Ideas And Trends That Can Shape The Lives Of Present And Future Generations

imagesA moderated dialogue took place at the 2nd meeting of the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development to address the emerging challenges that will affect future generations. Making reference to Rio+20 ‘The Future We Want’ report, Mr. Mcbean affirmed the need to promote intergenerational solidarity for the achievement of sustainable development. He highlighted the negative impacts of climate change, particularly loss of biodiversity and frequent disasters, deteriorate the quality of life in a global and intergenerational scale. Taking into account uncertainty always exists, he demanded a sense of reality and adoption of better risk management.

Mr. Nakicenovic saw education as the critical tool for human capacity building. He urged for sustainability revolution to proceed at a greater speed and, by all means through SDGs, universal access of energy, sanitation and education beyond 2030 can be achieved to fully eliminate inequality across all scales in future generations. Mr. Daives introduced the Wales Bill to illustrate good governance and decision-making for the long term. He quoted “the Bill has the power to resolve intergenerational challenges beyond the term of one government and beyond the scope of government alone”. The mechanisms of the Bill includes the setting of national long-term development goals, the requirement of public settings to demonstrate how their policies can meet national long-term goals and establishment of an independent future generation commissioner with legal power to advocate for the long-term.

Mr. Szabo discussed the role of national institutions in safeguarding future generations. He highlighted both industrialized and developing countries suffering from important structure problem and national institutions can initiate public dialogue on the long-term wellbeing of society, help cultivate environmental literacy and help the national implementation of UN Policies in the safeguarding of the needs of future generation. Finally, he pointed out many institutions adopted the Budapest Memorandum to promote the spread of national institutions for future generations and to safeguard their interest in the SDGs target.

Meeting Title: Ideas and trends that can shape the lives of present and future generations
Speakers: Mr. Gordon McBean , President-elect, International Council for Science; Mr. Nebojsa Nakicenovic , Deputy Director of IIASA, Director of Global Energy Assessment, and professor of Vienna University of Technology; Mr. Peter Davies, Sustainable Futures Commissioner for Wales, UK; Mr. Marcel Szabó , Deputy-Commissioner for Fundamental Rights Responsible for the Protection of the Interest of Future Generations, Hungary; Ms. Catherine Pearce , World Future Council
Location: Trusteeship Council, UNHQ, New York
Date: 1 July 2014
Written by WIT representative: Tracy Lau
Edited by Wit Representative: Aslesha Dhillon

Doing Justice to Sustainable Development

Integrating the Rule of Law into the Post 2015 Agenda 

Professor Michael Doyle explained that law is a valuable reflection of human dignity and must be preserved for equality. Democracy based rule of law, entrenched with human rights is essential to ensure that laws are not changeable by any majority in a way that violates equality and social inclusion. Judit Arenas emphasised that rule of law and the sustainable development goals have to go beyond words on paper to ensure that this transformative agenda is actually changed for the better.

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Judith Arenas summarized the IDLO report that has been posted online explaining that the key points in the document include legal frameworks for sustainable governance of resources, access to fair market trade to stimulate the economy, and legal rights that ensure transparency and participation. The recommendations from Rio +20 require that economic growth creates employment and decent work to ensure the eradication of poverty; strong legal institutions promote investment and encapsulate development.

Justice Antonio Herman Benjamin, via video statement, said that environmental degradation is an existential threat to all of us, and although it touches all, it will particularly affect the poor, vulnerable and indigenous people. The wealthy and developed nations’ citizens have the ability to move between countries but millions of poor and vulnerable people have to face climate change as a threat to their existence.

Justice Antonio explained that to have the legal framework in place is one thing, however as a society we need to ensure goals are actually fulfilled. In order to do this the world requires good governance, more than legislative text, but rather interlinked goals alongside systems of compliance and enforcement. Justice Antonio also declared that judges can not be influenced by political and economic pressure, they should not be afraid of favoring weaker parties for their legal rights.

 

Meeting Title: Doing Justice to Sustainable Development: Integrating the rule of law into the post-2015 agenda
Speakers: H.E. Riitta Resch Ambassador of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland; Professor Michael Doyle, Foreign and Security Policy Columbia University; Justice Antonio Herman Benjamin, National High Court of Brazil; Professor Dalee Sambo Dorough, Chair of UN Permanent forum on Indigenous Issues; Nury Montiel, Director of Human Rights for Supreme Court of Justice of Paraguay, Andres Vazquez Coordinator Human Rights Projects for Supreme Court of Justice of Paraquay, Judit Arenas Director of External Relations IDLO
Location: United Nations UN, Conference Room 5 NLB, New York
Date: 17 June 2014
Written by WIT representative: Sophia Griffiths-Mark