UNEP Hosts Conference on Intergenerational Equity

UNEP7 July 2013: The UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the World Future Council co-hosted a global conference on 'Implementing Intergenerational Equity: Bringing Future Perspectives to the Status Quo,' from 4-5 July 2013, in Geneva, Switzerland. Participants discussed policy tools and mechanisms to take into account future generations and implement sustainable development.

The conference sought to provide input to a report of the UN Secretary-General on 'intergenerational solidarity,' mandated by the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20).

The outcome document from the event highlights areas of consensus, and outlines the following ideas relating to intergenerational equity: an imperative for action to end damage to the natural world; the need to eradicate poverty for present and future generations; the importance of fostering values of responsibility and empathy in citizens; and the protection of heritage shared between generations.

The document puts forward a proposal for specific institutions and officials tasked with the representation of future generations, at the local, national, and international levels. Such an official would advocate on behalf of future generations and work to implement the environmental, social, and economic dimensions of sustainable development. The document suggests the creation of such a role within the UN to drive international implementation and coordination.

Looking forward to the report of the Secretary-General, and follow-up actions by UN Member States, the document calls for continued momentum and clear recommendations for the way forward on intergenerational solidarity. [Conference Synopsis] [WFC Blog Post] [Conference Programme] [IISD RS Sources]