Blog Post

Sustainable Development activities: Opportunities for Change

   The last couple of weeks have been rather busy for those following the future of sustainable development and post Rio+20 implementation.  There was the High Level Panel report on post 2015 development, reflecting new development challenges while also drawing on experience gained in implementing the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), both in terms of results achieved and areas for improvement.  Another publication by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN): “An Action Agenda for Sustainable Development” was published on June the 6th. These reports both feed into the broader debate around the negotiations for goals and frameworks that will set the post 2015 development guidelines.  Parallel to this, negotiations continue for a High Level Political Forum which is set to take over the mantle from the UNCSD (United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development), however we will return in more detail to this in a later blog.

            All these events and negotiations are evidence of the continuing change and opportunities for change occurring at the international level at this time.  The future, as always, is somewhat uncertain but we are on the cusp of either grasping the opportunities or retreating back to business as usual. Evidence of the possible changes can be found in conference titles and published ideas such as the recent UNOG (United Nations Office at Geneva) conference: “Opportunities and Challenges for the 21st Century-Need for a New Paradigm?”  In his opening statement United Nations Under-Secretary General Mr. Kassym-Jomart Tokayev stated ..we need to embrace a different type of governance – a new paradigm for how we work together to build a better world. Let me highlight three key components of this governance, which I hope may become issues of our discussions today. First, nurturing partnerships. The challenges we face are interconnected. No single country, no single institution can confront them in isolation.” Read the whole statement here.

Our own focus is of course the forthcoming report, led by UNDESA (United Nations Department of Economic & Social Affairs) which will be published later this summer and is a result of paragraph 86 of “The Future We Want” namely: “We will also consider the need for promoting intergenerational solidarity for the achievement of sustainable development, taking into account the needs of future generations, including by inviting the Secretary General to present a report on this issue.”

We will be in Geneva in two weeks time to help to ensure that the issue remains in the spotlight as we co-host a conference with UNEP titled: “Global Conference on Implementing Intergenerational Equity: Bringing Future Perspectives to the Status Quo.”  For more information on the programme and participation please click here.

By bringing together key figures from within the UN, from academia and civil society, including major group representatives, environmental lawyers and other experts in the field we will ensure a lively and constructive debate concerning the topic of future generations with a specific focus on the what is expected from the UNSG report and what the potential outcomes might entail for those of us working to include the interests of future generations in our governance structures.  We look forward to reporting back on the discussions and outcomes in a couple of weeks.

Posted by Future Justice on 18 June 2013