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BRIEFING  - May 30, 2012

To learn more about the Millenium Development Goals, click on the graphic

Past Briefings:

May 16, 2012
‘35 days to the future we want’: RIO+20 is June 20–22

April 18, 2012
Happiness and wellbeing: Defining a new economic paradigm

April 4, 2012
Dominican NGO news from a visiting correspondent

March 7, 2012
Group works to raise awareness of plight of rural women

February 22, 2012
Commission focuses on empowerment of rural women

February 8, 2012
Making poverty eradication a global priority

January 25, 2012
Social Protection Floor would meet basic human needs

January 11, 2012
Advocating for global common good is moral imperative

December 21, 2011
Climate change: Issue should unite us for common good

December 7, 2011
Honor rights of immigrants on Human Rights Day Dec. 10

November 9, 2011
Extractive industries and sustainable development

October 19, 2011
UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

October 5, 2011
U.S. needs to ratify Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

World Environment Day is June 5

Read the first edition of the newsletter “Dominicans at the UN” (PDF 2.4 MB)

June 5 marks the annual commemoration of World Environment Day. This is one of the primary ways in which the United Nations fosters worldwide awareness of the state of our environment, in the hope of enhancing political attention and action.

The aim of the day is to:

  • Give a human face to environmental issues
  • Empower people to become active agents of sustainable and equitable development
  • Promote an appreciation of the importance of local communities in changing attitudes towards environmental issues
  • Advocate partnerships which will ensure that all nations and peoples enjoy a safe and more prosperous future.

This year’s host for World Environment Day is Brazil, where, in just two weeks, world leaders will gather for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (RIO + 20). As has been mentioned in previous Briefings, this conference marks the 20th anniversary of the first Rio Conference, more commonly known as the Earth Summit. The Earth Charter, an initiative on the part of civil society worldwide, was issued in 1995. This Charter is a universal expression of ethical principles to foster sustainable development and a more just world order.

The Preamble of the Earth Charter reads as follows:

We stand at a critical moment in Earth's history, a time when humanity must choose its future. As the world becomes increasingly interdependent and fragile, the future at once holds great peril and great promise. To move forward, we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms, we are one human family and one Earth community with a common destiny. We must join together to bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace. Towards this end, it is imperative that we, the peoples of Earth, declare our responsibility to one another, to the greater community of life, and to future generations.

It would seem that this message has assumed a greater sense of urgency, as the health and the viability of Earth is in a far more precarious state than it was some 20 years ago. If the values embodied in the Earth Charter—and not the profit motive—had been guiding decisions regarding sustainable development, we would all be in a much better place.

In keeping with World Environment Day, I offer you these suggestions:

  • Introduce yourself to, or re-acquaint yourself with the Earth Charter
  • Become part of the National Climate Ethics Campaign
  • Visit the Sierra Club web site, and explore the goals, especially: Beyond Coal; Beyond Oil; Beyond Natural Gas; Protecting America’s Waters: Resilient Habitats
Margaret Mayce

Margaret Mayce, OP (DLC/Amityville)
NGO in Special Consultative Status at the United Nations
Dominican Leadership Conference
211 East 43 St. Rm 704
New York, NY 10017
email: Margaret Mayce, OP

Dominican Leadership Conference

Building relationships and collaborating in the mission of preaching the Gospel
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Farmington Hills MI 48336
248-536-3234 Contact: Executive Director