In late August and early September, Earth Charter International Executive Director Mirian Vilela traveled to Europe to represent the Earth Charter Initiative at two events.
In Paris, Ms. Vilela spoke at the opening session of the three-day Common Good Forum. The Forum brought together experts and practitioners in various fields to reconsider economics and other areas of human enterprise while focusing on the common good. Ms. Vilela spoke about people’s charters and the significance of the Earth Charter and ethical foundations for fostering societies that focus on universal values and the common good.
The conference appearance and interaction in the following days and sessions served as sharing and learning spaces. The Earth Charter was well-represented as another session speaker, Saskia Troy from the Netherlands, was present and she has been active in the Earth Charter Netherlands and Earth Charter Europe Youth networks for several years. Here you can read a heart-warming reflection on the forum from one of the conference participants.
Following the Common Good Forum, Ms. Vilela traveled to Geneva for the 20-year Green Cross International conference. ECI Council and Commission members also participating in this event included Alide Roerink, Alexander Likhotal, Oscar Motomura, Rabbi Soetendorp and Ruud Lubbers. Mikhail Gorbachev, the founding president of Green Cross International, and Earth Charter Commissioner, mentioned the Earth Charter in his opening address.
In his statement, he warned:
“…we are still in the process of losing our planet. We are very close to the “red line.” Even though we have had many discussions, and many conferences and forms on water and other environmental problems, we are not even close to achieving our goal. We still see that the environment and nature are shrinking. The Earth will of course survive anyway, but it will be a very different Earth for those who live on it.”
You can read about the conference at the Green Cross International website.
The welcome of the Earth Charter at the Common Good Forum and the clear continued relevance of the Earth Charter at the Green Cross International event show that the Earth Charter and sustainability ethics have growing and vital roles to play in ongoing dialogues and discussions on how to make the world better, safer, greener, more peaceful, and more just.