UN DPI NGO Forum declaration highlights the Earth Charter

At the beginning of September, the UN Department of Public Information NGO Forum was held in Bonn, Germany. More than 1,600 participants attended to discuss issues related to the Rio+20 Conference. The outcome of the conference was a 15-page declaration of NGO positions towards informing the preparatory process of the Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development.

In Bonn there was a widespread agreement on the need for an integrated ethical vision of sustainable development. In several workshops, plenaries, and in the drafting process for the Bonn Declaration, there was a remarkable convergence on an affirmation of “strong sustainability” and the need for major shifts in the development paradigm.

The declaration features the Earth Charter using the following text:

Recalling that the Earth Charter can play a vital role in helping to inspire renewed political commitment expected for Rio + 20…”

In addition, Maurice Strong offered special remarks at High-level Symposium on the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development, held in Beijing, China on September 8th-9th. Click on the following link to read it
Maurice Strong on  “Assessing progress and gaps in 20 years of sustainable development”.

The prominence of the Earth Charter in this civil society declaration should send a strong signal to decision makers and civil society stakeholders that Rio+20 will provide an excellent opportunity to incorporate a needed ethical framework into the official language of international sustainable development processes. It is also clear from this declaration that civil society strongly supports the inclusion of the Earth Charter’s ethical framework in influencing policy decisions and directions.

The final deadline for submitting individual or organizational inputs to the compilation document, also known as the Zero Draft, is November 1st.