To Think and Act for Future Generations

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Expertise Level
Resource Type
Guidance and Frameworks
Developer or Source
United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs

The present policy brief contains suggestions for practical steps to fulfil our long-standing commitment to meet the demands of the present in a way that safeguards the interests of future generations and preserves their ability to effectively enjoy all human rights. These include:

a) an envoy to serve as a voice for future generations at the global level;
b) better use of foresight, science and data;
c) a declaration to define and make concrete our duties to future generations; and
d) a dedicated intergovernmental forum to advance implementation of the declaration and share best practices.

These suggestions build on Our Common Agenda and subsequent intergovernmental and multi-stakeholder consultations, reflected in the “Elements paper for the declaration for future generations”, prepared by the Permanent Missions of Fiji and the Netherlands to the United Nations. The brief responds to the questions raised by Member States during the consultations, including how to define future generations, how to balance our commitment to them with our duties to present generations, how the proposals advance our existing goals for sustainable development, gender, and human rights, and what outcomes are recommended for the Summit of the Future on this issue.

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