Common ethics and common law for managing a unique planet and relationships among an interwoven global community

Contribution to the speech to be addressed by Betsan Martin, on behalf of the Ethics and responsibility forum, at the Costa Rica international meeting of jurists

Pierre CALAME, 15-03-2013

Since the industrial revolution, two centuries ago, interdependences has grown dramatically among societies and has changed scale between humanity and biosphere. These interdependences have got to another level after world war 2, with globalization of economy and finance and with the impact of societies on the major equilibrium of the biosphere, as we can see with ozone layer depression, climate change, halieutic resources pollution, reduction of biodiversity and even stratospheric pollution.

Unfortunately, all the institutional, political and juridical regulations are centuries old and have not adapted to the new challenges. The two pillars of the so called international community, the UN Charter and the UDHR do not address these new issues.

This should not be a surprise. In the societal change processes, science, technology and finance move very fast, whereas the shared values on which communities are built and the institutional and juridical basis of the societies move very slowly. Hence the lethal gap everybody can see between the nature of our pressing challenges and the way we face them.

Therefore acting to accelerate these ethical, institutional and juridical changes is the most urgent concrete action. Without such changes all the nice efforts undertaken thanks to the momentum given by the Earth summit remain largely vain.

Many initiatives have been taken over the last forty years to face these lethal gap. And they are actually all useful.

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