The Co-Intelligence Institute CII home // CIPolitics home

Declarations of Interdependence



On May 25, 2003, Google listed 3020 web pages with the phrase "declaration of interdependence." The first one is apparently that proposed by Will Durant in 1948. But a number of other ones have been proposed, each focusing on a slightly different variety of interdependence - our interdependence as people, as citizens, as life forms, as beings, etc. Some people consider the Earth Charter a declaration of interdependence. One of the most interesting phenomena is local Declarations of Interdependence to deal with the overcoming of some local conflict or community-building. This suggests that any person, group or community can be encouraged to formally declare its interdependence whenever interdependence is an issue.



among All People


Human progress having reached a high level through respect for the liberty and dignity of men, it has become desirable to re-affirm these evident truths:

@ That differences of race, color, and creed are natural, and that
diverse groups, institutions, and ideas are stimulating factors in the development of man [humankind];
@ That to promote harmony in diversity is a responsible task of
religion and statesmanship;
@ That since no individual can express the whole truth, it is essential to treat with understanding and good will those whose views differ from our own;
@ That by the testimony of history intolerance is the door to violence, brutality and dictatorship; and
@ That the realization of human interdependence and solidarity is the best guard of civilization.

Therefore, we solemnly resolve, and invite everyone to join in united action.

@ To uphold and promote human fellowship through mutual consideration and respect;
@ To champion human dignity and decency, and to safeguard
these without distinction of race, or color, or creed;
@ To strive in concert with others to discourage all animosities
arising from these differences, and to unite all groups in the fair play of civilized life.

ROOTED in freedom, bonded in the fellowship of danger, sharing every-where a common human blood, we declare again that all men are brothers, and that mutual tolerance is the price of liberty.

Note: The Declaration of Interdependence was first proposed by Will Durant on April 8, 1944. He, Meyer David and Dr. Christian Richard wrote it and launched a movement around it on March 22, 1945. It was introduced into the Congressional Record on October 1, 1945 by Hon. Ellis E. Patterson. and




between Humans and the Natural World


This We Know

@ We are the earth, through the plants and animals that nourish us.
@ We are the rains and the oceans that flow through our veins.
@ We are the breath of the forests of the land, and the plants of the sea.
@ We are human animals, related to all other life as descendants of the firstborn cell.
@ We share with these kin a common history, written in our genes.
@ We share a common present, filled with uncertainty.
@ And we share a common future, as yet untold.
@ We humans are but one of thirty million species weaving the thin layer of life enveloping the world.
@ The stability of communities of living things depends upon this diversity.
@ Linked in that web, we are interconnected -- using, cleansing, sharing and replenishing the fundamental elements of life.
@ Our home, planet Earth, is finite; all life shares its resources and the energy from the sun, and therefore has limits to growth.
@ For the first time, we have touched those limits.
@ When we compromise the air, the water, the soil and the variety of life, we steal from the endless future to serve the fleeting present.

This We Believe

@ Humans have become so numerous and our tools so powerful that we have driven fellow creatures to extinction, dammed the great rivers, torn down ancient forests, poisoned the earth, rain and wind, and ripped holes in the sky.
@ Our science has brought pain as well as joy; our comfort is paid for by the suffering of millions.
@ We are learning from our mistakes, we are mourning our vanished kin, and we now build a new politics of hope.
@ We respect and uphold the absolute need for clean air, water and soil.
@ We see that economic activities that benefit the few while shrinking the inheritance of many are wrong.
@ And since environmental degradation erodes biological capital forever, full ecological and social cost must enter all equations of development.
@ We are one brief generation in the long march of time; the future is not ours to erase.
@ So where knowledge is limited, we will remember all those who will walk after us, and err on the side of caution.

This We Resolve

@ All this that we know and believe must now become the foundation of the way we live.
@ At this turning point in our relationship with Earth, we work for an evolution: from dominance to partnership; from fragmentation to connection; from insecurity, to interdependence.


This Declaration of Interdependence was written by five members of the David Suzuki Foundation team in 1992 for the United Nations' Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. In 2001, Finnish composer Pehr Henrik Nordgren wrote his Symphony no. 6 "Interdependence" based on the declaration, which also served as lyrics to the piece. It was performed for the first time in Sendai, Japan in December, 2001.




among All Beings


We hold these truths to be self-evident:

@ That all life is interconnected, and endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights and responsibilities,
@ That among these are presence, compassion, and the pursuit of happiness.

That to secure these rights and responsibilities,

@ We open our minds and hearts to the needs of others, and our own true needs,
@ We hear the sound of the living universe in our ears, and add our voices to the song,
@ We live every moment with awareness of the purity and power of existence.

And for the support of this Declaration, we pledge to each other our love and our breath,

@ For the freedom of the one is the freedom of the all, and the pain of the one is the pain of the all;
@ The breath of the one is the breath of the all, and the breath of the all is the breath of God.


Melanie Bacon




as Citizens of One Civic World



We the people of the world do herewith declare our interdependence as individuals and members of distinct communities and nations. We do pledge ourselves citizens of one CivWorld, civic, civil and civilized. Without prejudice to the goods and interests of our national and regional identities, we recognize our responsibilities to the common goods and liberties of humankind as a whole.

We do therefore pledge to work both directly and through the nations and communities of which we are also citizens:

To guarantee justice and equality for all by establishing on a firm basis the human rights of every person on the planet, ensuring that the least among us may enjoy the same liberties as the prominent and the powerful;

To forge a safe and sustainable global environment for all - which is the condition of human survival -- at a cost to peoples based on their current share in the world's wealth;

To offer children, our common human future, special attention and protection in distributing our common goods, above all those upon which health and education depend;

To establish democratic forms of global civil and legal governance through which our common rights can be secured and our common ends realized;


To foster democratic policies and institutions expressing and protecting our human commonality;

and at the same time,

To nurture free spaces in which our distinctive religious, ethnic and cultural identities may flourish and our equally worthy lives may be lived in dignity, protected from political, economic and cultural hegemony of every kind.


(CivWorld offers an opportunity to sign this declaration, and is sponsoring Interdependence Day events.


World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, 1975
A Declaration of Interdependence


When in the course of history the threat of extinction confronts mankind, it is necessary for the people of the United States to declare their interdependence with the people of all nations and to embrace those principles and build those institutions which will enable mankind to survive and civilization to flourish.

Two centuries ago our forefathers brought forth a new nation; now we must join with others to bring forth a new world order. On this historic occasion it is proper that the American people should reaffirm those principles on which the United States of America was founded, acknowledge the new crises which confront them, accept the new obligations which history imposes upon them, and set for the causes which impel them to affirm before all peoples their commitment to a Declaration of Interdependence.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that the inequalities and injustices which afflict so much of the human race are the product of history and society, not of God or nature; that people everywhere are entitled to the blessings of life and liberty, peace and security and the realization of their full potential; that they have an inescapable moral obligation to preserve those rights for posterity; and that to achieve these ends all the peoples and nations of the globe should acknowledge their interdependence and join together to dedicate their minds and their hearts to the solution of those problems which threaten their survival.

Let us then join together to vindicate and realize this great truth that mankind is one, and as one will nobly save or irreparably lose the heritage of thousands of years of civilization. And let us set forth the principles which should animate and inspire us if our civilization is to survive.

WE AFFIRM that the resources of the globe are finite, not infinite, that they are the heritage of no one nation or generation, but of all peoples, nations and of posterity, and that our deepest obligation is to transmit to that posterity a planet richer in material bounty, in beauty and in delight than we found it. Narrow notions of national sovereignty must not be permitted to curtail that obligation.

WE AFFIRM that the exploitation of the poor by the rich, and the weak by they strong violates our common humanity and denies to large segments of society the blessings of life, liberty and happiness. We recognize a moral obligation to strive for a more prudent and more equitable sharing of the resources of the earth in order to ameliorate poverty, hunger and disease.

WE AFFIRM that the resources of nature are sufficient to nourish and sustain all the present inhabitants of the globe and that there is an obligation on every society to distribute those resources equitably, along with a corollary obligation upon every society to assure that its population does not place upon Nature a burden heavier than it can bear.

WE AFFIRM our responsibility to help create conditions which will make for peace and security and to build more effective machinery for keeping peace among the nations. Because the insensate accumulation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons threaten the survival of Mankind we call for the immediate reduction and eventual elimination of these weapons under international supervision. We deplore the reliance on force to settle disputes between nation states and between rival groups within such states.

WE AFFIRM that the oceans are the common property of mankind whose dependence on their incomparable resources of nourishment and strength will, in the next century, become crucial for human survival, and that their exploitation should be so regulated as to serve the interests of the entire globe, and of future generations.

WE AFFIRM that pollution flows with the waters and flies with the winds, that it recognizes no boundary lines and penetrates all defenses, that it works irreparable damage alike to Nature and to Mankind ­ threatening with extinction the life of the seas, the flora and fauna of the earth, the health of the people in cities and the countryside alike ­ and that it can be adequately controlled only through international cooperation.

WE AFFIRM that the exploration and utilization of outer space is a matter equally important to all the nations of the globe and that no nation can be permitted to exploit of develop the potentialities of the planetary system exclusively for its own benefit.

WE AFFIRM that the economy of all nations is a seamless web, and that no one nation can any longer effectively maintain its processes of production and monetary systems without recognizing the necessity for collaborative regulation by international authorities.

WE AFFIRM that in a civilized society, the institutions of science and the arts are never at war and call upon all nations to exempt these institutions from the claims of the chauvinistic nationalism and to foster that great community of learning and creativity whose benign function it is to advance civilization and the health and happiness of mankind.

WE AFFIRM that a world without law is a world without order, and we call upon all nations to strengthen and to sustain the United Nations and its specialized agencies, and other institutions of world order, and to broaden the jurisdiction of the World Court, that these may preside over a reign of law that will not only end wars but end as well that mindless violence which terrorizes our society even in times of peace.

We can no longer afford to make little plans, allow ourselves to be the captives of events and forces over which we have no control, consult our fears rather than our hopes. We call upon the American people, on the threshold of the third century of their national existence, to display once again that boldness, enterprise, magnanimity and vision which enabled the founders of our Republic to bring forth a new nation and inaugurate a new era in human history. The fate of humanity hangs in the balance. Throughout the globe, hearts and hopes wait upon us. We summon all Mankind to unity to meet the great challenge.

Written by Henry Steele Commager


Tom Atlee's

Declaration of Interdependence

June 2003


We hold this truth to be self-evident:
We are All.
In This.

Therefore we live this truth
in our lives, communities and societies,
and thrive together into a long future
that we create together.

We are the world
that is awakening
to both the fact and the opportunity
of our interdependence --
fully, finally and beyond a shadow of doubt.

We are the world
who are making
ourselves a good world
that works for all people and all life.
Because we know the Greatest Secret
of All:

"We are All
in this