Ombudsperson for Future Generations at the UN would be “step towards global democracy”

Secretariat, 3. January 2012

The World Future Council calls on the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development that will take place in June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro to mark the 20th anniversary of the UN’s Earth Summit in 1992 to endorse the establishment of an “Ombudsperson or High Commissioner for Future Generations”

Jakob von Uexküll, Chair of the World Future Council Foundation (right), and Andreas Bummel, Secretary-General of the UNPA-Campaign (left), in London
Image: CEUNPA

at the international and national levels.

“The establishment of the office of an Ombudsperson for Future Generations at the United Nations would be a step towards global democracy,” said the chairperson of the World Future Council Foundation, Jakob von Uexküll, at a meeting in London on Wednesday, December 21. “The purpose of this institution would be to safeguard the right of current and future generations to healthy economic, environmental and social conditions by representing and protecting their interest to sustainable development at the UN and in global policy-making. An independent Ombudsperson of this kind who can freely interact with the public and make recommendations would make the UN more open, more accountable and more democratic,” Mr. Uexküll added.

The World Future Council (WFC) consists of around fifty respected personalities from all five continents and all walks of life. They represent governments, parliaments, the arts, civil society, science and the business world. According to the Council, “future justice is about remaking our governance frameworks – institutions, policies, and laws – so they facilitate just cooperation, broad-based participation, and an equitable sharing of resources and benefits of economic scientific and technological progress.”

“For future justice to be effective, it is necessary that short-term vested interests are counterbalanced in global and national institutions with long-term joint interests of humanity. The proposed Ombudsperson is a first important step into this direction. In the long run, I believe that as a body of independent elected representatives, a United Nations Parliamentary Assembly would provide an excellent forum to introduce and emphasize the necessary global view,” Mr. Uexküll explained.

According to the international “Appeal for the Establishment of a Parliamentary Assembly at the United Nations”, one of the body’s purposes would be to facilitate “collaborative efforts” of “all human beings” in order to ensure “the survival and well-being of future generations as well as the preservation of the natural foundations of life on Earth.”

Top image: Group picture at one of the meetings of the World Future Council in 2011