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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2680

Judge Weeramantry appointed to World Future Council

Judge WeeramantryJudge WeeramantryMelbourne, 13 June, ( In the last week of May twenty handpicked international luminaries met in Geneva for the inaugural session of the World Future Council - a body created by the Swedish thinker, Jakob von Uexkull, the founder of the "Alternative Nobel Prize".

Von Uexkull's vision is that a celebrated assembly of "the most respected and trusted members of our planetary community" could provide a high-profile think tank whose influence would be felt in "the burgeoning array of issues affecting our global village". "Their moral authority would give legitimacy to promote more enlightened policy relating to our common future and the legacy we leave to succeeding generations who will inherit this ever smaller planet which we all share," he said.

The World Future Council will work in close collaboration with the Earth Charter Commission which was set up after the 1992 Earth Summit. As stated in the Preamble to the Earth Charter "we must recognize that in the midst of a magnificent diversity of cultures and life forms we are one human family and one Earth Community with a common destiny."

It will also work closely with the "e-Parliament" which electronically links together parliamentarians from across the world. Its work has already led to legislative initiatives on energy conservation in several parliaments, which are likely to benefit millions of people.

Among the founding members of the World Future Council are -

* the nuclear physicist Hans-Peter Duerr, former director of the Max-Planet Institute, who worked closely with Edward Teller and with Werner Heisenberg, the inventor of quantum mechanics;

* Olivier Gistard d'Estaing, former member of the French Parliament and Vice-chair of the European Parliament;

* Manfred Max-Kneef, former Rector of the University of Chile, who has written extensively on development alternatives and 'economics as if people matter' and has been deeply concerned with the poor in South America;

* Frances Moore-Lappe, who has written 15 books, including the 3 million copy best seller "Diet for a Small Planet" on the needlessness of hunger in a world of plenty;

* Vandana Shiva, founder of the Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology, whose books such as "The Violence of Green Revolution" have become basic challenges to non-sustainable agriculture;

* Tewolde Egziabher of Ethiopia, who gave leadership to African negotiators against patents on living materials and worked towards biosafety and biodiversity. He led the 'Like-Minded Group' in the 1999 biosafety negotiations in Cartagene against strong US and EU opposition.

It is a group of varied talents and achievements drawn from all parts of the world and Judge Weeramantry is the legal member of the group. His writings and judgments, as well as several of his 22 books cover fields related to the planetary future such as Nuclear Weapons, Sustainable Development, Cross Cultural Understanding, Environmental Protection, Peace Education, Apartheid, Technology and Human Rights and the inter-relationship of religion and law.

The launch of this group has attracted much media attention and it has already published booklets titled Policies to Change the World and shaping our Future.

The Dalai Lama has said that its deliberations would be seen to represent the conscience of the world and would thus carry moral authority.

The current members were selected from the names of over 500 individuals nominated by organization all over the world.

The Commission has set itself 24 areas of action where it will undertake the necessary research and public education, reaching through to parliaments and decision-makers throughout the world.

Among these are :

* Clean water for all
* Tackling climate change
* Sustainable uses of forests
* Sustainable and livable cities
* Sustainable uses of the oceans
* Fair Trade
* Nuclear disarmament
* Revitalizing democracy
* Indigenous peoples
* Children's rights

Research teams will deal with these areas, assembling the necessary information for dissemination to all concerned. There is something missing in the international global governance structure and that is the perspectives of future generations who are totally unrepresented in the present political order both national and international. They are the people whose rights we are infringing and whose property we are squandering. They need a voice at the highest levels in the governance of the world. That is what the World Future Council hopes to provide.

Uexkull's scheme has had the enthusiastic endorsement of former UN Secretary General, Boutros Ghali.

The Council, drawn from "the most capable and courageous men and women alive today" will aim at being a massive subterranean organization connected to institutions everywhere. The World Future Council could have a long-term impact in changing the global agenda.

It will have 24 research commissions exploring its 24 areas of concern. "Hosted in cities from Taipei to Singapore to San Francisco, each would be linked with relevant universities as well as public and private think tanks." All of their knowledge and work would be fed into the main council. A global network of thousands of parliamentarians and legislators would be lobbied and engaged.

- Asian Tribune -

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