Endorse the Earth Charter 2002 Action of Immediate Witness

Because Unitarian Universalists affirm and promote the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all; and

Because our Unitarian Universalist Principles affirm "respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part"; and

Whereas many biologists predict that up to half of all existing species on our planet may disappear within the coming century unless urgent steps are taken to prevent this irreparable disaster;

Whereas global warming is likely to increase the surface temperature of the earth in our lifetimes, melting icepacks, flooding island nations, expanding deserts, and disrupting stable ecosystems;

Whereas environmental destruction most severely affects the poor, indigenous people, subsistence farmers, and others directly dependent on nature for their livelihood;

Whereas the Earth Charter, an outgrowth of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, will be presented to the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, South Africa, August 26 -- September 4, 2002;

Whereas the Earth Charter’s inclusive vision recognizes that environmental protection, human rights, equitable human development, and peace are interdependent and inseparable;

Whereas the Earth Charter draws upon the world’s great religious and philosophical traditions to create a statement of human responsibility toward creation that will offer a moral foundation for the development of international law;

Whereas adoption of the Earth Charter provides a tool for policymakers, business leaders, educators, and faith communities to understand the critical choices facing humanity and the urgent need for commitment to a sustainable way of life; and

Whereas numerous religious, civic, and environmental organizations have already endorsed the Earth Charter document, including the United Nations Association of Canada, the Sierra Club, the Humane Society of the United States, Pax Christi, the National Wildlife Federation, and International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War;

Therefore be it resolved that the 2002 General Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association endorses the Earth Charter and urges all the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association to do likewise;

Be it further resolved that the 2002 General Assembly requests that the Unitarian Universalist Association communicate the Assembly’s endorsement of the Earth Charter to all members of the United States Congress and that member congregations that endorse the Earth Charter communicate their action to their representatives in Congress; and

Be it further resolved that the 2002 General Assembly encourages the Unitarian Universalist United Nations Office to seek endorsement by the United Nations in 2002, the tenth anniversary of the Rio Earth Summit.