Charter for a nonviolent world

November, 2007

Value Based Learning

Listed below are the 12 principles of the Charter for a Nonviolent World, excerpted from a preliminary draft that grew out of the annual World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates sponsored by the Republic of Italy (Rome) and the Gorbachev Foundation. 

Scroll down to the end of the list for questions that will help you determine whether the 12 principles recognize the Earth Charter's ethical principles.

 Convinced that adherence to the principles of nonviolence will usher in a more peaceful, civilized world order in which more effective and fair governance, respectful of human dignity and the sacredness of life itself may become a reality, the authors of the document invite members of the global community to live by the following 12 principles:

In an interdependent world, the prevention and cessation of armed conflict between and within States requires the collective action of the international community, which in turn requires strengthening the reforms of the UN system as well as regional cooperative organizations in order to empower it and to advance a system of global security.

To achieve a world without violence, States must abide by the rule of law and honor their legal agreements.

It is essential to eliminate nuclear and other immoral weapons of mass destruction through legal prohibitions which must be universal, verifiable and enforceable. States possessing such weapons are morally bound to ensure no such weapons of mass murder will ever be used. There is a universal obligation of all states to conclude negotiations toward the elimination of nuclear weapons.

To reduce violence in society, the production and sale of small arms and light weapons should be reduced and strictly controlled at international, state and local levels. In addition there should be full and universal enforcement of international disarmament agreements and support for new efforts aimed at the eradication of the impact of victim-activated and indiscriminate weapons.

We strongly condemn terrorism because violence begets violence. The struggle against terrorism cannot, however, justify violation of human rights, international humanitarian law, civilized norms, and democracy.

Ending domestic and family violence requires unconditional respect for the equality, freedom, dignity, and rights of women, men and children by all individuals, institutions of the state, religion and civil society. Such protections must be embodied in laws and conventions at local and international levels.

Every individual and state shares responsibility to prevent violence against children and youth, our common future and most precious gift, and to advance educational opportunities, access to primary health care, personal safety, social protection, and an enabling environment that reinforces nonviolence as a way of life rather than a Utopian dream. Peace education should be part of the school curriculum.

Preventing conflicts arising from the depletion of natural resources, in particular sources of energy and water, requires States to affirmatively and, through creation of legal mechanisms and standards, provide for the protection of the environment and the adjustment of their consumption on the basis of resource availability and real human needs.

We call on the international community and states to consider ways and means of promoting the meaningful accommodation of ethnic, cultural and religious diversity in multi-community national states. A golden rule of a non-violent world: Treat others as you wish to be treated.

The principal political tools, for bringing into being a non-violent world are dialogue, negotiation, compromise, conducted on the basis of balance between the interests of the parties involved, but also taking into consideration concerns relating to the entirety of humanity.

All states must devote sufficient resources to address the integrity in the distribution of economic resources, and resolve gross inequities which create a fertile ground for violence.

Civil society in all its articulations must be recognized as essential to building a non-violent world. Conditions should be created to enable and encourage civil society participation in political processes at the global and local level – this includes ensuring the empowerment and protection of human rights defenders, peace and environmental activists whose activities often place them at risk. November 19, 2006

 A value-based ethical framework for evaluating social and ecological events, conditions and practices  Anita L. Wenden

Do the charter’s nonviolence principles recognize the Earth Charter values listed below?

Ecological sustainability
• preserving and protecting Earth’s resources & her life-supporting system and various forms of natural life
• remediating the ill effects of human actions on these resources and life support systems


• sources of violence
• how to avoid potential outbreaks of conflict
• nonviolent means of dealing with conflict

Social Justice
• the equitable distribution of power and wealth
• equal access by all to what human rights allow
• the violation of human rights

Intergenerational Equity
• the effect of human activities that harm Earth systems on the future well-being of the planet, people, and social stability and harmony in the future

Participatory Decision-making
• the participation of civil society in decisions on issues that affect their quality of life
Compare the principles for a nonviolent world with the Earth Charter’s ethical principles. Which set of principles should your leaders use to develop policies to deal with the problems in your community? your country? Share your views with a friend or write to