Mikhail Gorbachev

FOUNDING PRINCIPLES OF THE GREEN CROSS

 

"I am a Communist, a convinced Communist! For some that may be a fantasy. But to me it is my main goal ~ Mikhail Gorbachev

The website where I obtained this document is no longer active but I'm including the link anyway -

Green Cross International

http://tinyurl.com/8grwb

 

The Founding Principles:


- A fundamental transformation of society's Values with respect to the environment. Narrow approaches to problem solving ignore linkages between sectors or across local, national and global spheres. Firstly, changes in values and in the distribution of power are needed and secondly, new ways of analyzing and acting are required. Green Cross works worldwide to promote the emergence of these values.


- A spirit of Dialogue and mediation, both level-headed and constructive. Green Cross plays the role of catalyst, and mobilizes the strength of its whole network for environmental conflict prevention and mediation. One of the roles of Green Cross International is to provide a constructive force across multiple sectors, working with governments, the private sector, religious groups, international organizations, NGOs and individuals.


- A meshing of the economy, ecology and society. The integration of ecological and socio-economic principles should be promoted. The clear link between these elements should be integrated at all levels.

 

International Challenges :


Sustainability is one of the main concepts at the start of this new millennium and its gist is ambiguous and difficult to define. Most people have difficulties understanding the meaning of the word, and others react emotionally rather than objectively. When philosophers, scientists, businessmen, scholars, and individuals try to define this word, the polemic and discussion is never ended, proving if it was necessary, the complexity of this term. To explore sustainability at this junction in human history is to raise the fundamental questions of how humanity defines itself, and how each one of us will tackle the challenges of the 21st century.

 

The Sustainability debate started with the Brundland Commission's definition: " Humanity has the ability to make development sustainable, to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs ". The most serious independent analyses of the current development of humanity prove that the world's development does not tend towards sustainability. Recently, Mikhail Gorbachev, President of Green Cross International said: " we are at an essential moment in human history, for the first time, we are widely aware that our day-to-day decisions have the power to destroy our own habitat, the Earth ". The growth in world property and consumption levels, and the population expansion, have created a heavy burden on the environment and quality of life for billions of people. To achieve sustainability, a balance must be found between society's major components: economy and technology, ecology and demography, and governance and equity. Year after year, the Economy is becoming predominant and the myth accompanying of perpetual growth is progressively replacing all the other essential values which have contributed to the elaboration of our civilization. The sustainability of development can only be reached if citizens and decision-makers take all the other above mentioned components fully into account.

 

The sustainable world will be a world of social and technological innovations, experimentation, high transparency, and a fully interconnected community; a world in which agreements are reached through mediation, and with respect for civil rights. In this world, NGOs, governments, concerned consumers and businesses would act as partners. Thanks to dialogue and mutual respect, continuous environmental and social values will be incorporated into market mechanisms. Dream or reality? President Mikhail Gorbachev has already showed the world that when an idea or an intuition is right and emerges at the right time, any " Wall of difficulties like the Berlin Wall might fall ".

 

Earth Charter Initiative

 

The Earth Charter is being developed as a general human manifesto based on a global consultation process involving 1000s of organizations and individuals all over the world, the work of the Earth Charter Commission of representatives from all 5 continents, and the creative cooperation of specialists motivated by the survival of our planet.


In 1994, the President of Green Cross International, Mikhail Gorbachev and the President of the Earth Council, Maurice Strong, on the initiative of the Dutch Prime Minister, Ruud Lubbers, and with the participation of UNESCO Director General, Federico Mayor, signed an agreement to collaborate on the Earth Charter.


Since 1994, GCI has participated jointly with other organizations in the formulation of the Earth Charter text. In the framework of the consultation process, the organization participated in meetings which took place in the USA , the Netherlands, Switzerland and Brazil. In the framework of the international forum Rio+5, the first benchmark of the Earth Charter was presented and discussed by the members of the Earth Charter Commission consisting of 23 representatives from all the continents.

 

National Earth Charter Committees have been created in more than 30 countries of the world (Australia, Russia, USA, Japan, etc.). In other countries the work over the Earth Charter is run by a worldwide net of organizations such as Green Cross International, as well as by different non-governmental national organizations.


A special Earth Charter Campaign has been organized on Internet, as well as an Earth Charter Discussion Forum, where one can easily share information, ideas and suggestions regarding the Earth Charter process and the Benchmark Draft.


The Earth Charter draft's elaboration and the formulation of its preamble and main principles were accomplished by an international group of specialists, the Earth Charter Drafting Committee. This group carries out the tremendous task of collecting comments and amendments on the Earth Charter draft from participants in the consultation process from all over the world and integrates all the material received into a unified Earth Charter draft.


Green Cross National Organizations worked on the Earth Charter from 1996 to 1997 in a series of meetings. As a result, the Earth Charter Philosophy was elaborated. From 1997 until the end of 1998, Green Cross National Organizations continued their involvement on two levels: the first one deals with the improvement of the text of the Earth Charter and the second aims at spreading ideas and developing possible organizational structures. All of these ideas were discussed during several meetings of the Green Cross National Organizations.


At the beginning of October 1998, the Green Cross National Organizations were requested to describe their Earth Charter activity and give comments and recommendations for Benchmark NĚ II, as well as proposals for future activities. The majority of National Organizations participated in this intense consultation process and their remarks and suggestions were discussed in depth by the Earth Charter drafting committee.

 

The Earth Charter was presented on June 27-28 2000 in the Hague in the presence of Her Majesty Queen Beatrix, Mikhail Gorbachev, Ruud Lubbers and Maurice Strong.


The ultimate objective is for the Earth Charter to be discussed and adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations and it is the willingness of people that will make the difference.