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One Earth Community - Memorandum


Some 50 leaders and members of religious communities and organizations from around the world gathered from August 8 to 10, 1991, at the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey outside of Geneva, Switzerland, to confer, discuss and agree on a statement with major implications for the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. In particular, this special gathering of religious leaders from a wide spectrum of the world's religions, reflecting the views of millions of committed believers, has taken serious note of urgent problems being addressed by the 1992 Earth Summit.

In communicating our message to Working Group III of UNCED we underline the spiritual and ethical dimensions of UNCED's work. We emphasize the importance of the values underlying the proposed Earth Charter and make specific note of certain priorities to be considered in drafting an Earth-Charter and in working on Agenda 21 and related proposals.

Since the Earth Charter must speak to all the earth's peoples, nations and cultures in language that touches the heart and spirit as well as the mind, we have set forth in our statement, entitled "One Earth Community", the following:

  1. a preamble;
  2. a vision or overview of the deeper spiritual foundations and values which should underlie the Earth Charter and
  3. twelve priority principles for consideration in constructing this pivotal document of the UNCED.

We hope that it will also give direction to the action strategies such as Agenda 21 and other proposals for implementation.

In a special way we took into account the UNCED document of 26 July 1991 entitled "Annotated Check-List of Principles on General Rights and Obligations" (PC/78). In doing this we call your attention to the official documents from which the 25 items on the checklist were drawn. In these documents we found further corroboration for several principles in the check list itself as well as for the twelve priority principles noted within our own statement.

We look forward to working with you in a continuing way both during this Preparatory Committee session and in the ongoing process leading to the Earth Summit of June, 1992. Without a spiritual and moral foundation we believe that the goals of Working Group III and the work of the entire Earth Summit will lack the motivating and binding force to make it effective in moving the governments and people of the planet to action.

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