Mérida Declaration

July 7, 1989, Mérida, Yucatan, Mexico

We, the undersigned participants in the Second International Conference on Ethics and Development, make the following declaration upon finishing our deliberations. In the face of the profound inadequacies of modernization development strategies, WE PROPOSE:

1. To transform the search for and study of an alternative for social transformation, supported by at least the following ethical principles:

The absolute respect for the dignity of the human person, regardless of gender, ethnic group, social class, religion, age or nationality.
The necessity of peace based on a practice of justice that gives to the great majorities access to goods and eliminates the conditions of their misery.
The affirmation of freedom, understood as self-determination, self-management, and participation of peoples in local, national and international decision processes.
The recognition of a new relation of human beings with nature, facilitating responsible use, respectful of biological cycles and the equilibrium of ecosystems–especially those of tropical forests–and in solidarity with future generations.
The stimulus to construct a rationality suited to exploited peoples, one that accords with their cultural traditions, their thought, their interests, and their needs and that involves a new valuing of self-esteem based on their being subjects rather than objects of development.

2. To strengthen IDEA’s efforts to maintain an international, intercultural, and interdisciplinary dialogue that brings together intellectuals, grassroots organizations, and decision-making groups with the purpose of constructing an ethic applicable to different “development” alternatives.