Global Ethics, Sustainable Development and the Earth Charter

April 3, 2002 

Received from one of our reporters, this note caught our attention:

Dear all,

I would like to inform you that, in the context of the WSSD, an important event will take place next week in France devoted to the ethics issue, considered as the possibly missing link between globalisation and sustainable development. The "Earth Dialogues"  is a public forum initiated by Mikhail Gorbachev and Maurice Strong and it will be divided into plenary sessions, roundtables and open debates. You can find information and instructions for the registration procedure on the following website:

All the best,

Céline Duret

Céline Duret
Mission Officer for the WSSD
Green Cross International
Rte de Florissant 160a
P.O. Box 80
CH-1231 Conches-Geneva
Tel: +41-22-789 16 62
Fax: +41-22-789 16 95

The Notice is posted at the Earth Charter site:

An EARTH CHARTER ETHICS SEMINAR will take place and will involve a group of 25 participants. This event will take place from April 5-7, 2002 at The Pocantico Conference Center of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund in New York. 25 seasoned scholars (6 from other continents) will attend with interest in shaping a global ethic to explore Earth Charter Ethics in depth.

Initiated by: the Program on Ecology, Justice and Faith (PEJF) in conjunction with the Center for Respect of Life and Environment (CRLE.)

Co-organizers: J. Ronald Engel, Meadville/Lombard Theological School (Chicago) & Co-Director, Hastings Center Project on Nature/Polis/Ethics; Richard Clugston, Executive Director, CRLE, Washington, DC.

Go to the Earth Charter Site - Click HERE

Read about activities in the United State for the promotion of the Earth Charter

An "Expert Workshop"  will take place in the Protestant Academy Loccum, Germany.


UNFOLDING LIFE - in the many dimensions of the Earth Charter

The workshop will have the following main topics:

I. the Human and the Cosmic II. the Global and the Local III. the Economic and the Spiritual I.-III. the Present and the Future in Times of Uncivilised Terror

Questions and subjects moreover will be:

--is life still taking place in the present/at “real places” (cities as places of world-citizens)?

--what does ”rich and poor” mean in different cultures and contexts?

--what are presently alternatives to a cosmology which is not understandable anymore to most people and to eurocentrism and anthropocentrism?

--if we consider health not wealth as a measure for strong societies, can this change economy and politics?

--the power of definition and language

--ecology as means towards justice and democracy

--an evening talk: The art of life (our hope would be that this would be a dialogue between Prof. Dürr and Prof. Singer) and

--cultural events should accompany the discursive parts

The workshop specifically –besides the necessary exchange and networking- should: a)show the meaning of multilateral and bilateral interreligious dialogues for the Earth Charter project,

b)find out culturally, nationally and regionally specific contributions,

c)clarify the relationship between interreligious and intercultural dialogue,

d)examplerily show intercultural and interreligious dialogue as necessary condition for democratic political, economical and juridical strategies of action,

e)find out the historical conditions, their chances and limits, and how they are related to our goals

Prof. Dr. R. zur Lippe & Dr. S. Fritsch-Oppermann, Organizers.

from Earth Charter website

Among the Participants and Promoters are:

from Global Ethics, Sustainable Development and the Earth Charter

Strong discussing the role the Earth Summit would play in the emerging system of global governance...

"[The Earth Summit will play an important role in] reforming and strengthening the United Nations as the centerpiece of the emerging system of democratic global governance." -Maurice Strong quoted in the September 1, 1997 edition of National Review magazine.

Welcome Message by Earth Council Chairman, Maurice Strong

AUDIO New: Interim message to participants (presented April 9, 1999)

Transcript of opening remarks
(Video: 16min. 48sec.)

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all of you to this on-line conference on Global Ethics, Sustainable Development and the Earth Charter. It is a subject which is central to my own interests and activities at this stage, and the movement is really proliferating. Through Internet conferences such as this, with students and academics coming together from around the world, I am confident that the consultation and drafting process for the Earth Charter will gain even greater impetus as we approach the new millennium.

So, I hope you will take the time to review the most recent version of the Earth Charter Draft document and then listen to the presentations of our many distinguished speakers. Only through dialogue and an open exchange of ideas, demonstrated by conferences such as this, and involving people of all ages and from all regions, cultures, and religious and ethnic groups, can we ensure that the Earth Charter becomes a true "Peoples' Earth Charter" for current and future generations.

I look forward to a lively discussion and debate as the week progresses.

Maurice Strong
Earth Council Chairman

Bio, from

Maurice Strong
Earth Council Chairman, Canada

The Honourable Maurice F. Strong, P.C., O.C., LL.D.
In addition to serving as Chairman of the Earth Council, Mr. Strong also serves as Senior Advisor to both the United Nations and the World Bank. Mr. Strong is also Director of the World Economic Forum Foundation, Chairman of the Stockholm Environment Institute, and Member and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the United Nations Foundation.

Mr. Strong has previously held positions as Chairman of the World Resources Institute, Chairman and CEO of Ontario Hydro, as Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992 (the Earth Summit), Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme, as well as Secretary-General of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment in 1972.

Mr. Strong continues to be active in Canadian business, and is currently Chairman of Technology Development Corporation and Strovest Holdings. He also has a long record of service to the Canadian government, and was the first President of the Canadian International Development Agency. He also served as Chairman of the Canadian Development Investment Corporation, and President, Chairman, and CEO of Petro Canada.

Mr. Strong's professional accomplishments in Canadian business and international affairs have resulted in a number of honours, including membership in the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, the Swedish Royal Order of the Polar Star, the Order of Canada, and 41 honourary doctorates.

What the "official bio" doesn't tell you:

In the early 1970s, U.N. Secretary General U Thant tapped Strong to organize and direct the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment. The conference came to be known as the first Earth Summit. In the following year, Strong became the first director of the U.N. Environment Program. These two U.N. positions marked the beginning of Strong's methodical march toward global governance.

Strong's most significant role at the U.N. to-date has been his position as Secretary General of the 1992 U.N. Conference on the Environment and Development, the Rio Earth Summit. In the opening session of the Rio Earth Summit, Strong commented: "The concept of national sovereignty has been an immutable, indeed sacred, principle of international relations. It is a principle which will yield only slowly and reluctantly to the new imperatives of global environmental cooperation. It is simply not feasible for sovereignty to be exercised unilaterally by individual nation states, however powerful. The global community must be assured of environmental security." Interestingly, Strong had initially been blocked from participating in the conference by the U.S. Department of State. When Strong learned of this, however, he persuaded then-President George Bush to overrule the State Department.

Strong is also involved in the U.N. Education Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Through his work in UNESCO, Strong promotes Gaia, the Earth God, among the world's youth. Strong is also the director of The Temple of Understanding in New York. He uses The Temple to encourage Americans concerned about the environment to replace Christianity with the worship of "mother earth."

Strong also directs the U.N.'s Business Council on Sustainable Development. Under his leadership, the council tries to affect peoples' lives through U.N. policies that attempt to reduce the availability of meat products; limit the use of home and workplace air conditioners; discourage private ownership of motor vehicles; encroach on private property rights; and work to reduce the number of single family homes.

(from National

for more about Maurice Strong, click here


Background Information:
The Earth Charter Benchmark Draft - released April 5, 1999

The Earth Charter Campaign website including links to partner activities around the world

Robert Muller - founder of the World Core Curriculum - now being used in all textbooks for education in the United States and other countries.


Born in 1923.From Alsace-Lorraine,a province of France disputed with Germany during three wars (1870-71, 1914-1918,1940-45).As a result, his grandparents had five successive nationalities without leaving their village. He was caught too between the two countries in World War II, was imprisoned by the Germans and fought in the French underground.

At war end he decided to devote his life to peace, won an essay of the French Association for the UN on the subject of world government and entered the UN in 1947,where he stayed all his life, rising from the entrance grade to Assistant Secretary General and direct aide of three Secretaries General. Worked mostly in the economic and social fields and was the idea man for the creation of eleven of the 32 Specialized Agencies of the UN. At retirement was appointed one-dollar-a-year Chancellor if the University for Peace created by the UN in demilitarized Costa Rica author of 14 books, the latest in four volumes: 2000 ideas and dreams for a better world. Recipient of many awards: the Eleanor Roosevelt Man of Vision Award, the Albert Schweitzer Humanities Award, the UNESCO Peace Education Prize, etc. Nominated fourteen times for the Nobel Peace Prize. Still a most vocal advocate of the creation of a proper Earth government without which wars will continue and the Earth will ecologically come to an end.

What the "official bio" doesn't tell you:

The Robert Muller World Core Curriculum Manual. reads,  

"The underlying philosophy upon which the Robert Muller School is based will be found in the teaching set forth in the books of Alice A. Bailey by the Tibetan teacher, Djwhal Khul ...." (World Core Curriculum Manual (Robert Muller School, Arlington TX: 1986); Preface.). (from Brave News Schools: The International Agenda, by Berit Kjos)

(Alice A. Bailey is well-known for her occultist teachings; her "spirit guide" was Djwhal Khul".)



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