The world’s first Commissioner whose role it is to act as guardian for future generations, Sophie Howe (Future Generations Commissioner for Wales) will be highlighting how Wales’ is leading the way on safeguarding the interests of future generations when she addresses the United Nations High Level Political Forum in New York this week.

“My role created by the ground-breaking Well-being of Future Generations Act is unique in that I am acting almost as a disruptor to the way government and policy makers make decisions. In Wales our government and public sector must now think long-term and how they are ensuring the well-being of our children and grandchildren.

“I will be sharing with governments, leaders and influencers my learning to date and how we are starting to create ripples of change that reflects the sustainable principle of the Act; changes include our innovative approaches to health and transport policy and ensuring culture is an integral part of policy making and thinking.

“Across the world leaders and policy makers are grappling with finding a framework to implement the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the approach in Wales provides a blueprint for doing this. It is an approach which is gaining international recognition showing that whilst Wales may be a small country we can provide leadership on the world stage.

“This week we have published ‘a journey to ‘A Globally Responsible Wales’, as the second phase of a significant work programme that explains and explores how public bodies can maximise their contribution to the seven well-being goals. This publication includes a variety of steps such as encouraging public bodies to procure fair trade cotton in work wear and have fair trade material on building sites. It also calls on public bodies to support staff in taking part in global volunteering activities and ensuring the integration of refugees into communities such as what Gwynedd Council has achieved through the Syrian Rehabilitation Programme.

“As Martin Luther King Jr said, “Before you finish eating breakfast in the morning, you’ve depended on half the world.” Things are changing but we need to match the pace and scale of issues such as climate change. In Wales and beyond our future generations are speaking out and we need to listen and take action today for a better tomorrow.”

The Commissioner’s Itinerary:

(Please note the timings below are for New York time)

Wednesday, 17th July

Meeting with Minister of State for Well-being and Happiness, Her Excellency Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi.

15:10 – 17:00 – Regions 4 international panel. The Commissioner will share our experience in Wales towards contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals alongside international cities and regions who have recently produced Voluntary Local Reviews. A new lab has been created to support cities and provide an open space for peer-learning.

Meeting with Anna Gadegaard, Associate Director, The Danish Council for Social Responsibility and the Sustainable Developments Goals Denmark – Anna is currently working on making the Future Fit Business Benchmark, a baseline tool for Norvo Nordisk.

Friday, 19th July

Meeting with Lopa Banerjee – UN Director of Civil Society Division, UN Women.

15:00 – 17:30 – The Commissioner will be addressing the United Nations ECOSOC High-Level Segment – theme of “Empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.” The session will address future trends related to the empowerment of people, including the poorest and most vulnerable, and their engagement in decision-making.

Notes to Editors

We believe the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales is the first Welsh person to address the UN on the Sustainable Development Goals.

VLR (Voluntary Local Review) is an international initiative in which the local government voluntarily reviews the status of its efforts on the SDGs and publishes the results as a report comparable with other local governments.

Local governments have already been proactive in collecting and sharing knowledge about SDG-related actions among themselves. Now, VLR Lab enhances their ability to disseminate information and findings globally, and to do so more smoothly. It does so by serving as an online centralised information hub for SDG reporting by sub-national and local governments, as they provide details such as location, size and important goals, in addition to actual cases and reports from the model local governments.


IGES SDGs: Online Voluntary Local Review (VLR) Lab

Kitakyushu City, Fukuoka, JAPAN. Kitakyushu City the Sustainable Development Goals Report -Fostering a trusted Green Growth City with true wealth and prosperity, contributing to the world

Art of the Possible ‘A Journey to A Globally Responsible Wales’ media pack

Wales and the Sustainable Development Goals