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The Treaties - 4 - Ethical Commitments to Global Ecological Posture and Behavior


1. The current attitude of those who defend technical domination over nature has been one of irresponsibility and arbitrariness, in so far as they ignore the thousands of children dying daily of starvation, the thousands of animals, plants, fish and birds - cruelly treated - and the forests and people being eliminated on an overwhelming scale. We are living under the hegemony of a development model, founded upon economic relations that bestow privilege primarily upon the market, while abusing nature and human beings, treating them as simply resources and sources of income.

2. The non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from all nations cannot be insensitive to these cries of nature, and do not accept the concept of a sustainable development, that is used only to produce cleaner technology, while maintaining the same patterns of exclusive and unjust social relations, for the majority of the Earth's people.

3. Attempting to surmount the dualistic ethic that alienates human beings from nature, understanding the human being as part of nature, and assuming our responsibility, we, members of various non-governmental organizations from all over the world, present to the International Forum of the NGOs and Social Movements, on the occasion of the UNCED-92 in Rio de Janeiro, this proposal to orient our attitudes according to the following principles:

General Inspiring Principles

4. We base our reasoning upon the principle of unity in diversity, by which every individual being is part of the whole, and this whole is fully represented in any of its parts. We understand that there exists an interrelationship between all beings.

Therefore we affirm that:

5. All animate or inanimate beings have an existential and intrinsic value that transcends utilitarian values; therefore, the right to life, preservation, protection and continuity ought to be assured to them

6. Each human being has the possibility of contributing or not contributing to the complex of natural relations; thus, we have the nontransferable responsibility of helping the evolution of these relations

7. With respect to life, humanity and every individual, we must be responsible and committed to seeking our own balance: harmony within the human family, all other beings and ecosystems, deeply respecting the differences, and excluding any kind of domination

8. In order to respect human beings and other natural forms of life, it is vital to restore the essential and unconditional value of life. To assure this we must cultivate honesty, coherence, unselfishness and simplicity, so that we can overcome individualism, over-consumption and the utilitarian mentality

9. We stress that to solve political and social conflicts it is necessary to adopt non-violent methods. However, we recognize that denunciation is insufficient. Therefore we urge the implementation of ecologically appropriate solutions as proposed by the NGOs.

Commitments To Action

We are committed to:

10. Demand that governments respect and comply with the following treaties and international conventions:

    a. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

    b. The Universal Declaration of Animal Rights

    c. The Universal Declaration of the Rights of the Child

    d. The Earth Charter.

11. Encourage the execution of and respect for all treaties and commitments on environment and development commemorated at the International Forum of NGOs

12. Monitor the development of biotechnology, with the intention of assuring an ethical production process as well as the proper use of the resultant products. To this end, NGOs are committed to demanding social control over the research from legislators and governments, to ensuring the establishment of ethical limits to its expansion and application, access to information and fair distribution of the resulting benefits

13. Work hard to build direct and participatory democracy within NGOs and within society in general, in order to ensure freedom of expression, decentralization of power and the participation of minorities

14. Contribute enthusiastically to surmounting artificial obstacles, be they political or religious, with the objective of formatting a universal human nation. We suggest the adoption of the international language Esperanto as the second language of all peoples, and we recommend that all NGOs participate in its diffusion

15. Respect the principles of simplicity and no-wastage; and, with respect to smaller NGOs, promote mutual cooperation in order to strengthen the organizations as a whole

16. Support any effort to assure health as a universal right, especially for children and handicapped persons.


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