Nine million people have already signed the petition for a Bill of Rights for Future Generations. Launched by Captain Cousteau in the early 1990’s, this campaign’s objective is that a formal resolution inscribe the first Article of this Bill of Rights in international law: ” Future generations have a right to an uncontaminated and undamaged Earth and to its enjoyment as the ground of human history, of culture, and of the social bonds that make each generation and individual a member of one human family.
The Bill of Rights for Future Generations was born of a document drawn up by Captain Cousteau after years of exploring the planet and meeting with the people who govern it. The world’s leaders, generally motivated by good intentions, are often forced to make short-term decisions in order to satisfy immediate needs or to gain immediate profits. Rare are those who envision the long-term consequences of their actions. It is future generations who will pay the costs of this state of affairs.
In 1993, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) joined the project as a partner and, in 1997, a text, reworked by international jurists, was approved by its General Conference.
The Secretary General of the United Nations, Nobel Prize-winner Kofi Annan, received President Francine Cousteau on October 17, 2001. Five children symbolizing the five continents read out the Articles of the Bill of Rights for Future Generations and Pierre Chastan, a French volunteer, delivered the latest 6,000 signatures he had collected himself alone.