Towards a Global Ethic: An Initial Declaration, also known as the Global Ethic, expresses the core principles and values shared by the world's religious, spiritual, and cultural traditions. The Global Ethic, mostly drafted by Swiss theologian Hans Küng, reflects his and the Parliament of the World's Religions' consultations with several hundred religious leaders and scholars. It became an official declaration of the Parliament in 1993. Shared with the wider public during the international convening organized by the Parliament that year, thousands of people—religious or not—showed their support by acclamation. For the first time in history, many people from the world's traditions and regions agreed that they hold several moral directives in common based on these foundational tenets:
• Human beings should be treated humanely
• The Golden Rule of reciprocity
The Global Ethic's moral directives, expressed in a strictly non-religious way, can be affirmed by all persons with ethical convictions, whether they are people of faith or not. Intended from the start to be a living document, the Global Ethic was expanded in 2018.
While this ethic provides no direct solution for the problems of the world, it does supply the moral foundation for a better individual and global order.
Since 1993, 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 such as the Earth Charter, the Charter of Compassion, a Charter of Forgiveness, A Common Word Between Us and You, and campaigns have been launched to promote the Golden Rule.