NGO Documents for the Earth Summit, 1992
Non-Governmental Organization Alternative Treaties
at the '92 Global Forum
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Treaty 39. A Global Women's Treaty for NGOs Seeking a Just and Healthy
1. We pledge our commitment to the empowerment of women, the central and powerful force
in the search for a safe environment, economic and social justice, equitable reallocation
of resources, the survival of all species and our common goal of a healthy planet in which
future generations can flourish.
2. The participation of women - half the world's population - is indispensable in the
conduct of daily life and policy-making, from the community to the national and
international level. Everywhere, women are initiators and catalysts of environmental and
developmental activism. Their perspectives, values, skills and diverse experiences must be
brought into leadership and policy-making, but their virtual exclusion from leadership and
the disregard for their needs and views are among the major factors responsible for
environmental degradation, worsening poverty, pervasive militarism and violence against
people and nature.
3. As activists in non-governmental organizations, we pledge to demand and work for
gender balance in public policy analyses at senior levels in governments and
non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and at international, regional, national and local
levels in decision-making, implementation, administration, evaluation and funding at all
levels. We call for the adoption of forms of governance which are decentralized and in
which arrangements for natural resource management are centered on people and communities.
4. We call on all NGOs, where applicable, and all governments to comply with the
requirements of the Nairobi Forward Looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women -
approved by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 1985 - and to ratify and implement
the UN Convention on The Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the UN
Convention on Human Rights and the UN Convention on The Rights of the Child.
5. We recognize the failure of governments to either address the true causes of the
planetary crisis or reach agreement on urgent actions to save our planet. We believe that
the chief causes lie in militarism, debt and structural adjustment and trade policies
being promoted by multinational corporations and international financial and trade
institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the General
Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). The policies of these institutions are causing the
degradation of human and natural environments, leading to the growing impoverishment of
the majority of the world's people, perpetuating the inequity of the existing world order
and contributing to continuing and intensified pressure on natural resources. We condemn
these policies and call for the immediate adoption of alternative policies based on
principles of justice equity and sustainability.
6. We ask for cancellation of the so-called "debts" allegedly owed by
countries of the South that have been more than repaid by the inequitable prices paid for
their labor and resources, the exorbitant interest charged and the consequent
impoverishment of their peoples and environments and insist that the benefits of such
cancellation reach the people at the grassroots.
7. We pledge to promote the adoption of a model of sustainable development based on
sustainable livelihoods for all peoples with full human rights including access to clean
air and water, food, shelter, health, education and information and the enjoyment of civil
liberties and spiritual and cultural integrity.
8. We affirm our belief that a healthy and sustainable environment is contingent upon
world peace and an end to militarism; on the immediate cessation of the production and
testing of nuclear weapons and the unjustifiable generation, dumping and incineration of
wastes whether nuclear, toxic, or non-toxic; on a more equitable redistribution of the
world's wealth to end the disproportionate consumption patterns of the affluent the world
over; on the self-determination of peoples and respect for indigenous peoples and their
lands, cultures and traditions; and on a global common effort to protect and repair our
naturally diverse heritage.
9. We insist that raising the social, economic, political and health status of women
requires policies and actions to assure them equal access to education, information, fair
wages and safe working conditions, inheritance rights, credit, appropriate technology,
environmentally-friendly consumer products and health care. We oppose discrimination on
the basis of sex, race, ethnicity, religion, differential ability and sexual orientation;
and we demand that society condemn domestic and sexual violence.
10. We cannot accept any attempt to deprive women of reproductive freedom, the
knowledge required to exercise that freedom, the provision of comprehensive reproductive
health care and family planning, including the right to prenatal care, safe and legal
voluntary contraceptives and abortion, sex education and information. There must be
recognition of the existence of a global cancer epidemic which demands the removal from
the environment of carcinogenic substances which have particularly adverse effects on
women and children, the systematic alerting and education of all to the danger of Acquired
Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) and the enhancement of efforts to eliminate occupational
hazards in factories, offices and on farms.
11. We abhor the harm that may be caused by genetic engineering of people and plants
and the release of genetically manipulated organisms into the environment; demand the full
participation of citizens' boards in the process prior to any approvals and that any
resulting life forms or life form technology should not be patentable.
12. We pledge and urge the adoption and implementation of codes of ethics respectful of
all peoples and the environment and that technology transfers be appropriate and
13. We appeal to all women and men to join in this call for profound and immediate
transformation in human values and activities and we pledge, as NGOs, to integrate into
our consciousness and work the programmatic demands of the Women's Action Agenda 21, first
adopted at the World Women's Congress for a Healthy Planet, and now by the heads of
government attending the Earth Summit held in Rio, June 3-14, 1992.
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