Sustainability Manifesto

We, the people of AEGEE, meeting at the Autumn Agora Salerno 2019, hereby declare:

We ACKNOWLEDGE that we have a moral and social responsibility to make Europe and the world a better place for current and future generations.

We UNDERSTAND that Sustainable Development aims to meet the needs of present generations without jeopardising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

We face challenges in all three pillars of Sustainable Development:

  • Environmental – the ongoing pollution of our home, habitat destruction for millions of species, and the refusal to acknowledge planetary boundaries, leading to both a loss of biodiversity and to the climate emergency
  • Social – barriers to inclusion, growing inequalities, the normalisation of  hate speech, weakened democratic institutions, lack of solidarity and of civic education
  • Economic – a model that creates great disparities in society and stimulates overconsumption by focusing on short-term economic growth at the expense of society and the environment

The United Nations Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development was signed by all 193 member states. This agenda includes the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): a universal call to action to protect the planet, end poverty and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. The SDGs are all interconnected and rely on one another to achieve an equilibrium of environmental, social and economic sustainability. We need a multilateral approach from all stakeholders on all fronts to achieve that balance.

We COMMIT to incorporating the three pillars of sustainability into everything we do.

We empower the youth of Europe to work towards sustainable development and achieving the SDGs through non-formal education, awareness-raising and our collective actions. We will measure our contributions to the SDGs and publish them to inspire others to get active in the fields of sustainable development and movements for climate and environmental justice.

We need more than just individual actions.

We COMMIT to demanding from every politician and decision-maker the systemic change that is necessary in order to mitigate and adapt to the climate crisis, move towards a fair and equal society and a suitable economic model for the challenges of our generation and the ones to come.

We CALL upon every politician and decision-maker to acknowledge their moral and social responsibility to make the world a better place for current and future generations. We urge them to do this by leading the necessary systemic change to the current paradigm:

First and foremost, we call upon decision-makers in Europe and around the world to immediately undertake a multilateral approach to the global environmental crisis, to declare a state of climate emergency and to communicate the urgency for change. We call on them to acknowledge the intrinsic value of nature and to mobilise all of humanity’s resources to maintain Earth as a habitat, both for humanity and for the other species we share it with.

Secondly, we call upon decision-makers in Europe and around the world to tackle the growing inequalities in society. We demand universal healthcare and education, fair payment and social benefits for all. We must end exploitation and protect the dignity of the individual. We call for transparent and democratic societies that can provide their citizens with a fulfilling and healthy life in a safe environment.

Thirdly, we call upon decision-makers in Europe and around the world to rethink our economic models and find alternatives in which economic prosperity and environmental protection go hand in hand, and success isn’t just measured by GDP growth. Consumerism and endless growth at the expense of the environment and the people should no longer be the norm. We urge them to transition to a model that doesn’t intensify inequalities but instead fosters prosperity for all.

We must involve everyone in the process: individuals, civil society, governments and businesses. It’s only by educating all stakeholders about these issues, increasing participation and creating citizens’ assemblies, that we can mobilise the ethical leadership we need to bring about the systemic change that Europe and the world are calling for.


The people of AEGEE at the Autumn Agora Salerno on 26th October 2019

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