The “Summit for the Future: Multilateral Solutions for a Better Tomorrow,” co-facilitated by Germany and Namibia, will be held 22-23 September. The draft is intended to serve as a starting point for the intergovernmental deliberations this year, with the ultimate aim of adopting an ambitious, concise, action-oriented Pact for the Future.
In the section on “Sustainable Development and Financing for Development,” the WCC stressed the importance of accelerating global responses to climate change, and of issues of economic justice. “These issues are fundamental to human dignity and security, and undergirded by human rights obligations,” reads the WCC text. WCC highlighted “the role of poverty, economic injustice and rampant income inequality as drivers of instability, conflict, displacement, climate change and environmental degradation, and many of the other crises facing the world, and in undermining efforts for sustainable development”. WCC called for more attention in the Pact to hunger, food security and water access concerns, as well as to the ongoing HIV and AIDS pandemic and the mental health crisis facing children and young people in situations of vulnerability.
For the “International Peace and Security” section, the WCC urged more attention to the role of civil society and of religious actors. In addition, the WCC affirmedconcern about the increased risk of nuclear conflict, the need for the prohibition of nuclear weapons, and the importance of progress towards a ban on ‘killer robots’. In general, the WCC expressed deep concern that in the current global context “dialogue and diplomacy are being side-lined, and investment in the foundations of true human security… is tragically inadequate.”
Under the “Science, Technology and Innovation, and Digital Cooperation” chapter, the WCC agreed with concerns related to the risks entailed in the wider application of artificial intelligence. “However, we would like to highlight other areas of technological development that would warrant attention, including advanced biotechnology, bioengineering and nanotechnology, as well as social media and other electronic communication technologies,” reads the text.
Regarding “Youth and Future Generations,” the WCC agrees with the acknowledgement of the responsibility of the international community to young people and future generations. The WCC echoes the draft’s wording that “young persons will live with the consequences of our actions and our inaction” and welcomes “the intention of annexing a ‘Declaration of Future Generations to the Pact’”.
Finally, related to “Transforming Global Governance,” the WCC affirmed the need for reform of the Security Council, but noted that its “post-WWII power dynamics, the vested interests of its permanent members, and the current geopolitical situation make meaningful reform impracticable.” On the other hand, it supported initiatives to make the Security Council more accountable to the General Assembly, the UN’s most representative and inclusive body.