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. SEKEM CEO Helmy Abouleish became a member of the World Future Council in 2017 after his father, who was a co-founder, passed away.
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.
Source: World Future Council, Press Release