Scientific and Expert Center
Koltsov Institute of Developmental Biology
Russian Academy of Sciences

An Initiative to Approve an International Ethic Code for Sustainable Development (on the Earth Charter base)

    Today the world faces new challenges. The modern world development results in a depletion of the natural resources, an increase of negative environmental impact, a deterioration of a biosphere balance. The consequences of the climate change have become perceptible everywhere. It results in a worsening of social problems and limits the scope for a further development.
    Mankind starts to realize that an increased frequency of social and natural abnormalities are consequences of our wrong behavior, to realize its responsibility for the future of the planet.
    There is an urgent need to consolidate the efforts to improve the situation. In order to determine priorities for joint action one have to refer to the generally accepted rules of conduct, ethic code approved by the global community.
    The preparation and approval of such a document are especially relevant in the context of “Rio+20” process, that becomes more and more active all over the world towards the UN World Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012. The Conference will be held twenty years later the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Rio where the importance of an international ethic code was declared.
    The “Earth Charter” could be used as a base for the document. Moris Strong, Chairman of the Earth Council, and Mikhail Gorbachev, President of the Green Cross International, put forward an initiative of the “Earth Charter” preparation in 1994. Thousands of national and international organizations took part in its preparation and approval. The document was finished by 2000; it was presented at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002 and approved by UNESCO in 2003. The “Earth Charter” is a generally developed statement on principles of sustainable development, necessary to provide environmental entity, social justice, democracy and peace.
    Today the document starts to be of particular importance. The global community could approve “Earth Charter”, in its original wording or after adaptation and necessary amendments, as an ethical code to provide sustainable development on the planet.
    Russia could put forward such an initiative for several reasons. Russian representatives actively participated in a process of the “Earth Charter” preparation. The main ideas of the document correspond to Russian humanitarian traditions. Today Russia is characterized with economic growth, rich natural resources, and search for the path for the best development. The country priorities within innovative policy, energy efficiency, economy modernization determine its movement towards a sustainable development.
    The document promotion very much depends on a support from Russia and the USA as the leading countries initiated the process of International Ethical Code creation as well as from other developed countries and BRIC.


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