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A Global Petition Supporting the Basic Food & Water Needs to Sustain a Healthy Life.
This document calls upon all interreligious leaders and concerned persons to signal their deep concern that the basic food and water needs to sustain a healthy life are not being met for over one billion people today, and their support for taking steps to alleviate world hunger and thirst. In signing this document as an individual you are indicating your personal support of its theme and contents.
Preamble. Whereas religious and spiritual leaders have gathered at the 2009 Parliament of the World’s Religions to discuss the causes and consequences of global food and water crises.
Whereas addressing these persistent global problems will require unprecedented levels of dedication, commitment and sacrifice by governmental and social institutions over a very long term.
Whereas religious institutions are, perhaps uniquely, capable of sustained, multi-generational action.
Whereas the secular and the religious spheres, working cooperatively, can forge the moral leadership and commitments necessary to achieve workable solutions to the global food and water crises.
Petition. Therefore, this is a call to recognize:
1. the right of all people to the basic food and clean drinking water necessary to sustain health and life;
2. that past successes of the Green Revolution and other innovative agricultural technologies in meeting food demands are not adequate to meet the needs of an expected world population of 9 billion in 2050;
3. that the most vulnerable increasingly include the urban poor in megacities of the developing world, as well as the rural poor and farmers in marginal environmental areas. All may be increasingly threatened by unpredictable weather and ill-advised political-economic decision making that will cause natural resource endowments to deteriorate further;
4. that the unintended consequences of the promotion of commercial agriculture and free trade can undermine basic rights to essential food and water;
5. that more than 90% of the food grown in the world is consumed in the country of production, and is mainly produced on small farms. Hence, international trade is only part of the answer;
6. that global economic policy should distinguish in times of food shortage between those food commodities necessary to sustain health and life and non-essential food commodities;
7. that vast quantities of food can be saved by improved storage, transport, distribution and processing as well as thoughtful consumption practices (including every household’s choice to limit consumption of animal foods, which are costly ecologically and economically) and that every person can help solve the problem of food insecurity with changes at personal, local and commercial levels;
8. that good governance of each country includes ensuring its population’s basic food and water requirements are met and that this, at times, may require export barriers, but only to the extent needed to meet the basic rights to food and water; and
9. the logic of country food security policies that include a combination of a realistic level of food self-sufficiency, grain storage and reliable trade contracts.
Call to Action. For efforts to meet the basic rights to food and water to be successful, they must be anchored in human and community moral and ethical values, which are promoted by the world’s religions. Therefore, we call upon all religious and spiritual leaders of the world to cooperate in helping to find solutions by:
a. Adopting a more compassionate response to the world’s hungry;
b. Committing to support basic rights to food and water; and
c. Articulating the moral bases to motivate the long-term personal and societal changes needed to eradicate food and water insecurity.
In accordance with the established policy of the Parliament of the World’s Religions, signing this "Melbourne Petition" does not represent the Parliament as a whole or its constituent members, partners or supporting agencies.
Please put your name, city/place, date and email below
Solomon H Katz Philadelphia, USA Dec. 5, 2009 firstname.lastname@example.org
Joyce Anedrson Dec. 5, 2009
Antje Jackelin Stockholm, Sweden Dec. 5, 2009
Annie Keating Bundanoon, NSW, Australia Dec. 5, 2009
Shantr Godri? Dec. 5, 2009
Arthur Doyle? Dec. 5, 2009
Lors Steffen Colac 3250 Australia Dec. 5, 2009
Elizabeth Whiting Vanderbilt University Divinity School Dec. 5, 2009
Charline E. Manuel Dec. 5, 2009
Dolly Jehangir Dec. 5, 2009
A. Tel?? Dec. 4, 2009