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The Amsterdam Declaration, the outcome of the first congress of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU, now Humanists International), was a collaborative statement of ‘the fundamentals of modern, ethical humanism’. The formation of the IHEU was spearheaded by the humanist pioneer H.J. Blackham, with the close cooperation of his counterparts in Holland, India, America, and Austria. Seeking to revive the international humanist movement following a disappointing meeting of the World Union of Freethinkers in 1946, Blackham sought to strengthen relationships between humanist organisations the world over, and to formulate – as the Declaration did – a shared statement of humanist ideals. The statement affirmed the democratic, scientific, creative, ethical, and liberating principles underpinning humanism: ‘a way of life for everyone everywhere’.

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