- Whereas humanity and nature are in danger and that in particular the adverse effects of climate change, accelerated loss of biodiversity, degradation of land and ocean, are all violations of human rights and a vital threat to present and future generations.
- Whereas the extreme gravity of the situation, which is a concern for all humanity, requires the recognition of new principles, rights and duties.
- Whereas commitment to the principles and rights recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including equality between women and men, as well as to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, are reaffirmed.
- Whereas the peoples of Earth endorse the 1972 Stockholm Declaration on Environment, the 1982 New York World Charter for Nature, the Rio 1992 Declaration on Environment and Development and the 2000 Millennium Declaration and 2012 and The Future We Want resolutions of the General Assembly of the United Nations.
- Whereas the aforementioned danger is recognized by civil society, especially networks of people, organizations, institutions, and cities in the 2000 Earth Charter
- Whereas humanity, which comprises all human individuals and organizations, includes past, present and future generations altogether, and that the very continuity of humanity rests on this intergenerational link.
- Whereas the Earth, home to humanity, constitutes a whole marked by interdependence and reaffirming that the existence and the future of humanity are inseparable from its natural environment.
- Whereas the fundamental rights of human beings and the duty to preserve nature are inherently interdependent, and with the conviction that good conservation of the environment and improvement of its quality are of vital importance.
- Whereas present generations are especially responsible, this being especially true of all States, which have primary responsibility in the matter, but also of people, intergovernmental organizations, companies and notably multinational corporations, non-governmental organizations, local authorities and individuals.
- Whereas this historical responsibility confers duties vis-à-vis the whole of humanity, and that these obligations are to be implemented through just, democratic, ecological and peaceful means.
- Whereas recognition of the inherent dignity of humanity and all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.
- Proclaims the principles, rights and duties that follow and adopts the present statement:
The principle of intragenerational and intergenerational responsibility, equity and solidarity demands that the human family and in particular its States shall endeavor, in a common and differentiated manner, to safeguard and preserve humanity and Earth.
The principle of humanity and dignity of its members involves the satisfaction of their basic needs and the protection of their intangible rights. Each generation shall ensure compliance with this principle over time.
The principle of continuity of human existence guarantees the preservation and protection of humanity and the Earth through human activities that shall be prudent and respectful of nature, particularly of life, both human and non-human, and making every effort to prevent all serious or irreversible transgenerational consequences.
The principle of non-discrimination between generations shall preserve humanity, particularly future generations, and requires that no activities or measures undertaken by the present generations shall have the effect of causing depletion or perpetuating excessive reduction of resources nor restriction of choices for future generations.
The rights of humanity
Humanity, like all living species, has the right to live in a healthy and ecologically sustainable environment.
Humanity has the right to a responsible, equitable, inclusive and sustainable development.
Humanity has the right to protection of its common, natural, cultural, tangible and intangible heritage.
Humanity has the right to the preservation of common goods, especially air, water and soil, and the right to universal and effective access to vital resources. Future generations are entitled to their transmission.
Humanity has the right to peace, in particular the peaceful settlement of disputes, and the right to human security at the environmental, alimentary, sanitary, economic and political levels. This right is aimed in particular at preserving succeeding generations from the scourge of war.
Humanity has freedom of choice to determine its fate. This right is exercised by taking the long term into account, especially where rhythms inherent to humanity and nature are concerned, in collective choices.
The duties towards humanity
The present generations have a duty to ensure respect for the rights of humanity as well as of all living species. The rights of humanity as a whole and of the human individual are recognized to be indivisible and their respect shall take all successive generations into account.
The present generations, who are guarantors of resources, ecological balance, and of the common, natural, cultural, tangible and intangible heritage have a duty to ensure that this legacy is conserved and that it be used with caution, liability and equity.
To ensure the sustainability of life on Earth, the present generations have a duty to make every effort to preserve both the atmosphere and climate balance and to prevent, as much as possible, the displacement of people resulting from impact on the environment, and to otherwise rescue and protect the affected people.
The present generations have a duty to guide scientific and technical progress towards the preservation and health of humankind and of other species. To this end, they must, in particular, ensure that any access and use of biological and genetic resources altogether respects human dignity, traditional knowledge and the maintenance of biodiversity.
All States and other public and private stakeholders and entities have the duty to integrate the long-term perspective in their policies and to promote sustainable human development. This development, as well as the principles, rights and duties set forth in this Declaration shall be advanced through awareness raising, education and implementation initiatives.
All States have the duty to ensure the effectiveness of the principles, rights and duties proclaimed by this declaration, including through the organization or implementation of mechanisms making it possible to ensure its respect.