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1999 CITIZENS' PUBLIC TRUST TREATY:A TREATY OF ETHICS, EQUITY AND ECOLOGY PDF Print E-mail
Justice News
Posted by Joan Russow
Friday, 07 August 2015 13:49

Feb 17 1999

 

CITIZENS' PUBLIC TRUST TREATY:A TREATY OF ETHICS, EQUITY AND ECOLOGY

 

 

A PROPOSED United Nations General Assembly Resolution,

to be circulated to governments by their citizens.

 

_____________________________

 

THE CALL:

 

We call upon the nations of the world to ensure the rights of present and

future generations to genuine peace, social justice and ecological integrity

by implementing the principles of this Citizens' Public Trust Treaty.

 

We urge you to support the Treaty by adding your name to the petition,

by passing it on, and by sending copies to heads of states and

legislators.

 

January 1st, 1999

 

_____________________________

 

 

WE, THE CITIZENS OF THE WORLD,

 

DETERMINED

* to create a world based on true participatory democracy within a

   framework of public trust principles;

 

* to accept the inherent limits to the Earth's resources and to promote

   the peaceful coexistence of all nations, races, and species;

 

* to develop a stable and peaceful international society founded on the

   rule of law;

 

* to prevent the damaging consequences of unprincipled economic growth;

 

* to ensure that the economy conforms to the limitations of the ecosystem;

 

RECOGNIZING

the interdependence of Peace Building, Human Rights, Environmental

Protection, and Advocacy for Social Justice;

 

NOTING

that through more than 50 years of concerted effort, the member states

of the United Nations have created international Public Trust

obligations, commitments and expectations:

 

1. to Promote and fully guarantee respect for human rights including labour

     rights, the right to adequate food, shelter and health care, and

     social justice;

2. to Enable socially equitable and environmentally sound development;

3. to Achieve a state of peace, justice and security;

4. to Create a global structure that respects the rule of law; and

5. to Ensure the preservation and protection of the environment, respect

    the inherent worth of nature beyond human purpose, reduce the ecological

    footprint and move away from the current model of over-consumptive

    development;

 

AFFIRMING

that the freedom from fear and want can be achieved only if conditions

are created whereby everyone is able to enjoy economic, social and

cultural rights, as well as civil and political rights

(Universal Declaration of Human Rights);

 

AWARE

that the rule of law and the good-faith implementation of international

legal principles are the foundation for peace, security, and

co-operation amongst States (Declaration on Principles of International

Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Co-operation among States in

Accordance with the Charter of the UN [General Assembly Resolution

2625 (XXV)]);

 

RECALLING

the obligations of States under the Charter of the United Nations to

guarantee respect for human rights as set out in the International Bill

of Rights, and to "prevent the scourge of war";

 

* the expectations created through the United Nations Universal

  Declaration of Human Rights (1948), now accepted as part of customary

  international law, to guarantee "the inherent dignity and the equal and

  inalienable rights of all members of the human family";

 

* the obligation undertaken by States in various multilateral treaties on

  human rights, that there must be no discrimination on the following

  grounds:

 

-   race, tribe, or culture;

-   colour, ethnicity, national ethnic or social origin, or language;

-   nationality, place of birth, or nature of residence (refugee or

-   immigrant, migrant worker);

-   gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, or

-   form of family;

-   disability or age;

-   religion or conviction, political or other opinion, or

-   class, economic position, or other status;

    (1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the

    1966 International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights,

    among others);

 

* the obligations of States to ensure full employment and enjoyment of

  just and favourable conditions of work (1966 Covenant on Economic,

  Social and Cultural Rights);

 

* the expectation, created by the adoption of the precautionary principle

  as part of customary international law, that where there is a a threat

  of serious environmental damage or of harm to human health, the lack of

  full scientific certainty will not be used as a reason for postponing

  measures to prevent that threat;

 

* the expectation, created by the adoption of the principle of

  intergenerational equity, that the rights of future generations to an

  ecological heritage will be respected (Convention on the Preservation of

  Cultural and Natural Heritage, 1972);

 

* that the potential irreversibility of environmental harm gives rise to

  special responsibility to prevent such harm (1994 Draft Declaration of

  Principles of Human Rights and the Environment);

 

* that respect for human rights, environmental integrity, socially

  equitable and environmentally sound development, and peace are

  interdependent and inseparable (1994 Draft Declaration of Principles

  of Human Rights and the Environment);

 

* the commitment to prevent activities on the land of indigenous peoples

  that would harm the environment or be culturally inappropriate

  (Agenda 21, 1992);

 

* the commitment to eliminate the production of weapons of mass

  destruction (UNCHE, 1972);

 

* the obligations of States to eliminate the indiscriminate use of certain

  conventional weapons (1983 Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on

  the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be

  Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects);

 

* the diverse obligations incurred through the Framework Convention on

  Climate Change (1992), the Convention on Biological Diversity (1992),

  the Basel Convention on the Transfer of Hazardous Waste, the Vienna

  Convention on the Elimination of the Production and Consumption of Ozone

  Depleting Substances (1985), and other relevant international

  environmental agreements;

 

* the expectations created through diverse resolutions of the General

  Assembly, commitments made in Conference Action plans, and obligations

  incurred through Conventions:

 

-  to guarantee "the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights

   of all members of the human family",

-  to "prevent the scourge of war",

-  to recognize the "peoples' right to peace",

-  to ensure that "the use of scientific technology should be in peace and

   for the benefits of humanity",

-  to "reduce the military budget and transfer the savings into promoting

   social programs particularly in developing countries",

-  to "ensure social justice and the equitable distribution of resources",

-  to respect "the right to work for equal pay for work of equal value",

-  to "ensure the rights of future generations", and

-  to "respect the inherent worth of nature beyond human purpose";

 

CONCERNED

that trade organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and

Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), and trade agreements such as

the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the proposed

Multilateral Agreement on Investments (MAI) undermine the UN's work of

over 50 years in creating obligations, commitments and expectations with

respect to the matters set out above;

 

DISMAYED

by the continued global urgency resulting from the failure of member

states of the United Nations to discharge their obligations arising from

conventions, treaties and covenants, to act on commitments made in

conference action plans, and to fulfill expectations arising from

General Assembly resolutions.

 

RECALLING

the commitment made by all the member states of the United Nations to

"ensure that corporations including transnational corporations comply

with national codes, social security laws, and international law,

including international environmental law" (Platform of Action at the UN

Conference on Women: Equality, Development and Peace, Beijing, 1995,

and also in the Habitat II Agenda, Istanbul, 1996);

 

NOTING

that December 10, 1998, was the 50th Anniversary of the Universal

Declaration of Human Rights, and that the year 1999 is the culmination

of the decade devoted to the furthering of international law;

 

 

WE CALL UPON THE MEMBER STATES OF THE UNITED NATIONS TO TAKE THE

FOLLOWING ACTIONS:

 

 

1. To discharge the obligations, act on the commitments, and fulfill the

     expectations arising from international Public Trust agreements,

     including:

 

a.  signing and ratifying any existing international conventions,

     treaties, and covenants that have not yet been signed and ratified;

b.  enacting the domestic legislation necessary to implement them or to

     fulfill the legitimate expectations created by General Assembly

     resolutions and declarations; and

c.  acting upon the commitments arising from conference action plans such as

     Agenda21 and the Rio Declaration from the United Nations Conference on

     Environment and Development (1992);

 

 

2. (1) To establish mandatory international standards and regulations

(MINS), based on international principles and on the highest and

strongest regulations of member states, harmonizing standards and

regulations continually upwards with respect to:

 

a.  Promoting and fully guaranteeing respect for human rights including

     labour rights, the right to adequate food, shelter and health care, and

     social justice;

b.  Enabling socially equitable and environmentally sound employment;

c.  Achieving a state of peace, justice and security;

d.  Creating a global structure that respects the rule of law; and

e.  Ensuring the preservation and protection of the environment, reducing

     the ecological footprint and moving away from the current model of

     overconsumptive development.

 

 

2. (2) to require that all use of natural resources must be in

accordance with the principles set out in paragraph 2. (1), that all

users pay a fair rent to the community for the use of those resources,

and that all public subsidies to activities, individuals or companies

that do not conform to the principles set out in paragraph 2. (1) be

immediately discontinued.

 

 

3. To demand compensation and reparations from investors or

corporations, and from administrations that have permitted or assisted

investors or corporations to degrade the environment, violate

fundamental human rights, or cause harm to human health, especially

where those actions occurred in economically poor countries or on the

lands of indigenous peoples, or in the communities of marginalized

citizens in either developing or developed countries.

 

 

4. To revoke the licences and charters of corporations, including

transnational corporations, if those corporations have persistently:

 

a.  violated human rights or denied or colluded in denying social justice,

b.  caused unremediated environmental degradation or harm to human health,

c.  disregarded labour rights,

d.  contributed to conflict and war, or

e.  failed to pay compensation for past environmental degradation or

     non-compliance with international agreements.

 

 

5. To reduce military budgets by at least 50% and to use the savings:

 

a.  to guarantee:

-    the right to safe and adequate food, which has been not

     genetically altered or irradiated, or grown with pesticides,

-    the right to safe and affordable shelter,

-    the right to universal health care,

-    the right to safe drinking water,

-    the right to a safe environment,

-    the right to education, and

-    the right to peace;

 

b.  to fund socially equitable and environmentally

     sound employment; and

 

c.  to fund education and research free from corporate direction and

     control.

 

 

6. To increase funding for United Nations agencies and for

international, national and regional educational institutions so that

their missions will not be undermined by corporate direction or control.

All funding to the United Nations should be dedicated to furthering the

objectives of international Public Trust law, not vested interest

economic agreements such as GATT, WTO, MAI, etc. Since

the Security Council is controlled by the nuclear armed states, the

Security Council should be disbanded, and a rotational council should

be selected from the membership of the General Assembly.

 

 

7. To develop the criteria for partnership with the United Nations that were

introduced at Habitat II so as to ensure:

 

i.   the exclusion of corporations and

ii.  that no partner has in any way, in any of its activities, violated

     human rights, (including labour rights), caused environmental

     degradation, contributed to war and conflict, or failed to promote

     socially equitable and environmentally sound employment.

 

 

8. To distinguish "civil society" from the "market economy" by defining

civil society as those elements of society whose goals are to guarantee

human rights, foster justice, protect and conserve the environment,

prevent war and conflict, and provide for socially equitable and

environmentally sound employment; and to declare and affirm the

principle that civil society has a valid and important role to play,

distinct from the market economy.

 

 

9. To prevent the transfer to other states of substances and activities

that cause environmental degradation or that are harmful to human

health, as agreed in the Rio Declaration, UNCED, 1992. This prohibition

must cover activities such as those related to:

 

a.  producing, importing or exporting toxic, hazardous, or (non-medical)

     atomic substances and wastes,

b.  producing or consumping ozone-depleting substances,

c.  extracting resources by environmentally unsound methods,

d.  producing or distributing genetically-engineered food substances and

     genetically modified organisms,

e.  producing or distributing genetically engineered crop/pesticide

     systems, and

f.   creating or increasing dependency on activities or processes which

     contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.

 

 

10. (1) To act upon the commitments made at recent United Nations

Conferences to move away from the over-consumptive model of development,

to replace the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as an indicator of economic

well-being with the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), the Criteria of

Public Trust (CPT) or some other measure which reflects the general

quality of life rather than gross economic activity.

 

 

10. (2) To reduce the ecological footprint, to move away from

car/truck-dependency, and to reject the dogma that economic growth

assures well-being.

 

 

11. (1) To prohibit all trade zones that have the effect of circumventing

obligations and commitments intended to guarantee human rights,

including social justice and labour rights, or to protect, preserve and

conserve the environment.

 

 

11. (2) To phase out all socially inequitable and environmentally

unsound industries while implementing a fair transition program for

affected workers and communities.

 

 

12. To forgive all debt arising from loans by international bodies such as

the World Bank and the IMF, and to terminate all structural adjustment

programs (SAPs) which seek to ensure repayment of such debt at the

expense of ordinary people, including programs which mandate:

 

a.  the indiscriminate privatization of state-owned enterprises,

b.  the indiscriminate reduction of government expenditures,

c.  the indiscriminate liberalization of trade regimes,

d.  the indiscriminate opening of states to increased foreign investment,

     especially where this entails the attraction of foreign capital by

     deregulating markets, offering low wages, implementing high interest

     rates, or providing little or no environmental protection,

e.  the indiscriminate encouragement to produce goods for export at the

     expense of crops, products or services which serve the needs of domestic

     peoples, or

f.   the creation or exacerbation of an imbalance between imports and

     exports.

 

 

13. (1) To ensure that no state relaxes environmental, health, human

rights or labour standards in order to attract industry, and that no

corporation allows a branch or subsidiary to engage in manufacturing,

transferring substances, or other practices that are banned, restricted

or otherwise unacceptable in the controlling corporation's state of

origin.

 

 

13. (2) To ensure that fulfilling a state's obligations under

international Public Trust Law shall be an absolute defense against

legal action by any state, corporation, or investor.

 

 

13. (3) To expose the extent to which citizens have allowed their

pension and investment funds to support corporations that have violated

the public trust, and to urge citizens to invest in the promotion of the

public trust.

 

 

14. To ensure that no state shall engage in trade with a country that

violates human rights, including labour rights, on the grounds that such

trade will lead to a betterment of human rights, except where such trade

is conditional on eliminating human rights abuses.

 

 

15. To establish an International Court of Compliance to which citizens

can bring evidence of state and corporate non-compliance with

international Public Trust Law, including the duty to:

 

a.  protect and advance human rights, including the right to adequate

     food, shelter and health care, labour rights, and social justice,

b.  protect and conserve the environment,

c.  prevent war and conflict, and

d.  enable socially equitable and environmentally sound employment.

 

 

16. To abolish the doctrine of "corporate personality" - the notion that

corporations are persons and have the rights of ordinary people - and

thus preventing corporations from invoking the rights proper to

individuals.

 

 

17. To ensure the right of citizens to sue corporate owners and

officers, in criminal and civil courts, for any violation of human

rights, including labour rights, for denying social justice, for causing

serious harm to the environment or to human health, and for contributing

to suffering and waste through the international arms trade.

 

_____________________________

 

 

We believe that the solution to the many problems which inspire the

creation of this treaty lie in a combination of:

 

i.   adopting regulations which embody Public Trust principles;

ii.  eliminating subsidies which encourage the misallocation of natural

     resources or the violation of international Public Trust principles;

iii. clarifying the true social and ecological costs of the misallocation

     of natural resources which is caused by the "externalization" of those

     costs and the "internalization" of benefits which come from the

     beneficence of nature and should therefore properly accrue to all

     people;

iv. requiring that the true social and ecological costs be factored into

     the prices of all products and services;

v.  ceasing the waste, suffering and instability caused by the

     international arms trade; and

vi. encouraging a conscious effort by all people, individually and

     collectively, to reduce the ecological footprint.

 

_____________________________

 

RATIONALE

 

1999 is the culmination of the decade devoted to the furtherance of

international law. We have just celebrated the 50th anniversary of the

Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

 

When significant anniversaries of the United Nations are celebrated

there is usually a flurry of congratulatory activity before the

documents are put back on the shelf. Rights, however, are meaningless

unless they are actually implemented and enforced.

 

The Citizens' Public Trust Treaty calls upon member states of the United

Nations to implement both existing and new international obligations,

commitments and expectations to ensure the realization of the global

Public Trust. This treaty will provide an effective means of

counteracting the process of corporate globalization that threatens to

undermine over 50 years of international Public Trust agreements.

 

_____________________________

 

BACKGROUND

 

The purpose of this Treaty is to demand that governments (a) stop devolving

their power to corporations and (b) discharge the obligations, act on the

commitments and fulfill the expectations undertaken through United Nations

documents and through national and regional agreements. The intention is

to provide a framework of international law within which local democracy

can flourish.

 

Successive drafts of the Treaty have circulated widely for over a year

and a half. It has evolved with input from many participants via the

internet and has been translated into Spanish and French. The Treaty was

sent to each country's UN Mission in New York in 1997 and in 1998 on the

anniversaries of the United Nations (October 24) and the Universal

Declaration of Human Rights (December 10).

 

The proposed Treaty is supported by a body of international documents

and principles drawn from the commitments, obligations and expectations

created by the UN system. A full list of the international instruments

and other documents that have been reviewed for the drafting of this

Treaty is available on request. The principles embodied in the Treaty

are further supported by a "Charter of Obligations" prepared by the

Global Compliance Research Project which lists, in an easy to find

format, the text of many of the agreements undertaken by Nation States

over the years.

 

_____________________________

 

CONTACTS

 

Joan Russow (Ph.D.): Co-ordinator, Global Compliance Research Project

1230 St. Patrick St. Victoria, B.C. V8S 4Y4 Tel/Fax (250) 598-0071.

e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Caspar Davis (LL.B): Advisor, Global Compliance Research Project.

e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Paul Swann: Director, London Human Rights Forum.

e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Pierre Johnson: French version. e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Manuel Pérez Rocha: Spanish version. e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

_____________________________

 

PETITION

 

There are three ways to sign in support of this treaty:

 

*  via the petition website http://www.gn.apc.org/negreens/cptt.htm

 

*  via e-mail

 

   To sign the petition by e-mail please send a BLANK message to

   This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

   You will receive an e-mail petition form by return.

 

*  via local petitions

 

   To sign by local petition please print and copy the petition form at

   http://www.gn.apc.org/negreens/cptt-pet.htm

   or design your own with three columns for Name - Address - Signature

   and the heading:

 

   We, the undersigned, call upon the nations of the world to ensure

   the rights of present and future generations to genuine peace, social

   justice and ecological integrity by implementing the principles of the

   Citizens' Public Trust Treaty.

 

   Please send signatures to:

   Paul Swann

   14 Beacon Hill

   LONDON

   N7 9LY

   UK

 

 

To view the electronic petition and signatories' comments go to:

http://www.restallnet.demon.co.uk/cptt

 

To download an .rtf version of the Treaty for hardcopy reproduction go to:

http://www.isis.aust.com/cptt/sign.htm

 

For French and Spanish versons go to:

http://www.coastnet.com/~jrussow/francis.htm

 

_____________________________

 

Copyright Global Compliance Research Project (1997, 1998, 1999).

 

This document may be freely copied and distributed in its entirety.

 

If you have a website please add a link to the proposed Treaty at

one of the following sites:

 

Northern Hemisphere:

http://www.gn.apc.org/negreens/cptt.htm

 

Southern Hemisphere:

http://www.isis.aust.com/cptt

 

_____________________________

 

To avoid broken lines and arrows when forwarding

this email, please copy & paste to a new message.

 

Thank you !

_____________________________

 

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