Who will speak for future generations?
By Stephen Leahy
UXBRIDGE, Canada, Jun 5, 2012 (Tierramérica)
The theme of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) is “The Future We Want”, but there is no official role for youth nor a spokesperson for future generations who will inherit that futur
Now there is a growing call for the creation of a United Nations High Commissioner for Future Generations to be one of the outcomes of the summit, which will take place Jun. 20-22 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
“I was born in 1992, the year of the first Earth Summit in Rio. The world has changed a lot since then,” says Vincent Wong of Burlington, Canada.
Wong will be going to Rio+20 as part of a delegation from Students on Ice, a Canadian organisation that offers educational expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic for students, educators and scientists.
“We want to bring the voice of our generation. They will be making decisions on our behalf,” Wong told Tierramérica.
“Who can be opposed to protecting the rights of future generations?” asks Alice Vincent of the World Future Council (WFC) in London, UK.
“The proposed High Commissioner for Future Generations would act to balance the short-term nature of government electoral cycles by advocating for the interests and needs of future generations,” Vincent told Tierramérica.
According to Kathleen Dean Moore, distinguished professor of philosophy at Oregon State University, “The injustice of climate change, resource depletion, etc. is that those who will suffer the most terrible consequences – future generations – had no role in creating them.”
“They will gain nothing from the ransacking of the Earth that is going on all around us, but they will bear the consequences: the floods, the droughts, the disrupted food systems, shortages, and violent weather,” Moore told Tierramérica.
“A U.N. Commissioner for Future Generations can stand up against the unjust treatment of those not yet born, which future generations, of course, cannot do for themselves,” she added. Continue reading