The importance for business to be cognisant of the needs of future generations was highlighted by Mary Robinson when she spoke at the UNICEF Global Workshop ‘Child Rights and Business: Innovation and Action’, held recently in New York.
The importance for business to be cognisant of the needs of future generations was highlighted by Mary Robinson when she spoke at the UNICEF Global Workshop ‘Children’s Rights and Business: Innovation and Action’, held this week in New York.
Beginning the ten-day presence of the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice at the 2013 United Nations General Assembly, Mrs Robinson was one of three speakers for the event’s closing high level panel, which also included UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Yoka Bradt and UNICEF Director of Private Fundraising and Partnerships Leila Pakkala.
“Business and governments need to look to the long term and consider inter-generational equity,” Mrs Robinson said at the event. “Business must be cognisant of the needs of future generations, the children of today and tomorrow, an essential tenant of sustainable development.”
Discussing child rights and business principles from a climate perspective, Mrs Robinson referred to the Foundation’s use of the principle of intergenerational equity in the context of climate justice. By emphasising the devastating impacts the world’s shift toward a 3-4 degree warmer climate will bring to future generations, the principle highlights the need to act now with ambition and urgency.
Mrs Robinson also addressed the need for business to meet their responsibility to respect children’s rights. She added that these rights must be respected and supported in relation to the environment and to land acquisition and use. Mrs Robinson called on businesses to help protect children affected by emergencies – often caused by climate change – and reinforce community and government efforts to protect and fulfil children’s rights.
The two-day workshop also coincided with the publication by UNICEF of a Children’s Rights and Business Principles tool kit aimed at integrating the rights of children into business operations.