History of The Global Ethic

The historic document, Towards a Global Ethic (An Initial Declaration), was one of the most significant outcomes of the 1993 Parliament of the World’s Religions. More than 200 scholars, religious leaders, and theologians from the world’s religions were consulted during a two-year period. During the Parliament itself, the declaration was signed by over a hundred religious and spiritual leaders from all over the world. Since then, it has been signed by hundreds of more people.

The Global Ethic, as it is more commonly known, clearly states that certain moral commitments are not variously interpreted according to the cultures of each country. Fundamental to the religious faiths of all the world’s peoples is the requirement to treat all persons humanely, without exception. Also fundamental to the religious faiths is the Golden Rule, as well as a demand for peace and justice.

A major achievement of the Global Ethic is that agreement was found. In a world which sometimes seems drenched with the blood of inter-religious wars, identifying a certain number of moral principles shared by the world’s religions is perhaps even more significant than the details of the document itself. The Parliament invites everyone to use the Global Ethic as a source of guidance.

NOTE: This account is drawn from "Towards a Global Ethic," a talk given by Dr. Daniel Gómez-Ibáñez at the Fifth National Conference of Ethics in America held in Long Beach, California, March 10, 1994.