"Towards a Global Ethic: An Initial Declaration," also known as The Global Ethic expressed a shared set of core values found in the teachings of the world's religious, spiritual, and ethical traditions. The Ethic, mostly drafted by Professor Hans Küng in consultation with several hundred leaders and scholars, became an official document of the Parliament of World's Religions in 1993. For the first time in history, representatives of all the world's major religions agreed that there are common ethical commitments foundational to each of their traditions. These include:
1. Human beings should be treated humanely.
2. The Golden Rule of Reciprocity.
3. A Commitment to Peace and Justice.
Since it was ratified, The Global Ethic has given rise to several organizations. These include the Global Ethic Foundation, the Institute for Global Ethics, and the United Religions Initiative. Themes advanced in the Global Ethic have inspired documents including the Universal Declaration of Human Responsibilities, the Earth Charter, and the Charter of Compassion.
On the 25th Anniversary of The Global Ethic, at a meeting of the Parliament in July, 2018, the fifth directive – a commitment to a culture of sustainability and care for the earth – was added after a broad, months-long consultative process and the approval of the Parliament of the World’s Religions’ Board of Trustees.
Today, the Global Ethic continues to supply the moral foundation for a better individual and a better world. The Parliament of the World’s Religions encourages all people to commit themselves to living according to the values and principles of this common global ethic. The Parliament also calls for people all over the world to signal their support by signing it.