EDU Secretary-General agrees to sign Earth Charter
a constant joy for His Excellency Irving Levance, the
Secretary-General of EDU, that his position at the head of an
intergovernmental organization allows him partake of the company of
distinguished world statesmen.
took particular pleasure in having the opportunity to discuss world
affairs with former United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees, His Excellency Ruud Lubbers, who holds the record
as the longest serving Prime Minister of the Netherlands and
the record for the youngest person ever to occupy that office at the
age of 43.
Originally educated as an Economist at the Erasmus University in
Rotterdam, Ruud Lubbers has been a prominent figure in European and
World politics since the 1970’s. Besides serving three successive
terms as Prime Minister of the Netherlands, he also served as the
Minister for Economic Affairs and as Parliamentary Speaker.
Lubbers demonstrated a tremendous insight into international affairs
and the effects of globalization.
was unsurprising since Globalization Studies was the subject which
he taught as a professor at Tilburg University in the Netherlands
and at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard
University in the United States during a five year hiatus from
The former Premier has a long standing commitment to
environmental and ecological issues and is deeply engaged with
the Earth Charter Initiative in cooperation with
Mikhail Gorbachev and Maurice Strong.
Highly regarded in international circles as an elder
statesman, Mr. Lubbers’ invaluable experience keeps him is
in high demand both as an Informateur helping to shape
coalition governments in the Netherlands and as a political
and diplomatic commentator on world events.
Queen Beatrix of the
Netherlands playing the Earth Charter game
Maurice Strong(then Secretary-General of the Rio Summit
and former Under Secretary of the United Nations)and Mikhail
Gorbachev (former President of the Soviet Union) , working through organizations they each
founded (Earth Council and Green Cross International
respectively), launched an initiative (with the support from
the Dutch Government) to develop an Earth Charter.
Rio+5 Forum, a first Benchmark Draft
of the Earth Charter is released as a “document in
progress”. Ongoing international consultations were
encouraged and organized.
After numerous drafts
and after considering the input of people from all regions
of the world, the Earth Charter Commission came to consensus
on the Earth Charter in March, 2000, at a meeting held at UNESCO
headquarters in Paris. The Earth Charter was later formally
launched in ceremonies at The
Peace Palace in The Hague.
of EDU considered himself privileged to have
been accorded so much of the former Prime Minister’s time as they
discussed many topics, including;
European and Global political
developments, the global economy, the social impact of changing
demographics in Europe and the importance of the provision of
continued education for refugees and displaced persons.
H.E. Ruud Lubbers as the (then)
United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees promoting the Earth Charter Initiative
individual endorser of the Earth Charter
Initiative for many years, H.E. Irving Levance
agreed to sign EDU's formal commitment to the principles of the Charter
later this week.