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The first Voices Youth Award goes to World Future Council Youth Ambassador, Kehkashan Basu

6. August 2020 - 11:44
‘We want books not bombs!’ The first Voices Youth award goes to World Future Council Youth Ambassador, Kehkashan Basu

August 5, 2020: The inaugural Voices Youth Award, a prestigious new prize to honour youth actions for a nuclear-weapons-free world, has been won by World Future Council Youth Ambassador Kehkashan Basu, a student and youth activist from Toronto, Canada who grew up in the United Arab Emirates.

The award is being established by Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons, a global faith-based coalition. It will be presented to Ms Basu as part of the Hiroshima/Nagasaki Accord, a video event on August 6, 8 and 9, commemorating the 75th anniversary of the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. One of the other commemorative events for the 75th anniversary is a World Future Council interactive art action outside the Euronext Stock exchange in Amsterdam. The action will highlight the nuclear weapons industry which is promoting the nuclear arms race, and will call for an end to investments in the industry.

The Voices Youth award is established to highlight the nuclear risk-reduction and disarmament legacies of Mikhail Gorbachev and George Shultz, who are members of Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons, and to inspire youth to take up this mission in order to abolish nuclear weapons globally. A youth organization or a young individual that successfully engages youth in this important effort will be honoured each year as they carry-on the effort to eliminate the threat of nuclear weapons.

‘In the late 1980s, Mikhail Gorbachev as leader of the Soviet Union, and George Shultz as Secretary of State for U.S. President Ronald Reagan, recognised that ‘A nuclear war cannot be won, and must never be fought’, an understanding that helped end the Cold War,’ says Alyn Ware, Director of the World Future Council Peace and Disarmament Program. ‘Current leaders of USA, Russia and other nuclear armed States have relinquished this understanding, and we thus drift closer to potential catastrophe. This award is a wake-up call that gives voice to youth who are acting for the survival of current and future generations.’

Ms Basu, who was born on World Environment Day (June 5, 2000), has been active in peace and environmental action since she was 8 years old. She founded the Green Hope Foundation when she was 12, and from 13-15 years old served as the UNEP’s (United Nations Environment Programme) Global Coordinator for Children & Youth. At 16 she was awarded the International Children’s Peace Prize. She is a constant speaker at UN and civil society forums highlighting the connections between peace, disarmament (including nuclear disarmament) and sustainable development. She is also an active member of the Youth Section of Abolition 2000, the global civil society network to eliminate nuclear weapons, and a participant in the World Future Council’s Move the Nuclear Weapons Money campaign.

‘We are delighted that Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons has decided to honour Kehkashan with this award,’ says Maria Espinosa, Member of the World Future Council and President of the 73rd UN General Assembly (2018-2019). ‘Ms Basu is an inspiring speaker and visionary campaigner. She effectively informs and engages youth and the not-so-young in key UN initiatives and processes, such as the sustainable development goals and the global ceasefire campaign. And she advocates convincingly for a reduction of global military budgets – and especially the nuclear weapons budget – to better address the COVID-19 pandemic and advance peace and sustainable development.’

‘I am truly honoured and humbled to receive this award, and am deeply grateful to “Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons” for highlighting the critically important role of young people in peacebuilding , non-proliferation and disarmament,’ says Ms Basu. ‘This award also vindicates my belief that we cannot solve these pressing issues by only rhetoric – the need of the hour is collaborative action at all levels. I believe that education is the most powerful tool to create a peaceful and sustainable world. So my call to action is ‘We Want Books, Not Bombs!’

‘Kehkashan is a young woman who does not only operate in advocacy but also engages in the field working with youth primarily affected by inequality, lack of access to education and safety,’ says Marzhan Nurzhan, Coordinator of the Abolition 2000 Youth Network, in which Kehkashan is an active member. ‘She’s been voice of underrepresented young people across the world to lead the way for nuclear disarmament, sustainability and peace bringing interdisciplinary aspect into play.’

‘Kehkashan is a visionary young women who actively turns youth passion for a sustainable world into effective policy action,’ says Vanda Proskova, Social Media Coordinator for the Move the Nuclear Weapons Money campaign. ‘She engages children and youth with government representatives, legislators and United Nations leaders in positive, solution-oriented approaches to issues affecting us today – including how we can better invest for a sustainable future. She is an incredible inspiration for youth (and adults!) around the globe.’

Ms Basu has also been a leading voice for youth, peace and disarmament in events organised by the coalition partners of Voices for a World Free of Nuclear Weapons, which are United Religions Initiative, Charter for Compassion, Parliament of the World’s Religions, and Religions for Peace. She played key roles, for example, in the 2018 Summit of the Parliament of Religions in Toronto and at the 2019 Accelerate Peace Conference at Stanford University.

For more information or for interviews with Ms Basu, please contact:

Kehkashan Basu
World Future Council Youth Ambassador
E-mail: kehkashanbasu@gmail.com
Phone: +1 647 334 8410

Alyn Ware
Coordinator, World Future Council Peace and Disarmament Program
Email: alyn@pnnd.org.
Phone: +420 773 638 867

Anna-Lara Stehn
World Future Council Acting Media and Communications Manager
Email: Anna-Lara.Stehn@worldfuturecouncil.org   
Phone: +49 40 307091416

About the World Future Council
The World Future Council (WFC) consists of up to 50 eminent global change-makers from governments, parliaments, civil society, academia, the arts, and business who have already successfully created change. We work to pass on a healthy planet and fair societies to our children and grandchildren. To achieve this, we focus on identifying and spreading effective, future-just policy solutions and promote their implementation worldwide. Jakob von Uexkull, the Founder of the Alternative Nobel Prize, launched the World Future Council in 2007. We are an independent, non-profit organization under German law and finance our activities from institutional partnerships and donations. For information visit www.worldfuturecouncil.org

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Kategorien: Hamburg

Policy Roadmap for 100% Renewable Energy in Costa Rica

29. Juli 2020 - 10:39
Policy Roadmap for 100% Renewable Energy in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a global leader when it comes to ensuring energy production comes from renewable energy sources. Between 2010 and 2017, the country attracted US$ 1.9 billion in new-build clean energy investments (Rapid Transition Alliance, 2020), and with a 98% share of renewables in its electricity matrix and solid achievements to prevent deforestation—around 25% of the country’s land area is in protected National Parks and other protected areas Costa Rica is a global leader in terms of environmental sustainability, climate action and driving the renewable energy transition. At the same time, Costa Rica is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change. Only considering the direct costs of extreme weather events, climate change resulted in economic losses estimated at around US$ 1.3 billion between 2005 and 2011. Some studies estimate future losses to exceed US$ 7 billion by 2030 (MINAE, 2015b). Or between 0.68 to 2.5 per cent of GDP until 2025 (Comptroller General of the Republic, 2017).

This policy roadmap complements the study “100% Renewable Energy for Costa Rica – A decarbonisation roadmap” by the University of Technology Sydney – Institute for Sustainable Futures. It aims to provide policy pathways for Costa Rican to achieve a fully decarbonised energy system in Costa Rica. Thereby harvesting the many socio-economic benefits of renewable energy.


Full study
Full study (Spanish)

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Kategorien: Hamburg

Securing a World of Climate Resilience, Prosperity and Peace

16. Juli 2020 - 11:09
Securing a World of Climate Resilience, Prosperity, and Peace The World Future Council´s Call to Action

Sekem, Egypt, 15 September 2019

  • The World Future Council calls for
    Immediate measures to cut carbon emissions in half by 2030 to avoid climate catastrophe and to achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2050;
  • Elimination of nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction;
  • Diversion of a substantial proportion of the USD 1.7 trillion military budget to sustainable development;
  • Urgent action to accelerate the transition towards a green new deal while mainstreaming circular, regenerative economies;
  • Eradication of hunger by adopting 100 percent agroecology;
  • Protection of at least 30 percent of the world’s oceans by 2030;
  • Transformation of all curricula to education for sustainable development; and
  • The appointment of guardians for future generations at all levels of decision-making.

The World Future Council convened this meeting upon the generous invitation of Sekem, a recipient of a Right Livelihood Award and a global leader in the development of agro-ecology. We thank the people of Sekem for their heart-warming hospitality. As Councillors we were inspired by the living example of a community built on principles, policy, and the practices of regenerative agroecology.

Across the world, a new awareness is growing that humanity faces an acute emergency, endangering the Earth’s life support systems and the lives of billions of people – today and in the future. The damage being done to the Earth is approaching irreversible tipping points, potentially overwhelming the resilience of the natural environment. The decisions we take now have greater and longer-term consequences than any decisions taken ever before. We call upon the world community to act urgently to implement far-reaching, appropriate measures to reverse current trends, out of deep respect for all life.

Read the full Call to Action

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Kategorien: Hamburg

Food Security: Local governments and civil society working together

15. Juli 2020 - 11:38
Local Governments and Civil Society Working Together for Food Security

Food security is a key aspect of sustainable development. Civil society projects, organisations, and initiatives working on urban security are often the only or main provider of nutritious food to the urban most disadvantaged and vulnerable groups. However, they are confronted with a wide range of obstacles and interferences in their work. Engaging local governments and authorities in actions on food security can raise awareness and increase efforts against the widespread issue of urban food insecurity. Most importantly, local governments can take action to strengthen the role of civil society within the food systems of Global South cities.  

In this light, this report addresses a number of important questions: How can local governments contribute to averting these infringements and constraints? How, under these circumstances, can municipalities help to strengthen civil society contributing to secure food in Global South cities? What strategies and mechanisms need to be developed to make this an effective and sustained effort? What changes need to be made to urban planning and policy-making processes to support civil society?  

This report recommends nine concrete steps to improve urban food security in the Global South. It provides measures necessary to strengthen civil society initiatives involved in providing healthy and nutritious food to urban areas. It is targeting urban policy-makers and urban planners on all relevant governance levels in the Global South. 

This report is part of the 100% Renewable Energies and SDG project 2019/2020, funded by Brot für die Welt. 


Full study

Recommendations

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Kategorien: Hamburg

Reinforcing the European Youth Employment Policy through the European Green Deal

16. Juni 2020 - 11:57
Reinforcing the European Youth Employment Policy through the European Green Deal

In many respects, the world is facing an unprecedented crisis. At the same time, the world is on the brink of a new dawn. While millions of people worldwide, especially young people, are facing unemployment and the challenges of a changing employment market, the current global situation offers a unique opportunity for governments and leaders to bring positive change. 

Within the European Union, the new European Commission Work Programme aims to reinforce the existing Youth Guarantee, which is a commitment by Member States to ensure employment, continued education, and training for all European citizens under the age of 25. For this purpose, the Commission invited civil society to participate in a strategic dialogue on this issue. The Youth Guarantee is seen as an important step towards realising the Green Deal’s aims. 

In response, in collaboration with the project YESclima (as part of the European Climate Initiative “EUKI”), and the BMBF-funded project GRÆDUCATION, the World Future Council proposed reinforcing the Youth Guarantee in light of the European Green Deal. By doing so, the Youth Guarantee could not only allow young people to gain work experience, but also to develop skills for a green, digital economy, and to boost their employability.

The European Youth Guarantee can achieve this aim, for example,

  • by improving vocational training, which should be closely linked to professional practice;
  • by imparting ‘green skills’ and relevant soft skills;
  • by creating and supporting jobs and services related to renewable energies, circular economy, and sustainable development; and
  • by providing for quality education and education for sustainable development.

In this proposal, the World Future Council also highlighted the exemplary achievement of Wales and Scotland, whose policies on youth employment have been shortlisted and awarded at the Future Policy Award 2019, respectively. The focus of the 2019 Future Policy Award was on empowering young people to find ‘green’ jobs that are fit for humans and the future, including the creation of decent and green jobs for a green, decarbonised transformation of economies, and on civic and political participation for sustainable development and peace. Besides these policies from Scotland and Wales, other sustainable policies can also be found on futurepolicy.org

You can download the proposal to the European Commission in English, Greek and Spanish

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Kategorien: Hamburg

June News

11. Juni 2020 - 11:34

The post June News appeared first on World Future Council.

Kategorien: Hamburg

COVID-19 — From health crisis to child rights crisis

2. Juni 2020 - 10:56
COVID-19 — From health crisis to child rights crisis

Why health, wellbeing, and education of children across the globe are at risk from the pandemic — especially, but not only, in the Global South

By Samia Kassid


The Corona pandemic is not the first pandemic the world is facing, but it is the one that will have lasting effects on every nation, people, especially children and youth. Devastating pandemics have occurred in large outbreaks, the best known being the Black Death in the 14th century and the Spanish flu that swept the world in the aftermath of World War One, killing 50 to 100 million people; most of them between their 20s and 40s. In recent decades, the world has seen pandemics like HIV/Aids, SARS or Ebola.

But none of the response measures ever taken to fight a pandemic have had such massive short-term and far-reaching consequences and implications as we see now. COVID-19 is transforming from a health crisis into an all-encompassing human, social, economic, and labour market crisis. Most countries have mandated radical lockdowns, issuing travel bans and strict stay-at-home measures, shutting kindergartens, schools, and businesses. This has had a dramatic impact on education, isolation, and economic vulnerability. This unprecedented situation is having an immeasurable impact on the well-being, protection and prospects of children and youth all over the world.

From health crises to socio-economic and humanitarian tragedy

Millions of people are not able to work. Some cannot make a living. Others have at-risk jobs which brings unique stress to their children, partners, and extended family. As economies worldwide grind into gridlock, it is the smaller businesses, self-employed or daily-wage earners that suffer the most, as well casual or migrant workers, and those on zero-hour contracts. Many people already lived in poverty pre COVID-19 crisis, with no savings and no safety net. Their children will now face additional and unprecedented hardship due to the loss of family income and the additional stress of social confinement.

The pandemic and children’s rights

Children in every country, regardless of family background, have lost many of their rights. The right to education and information, the right to play and the right to privacy have all been substantially restricted, and at very short notice.

The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on children everywhere is felt in different ways, regardless of country, region, urban or rural situation. All children are suffering, in developed countries, emerging countries or developing countries.

The right to education and the right to play are in danger

According to UNESCO, some 191 countries have temporarily imposed national or local school closures, including early childcare centres, to contain the spread of COVID-19. Over 90% of students worldwide are affected and the education of more than 1.6 billion of the global population of school-aged children and young people has been suddenly disrupted. They have lost access to essential learning.

Schools are more than educational institutions. They are an important part of communities and hubs of social activity. School closures mean that many children lose social contacts. Socialising is important for our children to learn and thrive. Interrupting education predominantly affects vulnerable children. They learn less and drop-out more. The longer the interruption without a clear timeline, the heavier the disadvantages are for students.

Depending on the severity of the national shutdown, most children in developed and emerging countries in urban areas are being forced to stay at home, mostly in tiny flats with no place to play and little privacy. Where it is offered, digital teaching challenges both children and their parents. School closure is a major stress factor or teachers and parents as it came suddenly, forcing them to transition to distance learning without any prior experience. Teachers may be worried about short-time work or even suspension. Parents have not been prepared for home schooling while also working from home.

For children from difficult or deprived families, the situation is especially challenging. Some families are without internet, computers, or books. Some parents are unable to help with homework because of their own limited educational or linguistic background. It is clear that unequal educational opportunities due to social background will increase.

The situation in the Global South is particularly worrying, given the struggles children already face day to day to access quality education. For millions of poor families, everyday life happens “on the street“ with small and insecure homes merely a place to sleep. A school shut down for a long period of time can cause more than lockdown fatigue. Closed schools also mean, for most children, to stay at home with no proper space to learn. Already, before COVID-19, some 250 million children were out-of-school due to poverty, poor governance, or because of emergency. Today that figure has skyrocketed.

There are concerns that children and young people from deprived families may not return to school after reopening. The severe economic hardships that many families are facing will pressure children to work to bring essential income to support their families. This will affect girls as much as boys. Already, during situations of crisis, young and adolescent girls are twice as likely to be out-of-school.

The right to play and the right to leisure have been stripped away, leaving many children spending many hours on the internet, if their parents can afford it, without proper supervision. What is more, many are doing very little exercise as sports facilities and children’s playgrounds are closed. Working parents without any other option might be forced to leave their children alone at home, which can lead to risky behaviour. Children with less access to information won’t be able to understand what is happening, and will become fearful and potentially traumatised when separated from their parents, or when neighbours or family members suddenly get ill or die, and they have to interact with public authorities.

The right to health, the right to sanitation, and the right to protection are at risk

In many poor countries and communities across the world, children are at risk of not getting the treatments they need. The already weak and now overburdened public health systems are solely focussed on treating COVID-19 patients. Newborns and young children might not be protected against preventable diseases like malaria, diarrhoea, or pneumonia. Worse, millions more children and their families have no adequate access to safe water, sanitation, or hygiene facilities, and stand little chance of protecting themselves and their families from the virus.

A socio-economic crisis is unfolding with vulnerable children and youth more at risk from violence, abuse and exploitation. Child right’s experts fear that with social isolation, there are babies, girls and boys facing increased risk of (sexual) violence, neglect and abuse at home, with no help from outside, because schools, friends and other family members, institutions and youth welfare offices, who might help, are not reachable. Out-of-school children are more likely to be exposed to risks like family violence, child labour, forced marriage, trafficking, exploitation and recruitment into militias.

From a health pandemic to hunger pandemic

While the world is busy trying to contain the spread of COVID-19, there are an estimated 135 million people at risk of starvation and 30 countries in the developing world at risk of widespread famine. Already today, more than one million people are on the brink of starvation in 10 of those countries.

In Africa, people were already suffering food shortages long before COVID-19. Desert locust swarms, the climate crisis and war have all exacerbated this delicate situation. And now with the trade and supply chains broken due to COVID-19 measures, an additional 130 million people could now starve, already within the next few months.

Children are particularly vulnerable to hunger and malnutrition. More than 360 million students rely on free or discounted nutritious meals at school. Without nutritious meals, their immunity and growth potential will suffer.

A particularly vulnerable group of children, refugee children, migrant children and children affected by conflict, are already traumatised. They live in crowded and difficult conditions with no access to basic services. They face further threats to their safety and well-being as the pandemic reaches their shelters. The pandemic outbreak calls for a global ceasefire.

Children first! The wellbeing of children must take priority in policy now and post COVID-19

As the world is entering a global recession with uncertain outcomes for economies and their citizens, it’s not only important to learn from this crisis and build back better to create a fairer and healthier future, but also to put the wellbeing of children at the centre of policy. Countries are responsible, under international human rights law, to uphold children’s rights. All decisions taken now will have a long-term impact on children and their future potential. Action on children’s rights is an intergenerational equity imperative.

The World Future Council calls on governments and policymakers to consider the unique risks and needs of girls, boys, vulnerable children, and youth in their short-term and middle-term responses to COVID-19. One-size-fits-all policies leave these vulnerable children behind. The policy responses uphold children’s rights and be appropriate to the unique situation of children and be fit for purpose.

Without urgent child-centric policy measures, the current and next generation of children will bear the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic response measures, with far reaching negative consequences.

Good and future-just policies for children have been mapped by the World Future Council. These good policies provided a bank of proven policies that are effective. The good policies address children’s rights to protection, education and participation, a healthy and intact natural environment as well as access to healthy food. Policymakers face a stark decision to save lives while also saving the potential for future wellbeing. Children today represent every nation’s potential for economic and social wellbeing. At the World Future Council, we urge governments to share and spread our good policies for children, and to put children at the heart of policy making now so all our futures are protected. Many strong policies already exist in pockets around the world. Let’s strengthen them and our collective resolve to put children front and centre of COVID-19 policy action.

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Kategorien: Hamburg

What about us? Youth (un)employment in times of COVID-19

2. Juni 2020 - 10:45
What about us? Youth (un)employment in times of COVID-19

The youth workforce is particularly vulnerable to the economic crisis caused by the Coronavirus outbreak. Here is what we can do to provide decent and sustainable jobs for young adults

By Samia Kassid


The COVID-19 crisis has turned from a global health crisis into a severe economic crisis. The policy responses taken to fight the pandemic have resulted in economic shutdown, leaving millions out of work, with young people, women and less-skilled people worst affected.

Today there are 1.8 billion people in the world between the ages of 15 and 35 — a quarter of the global population. This is largest generation of youth and young people the world has ever known. Young adults are the backbone of every society, providing energy, ideas and investment potential.

The global recession is expected to result in the loss of five to 25 million jobs, and it will be young adults and young people that are most vulnerable to unemployment. Across the world, young working people will be the first to lose their jobs, or will have to resort to lower quality, less paid, insecure or unsafe jobs.

Youth workforce vulnerability

Young workers: According to the International Labour Organisation, just under half a billion (429 million) young workers worldwide are employed; three-quarters in informal work[1]; one quarter in formal work. And of these young workers, 126 million already live in extreme (13%) or in moderate poverty (17%). Rates of extreme working poverty and informal work status are especially high in sub-Saharan Africa, the Arab States, and Southern Asia.

Young students: Over half a billion (510 million) young adults and young people are in education.

Young NEET: A quarter of a billion (267 million) young adults are officially classified as youth NEET. These young adults are not in employment, education or training. Before COVID-19, one in five young adults were NEET, two-thirds of them (181 million) young women. Youth NEETs are not gaining experience in the labour market, receiving income from work, nor developing their skills through formal education.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development estimates that the high number of Youth NEETs results in economic losses of USD 360 to 605 billion per year for OECD countries equivalent to 0.9% to 1.5% of Gross Domestic Product.

Youth unemployment: Global youth unemployment rate is three times higher than for adults (OECD, 2018 data). At 13.6 %, with considerable regional variation, 9% in Northern America and sub-Saharan Africa to 30% in Northern Africa, these young adults and other young adults will be hardest hit by the current global recession. And the young women that make up over half of the youth unemployed, will find it harder than ever to close the gender gap.

Due to the Covid-19 crises, we are speeding up digitalisation. Remote work as well as online shopping, artificial intelligence and automatisation will experience a boom.
Learning from past crisis

The youth labour market is highly sensitive to economic cycles and in times of economic crisis youth employment is hit more strongly by economic shocks than adult employment. Young workers are often “first out”. During the 2008 crisis, one in ten jobs in Europe held by workers under 30 were lost. In Spain, Greece and Ireland, half of working young people lost their jobs between 2007 and 2014.

Twelve years after that recession and despite economic recovery across the OECD, youth employment rate stagnated since 2010 and never recovered to pre-2008 crisis levels. Economic crises force young people into long-term unemployment, inactivity and discouragement which affects their long-term career prospects. What hope now for our young citizens?

COVID-19 crisis is reshaping the world of work and speeding the digital transformation

The impacts of the pandemic on youth labour market outcomes will be severe in developed, emerging and developing countries. Economies with high rates of informal employment are particularly vulnerable to shocks. The lockdowns and the spread of the virus mean millions of young people lack social protection, income benefit in case of sickness, and are at risk through inadequate access to universal health care.

Even though all economic sectors are affected by the pandemic, labour-intensive sectors with millions of low-paid and low-skilled young workers have been most dramatically affected. Young people in developing and developed countries make up the majority of workers in the wholesale and retail trade, accommodation, and food services sectors, and these have been hit hardest.

The weak economic situation in many countries pre-crisis is expected to deteriorate further, leaving tens of thousands of young people as NEETs in the short term.

Besides the increase in lay-offs and upsurge in temporary contracts, for those in work, their working conditions are likely to get worse, leaving many with precarious earnings or no income at all. The International Labour Organisation estimates a decline in working hours by 6.7% for all full-time workers globally; again, the under-30s and young women will be worst hit.

Covid-19 is forcing economies and companies to speed their digital transformation to meet the sudden boom in home working and online shopping. The crisis is also driving expansion of artificial intelligence and automatisation. With new online tools like video conferences now in wide-use, global business trips are set to decline post-crisis, with a significant knock on effect on jobs in administrative support, events, travel and transport. An increase in temporary and part-time jobs is forecast, with little stability and benefits as companies become reluctant to return to full-time employment models.

Sustainable future socio-economic progress with flourishing economies and societies need a vibrant, empowered and employed youth at their heart.

Decent and sustainable Youth employment must be at the forefront of global policy action

The rise of new technologies, globalisation, rapid changes in the world of work, the 2008 economic crisis, automatisation, and now COVID-19 have disrupted labour markets across the world in a seismic way for youth and their chances of decent, long term and meaningful employment.

Many jobs will disappear and the new jobs that are created will leave many young people behind. Those with lower skills will join the swelling numbers of Youth NEET or will find themselves in insecure jobs, with lower paid working conditions.

The increasing demand for digital skills is not only a prerequisite to enter the information technology sector; these skills are also needed in non-technical roles, such as customer services, health and social care. A closer interlinkage between the education and labour sectors becomes more important.

The economic shutdown provides a significant opportunity to redesign economies to fight climate change and environmental degradation and instead invest in decarbonised, sustainable and green economies. Some cities like Los Angeles (USA), regions (Scotland), and the EU have made progress towards implementing a Green New Deal, putting the environmental and clean tech jobs at the heart of the recovery.

Investing in young people means providing decent and sustainable jobs for young adults. Sustainable future socio-economic progress with flourishing economies and societies need a vibrant, empowered and employed youth at their heart.

The World Future Council shares good global policies for youth employment

At the World Future Council, we have investigated and recognised laws and policies from around the world that foster enabling work environments for youth, and help young adults adapt to market requirements. In 2019 we detailed a number of outstanding policies:

Scotland’s Developing the Young Workforce (DYW) tackles youth unemployment and improves the skills of young people to help them enter the labour market, by bringing together educators, employers, civil society, youth organisations, and local authorities to reshape the education curriculum and expand the apprenticeship programme.

Rwanda’s YouthConnekt connects youth to private sector and government employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, strengthens their civic engagement and leadership and has reached thousands of young Rwandans between 16 and 34 years old, raising awareness on employment, entrepreneurship and ICT. The policy serves as a model across Africa and supports the pan African initiative to create 10 million jobs for African young people.

South Africa’s Expanded Public Works Programmedemonstrates successfully how a labour market policy can provide poverty and income relief through temporary work for the unemployed. Temporary labour-intensive employment opportunities are created in public infrastructure and services of high social, cultural, and environmental value. Several initiatives on training aim to create 5.6 million jobs for the South African (youth) workforce by 2024.

COVID-19 has shown us just how fragile and globalised our economies and societies are. Poverty and income inequality will severely limit opportunities for youth employment in the post-COVID world. Investing in young people for decent and sustainable jobs must be put at the forefront of policy action so we can build resilient nations with equal, inclusive and sustainable economies and societies that respect nature and care for future generations.

[1]Workers in the informal economy are engaged in economic activities, enterprises, jobs, that are not regulated, well-paid, valued or protected by the state and society.

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Kategorien: Hamburg

237 women leaders endorse appeal on the International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament

24. Mai 2020 - 9:00
237 women leaders endorse appeal for human security for public health, peace and sustainable development

The appeal was endorsed by 237 global women leaders was released to coincide with International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament on May 24.

Read the full appeal and list of endorsers here


24 May 2020. Governments need to cut military expenditure, and increase their focus and budgets on human security and global cooperation, in order to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, address climate change and ensure a sustainable future, according to an international women’s appeal released today by Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament (PNND), Women Legislators’ Lobby (WiLL) and World Future Council (WFC).

The appeal, Human security for public health, peace and sustainable development, endorsed by 237 women legislators, religious leaders and civil society leaders from more than 40 countries* was released  to coincide with International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament on May 24, 2020. It also supports, in particular, United Nations’ initiatives for peace and disarmament including the global ceasefire initiative and the UN Secretary-General’s Agenda for Disarmament.

“The pandemic has undeniably demonstrated that key issues of human security cannot be resolved through military means, or independently by nations, but require global cooperation, diplomacy and peace. The United Nations, and its agencies like the World Health Organisation, and UN Environment Programme are vital for building such cooperation and peace. They must be better supported” says Alexandra Wandel, Executive Director, World Future Council.

“Our priorities are clear–It’s time to stop lining defense contractors’ pockets and spending vital taxpayer dollars on nuclear weapons. Instead, we must use the resources to support economic recovery from the pandemic. We will need global cooperation to rebuild our nations. Women legislators, religious leaders, and civil society organizations are championing the call for human security,” clarifies Jennifer Blemur, director, Women Legislators’ Lobby.

Nuclear weapons production destroys our planet, universal happiness nurtures our world” says an endorser of the appeal Ela Gandhi. “This is why we must also support the UN initiative for a global ceasefire,’ explains Vanda Proskova, Coordinator for PNND Czech Republic and one of the appeal’s organizers. “Women around the world know that armed conflict in their communities intensifies the impact of the COVID-19 on public health and human suffering, and makes it difficult, if not impossible, to manage. And ceasefires should be transformed into lasting peace agreements, with the full participation of women in the negotiations and implementation of peace agreements. Including women in these peace processes has been demonstrated to assist to reach peace agreements and to ensure that they are sustainable.”

The appeal is also commemorating the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, which was established to ‘save succeeding generations from the scourge of war’.  “The UN has an array of mechanisms through which nations can resolve conflicts, negotiate disarmament and address humanitarian issues and achieve security through diplomacy, not war,” agree the coordinators of the appeal.  “We urge all governments to make better use of these mechanisms, including to accept the compulsory jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice for international conflicts (74 countries have already done so), and to replace nuclear deterrence and provocative arms races with reliance on common security.”

„The world became more united to combat the Coronavirus pandemic. Let us build on that unity and be torchbearers for a better world embracing human security for our common future,” the signatories call.

*  The appeal is endorsed by women legislators, religious leaders and civil society leaders from Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Cameroon, Canada, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ghana, France, Ireland, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Lichtenstein, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Palestine, Philippines, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Togolese Republic, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, United Kingdom and the United States.

Quotes from some of the endorsers:

“Nuclear weapons production destroys our planet, universal happiness nurtures our world.”

Ela Gandhi (South Africa). Former Co-President of Religions for Peace. Grand-daughter of Mahatma Gandhi.

“Now is the time to create closer bonds to our brothers and sisters to be more at one with nature, to pull down walls of division and separation and to discard the them and us mentality which fuels the arms race. Poverty and pandemics cannot be eradicated with nuclear weapons and war. We all must cooperate to ensure we co-exist and survive as the human species at one with ourselves, nature and a new earth.”

Mairead Maguire (Northern Ireland). Nobel Peace Laureate (1976).

“Women are not only victims of armed conflict and violence but they can and should be leading  the efforts in peace  building, peace-making and conflict resolution. We need more women in peace and security.”

Maria Fernanda Espinosa (Ecuador). President of the 73rd UN General Assembly. Former Foreign Minister of Ecuador.

 

“Countries like Canada with a long tradition of multilateralism and UN engagement whilst also holding membership in NATO, a nuclear-armed alliance, have a special responsibility”, says former Canadian disarmament Ambassador Peggy Mason. “ It is long past time for a shift to sustainable peace and common security, as envisaged by the UN Charter, and Canada must help make that happen.”

Peggy Mason (Canada), President, L’Institut Rideau Institute. Former Canadian Ambassador for Disarmament to the UN.

“We welcome Securing Our Common Future, the Disarmament Agenda launched by United Nations Secretary-General (UNSG) in 2018, and we call for warring parties around the world to agree to the UNSG´s appeal of March 2020 for a global ceasefire to help combat the Coronavirus pandemic. It should be accompanied with significant cuts in the production and trade of conventional weapons and small arms, with the goal of achieving sustainable world peace and reducing violence.”

Hon. Daisy Lilián Tourné Valdez (Uruguay), President, Parliamentary Forum Small Arms and Light Weapons.

 

“The current pandemic has once again exposed the gross inequalities in our health infrastructure with women and girls, along with other vulnerable sections of civil society bearing the brunt of its impact. It’s time that we stopped this profligate wastage of resources on WMDs, arms and ammunition under the mistaken pretext of security. Instead, we need policies that encourage access to education and healthcare, that boost disaster resilience and replace this fear psychosis with a desire for peace.”

Kehkashan Basu (United Arab Emirates/Canada), World Future Council Youth Ambassador. Winner 2016 International Children’s Peace Prize. Named one of Canada’s most 25 influential women of 2018.

‘In this 75th anniversary year of the United Nations, and on International Women’s Day for Peace and Disarmament, it is my privilege to join other women parliamentarians, mayors and civil society leaders in reaffirming our collective commitment to the founding goals of the United Nations. We must continue to maintain world peace and strive to make the world a better place for people all over the world through cooperation and a shared commitment to the SDGs. And we must support women human rights champions, and those who are being persecuted for promoting peace and equality for all. It is only through our sustained collective action that we can help build a peaceful, secure, sustainable, and just world where all diversity is embraced and we include all citizens as equal human beings.’

Louisa Wall MP (Aotearoa-New Zealand), Deputy Chair of PNND New Zealand and Co-Chair Cross Party Women Parliamentarians. Women’s Rugby World Cup champion.

“Even to speak in terms of “waging war with a virus” reveals our romance with weapons and war frameworks. We are unprepared to meet a global health emergency because we chose to invest in guns and global destruction over genuine human security. The paradox inherent in this moment is that even as we grieve the losses resulting from this current pandemic, we can make better choices for our future.  We can answer the 75-year old call to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, investing our resources instead in our common future.  With our bold actions taken now, we can write a better letter to future generations and call forth a world built on peace, respect, sustainable development, and justice.”
Rev. Emma Jordan-Simpson (USA), Executive Director, Fellowship of Reconciliation Brooklyn, USA.

“It is hard to believe that an incredible high amount of money is still being spent on nuclear armament. At a time, when money is urgently needed for health, education and science.  It is hard to believe that there are still armed conflicts when the only way to combat global threats such as pandemics and climate change is cooperation.”

Christine Muttonen (Austria), Former President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.

“Nuclear weapons are liabilities, not assets. They do nothing to keep us safe against the pandemic we now face, or the rising threat of climate change, or other threats to our national security. Today, we celebrate the opportunity at hand to redefine our future. This is our chance to redefine what human security truly means so that we can achieve a more peaceful, inclusive and just world.”

Elizabeth Warner (USA), Managing Director, Ploughshares Fund and the Women’s Initiative.

 

“UN SC resolution 1325 stresses the essential role of women in peace making and conflict resolution. COVID19 has exposed our vulnerabilities as nation states. Global security is not achievable by war and military might. It requires global cooperation and mutual trust. Women parliamentarians call for multilateralism to replace conflict and for spending on arms to be redirected to building strong responses to health and climate disasters. We are stronger together.”

Hon. Hedy Fry, P.C., MP. (Canada). Special Representative on Gender Issues for the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.

 

“As the international community faces a resurgence of the threat posed by nuclear weapons, bold, creative, and cooperative diplomatic action to eliminate these dangerous and destabilizing weapons is imperative. As global citizens we must demand that leaders take concrete steps to end the arms race, eliminate the role of nuclear weapons in security doctrines, and verifiably dismantle nuclear arsenals, because there is no place for nuclear weapons in a just and sustainable peace.”

Kelsey Davenport (USA), Director for Non-proliferation Policy, Arms Control Association.

“I appeal to all world leaders to immediately start working for ceasefires, demining, disarmament and peace processes. The global military budget of $1,700 billion ($100 billion alone on nuclear weapons!) is insane and must urgently be converted to support climate protection, public health, countries most in need and the Sustainable Development Goals!”

Margareta Kiener Nellen (Switzerland), Former Chair of OSCEPA-Committee on Democracy, human rights and humanitarian questions. Board Member of Peace Women Across the Globe (PWAG).

 

“I’m proud to count myself as an active member of the Women Legislators’ Lobby. This is a group that understands just how important each issue is in relation to the next. COVID-19 has made us realize just how small and interconnected the world is. Nuclear armament did not stop this virus and it won’t help us to eliminate it. We must reject the rule that tells us that only weapons make us strong. We can no longer ignore the responsibility we have to reimagine our diplomatic place on the international stage. I stand with the Women Legislators’ Lobby today and every day as we work to redefine what power is and to simply make this world a better place to be.”

Rep. Carol Ammons (USA). Member, Illinois State Assembly and the Women Legislators’ Lobby.


Media Contacts
Vanda Proskova (Czech Republic) +420 728 407 661 vanda@pnnd.org
Jennifer Blemur (USA)  jblemur@wand.org
Miriam Petersen (Germany) +49 178 101 8019 miriam.petersen@worldfuturecouncil.org

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Kategorien: Hamburg

Policy Brief: “Making societies more resilient!”

14. Mai 2020 - 12:03
Making societies more resilient! THE ROLE OF RENEWABLES IN COVID19 RECOVERY PACKAGES Policy Brief for the Global Renewable Congress

Facing the global COVID-19 crisis, humanity is dealing with an unprecedented challenge. Next to severe impacts on the health system, we are confronted with the biggest economic collapse since the Great Depression. The national and international recovery programs will be larger than those seen after the global financial crisis in 2008. They will determine our infrastructure for decades to come.
Therefore, it is crucial to combine upcoming recovery programs and the following recovery plans with zero carbon development plans and green deals. We need to build an economy and a society that is more resilient, more inclusive, more renewable, and healthier, improving the way of life of all citizens around the globe. Instead of managing acute symptoms of the crisis, the government should develop a longer-term vision when designing COVID19 recovery programs – with renewable energies at the core. This crisis is an opportunity for fast-tracking the global energy transition.
Many government recovery packages after the global economic crisis in 2008 were labeled “green”. However, from an emissions point of view, the recovery from the 2008 global \inancial crisis was energy and carbon-intensive. CO2 emissions declined by 400 million tonnes in 2009 but rebounded by 1.7 billion tonnes in 2010 (IEA 2020). We don’t have time to repeat this mistake once again. 1
In addition, many countries have already set up stimulus packages for economic recovery. However, many of the 2least developed countries might lack the financial strength to set up national recovery programs. Only 29 out of 69 countries with a per-capita GDP of $10,000 or less have established ambitious stimulus packages. Therefore, 3 international support will be crucial for those countries. Making societies more resilient!


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For more Information visit the

Global Renewables Congress Website

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Kategorien: Hamburg

Press Release: New Study: Reducing global CO2 emissions and tackling the pandemic crisis

13. Mai 2020 - 11:59
New Study: How central banks can trigger a massive reduction of global CO2 emissions and tackling the pandemic crisis by using new tools of green bonds and guarantees

Hamburg, 13 May 2020 – A new study by the World Future Council was released today that shows that central banks could achieve a massive reduction of global CO2 emissions whilst tackling the pandemic crisis by using new tools. This could be realised without increasing the money supply by reinvesting matured assets from previous purchase programmes.

The study “Tackling the climate crises and the corona pandemic recession” provides new tools (consisting of new Green Bonds and Guarantees) to support global climate finance and tackling climate change in this way. The tools can be integrated into the regular monetary policies of central banks without compromising their primary objectives or affecting their independence. The new tools will also enable central banks to stimulate the economy in a direct way, which is more efficient than the previous pure asset purchases and can reduce unintended spill-over effects (which are recently criticized by the German Federal Constitutional Court).

“Today, it could be regarded as mainstream among central banks that the climate crisis is part of their mandate because it will also threaten financial stability”, says author and chief economist of the World Future Council Dr Matthias Kroll. This insight led to the establishment of the new central banks and supervisors ‘Network for Greening the Financial System’ (NGFS) in 2017.

“However, climate change is yet not reflected in their monetary policies in contrast to other systemic risk situations: For the 2008 financial crisis and the current coronavirus pandemic central banks spent and are spending trillions and multiplied their balance sheets to overcome the threat. In fact, central banks need new monetary tools, which can tackle both problems at the same time: Stimulating the economy in a direct way in the corona recession and supporting global climate finance on a scale which can stop climate change” Kroll concluded. The involvement of central banks in the field of supporting climate finance is crucial, because the massive shortfall of green investments is not a lack of ‘green’ capital, but a lack of enough bankable projects. The objective of the new tools should be to make them bankable. 

The study shows that the necessary amount to meet the 1.5°C limit from the Paris Agreement is only a fraction of the sum used during the other systemic crises. In a first scenario it is estimated that a 37 percent reduction of global CO2 emissions until 2030 can be triggered only if the ECB operates with the new green bond and guarantees tools annually to the amount of €150bn (which is only 20 percent of their recently announced €750bn purchase programme to combat the pandemic crisis). If more central banks from the industrialised world will meet their responsibility in this important field, a significant larger effect could be possible. Ultimately, a reduction of all global greenhouse gas emissions to net zero until 2040 is then possible. 

The study can be downloaded here.

Media Contact

Miriam Petersen

Media & Communications Manager

World Future Council

Email: Miriam.petersen@worldfuturecouncil.org, Phone +49 (0) 178-1018019

About the World Future Council

The World Future Council (WFC) consists of up to 50 eminent global change-makers from governments, parliaments, civil society, academia, the arts, and business who have already successfully created change. We work to pass on a healthy planet and fair societies to our children and grand-children. To achieve this, we focus on identifying and spreading effective, future-just policy solutions and promote their implementation worldwide. Jakob von Uexkull, the Founder of the Alternative Nobel Prize, launched the World Future Council in 2007. We are an independent, non-profit orga-nization under German law and finance our activities from donations. For information visit www.worldfuturecouncil.org

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Kategorien: Hamburg

New Study: Tackling the Climate Crisis and Corona Pandemic Recession

13. Mai 2020 - 9:00
How central banks can trigger a massive reduction of global CO2 emissions and tackling the pandemic crisis by using new tools of green bonds and guarantees

A new study by the World Future Council was released today that shows that central banks could achieve a massive reduction of global CO2 emissions whilst tackling the pandemic crisis by using new tools. This could be realised without increasing the money supply by reinvesting matured assets from previous purchase programmes.

The study “Tackling the climate crises and the corona pandemic recession” provides new tools (consisting of new Green Bonds and Guarantees) to support global climate finance and tackling climate change in this way. The tools can be integrated in the regular monetary policies of central banks without compromising their primary objectives or affecting their independence. The new tools will also enable central banks to stimulate the economy in a direct way, which is more efficient than the previous pure asset purchases and can reduce unintended spill-over effects (which are recently criticized by the German Federal Constitutional Court).

“Today, it could be regarded as mainstream among central banks that the climate crisis is part of their mandate because it will also threaten financial stability”, says author Dr. Matthias Kroll. This insight led to the establishment of the new central banks and supervisors ‘Network for Greening the Financial System’ (NGFS) in 2017.

“However, climate change is yet not reflected in their monetary policies in contrast to other systemic risk situations: For the 2008 financial crisis and the current coronavirus pandemic central banks spent and are spending trillions and multiplied their balance sheets to overcome the threat. In fact, central banks need new monetary tools, which can tackle both problems at the same time: Stimulating the economy in a direct way in the corona recession and supporting global climate finance on a scale which can stop climate change” Kroll concluded. The involvement of central banks in the field of supporting climate finance is crucial because the massive shortfall of green investments is not a lack of ‘green’ capital, but a lack of enough bankable projects. The objective of the new tools should be to make them bankable. 



Download

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Kategorien: Hamburg

Press Release: World Future Council COVID-19 Statement

8. Mai 2020 - 11:40
Covid-19 crisis: Changemakers from the World Future Council urge global leaders to develop a just and resilient world

Hamburg, 8th May 2020 – Representatives of the World Future Council from all continents have signed a letter to world leaders in which they outline recommendations and calls for immediate targeted actions required to rebuild a resilient and just world now and after the Covid-19 pandemic. The coronavirus pandemic shows how fragile the current international system is and that common, global solutions to this challenge are needed. They are urging the need for a strong and efficient multilateral system, global leadership, collective action, and shared responsibilities in support of current and future generations.

Out of deep respect for life on earth, the World Future Council Members urge to address the planet’s interconnected crises, ensure resilience for the long-term, and to act urgently to implement far reaching, appropriate measures. Ensuring the right to health for all, providing financial and investment relief, creating decent and sustainable jobs, halting armed conflicts, securing children’s rights, empowering and protecting women and girls, valuing health workers, caretakers and service providers, respecting nature and its life cycles, accelerating action on climate change, and enhancing effective global cooperation are the ten claims the Council is making.

The letter was submitted to heads of UN agencies and Heads of States today. Among the recommendations to “build back better” after Covid-19 are the significant reduction of developing countries’ foreign debt alongside with better access to sustainable investment for developing countries. They also call for a global ceasefire and the reduction of military budgets to release funds for public health and sustainable development. Furthermore, the Council Members urge for the support of sustainable and fair economies and dissemination of green technologies such as renewable energy and agroecology as well as the protection and restoration of ecosystems to prevent future pandemics.

“Viruses know no boundaries. We therefore demand long-term global action today to build resilience for the future! We need to be mindful of the links between human health, planetary health and the destruction of our ecosystems.” says signatory Helmy Abouleish, CEO of SEKEM, Egypt.

“The Covid-19 pandemic hits the vulnerable members of our societies the most. Children’s rights a being cut, women feel an increase in their workload and are more exposed to domestic violence. Healthcare workers and other frontliners bear the brunt of this crisis. They all need to be treated with respect, today and in the future” states Maria Fernanda Espinosa, President of the 73rd UN General Assembly.

“Governments are now working to build the world after the pandemic. This is an opportunity to create more resilient economies. Economic stimulus packages must therefore prioritise green technologies such as renewable energy and agroecology, in line with the Paris agreement of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees”, says Dr. Tony Colman, Climate Change Researcher and former UK MP.

“This is a turning point for humankind, and it is our duty to rebuild our world in a way that safeguards life on earth. This is why determined, strong and immediate global action is key to build back our world in a way that respects people and planet” says Alexandra Wandel, Executive Director of the World Future Council.

READ THE FULL STATEMENT HERE

Media Contact

Miriam Petersen

Media & Communications Manager

World Future Council

Email: Miriam.petersen@worldfuturecouncil.org, Phone +49 (0) 178-1018019

About the World Future Council

The World Future Council (WFC) consists of up to 50 eminent global change-makers from governments, parliaments, civil society, academia, the arts, and business who have already successfully created change. We work to pass on a healthy planet and fair societies to our children and grand-children. To achieve this, we focus on identifying and spreading effective, future-just policy solutions and promote their implementation worldwide. Jakob von Uexkull, the Founder of the Alternative Nobel Prize, launched the World Future Council in 2007. We are an independent, non-profit orga-nization under German law and finance our activities from donations. For information visit www.worldfuturecouncil.org

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Kategorien: Hamburg

The World during and after Covid-19: Statement of the World Future Council

8. Mai 2020 - 10:40

Covid-19: The World Future Council’s Call on Governments, Multilateral Organisations, Leaders and Policy-makers of the World to Take Action

COVID/19 has been a wakeup call for humanity. The pandemic has created unprecedented emergencies. To overcome the current catastrophic scenario we need to act now, not only to respond to the health crisis but to build a just and sustainable future. We urgently need a strong and efficient multilateral system, we need global leadership, collective action and shared responsibilities in support of current and future generations.

Immediate targeted actions required out of deep respect for life on earth:  

  1. Ensuring the right to health for all

Health is a fundamental human right. International solidarity is required, so that all people in all countries have access to health services of quality, leaving no one behind. There must be full access to prevention, diagnosis, treatment and medicines. The international community and governments have an obligation to ensure universal health coverage (UHC) at national level. Governments also need to ensure the right to clean air, clean water and sanitation, as well as the right to healthy and nutritious food. Children, refugees, internally displaced persons, elderly and persons with disabilities are amongst the most vulnerable. They deserve special attention. We promote integrative health which supports resilience of the people and the planet.

  1. Providing financial and investment relief

We urge OECD governments to support the already established Global Humanitarian Response Plan and the Response and Recovery Fund for poor and middle-income countries. We underscore the necessity that governments drop austerity policies, stop evictions and expand public budgets for the health of people and the health of our planet. Countries need to prioritise investments to guarantee fundamental rights to health, water, food, housing and education. In order « to build back better », the significant reduction of developing countries’ foreign debt will have to be complemented by better access to sustainable investment for developing countries

  1. Creating decent and sustainable jobs

National governments as well as international economic and financial stimulus and recovery packages should secure millions of decent jobs, specifically for young women and men who are affected most by the crisis and enhance green new deals. COVID-19 measures should support sustainable, fair economies and disseminate green technologies such as renewable energy and agroecology. This requires to « build back better » with a new economy that addresses inequalities and that is more resilient, greener, healthier and safer for all. Economic stimulus packages must support meeting the Paris goal of limiting climate change to 1.5 degrees.

  1. Halting armed conflicts

Armed conflicts kill many innocent people, aggravate the health and economic impact of pandemics, destroy the natural environment and thwart measures to contain the pandemic and deliver healthcare.  We emphatically endorse the United Nations initiative for a global ceasefire, and call on all warring parties in armed conflicts to lay down their arms and work in cooperation with the UN Special Envoys for sustainable and peaceful resolutions to the conflicts. We also call on governments to honour their obligations under the UN Charter to resolve international conflicts through diplomacy, mediation, arbitration and adjudication, and to reduce military budgets in order to release funds for public health and sustainable development.

  1. Securing children’s rights

Millions of girls and boys are experiencing a deep cut in the enjoyment of their rights like the right to education, to health, to food, to play and to protection. We urge governments to develop measures to keep them healthy, to provide them with water, sanitation and food, to allow children to continue their education and to protect them and their mothers from violence.

  1. Empowering and protecting women and girls

Women and girls are specifically impacted by the current lock-down by an increase in domestic violence and in their workload. They are the majority of health workers and their care work must be valued with adequate pay and childcare support. Reproductive health services also need be provided.

  1. Valuing health workers and service providers

Tribute needs to be given to all health workers, caregivers, food and basic services’ providers for being at the frontline of this pandemic and for putting their own lives at risk to serve and protect us all. They need to receive fair pay and benefits.

  1. Respecting nature and its life cycles

In order to prevent future pandemics we need to recognise the links between human health, infectious diseases, destruction of our ecosystems and planetary health. Every country must do its part to develop and implement comprehensive legislation to further sustainable energy and agroecological practices, protect animal welfare, ban wildlife sales, protect wildlife and ban trafficking of wildlife across borders. Markets for live animals need to be studied to address the disease vectors. Policymakers need to fight corruption that allows these activities to continue even when they are banned or illegal. They also need to protect and restore ecosystems, protect biodiversity and work towards an increase of protected areas on land and sea, as well as a substantial worldwide increase in forest cover, including through afforestation and reforestation, in order to ensure living organisms in the biosphere have the needed space without human interference. Actions addressed above should be integrated in the 2020/2021 meetings of the UN, the UN Biodiversity Summit and the World Food Systems Summit.

  1. Accelerating action on climate change

Addressing the COVID-19 crisis cannot come at the expense of solving the climate crisis: Governments need to continue developing rapid and far-reaching decarbonization of our energy and food systems by producing clean energy and implementing energy efficiency measures in the consumption. Governments must set domestic 100% renewable energy targets to keep fossil fuels underground and unleash investments to scale up across all sectors, including power generation, mobility, heating, cooling and cooking. We need to mitigate climate change through agroecology and sustainable forests. Investments should be redirected from subsidizing fossil fuels towards meeting the Paris Climate Agreement Goals. Action addressed above should be reinforced at the next UN Climate Summit.

  1. Enhancing effective global cooperation 

In order to better manage pandemics and other global health and environment issues, the UN should enhance its internal coordination mechanisms and ensure effective cooperation between UN agencies and a more systematic implementation at national level.

Business as usual is not an option. We must lay the foundations for a peaceful world of solidarity, equity and sustainability, by spreading effective future just policy solutions.

The World Future Council is composed of 50 eminent persons from around the world and was founded in 2007. We work with policy makers to bring the interests of present and future generations to the centre of policy-making, promoting the spread of future just policies across the world. We call for the international community to support and bolster the work of the United Nations and to implement commitments such as  Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement, while promoting far more rigorous measures which are desperately needed to counter the global threats we face.

 

 

Building on our work as World Future Council since 2007, we call upon policymakers to reverse the planet’s interconnected crises, to ensure resilience for the long-term and to act urgently to implement far reaching, appropriate measures

 

  1. Enhancing livelihoods through ending hunger, adopting agroecology and protecting the oceans

Across the world, millions of people are threatened by hunger despite a global food system of over-production and waste. Hunger can be eradicated through regenerative practices that challenge unsustainable food consumption and waste. Visionary food system policies are needed that promote agroecological practices, widely endorsed by scientists, civil society groups and farmers, protecting smallholders, indigenous farmers and community supported agriculture. Localized food systems must be structured to create resilience in the face of our brittle globalized food system. The recent COVID-19 pandemic is a symptom of a food system in need of transformation to address key health, nutrition, hunger, poverty, climate change and animal welfare issues at their roots. We request that the huge sums made available for restarting the economy be used proactively to further the food system’s agroecological transformation and assure long term resilience in the framework of food sovereignty and right to food.

With fishing grounds already overfished, many species extinct and the high pollution of our seas, we also call for the conservation of oceans by protecting at least 30 percent of the oceans by 2030 as recommended by the High Ambition Coalition of Governments.

  1. Establishing a regenerative economy within business and investment cultures 

Considering the overshoot of the planetary biocapacity, business and investments are required to consistently orientate their corporate strategies towards the externalization of benefits for human societies and natural habitats. From now on, entrepreneurial and investor success must be benchmarked against the regeneration of the natural bases of life and the development of the daily infrastructural needs of people. For safeguarding the ecological and material basis for our common future, the regeneration of the broad range of our common livelihoods must become a primary goal of our economic activities. This must be consequently supported by an adequate economic policy framework.

  1. Valuing and accounting for natural and social wealth

We underscore that natural and social wealth need to be valued and integrated into the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and incorporated into the valuation of companies and their performance measurements. To capture the positive and negative externalities, the broad range of social economic and ecological indicators must be integrated into accounting methodologies. The valuation of economic activities, their products and services along their full impacts on society and nature is a precondition for the global economic, social and environmental system transformation.

  1. Reviewing trade and investment agreements

As the Amazon still burns during the pandemic, all trade and investment rules and agreements need to be reviewed on the basis of environmental, economic, social and health impacts and effectively adjusted to achieve a regenerative life supporting economy. Furthermore, we also call for securing a legally binding multilateral treaty on transnational corporations’ respect for human rights at the UN.

  1. Developing technology serving people and planet

Technology is rapidly developing. Policy makers need to raise the question: Does the technology specifically contribute to human development, avoiding negative health and social consequences? Is the precautionary approach to human health, natural resources and ecosystems applied as well as the polluter pays principle? Can the technology leave no one behind and respect planetary boundaries?

  1. Advancing peace and security

We call on governments to reduce reliance on militarism and the threat or use of force, eliminate nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, drastically reduce the USD 1.7 trillion global military budget, and re-direct funds to common security and human needs. Financial and political support is needed for the United Nations and its mechanisms for the peaceful resolution of conflicts and its agencies for advancing security. Such a shift from military to human/common security can secure the health of our people and the health of our planet, regenerating the very foundations of life – forests, soils, oceans, and the atmosphere.

  1. Educating for sustainable development

We recognize that all daily decisions can have severe global impacts. At all ages, we need to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills and values to unfold human potential and foster responsible behaviour and lifestyles, that are compatible with the living Earth. We call for education for sustainable development to be widely implemented from the youngest age onwards.

  1. Safeguarding and promoting the rights of future generations

We strongly support the campaigns of children and young people who are demanding that today’s leaders take appropriate measures to protect the future of the living Earth. They rightly insist on being actively involved in key decisions that will affect their future and generations to come.

We call for effective institutions to safeguard the rights of current and future generations at all levels of government decision making across the world.

We also call for the recognition of our collective responsibility on intergenerational equity and to recognize that all decisions have long-term implications for the wellbeing of people and the planet.

May 2020

www.worldfuturecouncil.org

www.futurepolicy.org

Signed by

  1. Hafsat Abiola, President, Women in Africa Initiative, Founding Councillor, World Future Council, Nigeria
  2. Helmy Abouleish, CEO of the SEKEM Initiative, President of Demeter International, Councillor, World Future Council, Egypt
  3. Charlotte Aubin, President, GreenWish Group, Councillor, World Future Council, France
  4. Dr h.c. Maude Barlow, Chairperson, The Council of Canadians, former Senior Advisor to the UN on water issues, Founding Councillor, World Future Council, Canada
  5. Dipal Barua, Founder, Bright Green Energy Foundation, Co-Founder & Former Deputy Managing Director, Grameen Bank, Founding Managing Director, Grameen Shakti, Councillor, World Future Council , Bangladesh
  6. Kehkashan Basu, Founder-President of Green Hope Foundation, Youth Lead of Toronto-St-Paul’s Constituency Youth Council Canada, Youth Ambassador of World Future Council, Canada
  7. Dr. Ana María Cetto, UNAM, Councillor, World Future Council, Mexico
  1. Anthony Colman, Research Fellow , University of East Anglia, Columbia University and the University of Cape Town, former UK MP, Founding Councillor, World Future Council United Kingdom
  2. Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger, DPhil (Oxon), MEM (Yale), BCL&LLB (McGill), BA Hons, Senior Director, Centre for International Sustainable Development Law (CISDL) and Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professor, University of Cambridge, UK, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC CoP26 Climate Law and Governance Initiative (CLGI) and Full Professor of Law, University of Waterloo, Canada, Founding Councillor, World Future Council, Switzerland
  3. Thais Corral, Founder, Women, Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), Founder, SINAL do Vale School of Transformation Agents; Coordinator of the Adapta Sertão Project at the Center for Innovation and Sustainability and Rede de Desenvolvimento Humano (Network for Human Development), Councillor, World Future Council, Brazil
  4. Daniel Dahm, Member of Advisory Board, Scientists4Future, Member, German Association Club of Rome DCoR, Managing Director United Sustainability Group, Senior Advisor, World Future Council; Germany
  5. Inez Bjørg David, actress, Ambassador, World Future Council, Denmark/Germany
  6. Ahmed Djoghlaf, former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations and former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, Honorary Councillor, World Future Council, Algeria
  7. phil. Barbara Doll, ObGyn, Complementary Medicine, Senior Advisor, World Future Council
  8. Anda Filip, former Ambassador of Romania to the United Nations, currently with the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), Councillor of the World Future Council
  9. Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, President oft he 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly, Councillor, World Future Council, Ecuador
  10. Dr Olivier Giscard D’Estaing, Chairman, INSEAD Foundation and Comité pour un Parlement Mondial, former Member of the French Parliament, Honorary Councillor, World Future Council
  11. Luc Gnacadja, President, GPS-Dev (Governance and Policies for Sustainable Development), Councillor, World Future Council, Benin
  12. Dr. Franz-Theo Gottwald, CEO, Schweisfurth Foundation, Honorary Professor for Environmental Ethics, Humboldt University Berlin, Chair, Supervisory Board, World Future Council, Germany
  13. Dr. Maja Göpel. Secretary-General, The German Advisory Council on Global Change, Councillor, World Future Council, Germany
  14. Neshan Gunasekera, educationist and lawyer, Councillor, World Future Council, Sri Lanka
  15. Randy Hayes, Executive Director of Foundation Earth, Rainforest Action Network Founder, World Future Council Advisor, USA
  16. Hans R Herren, President and CEO, Millennium Institute, Co-Founder and President Biovision, Recipient of the World Food Prize, Councillor, World Future Council, USA/Switzerland
  17. Ashok Khosla, Chairman, Development Alternatives, India, Founding Member, World Future Council, India
  18. Dr Rolf Kreibich, President, “A home for the United Nations Berlin”, Executive and Scientific Director of the Secretariat for Futures Research/Free University Berlin, Founding Councillor, World Future Council, Germany
  19. Anja Leetz, Environmental Health Expert, Senior Advisor, World Future Council, Germany
  20. Dr. Alexander Likhotal, Professor at the Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations, Councillor, World, Future Council, Switzerland/Russia
  21. Rama Mani, Convenor, Enacting Global Transformation, Centre for International Studies, University of Oxford, Founder, Theatre of Transformation Academy, Founding Councillor, World Future Council, France
  22. Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Chair, Alliance Bioversity and CIAT, Chair, Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, Former Director General, International Union for Conservation of Nature, France/Hungary
  23. Jan McAlpine, McAlpine Consulting Washington DC; former Director, United Nations’ Forum on Forests Secretariat – Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNFF), USA
  24. Frances Moore Lappé, Small Planet Institute, Founding Councillor, World Future Council, USA
  25. Hiu Ng, Honorary Fellow, University College London, Honorary Councillor, World Future Council, UK/China
  26. Anna Oposa, Executive Director, Save Philippine Seas, Councillor, World Future Council Philippines 
  27. Katiana Orluc, Political and Strategic Advisor, Founding Councillor, World Future Council 
  28. Dr. Michael Otto, Chairman of the Advisory Board Otto Group and Honorary Councillor World Future Council, Germany
  29. Andrea Reimer, Former Vancouver City Councillor, Loeb Fellow, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Policy Practitioner Fellow, UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs, Canada
  30. Cyril Ritchie, President, Union of International Associations, Senior Policy Advisor, World Future Council, Switzerland
  31. Dr. Vandana Shiva, Director, Navdanya, Founding Councillor, World Future Council, India
  32. Ilsabe von Campenhausen, BMW Foundation Herbert Quandt, Germany
  33. Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker, PhD, Honorary President, The Club of Rome, Past Co-Chair, International Resource Panel, UNEP, Germany
  34. Alexandra Wandel, Chair, Management Board, World Future Council, Member of the International Commission, Voices of Future Generations Book Series, Germany
  35. Alyn Ware, Global Coordinator, Parliamentarians for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament, Recipient of the Rights Livelihood Award, Councillor, World Future Council New Zealand/Czech Republic
  36. Anders Wijkman, Honorary President of Club of Rome, Chairman of the Governing Board of Climate-KIC, former President GLOBE EU, former UN Assistant Secretary-General, Founding Councillor, World Future Council, Sweden
  37. Barbara Woschek, Honorary Councillor, World Future Council, Project Manager: Ending violence against women and girls, Canada 

 [1]Zoonotic diseases –those transmitted from animals to humans – cause 2.5 billion cases of human illness and 2.7 million deaths each year around the world, according to the National Institutes of Health. Viruses such as HIV, Ebola, Sars, Mers and Zika are also believed to have originated in animals.

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