A history of the Alliance for Responsible and Sustainable Societies, the Charter of Human Responsibility and the Universal Declaration of Human Responsibilities and the Declaration of Interdependence.

The Alliance for Responsible and Sustainable Societies has a history dating from its early development in the 1980’s, with the Vezelay Think Tank which highlighted the great transition to sustainable societies and low carbon economies.

In 2001 the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation (FPH) brought together four thousand actors from around the world to Lille, France, to identify a norm, or an ethic to address this transition according to the priorities of the 21st Century. This was a time when climate change was being widely recognized – being nearly ten years after the Brundtland Commission, when the prospect of planetary destabilization, conflict and mounting social inequity called for a paradigm shift in economic systems, the distribution of wealth and the means of livelihoods.

Dialogues on achieving transitions led to identifying Responsibility as a principle which could serve as a universal norm, while respecting cultural differences and histories. Responsibility, duty and obligation in their varied forms, are embedded in every culture and foundational for all human societies.

Activities for transitions to sustainable societies is taking shape through community and organizational engagement, documentation with several renditions of the original Charter of Human Responsibility, and actions at local and global levels, and in different professional fields.

The Charter was the basis for a legally based Charter of Universal Responsibility for Rio+20, in 2010, and then a further legally developed text, A Declaration Universal Responsibility after Rio+20. In preparation for COP21, in 2015, the Declaration was synthesized with the Declaration of Interdependence to become the Declaration of Interdependence and Responsibility.


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