WFC to G8: Listen to Voice of Future Generations
London, UK - 14 May 2007, 20:29 GMT - The opening
words of The Hamburg Call to Action, resonate strongly with the vision
and mission of ATCA, "Today we truly stand at the crossroads of human
history. Our actions - and our failure to act - will decide the future
of life on earth for thousands of years, if not forever."
Re: The Hamburg Call to Action -- World Future Council Appeals to
G8: Listen to the Voice of Future Generations -- von Uexkull
We are grateful to our distinguished ATCA contributor and initiator
of the World Future Council, Jakob von Uexkull, for submitting The Hamburg
Call to Action, which has been unanimously adopted by the 50 members
of the World Future Council at the organisation's Founding Congress
on Sunday, 13th May.
The declaration appeals to G8 leaders ahead of their June summit to
"face up to their unique responsibilities ... and not allow outdated
rules and economic dogmas to endanger our common future. The unprecedented
challenge of climate change will only be overcome by global sharing
of vital resources and technologies."
Jakob von Uexkull, initiator of the World Future Council and founder
of the Right Livelihood Awards, said the Hamburg Call to Action "sets
out the vision and aims of the newly-formed Council." Able
to draw on the expertise of fifty prominent thinkers and pioneers from
five continents, the World Future Council will be "an ethical
voice for the needs and rights of future life." With members
coming from the worlds of governments, parliaments, business, civil
society, science and the arts, the World Future Council is seeking to
work with policy-makers and citizens world-wide to identify and implement
the best policies, to ensure a sustainable, just and peaceful future.
Climate Change is not the only challenge the World Future Council seeks
to address, but it does form the focus of the organisation's first major
Executive Committee Elected
At the Founding Congress, Council members also voted in the first Executive
Committee, consisting of five personalities, who reflect the diversity
of the organisation. Human rights advocate and Council of Europe Goodwill
Ambassador, Bianca Jagger, was elected as Chairperson, and will work
closely with her Deputy, Beate Weber, former Mayor of the German city
of Heidelberg and Chair of the European Parliament Committee on environment,
health and consumer protection. The two will be supported by Tariq Banuri,
Director of the Asia Centre of the Stockholm Environment Institute;
Stephen Marglin, Professor of Economics at Harvard University; and Dr
Vandana Shiva, the renowned Indian physicist and environmental campaigner
who will also be speaking at the alternative G8 People's Summit. After
3 days of consultations at the Founding Congress in Hamburg, Council
members signed a commitment to do "everything in their power
to speak up for comprehensive peace and true justice between the world's
peoples and countries."
The Hamburg Call to Action
Today we stand at the crossroads of human history. Our actions - and
our failures to act - will decide the future of life on earth for thousands
of years, if not forever.
Our generation will be scrutinized with exceptional fierceness by those
coming after us, for decisions taken now will have profound consequences
for them in terms of lives saved or lost.
The World Future Council identifies necessary policies and works to
develop a new political realism, based on ethics and science and freed
from dogmas which sacrifice our real wealth - our climate, water, soil,
air and the health of our communities.
We seek to promote systems and institutions based on equity and justice,
replacing those that perpetuate inequity and injustice. We seek equally
to overturn policies that violate our future and promote best policies
to safeguard our future.
We have decided to focus first on climate change, because this is no
longer just an environmental issue. It touches every area of our lives:
peace, security, human rights, poverty, hunger, health, mass migration,
We all know what needs to be done. We have unprecedented skills and
resources. Our earth receives ample energy from renewable sources, which
we can no longer afford to waste, for the sunshine and wind of today
cannot be harnessed tomorrow!
Natural laws supersede all others because they determine the conditions
of our existence. If we do not succeed in limiting climate chaos, our
earth will no longer be habitable for most of its inhabitants. Already
the global water crisis is the leading cause of death in many poor countries.
It is not possible to negotiate with melting glaciers or to re-schedule
environmental debts. The protection of the earth's vitality, diversity
and beauty is not only a matter of political choice. It is a sacred
The World Future Council is committed to protecting present and future
generations from war crimes and crimes against humanity. Depleted uranium,
cluster ammunition and landmines, among other weapons, are already damaging
and threatening lives now and in the future. We support the initiatives
working to ensure that they are universally banned.
Nuclear weapons remain humanity's most immediate catastrophic threat.
These weapons would destroy cities, countries, civilization and possibly
humanity itself. The danger posed by nuclear weapons in any hands must
be confronted directly and urgently through a new initiative for the
elimination of these instruments of annihilation.
The World Future Council speaks up for and acts to protect the interests
of future generations. It will work with policy-makers and civil society
worldwide to identify, draft and help implement model policies, laws
and agreements to:
· rapidly phase in renewable energy technologies in all relevant
· protect our forests and oceans
· secure healthy food and water supplies while minimizing environmental
· shift funds from military to environmental security, healthcare,
education and shelter
· shift taxation from labour to resource use, pollution and waste
· build a sustainable production, trade, financial and monetary
· revive local democracies and economies
· reform global governance within a strengthened, democratised
and revitalized UN system, capable of preventing war, genocide and crimes
· safeguard traditional indigenous tribal rights, including land
· contribute to reforming education in accordance with these
History reminds us that, in times of crisis, humans can take giant steps
in a very short time. For example, when attacked, countries have managed
to convert their entire production within months to serve the needs
of the war economy. When environmental disasters struck, some peoples
quickly adapted and changed their ways of life - while others failed
Our political and economic goals will from now on have to aim for the
maximum of present well-being compatible with our obligations to future
generations. The alternative is ethically and humanly unacceptable.
For one common value has always united humanity: respecting the birthright
of our children to a healthy planet.
Decisions by governments determine rules and influence our values. They
enable the private sector and all of us to act more effectively. The
World Future Council calls on the G8 and EU and other upcoming summits
to face up to their unique responsibilities by responding actively and
immediately to the planetary ultimatum we have all been given. Outdated
rules and economic dogmas must not be allowed to endanger our common
future. The challenge of climate change will only be overcome by global
sharing of access to vital resources and technologies, ensuring clean
energy, water, nutrition and education for all.
The duty of caring for our environment and future is stressed in all
human faiths. From time to time our ancestors created institutions,
sometimes called Councils Of Seers Into The Future, to guide their decisions.
Today we again need such councils on all levels.
With its broad membership from governments, parliaments, civil society,
business, science and the arts, the World Future Council will be a global
voice highlighting our responsibilities as citizens of the earth and
supporting the many growing initiatives working to support the planet.
It does not claim to represent anyone else. It is mandated only by the
conscience and integrity of its members who have joined together to
fill a vital gap among global institutions.
Today there is no alternative to an ethics of global responsibility
for we are entering an era of consequences. We must share, co-operate
and innovate together in building a world worthy of our highest aspirations.
The decision lies with each one of us!
We, the Councillors and Advisors of the World Future Council, invite
everyone to participate in fulfilling the commitment we have made here
in Hamburg to all children living now and in the future:
We promise to do everything in our power to help sustain life on earth
with all its beauty and diversity for future generations, and to speak
up for comprehensive peace and true justice between the world's peoples
Read the previous article here: The Future Starts
This Week in Hamburg
We look forward to your further thoughts, observations and views.
For and on behalf of DK Matai, Chairman, Asymmetric Threats Contingency
ATCA: The Asymmetric Threats Contingency
Alliance is a philanthropic expert initiative founded in 2001
to resolve complex global challenges through collective Socratic
dialogue and joint executive action to build a wisdom based global
economy. Adhering to the doctrine of non-violence, ATCA addresses
asymmetric threats and social opportunities arising from climate
chaos and the environment; radical poverty and microfinance; geo-politics
and energy; organised crime & extremism; advanced technologies
-- bio, info, nano, robo & AI; demographic skews and resource
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Senior Government officials and over 1,500 CEOs from financial
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as well as over 750 Professors from academic centres of excellence
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