The Brexit Chaos

Last weekend the CEO of Nasdaq complained in the Wall Street Journal about ‘The Overblown Brexit Market Panic’. Repeating the absurdity that the vote has created an “independent Britain”, as if the EU is a colonial power, he assured readers that “over the next two years, the timeline for EU withdrawal, Britain has an opportunity to become a trading magnet”.

It is rare to find so many errors and misunderstandings in such a short space. First, there is no panic because there has been no Brexit, only a non-binding referendum. This generated a small pro-Leave majority, which – according to numerous polls since – would not be repeated today.

Britain is a representative democracy with a sovereign parliament which chose to make this referendum non-binding. The Prime Minister who promised to implement it has since resigned. While the House of Commons could find strong reasons to ignore the vote, they will not (yet) dare to do so because of the fanaticism of the Brexiteers. Thus, Dominic Lawson, a columnist in the ‘Sunday Times’ has claimed (July 3rd), that ignoring the vote would cause such anger that “we could see tanks on the streets”.

So what is the most likely outcome? Will the British Parliament pass Brexit legislation, which most of its members do not believe in? The current House of Commons has a large pro-EU majority and it is unlikely that this will change after the next election.

So for now, it is likely that the process of the UK leaving the EU will go ahead, despite the growing opposition. Over 1000 lawyers have called for an independent body to examine the consequences, followed by a parliamentary vote.

Before the referendum, David Cameron said that the UK would trigger the EU exit clause (Article 50) quickly after a Brexit vote. Today this date is receding ever further into the future, with government ministers not wanting it triggered until the end of the year or even next year. Why? Because, having no Brexit plan, they have only now realized the complexities of unravelling 40 years of EU membership. As the Article 50 timetable stipulates that the UK will be outside the EU two years after triggering it, they are panicking that this will leave them without an alternative arrangement and at the mercy of their ex-partners. (Unanimity would be required to extend this two-year period). Experts have calculated that concluding negotiations and passing the required legislation may take seven years. The Austrian Minister of Finance experts Britain to still be an EU member in five years’ time…

As for negotiating new trade agreements, this may take even longer. For decades such agreements have been concluded at the EU level and the UK no longer has the required expertise. Last week, the media reported that New Zealand had offered to help out by lending London some trade negotiators…

While there is yet no panic, the Brexit insecurity is growing: “Sterling falls despite reassurance”, “Banks promise to boost lending to stop Britain falling into recession” (both headlines in the “Daily Telegraph”, July, 6th), and “Brexit vote may be the undoing of Italian Banks” (“City am”, July 6th). One of this paper’s columnists recommends that the UK adopts the cold war UN strategy of Stalin’s Foreign Minister Molotov and turns up at the EU Council of Ministers to “veto every proposal on any subject whatsoever, regardless of its merit”, until the EU agrees to Brexit negotiations before the UK has triggered the Article 50 exit clause.

One can only imagine the animosity and harm this will cause. Already, xenophobic and racist incidents have surged in the UK since the referendum. The vote has also created new inter-generational conflicts. Most young Britons voted to remain in the EU and many are furious with parents and grand-parents for depriving them of their freedom to live and work in other European countries.

So, as a result of holding this referendum at a time of strong anti-government feelings, and resentment against the privileged establishment after years of austerity, and promising to implement a non-binding vote come what may, the UK and EU now face many years of turmoil and disruption. At a time when many urgent issues — climate change, economic instability, terrorism, the refugee crisis, a resurgent Russia etc. — require the attention of European decision-makers, they will be busy unravelling the details of the UK’s EU membership and implementing alternatives. The simplest, guaranteeing continued full UK access to the EU market, would involve joining Norway and Iceland in the European Economic Area (EEA). Yet the UK will soon find that this involves accepting most EU laws and obligations — including free movement – but with no ability to influence them, and at equivalent financial costs for EU membership. The UK may believe it can get a special deal but this is very unlikely as the other members – who would all need to approve the outcome — would not want to create precedents.

So what is the most likely outcome? Will the British Parliament pass Brexit legislation, which most of its members do not believe in? The current House of Commons has a large pro-EU majority and it is unlikely that this will change after the next election.

The more time elapses since the Brexit vote, the more likely it is that MPs will assert their primary duty to act in the best interests of their country. This will particularly be the case if Scotland moves towards independence and the peace in Northern Ireland is threatened by Brexit, which will necessitate border controls between N. Ireland and the Republic.

In such a case it would be very surprising if MPs did not prioritize the peace and integrity of the UK above a non-binding vote taken years ago.

So, while it is likely that Article 50 will be triggered to appease the Brexit fanatics, it is even more likely that it will later be rescinded, i.e. that the UK withdraws its application to leave in a few years time. International treaty law allows this. Of course, this would require reversing the complex legislative process, wasting more years and risking more vetos along the way. David Cameron’s foolishness and arrogance will cost his country and Europe dear.

So what about immigration? Of course problems arise when health and educational facilities face years of under-funding due to austerity policies. But there can be little doubt that media anti-immigrant propaganda played a greater role in the referendum than actual immigration. I live in London which often really feels overcrowded with foreigners. But London voted to remain. On the other hand, areas of Britain which seem “unchanged since the 1950s” (to quote a retired lawyer living in Cheshire) voted to leave, despite very few immigrants. Voters there read the “Sun”, “Daily Mail” or “Daily Telegraph”, which worked hard to convince them that this was their last chance to stop the mass invasion of dreaded foreigners reaching their village…

Climate change – the greatest threat to human rights in the 21st century

The Future Justice team attended a talk concerning the relationship between climate change and human rights, hosted by the Global Governance Institute, UNICEF UK and UCL Grand Challenges, with the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment, Prof. John Knox.

Mike Penrose, Executive Director of UNICEF UK, introduced the topic at hand by urging us all to place human beings at the core of this debate. Climate impacts causing the displacement of several tens of millions of people in places such as Bangladesh and food security crises in East Africa bringing a rise in child mortality, point to the key framing of the issue. It becomes even more pressing when we consider that it’s the young/future generations and the ones most vulnerable amongst the current generations who will bear the consequences of climate change first and hardest.

Climate impacts causing the displacement of several tens of millions of people in places such as Bangladesh and food security crises in East Africa bringing a rise in child mortality, point to the key framing of the issue.

With COP21, Penrose continued, we have an opportunity to stem this crisis – a sentiment later reiterated by Prof. Knox. Given that the governments have agreed to limit climate change to 2 degrees, or even 1.5, despite that still being a potentially catastrophic rise in temperature, it might just be within the realms of manageable. To go forwards with this daunting and ambitious objective Mike Penrose urged that we all need to move from words to actions.

Most importantly there needs to be early and heavy investment in mitigation measures that will reduce the climate impact on children. To achieve this we need to tackle the issue through a rights based approach, in order for human beings and children to be at the centre of the debate: ‘Their voice needs to be listened to because they will inherit this planet.’

The role of Prof. Knox as UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment is to study this specific area of law and clarify how human rights law applies to environmental protection. Prof Knox’s work encompasses thereby also the study of human rights obligations relating to the enjoyment of a safe, clean and healthy environment.


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It turns out that The Universal Declaration of Human Rights doesn’t cover the environment because human rights laws developed before our understanding of the environment. Thus work to combine the two is increasingly vital. Nowadays, already more than 90 national constitutions include a right to healthy environment, this includes but isn’t limited to tribunals that have effectively ‘greened’ existing human rights.

Prof. Knox shared some of his conclusions drawn from his extensive research:

  1. Environmental harm interferes with the full enjoyment of human rights
  2. Human rights laws set out procedural rules for environmental policy making
  3. Human rights law sets minimum substantive standards
  4. Groups vulnerable to environmental harm are owed heightened duties

A clear benefit derived from a human rights perspective to climate change is a clarified view as to what is at stake: whether all of us – especially the most vulnerable – will be able to live with dignity, equality and freedom and furthermore, it provides a solid guidance for robust and effective climate policies, by virtue of keeping humans at the core of this debate.

What we need to do now is to go further with the reframing of climate change as a threat to human rights; the fact that we see images of polar bears and post apocalyptic Mad-Max-Style environments, John Knox explained, is a sign that climate change and the real impact of it is still too far removed from us as human beings.

“Climate change is the greatest threat to human rights in the twenty first century.”  Mary Robinson

The recent Paris agreement therefore has to be lauded in that this is the first time that such an agreement refers to human rights in relation to climate change. The narrative on climate change is broadening out to the human threat faced, especially as basic human rights are already being violated due to climate change, with the risks of greater and more extensive corrosion of rights becoming more apparent. A great deal needs to be done to bring Paris into action, to see a fast reduction in emissions.

The talk concluded by highlighting a new way, paved in lawsuits, to move beyond this rhetoric such as Asghar Leghari v Federation of Pakistan 2015, Urgenda Foundation v The State of the Netherlands 2015 and most recently a case where the young generation decided to fight for their right to a healthy environment : the Children’s Trust Lawsuit v The United States of America ( Kelsey Cascade Rose Juliana; et al., v. The United States of America).

Recognising and Implementing the Rights of Future Generations – Opportunities for Sri Lanka

The World Future Council is hosting an event in Sri Lanka to consider the concept of intergenerational equity, bringing together some key figures and authorities on this concept and its basis in international law. Leading experts will turn to the historic opportunity presented in the revision of Sri Lanka’s national constitution as a ‘once in a generation’ moment in recognising legal responsibilities to future generations. Discussions will include the challenges to implement the global sustainable development goals in Sri Lanka, and the opportunities it presents to introduce a long-term perspective. Panellists will also consider how the Government of Sri Lanka can offer leadership through supporting the proposal for a UN body for future generations.

High level speakers include:
  • Sri Lankaabhimaneeya Judge C.G. Weeramantry – former Vice President, ICJ;
  • Prof Mohan Munasinghe – Founder Chairman of MIND, Vice Chair of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, (IPCC-AR4), Distinguished Guest Professor, Peking University, China, and Honorary Senior Advisor to the Government of Sri Lanka;
  • Dr Uchita De Zoysa – Sustainable Development Advisor to the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Wildlife
  • Ravi Fernando – Chairman, Global Strategic Corporate Sustainability Pvt.Ltd., Operations Director, Malaysia Blue Ocean Strategy Group.


3:00 pm Welcome


This session will consider how looking to future generations will bring rich rewards today and tomorrow. Speakers will introduce how the principle of intergenerational equity can be reflected in present day decision making and legal processes while also drawing upon some of the leading experience elsewhere.

Chair: Dr Maneesha Wansinghe-Pasqual, Head, Department of International Relations, University of Colombo


Catherine Pearce, Director, Future Justice Commission, World Future Council

Professor Mohan Munasinghe, Founder Chairman of MIND, Vice Chair, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, (IPCC-AR4) and Honorary Senior Advisor to the Government of Sri Lanka

Sri Lankaabimaneeya Judge C.G. Weeramantry, Former, Vice-President, International Court of Justice, World Future Council Honorary Councillor (Video Message)

World Future Council Ambassador Kehkashan Basu (Video Message)

4:05 – 4:15 pm Q & A

4:15 – 4:35 pm, Networking Break/Refreshments


This session will look to the unprecedented and historic opportunity in Sri Lanka to strengthen the new Constitution, reflecting a country ready to safeguard its future. Discussions will include the challenges to implement the global sustainable development goals in Sri Lanka, and the opportunities it presents to introduce a long-term perspective. Speakers will also consider the leadership and initiative that Sri Lanka can display on this issue at the international level.

Chair: Catherine Pearce, Director, Future Justice Commission, World Future Council


Uchita De Zoysa, Sustainable Development Advisor to the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Wildlife & Chairman of Global Sustainability Solutions

Dr Ravi Fernando, Chairman, Global Strategic Corporate Sustainability Pvt. Ltd., Operations Director, Malaysia Blue Ocean Strategy Group

Luwie Ganeshathasan, Attorney at Law

Naushalya Rajapakse, Sri Lankan Youth Delegate to the UN

5:35 – 5:50pm  Q & A

5:50 – 5:55pm Vote of Thanks – Neshan Gunasekera, Attorney at Law

Photograph “Schoolgirls, Sri Lanka” by Milei.vencelCC BY-SA 3.0

Why do we need a UN High Commissioner for Future Generations?

This hearing built upon the outcomes of an expert level workshop on the issue held in the European Parliament in April 2015. It aimed to provide an overview of existing practices at UN, EU and MS levels as well as to identify options for better integrating the rights of future generations.

How can Europe better consider future needs?

What steps can be taken in Europe, to facilitate the shift from short-termism in policy making towards long-term decision making? What is the way forward?

Summary and main outcomes of the event organised by the World Future Council and MEP Benedek Jávor (Greens/EFA), cohosted with Sirpa Pietikäinen (EPP) and Jo Leinen (S&D) 

Monday 28 September 2015
The hearing built upon the outcomes of an expert level workshop on the issue held in the European Parliament in April 2015 with the participation of the Cabinets of Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries and Tibor Navracsics, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport.

It aimed to provide an overview of existing practices at UN, EU and MS levels as well as to identify options for better integrating the rights of future generations, better  implementing intergenerational equity and bringing longterm thinking into EU policymaking with contributions from János Pásztor, UN Assistant Secretary General & Special Envoy on Climate Change, Karmenu Vella, Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karl Falkenberg, European Policy Strategy Centre as well as highlevel representatives of particular Member States, NGOs and academia.

New, policyrelevant assessments and research results were presented and discussed including that of the Oxford Martin Programme on Human Rights for Future Generations, the Institute for European Environmental Policy and the World Future Council, the latter offering practical, credible options and recommendations for creating and formalising a ‘Guardian for Future Generations’ role at EU level.

Benedek Jávor opened the event by drawing attention to the close links between the rights of future generations and the recently adopted Agenda 2030 and the climate goals to be set by the COP21 in Paris later this year. Such decisions reflect the need for long-term thinking and integrating the interests of future generations in policy-making, which are indispensable for addressing challenges like climate change or biodiversity loss. Action at the EU level might influence other countries to follow the positive example. Mr Jávor reminded participants that despite efforts to improve governance in the EU, the interests of future generations are systematically underestimated in current decisions for a number of reasons. He made it clear that bridging the needs of present and future generations is possible and practical solutions are highly needed.

In his video message, János Pásztor, UN Assistant Secretary General warned that climate change will have the most encompassing impact on future generations. Therefore, the Paris Agreement is crucial and could mark a historic turning point, if everyone, including all sectors and all levels of society are on board. Commissioner Karmenu Vella called for the EU to live up to the UN commitments and fully implement the SDGs, keeping in mind that 2030 is around the corner. He mentioned the upcoming proposal from the Commission on the circular economy as one of the tools to do so.

Neil Kerr, deputy Permanent Representative of Malta offered a historic perspective on the role his country played in promoting the concept of a ‘guardian of future generations’ at the international level since the UN Sustainable Development Summit in 1992. In particular, he talked about the science-policy interface and the importance of a cross-sectoral and participatory approach.

Future_Needs_HearingThe founder of the World Future Council, Jakob von Uexkull reminded the audience that climate change is not the sole issue affecting future generations, but it will have the most drastic impacts across all areas of life. In his opinion, we have enslaved future generations by our current lifestyles and it would be absolutely necessary to redesign policies (including education, security, energy and biodiversity protection) and create a Guardian at EU level. Karl Falkenberg warned us about various unprecedented environmental challenges, argued for a conservative approach, namely the duty of handing a liveable planet to the next generations. He called for policy coherence, a holistic and collective approach, mentioning examples of sustainable agriculture and cities. In his view institutions such as national level sustainable development councils to embed the concept of long-termism are more justifiable than giving a voice to future generations through a single representative due to difficulties in anticipating intents and attitudes that will prevail in the future. He also mentioned the value of mainstreaming such principles across existing work and processes.

Session 2 offered insight into current practices with possible lessons to be learnt at the EU level. As explained by Rita Singh, Director of Policy at Cynnal Cymru/Sustain Wales, in Wales the role of the Commissioner for Sustainable Futures is to bring attention to inter-connectedness of policies and promote sustainability. This is achieved through a collaborative approach, including consultations with key stakeholders and social groups on their vision for 2050, with the overall aim of engaging citizens. Tools to support such work include a specific checklist for public service providers, making sure their decisions are sustainable in the economic, social, environmental and cultural sense. The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act, introduced into law earlier this year has proven instrumental into prioritising attention, of both Government and public bodies to the long-term.

Another concrete example was presented by Dr. Marcel Szabó, Deputy Ombudsman for Future Generations in Hungary. Here the focus lies more on the question of constitutionality and
checking whether government actions are compliant with environmental law, either on the Ombudsman’s own initiative or based on citizens’ claims in order to ensure that future
generations have appropriate life conditions. Dr. Szabó listed success stories in the fields of awareness raising and education, as well as cooperation with academia.

Catherine Pearce from the World Future Council also draw the attention to inspiring institutions from various countries and provided a few common characteristics of these. The key functions
include policy evaluation, mediation to achieve policy coherence, balancing the interests of current and future generations. In terms of underlying principles to ensure impact, inter alia independence, effectiveness, transparency, legitimacy, accountability and accessibility were mentioned. She argued that representing future generations at EU level would reinforce
European values, support implementation and close governance gaps, and allow performance assessment of EU institutions.

Ms. Pearce also analysed the pros and cons of six different pathways to establish a Guardian at EU level, keeping in mind the desired scope of competence of this role and stressing that these options were not mutually exclusive:

● Treaty change
● Adapting an existing EU role (eg. EU ombudsman or European Fundamental Rights
● Stand alone legislation/new institution
● Separate sectoral legislation (eg. 7 Environment Action Programme)
● Ad hoc administrative arrangement
● Interinstitutional
agreement, this being the stronger and preferred option going forward

Professor Simon Caney presented a list of areas where short-termism creates problems, such as macroeconomics, housing, pensions, foreign policies and disaster management. He summarised key drivers of short termism including human factors (such as ignorance, self-interest, tendency to focus on vivid risks and identifiable victims) and institutional factors (such as electoral dependence, economic dependence, media coverage, auditing timelines, ill-designed performance indicators). Finally, he offered a fivefold
proposal (tailored for the UK context nevertheless providing a source of inspiration for other Member States and the EU):

● Obligation for any incoming government to provide a “Manifesto for the Future” and
describe long term vision
● ‘State of the Union’ speech for the future ( a day dedicated to visions for the future in the
parliament), where the government defends its manifesto for the future
● Committee for the future to scrutinise policies for the long term
● Independent council for the future with an agenda setting power
● Longterm
performance indicators and audit

A number of comments and questions were raised covering the following aspects: providing the freedom of choice to future generations, going beyond advocacy, applying the concept of heritage when defining the role of an EU Guardian, strengthening existing tools such as environmental impact assessments, making use of an ensemble of governance instruments (complementing one another), a systemic approach with human rights and the precautionary principle at its core, decision makers to better link to academia and lawyers to find innovative and systemic solutions, measuring the sustainability performance of EU policies, using indicators to scrutinize them (possibly with a link to monitoring SDG implementation), taking into account Member State specificities, besides foresight tools (visions, scenarios), the need for back-casting and ability for identifying building blocks of transition putting the economy, institutional representation necessary for vulnerable groups under pressure.

Sirpa Pietikäinen, cohost of the hearing emphasized the importance of creating links with national campaigns (run by citizens or advocacy groups) as well as building on court cases which oblige national governments to protect their citizens from environmental threats, including climate change.

The event concluded with Benedek Jávor’s comments which included his intention to launch an EP written declaration on intergenerational justice to prompt action by the European Commission and Member States, suggesting also to establish an intergovernmental panel for future generations.

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.

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“Essential Ingredients for a Sustainable Future”

Anticipation is high that 2015 will be a landmark year for sustainable development. The 70th UN General Assembly in September will culminate in the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals with targets for all countries, up until 2030. It is in this favourable context that the conference ‘Essential ingredients for a sustainable future – Why do we need independent institutions, and how should they work for the long term?’ will take place in Cardiff in Wales, on the 28 and 29 April. The event is organised by the World Future Council, the Welsh Office of the Commissioner for Sustainable Futures, the Welsh Government, Sustain Wales and the Oxford Martin Programme on Human Rights for Future Generations. It will be the occasion to highlight the positive processes achieved or outstanding, at all levels; UN, EU, national, regional, etc.; where the needs of future generations are being actively considered and implemented.

The programme includes panels and workshops led by several eminent speakers from different horizons; including Edith Brown Weiss, Professor of International Law from Georgetown University Law Centre in Washington DC and Nikhil Seth, Director of the Division for Sustainable Development, UNDESA (Department of Economic and Social Affairs). Themes will include ‘New institutions to drive the change – working with purpose and impact to protect our common future’, ‘Identifying the gaps for institutional innovation’, ‘Learning from the rich experience of existing examples elsewhere’ and ‘Looking to the future – perspectives in practice’.

As the conference coincides with the passage of the Well-being of Future Generations Bill in the Welsh Assembly, Cardiff offers the perfect backdrop to speak about a sustainable future. Indeed Wales is leading the way in taking on board the interests of present and future generations in the decision making process. The current Commissioner for Sustainable Futures has led a ‘National Conversation’ to build a picture of ‘the Wales We Want’ by listening to the people of Wales on their pressing concerns and the threats that they fear will face Wales in the future. More information on the Bill can be found here.

The conference will bring together a global community of institutions serving to safeguard the needs of future generations, all named by the UN Secretary-General in his Report of 2013, ‘Intergenerational Solidarity and the Needs of Future Generations’[1], including

–       the Committee for the Future in Finland, which deliberates parliamentary documents referred to it and, makes submissions to other committees on future-related matters.;

–       the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development in Canada, Julie Gelfand, who is responsible for assessing whether federal government departments are meeting their sustainable development objectives, and overseeing the environmental petitions process;

–       Hungary’s Ombudsman for Future Generations, Dr. Marcel Szabó, whohas the task to ensure the protection of the fundamental right to a healthy environment. He examines individual measures and monitored policy developments and legislative proposals to ensure that they would not pose a severe or irreversible threat to the environment or harm the interests of future generations;

–   the Australian Capital Territory’s Commissioner for Sustainability and the Environment, Robert Neil who encourages sound environmental practices and procedures to be adopted by the Territory and Territory authorities as a basis for ecologically sustainable development.

–   Germany’s Parliamentary Advisory Council on Sustainable Developmentserves as the advocate of long-term responsibility in the political process, should structure policy for future generations and support the work of the bodies created by the Federal Government.”

All these institutions are the proof that future generations are being increasingly considered, and that dedicated mechanisms can support and facilitate the process.

Measuring the Long Term


“The world’s continued fixation with economic growth ignores a rapid and largely irreversible depletion of natural resources that will seriously harm future generations. Coupled with the increasing short-termism of modern politics and a general inability to look beyond our own self-interests, the result is a crisis of opportunity for unborn generations. Long term perspectives are rarely factored into our decisions while future generations remain politically powerless; their interests limited to the whims of the present generations.”

How can we best assess how our current decisions and actions are impacting future generations? WFC Senior Policy Officer, Alistair Whitby, presents some of the most noticeable alternative indicators that can help governments and businesses with their long term planning and make some recommendations to ensure these efforts have real impact.

Full Report

Help Ensure Every Child Born is Wanted


The sustainable development goals (SDGs) set out by the UN in 2015 will drive the global development agenda on social, economic and environmental issues for the next 15 years. Out of the stated goals, none specifically refer to population policies. Yet coherent and sustainable population policies, including universal access to sexual and reproductive health rights, are necessary to achieve the majority of the development goals outlined. The Global Policy Action Plan (GPACT) recognises these links, and this paper elaborates on the necessity of coherent and future-proof population policies.

Full Report

“Ideas and trends that can shape the lives of present and future generations”

New York: The United Nations High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development was held at the United Nations headquarters from 30 June to 9 July 2014. WFC Future Justice Director Catherine Pearce was amongst the panelists of the moderated dialogue. More information can be found here.