The Maastricht Principles on the Human Rights of Future Generations
By Ana María Suárez Franco and Sandra Liebenberg
In 2021, the United Nations Secretary General launched his report, Our Common Agenda, containing his recommendations to member states for the reform of the UN system. The report includes a chapter explaining the importance of strengthening solidarity with younger and future generations and proposing specific measures to do so. Since 2017, a group of international law experts active in academic institutions and civil society have been working on a project which culminated in the adoption of the Maastricht Principles on the Human Rights of Future Generations (the Principles) at an Expert Seminar hosted by Maastricht Centre for Human Rights on 3 February 2023.
This article explains the relevance of these Principles for the UN reform process, their motivation, the main debates and process that lead to their adoption, and key themes in the Principles. The Principles seek both to consolidate and develop existing human rights standards to enhance the protection and fulfilment of the human rights of future generations. They provide a valuable guide to ensure that any action to strength solidarity with future generations is in line with international human rights law. It is hoped that the Principles will influence national, regional international governance processes, decision-making, standard-setting and jurisprudence, as well as promote social mobilization to advance the human rights of future generations. Read full article
The Rights of Nature
By Tobias Gerhartsreiter (GARN / GPF Europe)
The multiple crises to our climate and environment are endangering our very existence. The Rights of Nature (RoN) recognizes that all ecosystems on the planet are deeply intertwined and we, the people, have the responsibility to protect these rights on behalf of the ecosystems.
RoN could be a strong lever to respond to the crises of our time while contributing to the protection of the human rights of future generations.