Government appoints 'Guardian of Future Generations and Sustainable Development'
The Government today announced the appointment of the Guardian of Future Generations and the Sustainable Development Network. These two bodies are being appointed for a three year period in virtue of the Sustainable Development Act, which act was approved by Parliament last July.
The aim of this law is to mainstream the principles of sustainable development into the workings of government and to promote the concept of sustainable development amongst the private sector and society in general.
The Act establishes the function of a Guardian of Future Generations, a high level committee tasked with looking after and representing the interests of future generations at the national level. Twenty years ago in the run up to the UN conference on sustainable development in Rio de Janeiro Malta championed the idea of a Guardian of Future Generations at the international level within the UN system.
The Prime Minister nominated Michael Zammit Cutajar, Malta’s former ambassador to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as Chairman of the Guardian of Future Generations.
The Opposition was advised of the nomination of Mr. Michael Zammit Cutajar as Chairperson of the Guardian of Future Generations and welcomed the appointment. The members of the Guardian of Future Generations are Dr. Michael Bonello, former Governor of Malta’s Central Bank, appointed as a person with knowledge and experience in commerce, economy and industry; Ms. Simone Mizzi appointed as a person having knowledge and experience in the environmental voluntary organisations sectors and environmental matters; and, Dr. Roberta Lepre appointed as a person with knowledge and experience in social and community affairs.
The Act also provides for the establishment of a Sustainable Development Network, with the aim of mainstreaming sustainable development across the workings of government and civil society. The Network is chaired by Dr Michael Bonello and is composed of persons with extensive experience of the economic, environmental and social dimensions of sustainable development within the public and private sectors, appointed after consultation with Malta Council for Economic and Social Development. Amongst the members of the Network are Ing. Marco Cremona appointed as a person from the non-governmental organisations sector having knowledge and experience in environmental matters; Mr. Winston Zahra Jr., appointed as a person with knowledge and experience in commerce, economy and industry; Dr. Anne Marie Callus appointed as a person with knowledge and experience in social and community affairs;
Minister de Marco said that “it is essential that all players in the economy take a long term view when making their decisions. The role of these two Bodies is precisely to help us ensure that our actions today do not place unsustainable burdens on future generations. We owe a world of opportunities to the generations that will follow us, we owe them a standard of living that is in the very least equal if not better to ours. Today’s gains should not be made at the expense of future generations. This is why the Government took the unprecedented step of legislating to entrench sustainable development into its workings”. Minister de Marco thanked the Chairpersons and members of these two Bodies, wishing them success in their endeavours.
Mr Zammit Cutajar said that: “Sustainable development is a political challenge. It requires Government to listen to the aspirations of society, in particular of youth, to formulate strategic objectives that unite society and to provide effective leadership in achieving them. Among the innovations of the Sustainable Development Act, I see the Guardian of Future Generations function as a look-out post, a sounding board and a source of independent criticism and advice. I look forward to working with the other members to get it off to a sound start.”