Press releases

Rio+20 Must Guarantee a Right to the Future

Launch of online petition on World Day of Social Justice

Hamburg/Lisbon/London/Osnabrück – 20th February 2012. The World Future Council, Terre des Hommes and Portuguese NGO Oikos, are launching an online petition for signatures demanding that world leaders support the call for Rio+20 to establish Ombudspersons for Future Generations, to coincide with the World Day of Social Justice on 20 February. It is available in five languages at

The Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development will take place in Rio de Janeiro on 20-22 June, 20 years after the first groundbreaking 1992 Rio Earth Summit. It is expected to be one of the biggest world gatherings to address sustainability. The online petition calls on citizens around world to take the opportunity to make their voice heard and call for real action at Rio. The Summit cannot allow delays for another 20 years.  

Despite numerous international processes and agreements on sustainable development, deep gaps between rich and poor are steadily growing while our very wellbeing is threatened by irreversible damage to our planet and its ecosystems. Yet political decisions are still driven by market driven solutions, flawed economic motivations and short term thinking. For present and future generations the basic right to a healthy and fulfilling life is being severely undermined.

Ombudspersons for Future Generations offer a clear solution to break the short-term orientation in our governance structures. They act as a representative for those who are not able to express their interests and bring sustainability to the heart of decision making. As a tried and tested initiative, this institution has a proven track record of defending and protecting the rights of future generations and the planet.

Oikos, Terre des Hommes and The World Future Council as promoters of this initiative want to see a serious and concrete commitment from world leaders to create Ombudspersons for Future Generations at the international, regional and national levels. Ombudspersons can act as a driving force behind the sustainable development agenda while ensuring accountability and accessibility.

Citizens around the world are invited to sign the petition available in five languages (English, Portuguese, German, French and Spanish) at  from 20 February until the beginning of June. The collected signatures will then be sent to Heads of State and government delegations ahead of the Rio+20 Summit.


The World Future Council
The World Future Council brings the interests of future generations to the centre of policy-making. Its 50 eminent members from around the globe have already successfully promoted change. The Council addresses challenges to our common future and provides decision makers with effective policy solutions. The World Future Council is registered as a charitable foundation in Hamburg, Germany.
For more information, visit

“terre des hommes” is a non-profit organization that supports projects designed to improve the living conditions of children suffering from poverty, exploitation and violence in 31 countries. Through public outreach and advocacy work “terre des hommes” aims to contribute to the realization of children's rights worldwide. In 2011, “terre des hommes” launched a campaign to promote the environmental rights of children, including their right to the future.
For further information about terre des hommes:

Oikos – Cooperação e Desenvolvimento (Cooperation and Development) is a Portuguese non-profit-making association internationally recognized as an International Non-governmental Organization (INGO) whose goal is worldwide development. To this end, we work with communities in the poorest regions and countries regardless of their geographical location. We believe, first and foremost, in a world where there is no poverty and no injustice, and where human development can be equitable and sustainable on a local and global scale. Our activity is structured as a continuum in the areas of emergencies/humanitarian action, development/sustainable life and mobilization/global citizenship. From Emergencies to Development, Education, Social Mobilization and Public Influence, Oikos’ work currently encompasses Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Peru and Portugal.
For further information about Oikos:

Press contacts:
The World Future Council
Catherine Pearce, Future Justice Manager

terre des hommes
Jonas Schubert, Human Rights Officer
+49 5417101132

Oikos – Cooperação e Desenvolvimento
Pedro Krupenski, Director de Desenvolvimento
+ (351)963076905


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