Earth Charter displayed at United Nations

NEW YORK, New York, January 24, 2002 (ENS) - This morning, supporters of the Earth Charter walked the Ark of Hope to the United Nations for exhibit during the second preparatory meeting for the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

The artist who created the Ark, Sally Linder, and hundreds of volunteers, began a 60 day peace walk following the September 11 terrorist attacks to accompany the 200 pound chest from Burlington, Vermont, through Massachusetts and Connecticut, into New York with the goal of presenting it
at the United Nations. The Ark, sailing down the Hudson River aboard the environmental sloop
Clearwater, was greeted by Pete Seeger and other friends of the Earth Charter upon its arrival in New York City on November 8, 2001.

The Earth Charter - a declaration of principles for building a just, sustainable and peaceful world - is the product of a decade long, worldwide, cross cultural conversation about common goals and shared values. The Charter, available online at:, is an expression of the hopes and aspirations of an emerging global civil society.

In 1987, the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development issued a call for creation of a new charter that would set forth fundamental principles for sustainable development. The drafting of an Earth Charter was part of the unfinished business of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit.
In 1994 Maurice Strong, the secretary general of the Earth Summit and chair of the Earth Council, and Mikhail Gorbachev, president of Green Cross International, launched a new Earth Charter initiative with support from the Dutch government. An Earth Charter Commission was formed in 1997 to oversee the project and an Earth Charter Secretariat was established at the Earth
Council in Costa Rica.

The Ark of Hope is a hand crafted chest created for a celebration of the Earth Charter held on September 9, 2001 in Vermont, at which biologist Jane Goodall gave the keynote speech. The lid of the Ark is lined with a papyrus copy of the Earth Charter and contains hundreds of citizen expressions of hope and healing. The Ark will remain on display in the lobby gallery of the United Nations through February 19.