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Rights for Future Generations Workshop, Oct. 16, 2004

Chit Chong writes:

"Modern Society Condemned for Exploiting Future Generations"

Rights for Future Generations Workshop

European Social Forum, London, Oct. 16, 2004

The Rights for Future Generations workshop at the European Social Forum will demand the recognition of the fundamental rights of people in future generations.It argues that:

— People of future generations have the same rights as people today, including a decent environment, but this is being destroyed.

— Current generations must take responsibility for the exploitation of future generations from our waste of resources and the climate change we have caused.

— Both Right and Left wing politics ignore future generations and share a role in their exploitation. The categories and goals they use are obsolete, and are short-sighted and do not facilitate the well-being and democratic rights of our children and their descendants.

— Therefore we need an immediate shift to ecological politics to assure the survival of life on earth.

— The first step to ending this exploitation and to establish ecological politics is to ensure that the rights for future generations are represented in all areas of society including the government, judiciary and business.

— Such a representation shall protect the great diversity of life on earth, give a chance for everyone to live a life worthy for Man and stop wasting the heritage of our descendants.

— This extension of democratic rights to descending generations must occur in tandem with the extension of such rights to the majority of today’s generations who do not enjoy these rights yet.

The workshop discusses the role of the Green Party (England & Wales) Speaker for Future Generations and the Representation of Future Generations, Hungary (REFUGE; that ”acts as” an ombudsman proposed by Protect the Future); and other initiatives in the world (Germany, Israel, Poland, Malta, Ontario-Canada, the 1997 Declaration of UNESCO). It also discusses possibility of similar roles in governmental, business, spiritual and campaign organisations. It explores the role that the judiciary can play in protecting future generations.

The workshop intends to bring together those who wish to create a network that can press this issue forward on national, EU and international level. The forming of EU’s Constitution gives a special reason for creating such a network: as Rights for Future Generations should be explicit in the constitution.

Chit Chong, Green Party Speaker for Future Generations, said, ”Climate change has changed the rules. We know that we do now can cause suffering not just in other parts of the world but also in the future. It can be argued that there is a link between a parent driving a polluting four wheel drive on the school run and a drowning of a child in Bangladesh twenty years from now”

Peter Kajner of Protect the Future, secretary of REFUGE, Hungary said, ”We must end living at the cost of our children. We have to ensure for them the right to healthy air and water, a stable climate, enjoy the diversity of life on Earth, peace — the right to live a life that is worthy for Man. If we do not do this today, we are no good parents, and condemn our descendants to suffering. We have to shift to ecological politics right now that serves life and not death.”

The work shop will be held at Birkbeck College 406 4.30 to 6.30 on Saturday 16 October as part of the European Social Forum.

For more information about rights for future generations and the ESF Workshop contact:

Chit Chong Green Party (England, Wales and Northern Ireland)
chit.chong@virgin.net Phone: 07970 483 188

Peter Kajner of Protect the Future, Hungary
kajnerp@mail.interware.hu Phone: +36 20 462 2043

Booklet on Rights for Future Generations: here

Green Party national press office: 020 7561 0282