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Clear Thinking: UNESCO Adopts Resolution on Earth Charter

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The 40th General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), held last November, adopted a resolution that reaffirms the importance of the Earth Charter as an ethical framework for sustainable development.

The Charter’s four pillars—respect and care for the community of life; ecology integrity; social and economic justice; and democracy, non-violence and peace—have guided and underpinned UNESCO’s sustainable development work. Taking into account the current world situation and environmental crises, delegates felt it was time to act and that the Earth Charter provides the needed principles and values. Although it has no binding force, like previous UNESCO resolutions, its ethical foundation may surface in future battles in international courts.
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