger community of life of which we are a part. This is implied in the concept of universal responsibility.
Under the impact of rapid social and cultural change, there is great moral confusion in the world, and it is very important ecologically, socially, and spiritually that we clarify our moral values. Moral values are the way we define what we choose to be as individuals and as a community. The quality of our lives is shaped by our ethical commitments and decisions. The loss of moral vision and conviction is a very serious matter. The Earth Charter is designed to address this challenge. The decade-long Earth Charter consultation process revealed that people throughout the world are searching for moral direction, and they want to participate in constructing a new moral vision adequate to the challenges of the time.
PM: Does the final draft of the Earth Charter provide that kind of ethical and moral vision?
SR: The Earth Charter is a product of a global dialogue on fundamental values and principles for sustainable living. It reflects the new consensus on shared values that is taking form in the emerging global civil society. It sets forth the kind of integrated ethical vision that is so urgently needed.
However, all of us who worked on the drafting of the Earth Charter recognize that it is not a perfect document and that the global dialogue on common values must continue. The Earth Charter goes far in accomplishing the ethical reorientation necessary, and communities can build on it as they clarify their understanding of sustainable living and implement the vision.
PM: The Earth Charter process has been a story in itself. Looking back, what were some of the turning points?
SR: The first critical turning point came when the governmental effort to draft an Earth Charter failed. This occurred during the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. When the Earth Charter process was started up again in 1994 by Mikhail Gorbachev and Maurice Strong, the secretary general of UNCED, it became a civil society initiative. It did, however, receive some critical financial support at this juncture from Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers and the Dutch government.
It is worthy to note that the Earth Charter also intends to create a New World Spirituality as well as a global governance. This found at the International Humanist and Ethical Union (emaphasis, Gulag Bound).
The world is divided into diverse ethnic and national communities; each of us has specific moral obligations incumbent on his or her role in these communities. There are, however, basic moral decencies that are commonly recognised as binding in virtually all civilised communities of the world. These ethical principles embody the collective heritage of humankind. They have been tested in the crucible of human experience by their consequences for human good. They include the need to be truthful; to keep our promises; to be sincere, honest, loyal, and dependable; to act with good will; to forbear from injuring other persons and their property; to be beneficent, compassionate, and fair, to show gratitude; to be just, tolerant, and co-operative; and to use peaceful methods to negotiate differences.
These ethical principles have all too often been applied selectively only to the members of a cohesive group – whether tribal, ethnic, national, racial or religious. Moreover, competition among groups has often engendered animosity and hatred. It is time that we clearly enunciate these ethical principles so that they may be extended toward all members of the human family living on this planet.
The great religions of the past have often preached universal brotherhood. Unfortunately, intolerant or divisive faiths have made this moral ideal almost impossible to implement. Narrow parochial doctrines of salvation have made it difficult for those outside particular denominations to be fully entitled moral consideration from those within. Secular political ideologies have likewise asserted the universality of their ideals, yet they have often resorted to force to impose their views on those who differ with them.
So, how does this affect you? Well let’s let Professor Rockerfeller explain;
PM: Now that the document is written, how do you envision the Earth Charter becoming a living reality?
SR: First of all, the Earth Charter is increasingly being used in schools, colleges, and universities as an effective teaching tool. The Earth Charter Secretariat is in the process of preparing Earth Charter teaching resource materials to support use of the document in elementary and secondary schools. In Vermont, for example, the Earth Charter has been integrated into classroom activities in over 40 elementary and high schools, and the Earth Charter is being used in many college courses that deal with environmental ethics, global ethics, and related issues.
And this interview took place in 2001.
Pesky “universal implementation” — it requires “global governance,” don’cha know.
Please visit our ezine: gulagbound.com
I like our constitution better.
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