Universal Declaration of Responsibility in an Interdependent World

Betsan Martin, April 2017


The scope of the interdependences among human beings, societies, and between humankind and the biosphere creates a community of destiny that calls for a new dimensions of integration at all scales.

In the current situation of Climate change, inequity between people, biodiversity loss, pressures on freshwater, oceans becoming acidified, calls for turning to new aspirations for lifestyles and development. The trend to limit human responsibilities and ignore the impact of the over exploitation of nature, fossil fuel emissions and exploitation of people, is driven by unaccountability for the use of nature’s resources and accumulation of wealth is incompatible with harmony amongst societies, with preservation of the integrity of the planet, and with safekeeping the interests of future generations;

While all of us have a role in the change, the scope of change necessary to transition to responsible societies requires the involvement of all public or private institutions;

The current legal, political and financial procedures designed to steer and monitor public and private institutions, in particular those that have an impact worldwide, need to be transformed to strengthen provisions for public good and ensure responsibility and safeguards for social and environmental wellbeing. Current procedures undermine the assumption of full responsibilities, and may encourage their irresponsibility. Awareness of our shared responsibilities to the planet is a condition for the survival and progress of humankind;

Our shared responsibility is to preserve planet earth and the integrity of her ecosystems by preventing destruction from ecological and social disasters that will affect all the peoples of the Earth,

Consideration of the interests of others and of the community, and reciprocity among its members are the foundations of mutual trust, security, and respect of each person’s dignity and of justice;

The pursuit of universal rights are not sufficient to adjust our behaviour, or to amend irresponsibility and therefore need corresponding responsibilities to guarantee the conditions of their application. Effective transitions to responsible societies means operationalizing rights, as well as developing social and legal frameworks of responsibility to restore the relationship of humanity with the planet, to develop environmentally and socially accountable economies, and create effective solidarity with those put at risk by the distortions of profit and power at the expense of sustainability and public good.

This situation requires the adoption of common ethical principles as inspiration for our behaviour and for the rules of society.

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