International Conference: Making Decisions for a better tomorrow

Cardiff, April 27, 2015 – A global community of policy-makers and institutions serving to safeguard the needs of future generations are meeting in Cardiff, Wales for a two-day conference on how  to implement a sustainability agenda, for now, and the future. The conference comes at a time when sustainable development goals are being agreed for the first time, and as ground-breaking legislation to safeguard the interests of future generations becomes law in Wales. Discussions will focus on how to reorient decision-making processes towards the long term, while showcasing some of the successes around the world where future generations are considered alongside the needs of the present.

Keynote speakers include Nikhil Seth, Director of the Division for Sustainable Development at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs; Julie Gelfand, Canadian Commissioner of Environment and Sustainable Development; and Dr Maryam Niamir-Fuller, Special Advisor to the Executive Director on Post-2015 and the Sustainable Development Goals with the UN Environment Programme.

The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 is the first legislation of its kind, securing in law a set of well-being goals for Wales and strengthening public service governance arrangements – ensuring that present needs are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own.

The Welsh Minister for Natural Resources Carl Sargeant said:
“In a year where the 70th UN General Assembly will culminate in the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals with targets for all countries up until 2030, this conference is about sharing best practice from countries and institutions around the world. As the global community is creating a shared vision for the World We Want, we are securing, in law, actions towards securing the Wales We Want.”

Peter Davies, Wales’ Commissioner for Sustainable Futures, adds: “the Well-being of Future Generations Act ensures that the people are involved in shaping the Wales they live in. Over the last year we led a national conversation on ‘The Wales we Want’, speaking to around 7,000 people across the country. Their views have fed into this Act”.

Commissioners and representatives of leading institutions around the world are keen to share and learn from such success stories. This landmark conference will provide the opportunity to share some insights into how institutions can work for the long term. ”The present has much more power over the future than ever in history. In times like these, we must rethink the whole underlying decision-making processes”, says Jaakko Kuosmanen of the Oxford Martin School.

“We need to overcome the short termism of election cycles and policy frameworks. Decisions this year can put us on the path for a sustainable world for today and tomorrow. Bringing together policymakers and civil actors at this conference is an important step in the right direction”, says Catherine Pearce, Future Justice Director with the World Future Council.

The conference is co-organised by the Office of the Commissioner for Sustainable Futures, the World Future Council, Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales, the Welsh Government and the Oxford Martin Programme on Human Rights for Future Generations.

Media Contacts

World Future Council
Alexandra Schiffmann
+49 4030 70 914-19 (Hamburg, Germany)

Welsh Government
Deb Harding
+44 29 2082 5250

The World Future Council

The World Future Council brings the interests of future generations to the centre of policy-making. Its up to 50 eminent members from around the globe have already successfully promoted change. The Council addresses challenges to our common future and provides decision makers with effective policy solutions. In close cooperation with civil society actors, parliamentarians, governments, business and international organizations the World Future Council identifies “best policies” around the globe. The World Future Council is registered as a charitable foundation in Hamburg, Germany.

Oxford Martin Programme on Human Rights for Future Generations
The programme is designing a new framework for human rights to deal with the unprecedented and unpredictable factors affecting the welfare of future generations. The approach goes beyond the status quo to incorporate a systematic analysis of policies in which justice and human rights demand certain allocations of resources, especially considering demographic and geographical change in global populations. The project crosses boundaries, not just disciplinary but also among different stakeholders, by facilitating a dialogue between academics and those who are more practically and politically engaged.

Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales
Cynnal Cymru – Sustain Wales began life in 2003 as the Sustainable Development Forum for Wales. In 2014 they became a registered charity: promoting sustainable development for the benefit of the public. Their functions include providing secretariat support to the Commissioner for Sustainable Futures; supporting the Climate Change Commission Wales; and managing Wales’ Sustainable Development Charter.

Commissioner for Sustainable Futures – Peter Davies
Peter Davies (formerly the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC) Wales Commissioner) began his new role of Commissioner for Sustainable Futures on 1 April 2011. The Commissioner for Sustainable Futures provides advice to the Welsh Government and leadership for sustainable development across Wales and, in doing so, is helping the Welsh Government and others give the people of Wales a better quality of life both now and in the long term.