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The Earth Charter has been launched officially at the Hague, the Netherlands. Through this charter, its organisers are hoping to achieve their goal of reaching an International Covenant on Environment and Development. This is expected to be to be adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 2002, the tenth anniversary of the Earth Summit held at Rio de Janeiro in 1992.
In fact, the charter was supposed to have been agreed upon at the Rio summit, but it got delayed by 10 years due to disagreements between the north and the south over some issues such as reproductive health. The International Covenant on Environment and Development, is a comprehensive manifesto guiding the conduct of various nations towards each other and towards the Earth.
Maurice Strong, a United Nations advisor, is hoping that just like the International Declaration on Human Rights, the charter will also get a positive response from the international community.
The charter is based on the understanding that socioeconomic and environmental problems are interrelated and can be solved effectively only with integrated global approach. Its four guiding principles are respect the Earth and life in all its diversity, care for the community life, build democratic societies that are just, participatory, sustainable and peaceful and secure the Earth's bount and beauty for the present and future generations.