The Oxford Martin School Programme on Human Rights for Future Generations co-organised an international conference on the Essential Ingredients for Sustainable Future with the Welsh Government and the World Future Council in Cardiff earlier this week (28-29 April). The conference was organised at a perfect moment, as the Well-Being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 was sealed during the event.
The aim of the Act is to ‘ensure that when making decisions public bodies take into account the impact they could have on people living their lives in Wales in the future’. The event brought together practitioners and NGOs around the world, representing institutions focused on long-term oriented governance. There were commissioners and ombudspersons from Canada, Australia, Hungary, and Germany. There was also a high-level representation from the UN, with the Director of the Division for Sustainable Development at the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs attending.
This landmark conference provided the opportunity to share some insights into how institutions can work for the long term. ”The present has much more power over the future than ever in history. In times like these, we must rethink the whole underlying decision-making processes”, says Dr. Jaakko Kuosmanen who coordinates the Human Rights for Future Generations Programme. “We need to overcome the short termism of election cycles and policy frameworks. Decisions this year can put us on the path for a sustainable world for today and tomorrow. Bringing together policymakers and civil actors at this conference is an important step in the right direction”