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",
- a preamble;
- a vision or overview of the deeper spiritual
foundations and values which should underlie the Earth Charter and
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.