Intergenerational solidarity and justice is deeply embedded in the concept of sustainable development. Yet many questions remain to be answered. How to define the needs and rights of future generations? What are the duties of current generation to future generations? What can we do to institutionalize the protection of the needs and rights of future generations? A handful of nations have already experimented with certain institutional arrangements for intergenerational equity. A proposal was on the table at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) for the establishment of an Ombudsperson, or High Commissioner, for Future Generations, which gained support from several Member States as well as the Advisory Group on International Environmental Governance. The outcome of Rio+20 kept a space open to continue relevant discussions by inviting the Secretary-General to present a report on intergenerational solidarity, taking into account the needs of future generations, for the achievement of sustainable development.
The expert panel on intergenerational solidarity aims at providing an opportunity to exchange views among stakeholders on the issue of intergenerational solidarity and future generations, including conceptual framework and institutional arrangements. The discussions will inform continued consideration of this issue, including the Secretary-General's report.
Join the debate
Send us your views on intergenerational solidarity and justice by commenting under the related post on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/UNSDKP or tweeting to @SustDev using #FutureGenerations by 8 May. Selected questions and comments will be shared with the panelists.
In the run-up to the Expert Panel on Intergenerational Solidarity, the Division for Sustainable Development (DSD) received a large number of questions and comments on this subject via its social media channels. Some of these were raised at the panel discussion and a number of them are addressed in following video message by the Chief of DSD's Policy Analysis Branch, David O'Connor.