Earth Charter activity in Armenia|
The UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), held in Rio in 1992, did take up the challenge of drafting the Earth Charter, which was planned as a people’s treaty. The Earth Carter initiative began in 1994 under the leadership of Maurice Strong, the former Secretary General of UNCED and chairman of the newly formed Earth Council. In 1995 at the Earth Council in Costa Rica was established the secretariat for Earth Charter project. Beginning from 1996 Earth Council organized the Earth Charter consultation process. In 1997 was formed the Earth Charter Commission to oversee the project. In March 1997 Commission issued a Benchmark Draft Earth Charter at the conclusion of the Rio+5 Forum in Rio de Janeiro. The Commission extended the Earth Charter consultation until late 1999. The global consultation on the last version of Earth Carter were carried out at the World international electronic Conference “On-line Discussions Forum on the Earth Charter Benchmark Draft II”. The developed on the results of this Conference version of Earth Charter will be performed in 2002 to UN.
The Earth Charter concentrates on fundamental principles and is concerned to ensure a very strong document that reflects the emerging new global ethics. The Earth Charter project draws upon a variety of resources, including ecology and other contemporary sciences, the world’s religious and philosophical traditions, the growing literature on global ethics and the ethics of environment and development, the practical experience of people living sustainably. Among the values affirmed by the Earth Charter are: respect for Earth and all life; protection and restoration of the diversity, integrity, and beauty of Earth ecosystems; sustainable production, consumption and reproduction; respect for human rights, including the right to an environment adequate for human dignity and well-being; eradication of poverty; nonviolent problem solving and peace; the equitable sharing of Earth’s resources; democratic participation in decision making; gender equality; accountability and transparency in administration; the advancement and application of knowledge and technologies that facilitate care of Earth; universal education for sustainable living; and a sense of shared responsibility for the well-being of Earth community and future generations.
Armenia is one of new independent state of former USSR and since 1991 is developing its policy, orienting on the world positive experience and achievements. One of the most impressive international documents, elaborated in the frames of new paradigm of development, is Earth Charter. Earth Charter is so positive and attractive in
general that it needs to be performed to all people.
The process of Earth Charter elaboration, the progress achieved last years were in the field of interests of Armenian NGO - Association “For Sustainable Human Development”. Association consistently propagates and spreads the main ideas, principles and values system of Sustainable Human Development Concept. In the period of August-December 1999 Association implemented the project "Lobbying the forming of SD policy in Armenia". The project was supported by the Armenian
NGO-Centre and now it is completed. The main goal of the project was to press the National Parliament to organise the Parliament hearings on the subject of SD and to get the decision on foundation of the National Structure responsible on the SD issues.
During the project implementation we focused our attention to such important international document as Earth Charter also. On the base of Association “For Sustainable Human Development” there was formed the initiative group, which enlarged its activity in the field of propaganda and discussion of Earth Charter. We are sure that this document needs to be well recognized by all society of country. Aiming this approach we translated the Abbreviated version of the Earth Charter Draft II to Armenian and Russian, as we had no Russian version of the document at that time. Both translations were included in the book “Towards Sustainable Development of Armenia”, published in September 1999. Armenian version of Earth Charter was disseminated among participants of seminars, organized by Association during September-November 1999 in the regions of the country (towns Hrazdan, Stepanavan, Vanadzor and Vedy) and in the capital of Armenia -Yerevan. The information on the Document was performed in details in three interviews with the President of Association, broadcasted by the National Radio and TV.
After including the Earth Charter in its priorities Association broadened the contacts and information exchange with Earth Council. In September Association “For Sustainable Human Development” got the invitation to participate in the international electronic Conference “On-line Discussions Forum on the Earth Charter Benchmark Draft II”. In the frames of preparation to the Conference Association has organized the open discussions on Earth Charter in Yerevan State University. In the process of discussion were involved Armenian Geography Society, Armenian Botany Society, faculties of Yerevan State University. On the base of discussion there was formed the resulted opinion, performed to the On-line Global Forum by its participants Dr. K.Danielyan and Dr. G.Arakelyan.
On the 12th of November Association organized the press-conference in Yerevan dedicated to the participation of Armenian representatives to the international electronic Conference “On-line Discussions Forum on the Earth Charter Benchmark Draft II”. To the press-conference were invited the representatives of national mass-media – newsletters, TV, radio and international electronic information systems. Participant of On-line Global Forum, Dr. K.Danielyan gave the comprehensive
information on Earth Charter and Global Forum. The representatives of Armenian Geography Society and Armenian Botany Society supplemented the report of Dr.K.Danielyan by their vision of Earth Charter and its role in future moral development of society. The information on press-conference was widely performed by national radio and 4 TV-channels.
In the near time we intend to continue the activity on acquaintance of Armenian society with Earth Charter. Now days Association “For Sustainable Human Development” by the support of Earth Council is working on organisation of the national Workshop to discuss the prepared report to the Millennium Global Forum. One day of the planned Workshop will be dedicated to the discussion of the revised version of Earth Charter.