The Geneva Conference for a Green and Inclusive Economy, organized by Green Cross in partnership with the State of Geneva, local universities and institutions, saw new impetus given to the Declaration of Rights and Responsibilities for Humanity – a legal recognition that the effects of past inheritances and future legacies are real and must be accounted for in the present. French President François Hollande commissioned the text from Corinne Lepage, and the French government will back the declaration’s adoption by the United Nations in 2016.
At the Green and Inclusive Economy Conference on 6 October, all 40 million Scouts worldwide were invited to become ambassadors for the Declaration of Rights and Responsibilities for Humanity by Corinne Lepage, as they were honoured with a “Youth Leadership Award for the Environment”.
“What will be decided this December in Paris at the COP21 will require intergenerational and intercultural commitments to make it a reality,” said Lepage. “This is why I am delighted to present this Youth Leadership Award for the Environment to 40 million Scouts and 500 million alumni around the world. Their tireless actions have not only been to create a better environment and a better world, but also to promote peace and protect the Rights of Humanity at large, regardless of country, religion, gender or age.”
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About the Declaration of Rights and Responsibilities for Humanity:
With enormous challenges facing all of humanity, including climate change, desertification, extreme weather events and the destruction of biodiversity, it has become necessary to define both the rights and responsibilities which people must observe to ensure safe, dignified lives to their descendants.
The Declaration of Rights and Responsibilities for Humanity is a simple text, comprising four principles, six rights and six responsibiilities. It defines humanity to include the long chain of past, present and future generations, affirms the interdependence of humanity and nature, and frames rights and responsibilities in accord with the common inheritance left from each generation to the next.
The declaration is non-binding – it is not a convention. Nevertheless, it represents a first step towards the recognition of a set of rights and responsibilities that will assure a long-term future for the human race.