Equity Treaty


We, the Undersigned, call for deep systemic changes required to substantially end inequalities, eradicate poverty, prioritize human well-being, protect the right to sustainable development for all, achieve environmental justice, and bring about peace between peoples…




Join us!  Scroll down to read a summary of the Equity Treaty and to sign.  Click here  to see full text in English: EQUITY-TREATY-June-2012.pdf  All those who sign the Equity Treaty will have the opportunity to join an Action Group of the Equity Action Collaborative, to help achieve the commitments spelled out in the Equity Treaty. We will put together global collaborations with groups and individuals from around the world working to do their part to make the transition towards greater social, economic and political equality (read more).


History of Equity Treaty

The Equity Treaty is the first global statement negotiated by civil society groups on our understanding of what inequality is, its causes and impacts, the solutions, and our principles and plans for action. In early 2012 IfE convened a 14-member global Equity Treaty Circle to coordinate the negotiation of an Equity Treaty by civil society groups and individuals around the world. Reaching out using a number of email lists, we took input from around the world before the first draft and after the zero draft. We then discussed and negotiated, and made changes based on the input we received.

The Equity Treaty and its Action Plan, one of several People’s Sustainability Treaties, was finalized in June of 2012 and presented at official side events of the Rio+20 Earth Summit, and also at the parallel People’s Summit in Rio, June 2012. The Equity Treaty and these events helped make inequality a big focus in the Rio+20 Earth Summit outcome document (read more).

The process of developing the Equity Treaty served to facilitate a broad-based civil society dialogue on how the equity dimension should be addressed in any agreements to limit environmental change and promote social and environmental sustainability around the world. It also set in motion the collaborative development of an Equity Action Plan for moving towards the goals laid out in the Equity Treaty (read more).


See formal summaries in 11 languages (English is below)
العربية      ARABIC Summary
Bahasa Indonesia     INDONESIAN Summary
česky     CZECH Summary
Deutsch     GERMAN Summary
Español     SPANISH Summary
فارسی      FARSI Summary
עברית     HEBREW Summary
Italiano     ITALIAN Summary
中文(简体)    MANDARIN Summary
Português     PORTUGUESE Summary
русский     RUSSIAN Summary


Summary of Equity Treaty

We, the Undersigned, call for deep systemic changes required to substantially end inequalities, eradicate poverty, prioritize human well-being, protect the right to sustainable development for all, achieve environmental justice, and bring about peace between peoples. We decry the economic and political systems that perpetuate these blights on humanity, and condemn international negotiations and institutions which delay the move towards these necessary systemic changes. Reducing inequality is critical to the needed transformation to sustainability, as inequality erodes trust and undermines cooperative solutions to urgent social, economic, environmental and political problems.

The way forward cannot be based on piecemeal reforms and after-the-fact transfers, but must instead tackle the fundamental, underlying mechanisms and policies which inform, generate and protect growing inequality. Economic systems which inherently generate ever-larger concentration of wealth must be replaced by institutions and mechanisms which incorporate democratic and community-based decision-making and support shared prosperity. We must also develop social programs and campaigns to confront and overturn inequalities in social status and dehumanizing perceptions of different categories of humanity, including differences in gender, race, ethnicity, religion, health, ability, and other fundamental human attributes. Finally, organized civil society itself, along with educational, religious, civic, cultural and business institutions, must undertake a review of their own internal policies and practices to determine how they impact others and perpetuate inequalities, and must introduce changes to empower the voices and full participation of those who have been excluded or marginalized.

The principles we articulate include both moral and pragmatic values which relate to our common humanity,  including equity as fundamental human right, equity as essential to well-being, equity as the foundation of sustainable societies, equitable rights to sustainable development for all, and equity through systemic change which alters underlying social, economic and political structures and mechanisms.

The commitments we call for, and commit to, address changes needed to foster true equity, including democratizing our economies, ensuring that every individual has basic human needs met—physical, intellectual and social—and requiring international economic bodies to foster equitable and democratic sustainable development. We also call for developing global financial mechanisms that equitably share the burdens of moving towards sustainability, enforcing the rights of all peoples to political and economic self-determination, eliminating sovereign debt incurred to facilitate financial speculation, unnecessary consumption or consolidation of power by elites, de-linking elections and political decision-making from money, developing effective mechanisms to negotiate access to scarce localized resources, ensuring equity in land ownership and food production through land redistribution, enacting legal protections for all groups suffering discrimination, democratizing media and communications for public benefit, ensuring public access to education, research, and scientific publication, and addressing social inequalities with social programs designed to educate about and de-stigmatize all groups and forbid behaviors and speech that promote discrimination and hate.

The preliminary action plan outlined in the Annex will be developed in upcoming months by the organizations signing on to the Equity Treaty. Action items include addressing internal inequities within civil society groups, withdrawing support for business and cultural practices which perpetuate discrimination and inequality, campaigning to overturn social inequalities, and forming alliances to promote the various commitments outlined above.

Click here to see full text in English: EQUITY-TREATY-June-2012.pdf  

Scroll down to sign.



Anthony Akpan  – Pan African Vision for the Environment

Ara Beittoei  (Lund University*)

Chuck Collins  (Institute for Policy Studies*)

Collins Magalasi   – African Forum & Network on Debt and Development

Daniel Mathews (Boston College*)

Deborah S. Rogers   – Initiative for Equality

Gaston Meskens (Centre for Ethics and Value Inquiry, University of Ghent*)

Malcolm Damon   – Economic Justice Network

Nazmul Huq   – Action Research for Community Adaptation in Bangladesh

Noha el Shoky   – Popular Campaign to Drop Egypt’s Debt

Patricia Paixão   – Iniciativa ProAlt

Paul Raskin  (Tellus Institute*)

Roberto Guimarães  – DesiguALdades.net

Tirso Gonzales (Indigenous Studies Program Coordinator, University British Columbia-Okanagan*)

Tom Athanasiou   – EcoEquity

Uchita de Zoysa   – Centre for Environment and Development

* for purposes of identification only


SIGN THE EQUITY TREATY NOW!   Please sign using your own individual name. Include your organization’s name ONLY if the group has decided to endorse the Equity Treaty and participate in developing and implementing the Action Plan.

List of Existing Petition:

Total Records Found: 282, showing 15 per page
Full NameCountry
James Watson United States
Tantaswa Ntswam South Africa
Marion Dyer United States
Chris Tilly United States
Tirso Gonzales Peru
Tom Athanasiou United States
Tom Aneni Nigeria
Tom Burns United States, Sweden
Uchita de Zoysa Sri Lanka
Vera Krikavova Czech Republic
Kristin Vala Ragnarsdottir Iceland
Ashwani Vasishth United States
vincenzo de angelis Italy
Joseph Waly Ndiaye Senegal

Next steps:

(1) Please circulate the link to this page in your networks to call for additional signatures.

(2) Help develop and implement the Action Plan. Read more…

We look forward to working together with you!