World Future Council sets the case for a High Commissioner for Future Generations in order to safeguard the lives of tomorrow
Press release – for immediate release
London/NY, 1 July 2014 – The World Future Council has made a call for the UN to establish a High Commissioner for Future Generations to help facilitate a better understanding of how our actions today affect the lives of tomorrow. The appeal follows today’s UN convened discussion amongst governments and civil society on “Ideas and trends that can shape the lives of present and future generations” at the UN Headquarters in New York.
By only focusing on short term interests, the UN risks denying future generations a safe and healthy planet, warns the World Future Council. The proposed role of a High Commissioner has been broadly recognised by many governments and civil society as a solution to help ensure that UN decisions have lasting benefits to ensure inclusive, sustainable human development for current and future generations.
Today’s discussion follows last year’s release of a report by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon on future generations. The report, titled “Intergenerational solidarity and the needs of future generations”, unequivocally stresses the imperative for leadership: “The present generations need to understand why leaving the planet to our descendants in at least as good condition as we found it is the right or good thing to do.” The Secretary-General’s primary proposal for action is to establish a High Commissioner for Future Generations.
The World Future Council calls for Member States to act on the report and establish a new, dedicated office so that UN decisions have lasting benefits to ensure inclusive, sustainable human development for current and future generations.
Speaking on the panel, Catherine Pearce, Future Justice Director with the World Future Council, said:
“We are failing to embody the culture of long termism in our actions – and quite simply closing down the options for fulfilling lives now and in the future. To break this deadlock we need mechanisms expressing the long-term costs of our decisions. Ban Ki-moon understands this, now it is time for governments to heed the advice and act, starting with establishing a High Commissioner for Future Generations to work at the UN level.”
World Future Council
+49 4030 70 914-19 (Hamburg, Germany)