MEP Sirpa Pietikäinen and former UN Special Rapporteur Shuaib Chalklen join influential association of international change-makers

London/Hamburg, 20 January 2015: The World Future Council welcomes two influential personalities in its midst: Sirpa Pietikäinen, Member of the European Parliament and former Finnish Minister for the Environment and Shuaib Chalklen have joined the Council to support its activities to safeguard the rights of future generations. Chalklen served as Special Rapporteur on Disability of the UN Commission for Social Development until December 31, 2014.


A Member of the European Parliament, Sirpa Pietkäinen has been advocating for a transparent European Union “with a human face” that guarantees human rights, equal opportunities and social inclusion. She is convinced that decisions-makers have to secure a healthy environment for generations to come. There are feasible solutions for the global environmental challenges of our time and Pietkäinen emphasizes that it just takes political will to implement them: “Ambitious actions, by setting the environmental policy at the core of the priorities of the common European external policies, are the only way that will allow us to reach international agreements.”

A prominent leader in his line of work, Shuaib Chalklen was appointed Special Rapporteur on Disability in 2009 and has provided invaluable contributions within both regional and global policy frameworks. Prior to his UN appointment, he worked for the rights of disabled people in his home country South Africa.  As founder of the Secretariat for the African Decade of Disabled Person, he strongly encouraged the implementation of a continental plan of action in Africa, securing disability rights across the continent.

Word Future Council founder Jakob von Uexkull says: “We are excited to welcome Mrs Pietikäinen and Mr Chalklen to the Council. Environmental issues and the rights of disabled people are crucial to our mission. With our new member’s expertise and devotion, we will continue to spread best policy solutions, to secure a just society for our future generations.”

In November 2014, Dr. Auma Obama was appointed WFC Councillor. The older sister of US-President Barack Obama will particularly support the foundation’s activities to ensure women’s and children’s rights in Africa and everywhere in the world. Further Council members include former British MP and entrepreneur Tony Colman, Canadian civil rights activist and water expert Maude Barlow, Maori elder Pauline Tangiora and Judge C. Weeramantry, Former Vice President of the International Court of Justice. A full overview over the achievements of all the WFC’s 54 renowned Councillors and Honorary Councillors can be found here.

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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.