The Ethics and Spirituality Initiative in Connection with the United Nations Sustainable Development Process

  • Herman F Greene


After twenty-five years sustainable development is not a reality. Policies and practices focus on the short-term and economists regard sustainable development as extraneous to their core responsibilities. Science, economics and self- interest have not proven a sufficient ground for sustainable development. Ethics calling   for moral reasoning and courageous action, spirit offering transcendence, vision and sustenance, and value asking what is development for are needed. United Nations negotiations have shaped, are shaping, and will continue to shape the meaning and practice of sustainable development. A global citizens‘ movement to build the political will for change is needed. To catalyze sustainable development ethics, religion and spirituality must operate out of a historical context and narrative of a ―Great Transition. ‖ Ethics must enter at the ground level in determining how science, technology, and economics are to be conceived. Religion and spirit must begin with respect for the order of existence. A particular ―Ethics and Spirituality Initiative for Sustainable Development‖ is building a coalition of religious, spiritual and secular values based-organizations to bring ethics and spirituality into the sustainable development process.