As a contribution to the "Spiritual Dimensions of Sustainability" Project launched by the Soetendorp Institute and the Earth Charter Task Force on Religion, Spirituality, and Ethics, Rabbi Soetendorp has drafted the interreligious statement "Towards Rio + 20 and Beyond - A Turning Point in Earth History". The statement is geared at enabling spiritual and religious communities to speak in a unified voice for providing a spiritual input into the major UN Rio + 20 Conference that will be taking place from June 20 - 22, 2012.
A draft version of the statement signed by religious leaders of different traditions with input from an international steering committee has been sent to the United Nations for inclusion into the Compilation Document for the "Zero Draft" of the Political Outcome Document of the Rio + 20 Conference.
The statement is currently being revised in an interreligious consultation process. Our vision is that many different religious and spiritual leaders and their institutions will share their perspectives and then endorse this statement as a powerful and unified message from the world's religious and spiritual traditions to the Rio + 20 Conference. We hope to present the statement in a joint assembly of the world's faiths during the Rio + 20 Conference.
The statement spells out the following objectives:
"Within our various traditions, we must
1) commit to deepening our sense of empathy and interconnection with all our brothers and sisters and the whole community of life on Earth;
2) lead through example by demonstrating sustainable and compassionate living and sharing good practices of sustainable and ecological conduct;
3) redouble our efforts of serving as forces for good, by weighing in on the major international processes including Rio + 20, the UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development and the realisation of the MDGs.
We must also demand that our governments and international institutions
1) Create a green economy that ensures social justice and equity, protects the ecological balance and creates economic sufficiency by internalizing social and environmental costs into the economic bottom line.
2) Create structures for global governance with a global trusteeship mandate for Earth's common goods such as fresh water, healthy soil, clean air, the oceans, the atmosphere and the diversity of life that are essential conditions for human life and well-being which cannot be sensibly privately owned and traded on markets.
3) Affirm a framework of strong sustainability aimed at securing Earth's bounty and beauty for present and future generations, such as the Earth Charter, as a guide to development policy and practice.
To make these appeals more credible, the statement includes commitments that demontstrate our willingness to share the burdens of finding viable soultions to our global challenges. This includes the commitment to pledge a special Millennium Share of 0,1 % of our annual income to the realization of the Millennium Development Goals and the creation of a Council of Conscience, which would speak with moral authority and provide guidance on how to address the systemic crisis that we are currently facing. Please read some conceptual thoughts from Rabbi Soetendorp on these two mechanism here.
To share comments and suggest edits to the statement, please visit the collaborative online writing platform at
http://123.writeboard.com/jtsg0iqouifc7509qoiyt862/login (The password is: truth2power)
For more information, please contact Michael Slaby at Rio+20AtSoetendorp.org
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